This scene, with one notable exception, is typical of millions of vignettes from World War II that depict the American fighting man in a respite from combat. The site was the forward elevator well of the USS Monterey (CVL-26) sometime in June or July 1944. The light carrier and her crew were in the midst of the Marianas operation, earning their sixth of 11 battle stars. A much needed break from the fighting, the basketball game was shoehorned somewhere amid the capture of Saipan, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Third Bonins Raid, and the capture of Guam. The only thing unusual about this image is that the blond-haired jumper at left center was Lieutenant Gerald R. Ford Jr., U.S. Naval Reserve. He later became the 38th President of the United States (1974-77).
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