Leo Carlton during his pilot training (roughly 1943).
In 1997, I lost my grandpa Carlton to leukemia. Since my aunts, uncles and grandma on my dad’s side keep telling me that I am his spitting image, I guess I have a special bond to him. In honor of tomorrow (June 3) being National Cancer Survivors Day, I wanted to write this post to honor him.
It wasn’t until two years ago when I dove head first into a history project for my grandpa. He was a B-24 co-pilot based in Cerignola, Italy with the 459th Bomb Group. During his 10th mission, his plane was damaged near Munich, Germany, and they tried to land in Switzerland. However, a dummy runway setup by the Germans served it’s purpose and their plane, the Cherry II, landed on the wrong side of the border. He and his crew were taken POWs.
His story is one that I am honored to have researched. His personality and attitude toward his very hard circumstances, I feel, are what got him through this fight with cancer. Thought he lost his war in the end, he fought numerous battles – won a few and lost a few.
I write this post in honor of him, and all other cancer survivors. If you, or someone you know is a cancer survivor, click here and take a moment to honor all cancer survivors by writing your (or their) story. This Facebook app allows you to read the stories, share your own, and find hope. You won’t regret it.
I am particularly proud of this photo. Not because the model in it is my son, but because what was a quick snap shot that I thought would be cool, ended up being really cool and simplistic.
As a photographer, I often spend a lot of time setting up a shot – trying to get the right angle, aperture and moment. So when I willy-nilly snap a photo and have it capture everything just right, I’m pretty excited about it.
My 3-year-old son (at the time) and I were visiting the Hill Aerospace Museum in Roy, Utah. My grandpa, Leo Carlton, was a B-24 co-pilot in WWII who was taken as a POW for nearly a year. It is in memory of him that I enjoy checking out the museum, which now has a re-built B-24, and thinking about what it was like for him in the 1940s.
After touring the museum, we stopped at the gift shop and he wanted to purchase this little biplane. As we walked to the car, my son was just ahead of me flying his airplane. I pulled out my little digital point-and-shoot and snapped the photo above.
I have a framed copy of that photo in my office, which reminds me of my grandpa, through the actions of my son. It also reminds me that photography can be as simple, or as complex as you want it to be, and on a few occasions, the outcome is the same. What made this even cooler is when it placed in the Davis County Fair, as well as the Utah State Fair that same year.