The History of InfoAge Science & History Museums

Oral Histories - Oral History of IRVING BAUMAN

Interviewee: IRVING BAUMAN

Interviewer: Michael Ruane
Date: 1998?
Place: Camp Evans – 9039
Media: NTSC Video
Summary: Mr. Irv Bauman



During World War II, he was a Photographic Laboratory Commander, assigned to a B-29 Bombardment Group, Army Air Forces, in the Marianas Islands. His unit installed large aerial cameras in B-29’s, which flew over Japan, bombing selected targets. The cameras photographed bombs away thru impact on the ground. Upon return to the home base, the film magazines would be removed from their camera bodies, the film placed in light-tight cans, which were delivered to the Bomb Group Photo Lab for processing and printing…

He was C.O. of a 20 man unit that built the laboratory buildings, set up a water supply and distribution system, engine generator sets to provide power to the laboratory, as well as the Group Headquarters office and personnel living areas. The film, 10″ wide, 250 ft. long, had to be processed in gallons of prepared solutions and hundreds of prints produced therefrom. Bombardment accuracy was confirmed by the aerial photos. After the surrender of the Japanese, he was assigned to the job of Saipan Island Post Exchange Officer, to close out the PX store.

Returning to the states, he had 90 days to return to this pre-war job. He placed an ad in the Photo Trade News advertising his qualifications. He received a letter from the Signal Corps Photographic Center in Astoria, L.I., asking him to be interviewed to fill a vacancy. SCPS produced the training films for the Army but also had a small R&D Group called PERL, Pictorial Engineering Research Laboratory, which was destined to move to Ft. Monmouth. All but one of their personnel agreed to the move. Irving was being interviewed for, and eventually accepted the job offered, but with a one-year contract offer. Any extension would depend on his success in contributing to the planning and implementation of an acceptable R&D program. That one year contract became a 30-year career.
The Photo Branch was initially housed in Bldg. 288, adjacent to Squier Laboratory, Ft. Monmouth, NJ. Later it occupied Bldg. 551, adjacent to the Post Library, and finally to the newly completed Hexagon Bldg. Photo Branch, consisting of 40 people who occupied the top floor and were the first group to so locating in the Hexagon. There were 4 Sections, ‘Camera, Motion Picture, Chemical & Methodls_ & Analysis & Test Sections as well as a Drafting Group. Irving was assigned to the Chemical & Methods Section which dealt with the chemistry of photographic processing. He cited a number of innovative techniques to simplify the Photographic Process in the field where the water needed for the process was in short supply. He then described a technique called Electrophotography, a completely dry photographic system based on a patent disclosure by its inventor, thru the Haloid Company, Rochester, NY. A research contract was placed with the Haloid Co. and a subcontractor, the Batelle Memorial Institute. The elements of the system ultimately developed were detailed. Though this program resulted in a workable system, its’ bulk & complexity made it impracticable for field application. However, Haloid pursued this program, applying it to line copy functions, rather than continuous tone photos as originally planned. That pursuit led to the first office copy machine and led to the photocopy industry where every office now can make multiple copies cheaply and easily. Yes, there was a failure to arrive at a field worthy system, but the research effort led to the birth of a new and enormous photocopy industry, presently including a number of other companies, in the business.

There followed work in color abbreviated negative/positive processing, hi-energy developers, Stabilization Processing, In-Camera Processing, and Photo Transmission Systems (Air To Ground).. In 1963, the Photographic Branch was split into two groups: one called the Photo-Optics Technical Area, which was concerned with exploratory & experimental research aspects. The other group to be known as the Processing Equipment Team of the Optical & Acoustical Technical Area and headed by Dan Kelly became involved with Advanced Development, Engineering Development, and Production phases, now to be housed at Evans Signal Lab. Vic Kelly headed the Camera Systems Team and Irving, the Processing Equipment Team, both located in Bldg 38C. Kelly became involved in developments in camera design, both aerial & ground, and the Drone Program where an unmanned aircraft containing a mounted camera system was sent out over the enemy’s area to photograph ground activity, transmitting photo intelligence to a ground station.

All the work done by the Photo-Optics and Evans located Teams led to the requirement for field operable Mobile Processing Laboratories. Irving became involved with the design of the first of these, finding himself limited to the cargo space available on Army’s 2 112 ton truck which could carry Shelters 6′ x 6′ x12′ in size. These Shelters were in use for many of the Signal Communications Systems, all of which were transported by these trucks hauling a trailer containing an engine-generator set for a power supply. The first of the mobile photo labs, an experimental model, was subjected to Arctic, Desert Tropics, and “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” testing to ascertain field mobility. Called Laboratory Darkroom AN/TFQ-7, it was demonstrated to military personnel of Army Pictorial Center at Astoria, Ll. It contained provisions for both ground and aerial films. Process capability for the latter had not been available to Army hitherto.

The lab had provision for air conditioning, space heating, water supply, and electrical power. A large number of these (40) were manufactured and shipped to the field. Then the U.E.R.’s began to surface, mainly complaining that the shelter was too crowded. Via a Product Improvement Program, the aerial processing components were removed and installed in a new package to be known as ES-38, which contained continuous type processing machines and printers, to handle the larger format aerial roll films. Each of these machines required separate development efforts and ultimate mounting within a shelter system. Still another package to handle only the remaining ground film formats, known as the ES-82A was designed, manufactured, and shipped to the field.

U.E.R.’s would be received pinpointing suggested improvements that were implemented, taking advantage of the new techniques that became known, like the Polaroid Land, Bimat, and Stabilization Systems. Funding for all of this was provided.
With the availability of all this imagery, a need arose for a Photo Interpretation Facility. This time, an expansible van, 12 ft. in length, augmented by road & curbside wall expansion to provide a workroom 12 ft. square in area, was selected to house all of the devices needed by a photo interpreter to read out/analyze collected imagery for intelligence operations and planning by field commanders. A computer with a specially designed software program to facilitate interpretation was also provided. The Project Engineer for this system was Carl Orlando, who came up with the original concept, which became known as the Tactical Image Interpretation Facility (TIIF) AN/TSQ-43. He saw it through the early stages of development into Service Test. Carl spent time in Vietnam introducing the System to the troops in the field and was commended by Gen’I Westmoreland for his contribution. Irving took over the production procurement of 35 of such systems preparing the Specification with AI Bohnert, the Production Engineer.

Still another requirement arose for Mobile System Development when Army began receiving aerial imagery from USAF and needed multiple copies made therefrom (25,000 prints / 24 hrs.). This need was addressed with the development of another mobile laboratory c/o a 30 ft. a long trailer containing continuous machines for the required function (a photofinishing facility), and became known as the ES-22. This large system also was subjected to all the field testing to include the “shake, rattle, and roll” test conducted at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Irving recalled a situation that arose in that connection, which he detailed.

Returning to the image interpretation function, the Services all now wanted each other’s gathered intelligence. A new system was conceived by USAF called MAGIC Marine Air-Ground Intelligence Center. This dwarfed Army’s AN/TSQ-43, and Army participated in the procurement of some of these systems when fully developed. This system provided for transmission of much of the Navy, USAF, and Army Imagery into the MAGIC Complex, to be processed. Irving became involved early in this program, traveling to Ft.Huachukah, AZ, to assist in Army’s participation planning with USAF. That participation was then passed on to Guy Hays who took over when Irving retired in 1976. After Guy Hays passed away, Kirk Wiley took over, and later John Schoening.
Irving stated that in all of his experience, both military and civilian, the importance of effective communication, in terms of what the customer expects or wishes to hear, was brought out. It helped to sell the need for adequate funding. A great idea could only go anywhere if it could be properly sold to those who hold the purse strings.

After Irving’s retirement, Carl Orlando and Darius Castellini, former Photo-Optics Tech Area Director, joined him to form a company in 1978 called Analytical Research & Development Inc., doing contract work for Ft. Monmouth on a part-time basis, which lasted until 1988. This was an interesting experience, being on the side of the industry doing Government work. Irving then became a Substitute Teacher in the Wall Twp. Intermediate School and is also a volunteer at Jersey Shore Medical Center, where he assists the Audio Visual Office, in medical photo assignments.

Irving was asked about what he knew about McCarthy’s “Witch Hunt”. He proceeded to tell of his knowledge of that event, of the people he knew of that were targeted, and how those indictments turned out for each. He was then asked about his military experience on Saipan, Marianas Islands, about the time the Atomic Bomb was fielded. He related his understanding of events surrounding that experience. He also explained why Iwo Jima had to be taken, to protect crippled B-29’s returning from a bombing mission, and to provide fighter escort for those approaching the bomb run over Japan

Page created August 2, 2002

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