The Half Moon Bay History Association (HMBHA) submitted this historic photo and asked Half Moon Bay Patch readers to provide an explanation of who the woman is in the photo, the year, and what she’s doing and holding in the photo.
The Half Moon Bay History Association judges all answers and all correct and likely answers are put into a random drawing. The winner of the drawing receives a prize: a copy of “Treasures of Half Moon Bay” walking guide to historic locations in town (usually sells for a $10 donation to the HMBHA).
Katheryn Weaver knew the woman in the photo was Marilyn Monroe, and both Deb Wong and Byron Wright got it right that her name was once Norma Jean Dougherty, photographed here by Army photographer David Conover holding a RP-5 prop (propeller).
Wright however won the random drawing. Congratulations!
Wright wrote in: “This photo is from the U.S. Army issue date June 26, 1945, of Yank magazine. The colorized version of this photo (David Conover) was published of Marilyn Monroe as Norma Jean Dougherty (they used to hand-color BW prints). She is holding the RP-5 prop (propeller) which was on the second (first OQ-1) UAV/drone named Radioplane OQ-2 (USAAF, originally invented by Reginald Denny) used during WWII for target spotting, which was then retrieved by runway or parachute. The electronics were made by Bendix.”
According to Dave Cresson of the Half Moon Bay History Association, this is a picture that appeared in Yank – the army magazine – also during WWII. It shows one of the drones – a model airplane that was used for targets at the naval gunnery school in Moss Beach.
“Local kids used to recover the crashed model planes in the fields along the Coastside and return them to the Navy," said Cresson of the photos. “And holding the plane in the picture is none other than the factory technician at the drone manufacturing plant. Her name was Norma Jeane Dougherty. It was because of this photo shoot for the magazine that she was “discovered” and soon became Marylyn Monroe.”
Byron, please e-mail Half Moon Bay Patch editor Christa Bigue at email@example.com with your address so the folks at the Half Moon Bay History Association can mail you your prize!
Stay tuned for the next Half Moon Bay History Quiz courtesy of the Half Moon Bay History Association.
Like history? Want to join the Half Moon Bay History Association? To join and for more information about the Half Moon Bay History Association, located at 326 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, visitwww.HalfMoonBayHistory.org or call (650) 726-4468. The HMBHA is always looking for new members and volunteers. Annual dues are $25. Tell the stories, keep the records and be a part of how our Coastside came to become itself. Call or e-mailInfo@HalfMoonBayHistory.org for a 2013 membership.