United States Coast Guard Cutter Spencer during WWII in 1942 or 1943. Spencer sank the German submarine U-175 on April 17, 1943. Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.com

By Mark McConville

INCREDIBLE images of the ships used to win wars have been brought back to life after being expertly colourised.

The vivid colour pictures show 40mm guns firing aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Hornet on 16 February 1945, as the planes of Task Force 58 were raiding Tokyo; Aircraft carrier USS Franklin being attacked during World War Two; and A U.S. Navy Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat fighter makes condensation rings as it awaits the take-off flag aboard USS Yorktown.

USS Missisippi firing guns during the Korean War. Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.com


Other striking shots show Troops in an LCVP landing craft approaching Omaha Beach on D-Day; Coast Guardsmen from the cutter USCGC Spencer picking up survivors from the U-Boat U-175 just before it made its final dive; and US Army troops examining a one-man submarine that washed up on Anzio beachhead in Italy.

The black and white photographs were painstakingly colourised by design engineer Paul Reynolds (55), from Birmingham.

17th Regimental Combat Team Lands on Carlos Island. Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.com


“I mostly colourise war photos because each photo usually has a story to tell, stories of real everyday people,” he said.

“I think when it comes to colourising many artists concentrate on the land war, but I like to try and cover all aspects of the war; land, air and sea.

US Army troops examine a one-man submarine that washed up on Anzio beachhead in Italy. Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.com

“Adding colour to maritime photos makes the content of the photo stand out from the usual grayscale background.

“My personal favourite photo from this set is the ice covered convoy ship. The convoys were the lifeblood of Britain during WWII and their bravery and hardships are mostly forgotten and rarely portrayed in historical films or texts.

December 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.com


“By colourising them I hope it helps for people to remember contribution these sailors made to war effort were every bit as important as the fighting forces.”

Pictures like these form part of a new book on iconic colourised photographs called Retrographic by author Michael D. Carroll. The book is currently available to buy on Amazon for £16.85.

Funeral. Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.com


For more information visit: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Retrographic-Historys-Most-Important-Images-Living-Colour/1908211504?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1