"Pilots, Man Your Planes!"   
                                         WWII U.S. Naval Aviation Collector's Guide                                                                              
 
Avenger Pilots, 1943 
A Colorful Compilation
These pilots are members of Torpedo Squadron Five, aboard U.S.S. Yorktown in September of 1943, part of Carrier Air Group Five as were the Hellcat pilots shown previously. Unlike the fighter pilots, they do not display the type D face mask and only one is using a throat microphone. Generally operating at lower altitudes, the torpedo pilots would have their oxygen equipment stowed in the aircraft and favor the use of a hand held microphone, which would also stay in the cockpit rather than be carried on the person. Like their VF-5 brethren, these VT pilots have many items of equipment in common. All wear the M-450 series flight helmets fitted with TH-37 earphones,  "original" back pad survival kits (see front and rear views above and interior below) and Mk-I life vests with only a single dye marker. The variables seen here are goggle type (Mk-II or AN-6530), earphone holder version and parachute harness, either Navy standard or AN standard.
They have been identified, from top to bottom, as follows:
Bill "Boris" Thurston, "Rufe" Ruefle, Dick "Rube" Rubner, "Andy" Lett (XO), "Pierre" Laliberte, "Buck" Milligan, unidentified and the CO, Dick Upson.  At right is "Joe" Kristufek.