Special Exhibition

A Circle of Gay WW2 Era Soldiers, Friends, and Family – A Photo Album 

A rare photo album depicting two brothers, Max and Everett Powell, both distinguished WW2 pilots from Hillview, Oklahoma, and their circle including many gay friends, armed service members and civilians. Some of their childhood photographs from the late teens and early 1920s are also included.  This album probably belonged to a mutual friend, possibly a boyfriend of Max or Everett, and last originated in central Florida. Five other brothers (Earl, Fred, George, Adrian and Arthur) served during WW2 while Arthur also served during WW1. All survived! A complete photo album like this with such numerous and candid shots is extremely rare. Gay and lesbian soldiers served proudly during WW2 and faced many challenges according to online research. Thank you to all who served! There are some great online articles about the Powell Brothers and some of the service information regarding Max and Everett appear below.  Change the playback speed lower right to .75

Max (1919 – 2008) flew more than 60 photo reconnaissance missions in the Pacific for the US Army Air Forces as part of the 10th Photo Group and trained at the Will Rogers Field in Oklahoma. Everett (1918 – 1999) became a fighter pilot for the US Army Air Forces and was shot down in Europe and a prisoner of war for a year. He also served in the US Navy and the Royal Air Force and won England’s Distinguished Flying Cross for action with the Eighth Army Air Force.