View Full Version : Graflex Combat Kit, info needed

24-Jan-2011, 11:12
By good luck I happened to pick up at a local auction a US Army Signal corps Speed Graphic Combat Camera with the Haliburton case and accessories. I have attached 2 photos I found online. From what I gather the camera appears whole but it's the case I need more info about.

Though it is in like new condition I can tell there are items missing. The photo attached I got from the same source and it is helpful but i really can't be sure whats missing. For example the flash reflector, there is a hole in the back. The photo indicates some extra bracket that mounts on the reverse to plug that hole. I don't have that bracket.

Would anyone know where i could get a inventory list of everything that is supposed to be in there ?


24-Jan-2011, 12:42
Neat! What did you pay for it?

Mark Sampson
24-Jan-2011, 13:30
I'd look at graflex.org.

Lynn Jones
25-Jan-2011, 09:56
I thought they stopped making them about 64 years ago! I've seen quite a few of them but never in a Halliburton case, all I've seen were in the standard Graflex fiber case painted in OD. In fact I actually had one in my lab at the USN Hospital, St Albans, NY when I was chief Medical Photographer back in 1955, it vas virtually new because it was seldom used until I used it. I'm surprised that they were made in my War (Korea, I was a Navy and Marine Corpsman from 1948 to 1957)


Frank Petronio
25-Jan-2011, 11:57
That's funny because I've seen them on eBay in Halliburtons pretty often.

Mark Sampson
25-Jan-2011, 12:48
I know several people who were military photographers in the Vietnam era; they all used 4x5 Graphics on the job. So the spec for the case must have changed, even if the camera didn't.

Bob Salomon
25-Jan-2011, 14:47
I was a USAF photographer during the Cuban period until I got out just after Tonkin Gulf. Ours were in the standard Graflex case.

Also there was an USAF designation for them. Something like a KE-12 ground camera, but it has been so long since I read the manual I don't recall the exact designation. Army may have used the same designation though.

26-Jan-2011, 16:26
I've since found out this kit is something of an oddity because the camera itself is an early military model from the beginning of 1943. They did not begin to paint them in OD green till just before the war ended. The haliburton case (which is all metal) was never issued during WW2 and when it was issued the cameras were OD green.

But the government buys massive quantities (ie: like how you can purchase today a brand new never issued M1 Garrand) so it's possible that this camera & case were actually issued together but it's more likely that the original case for the camera was lost and at some point replaced with the haliburton.

And you do see these on ebay, but it's pretty much the same guy listing them over & over because he's asking $1500-$2000 and no ones buying it.

So I can either be content with what i have or find the proper case for the camera OR find a proper OD cam for the haliburton

29-Jan-2011, 07:32
I think you're pretty lucky to get that!

I have a WWII era black speed graphic with brass trim on the front instead of aluminum. No military markings or accessories though. I also have a traditional green case for a 30's era speed graphic, not military either, but it looks the part. You can pick up the old olive drab cases easily. I might even put mine up for sale.

2-Apr-2011, 03:45
Hi everyone,

For information on nearly every military camera Graflex ever made have a look at my site http://graflex.coffsbiz.com That's where Heywood got his photos from. Graflex.org doesn't really have much info on military cameras and has only a very few photos.

Cheers, Bruce

2-Apr-2011, 06:41
Thanks for that site Bruce. It has been very useful!

31-Jul-2011, 05:40

Thanks for your site - very informative, and quite a collection. I was there last night. Have you ever seen a Graflex 45/4x5 Combat with a graflex back instead of a spring back? Are there any sources out there for more info on these?


tom thomas
31-Jul-2011, 13:48
Fotoguy, check out this URL at Bruce's site. It's the PH-47 Signal Corps model that says it was the first model with the black flash unit and also to have the Graflok back.



4-Sep-2011, 15:27
That's the type unit I was issued in the Army. Used one for two years. I don't quite understand from your description exactly what you think is missing. Can you be more specific?

19-Dec-2011, 04:28
Hi Dan...Yes! The Combat Graphic (4x5) is quite common with a Graflex back. Of all the branches of the Armed Forces only the Navy (and therefore the Marine Corps as well) seemed to use that back more than the Graphic (or spring back). Mainly because the 4x5 Series D and Series B cameras were also popular with the Navy and the same film holders could be used with all cameras.

19-Dec-2011, 04:37
Tom Thomas...my long lost cousin (?) the term PH-47 refers to any of the many 4x5 Speed Graphic variants. The olive drab PH-47-J was the first with the black flash and Graflok back. The J version was also the very first olive drab Speed Graphic. There were no green Speed Graphics made before 1949 so anyone describing one as WWII is off the mark. Only the 1944-1945 wooden 4x5 Combat Graphic was made in OD green for the Marine Corp and US Navy for use in the Pacific.