For those who served in the RVAH Community, their families, and friends!

    There have been recent entries about the PH rating, its symbol, and how it has merged with three other ratings in the digital age.  Went into google and found Navy documents that give an outline or the IFGA,

light rays passing through a lens, from surface plane to focal plane. the symbol of Naval Photography.

    In 1948, the symbol for photographer's mate was a camera with bellows and the abbreviation was PhoM which could be confused with PharM (Pharmacist's Mate).  Two ratings were created, Photographer's Mate (PH) and Aviation Photographer;s Mate (AF). On July 1, 1953, while I was in PH "A" School, the AF rating

and insignia was abolished.and every Photo Mate was a PH.  Only in the Naval Reserve was there a distinction, PHG (ground) and PHA (aerial).  On active duty it was loosely enforced. and school grads wore

shoulder patches showing them as AFAN or PHAN.  Petty officers only found the "wingless" IFGA.  The

stand-alone IFGA stayed as-is until July 1993 when BuPers changed the badge to an IFGA with wings, for

every Photo Mate.

     On July 1, 2006, BuPers merged Photo Mates, Journalists, Illustrator Draftsmen and Lithographers into

the Mass Communications (MC) rating and that's where it stands today.  I do not know how they distinguish between the skills or writing, imaging and printing.  These have all become compurter reliant and digitally

driven.  Time will tell. (Found links by Googling "naval insignia, photographers mate, wings.)

B.R.Cleary, PHC, USN-Ret.


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