Charles Russhon

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Charles J. Russhon
Lt. Col. Russhon and Sean Connery 130114-F-ME954-001.jpg
Russhon (right) with Sean Connery during production of Thunderball, 1965
Born(1911-03-23)March 23, 1911
DiedJune 26, 1982(1982-06-26) (aged 71)

Charles J. Russhon (March 23, 1911 - June 26, 1982) was an American photographer and Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force who later became noted for his role as a technical adviser and liaison officer on the Sean Connery and Roger Moore James Bond films of the 1960s and 1970s.


He served as a photographer in World War II and was the first American to photograph Hiroshima after the atomic bomb attack.[1] He served in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II and attained the rank of lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Air Forces, later transferring to the United States Air Force when it became an independent service in 1947.

After the war, Russhon became interested in motion pictures and served as a technical adviser to filmmakers. He used his former position in the Air Force and expertise most notably on the James Bond films enabling the producer to gain access to previously off boundary locations and equipment. In 1963 he negotiated the use of land in Istanbul from the Turkish authorities during the making of From Russia with Love and gained the rights to use Fort Knox for Goldfinger in 1964 using his position in the Air Force to allow special use in film. The producers acknowledge his help by a sign in the film at Fort Knox that reads "Welcome to Fort Knox - Gen. Russhon".

He was also an adviser on the 1965 Bond film Thunderball and was able to supply the experimental rocket fuel used to destroy the Disco Volante in the film. Russhon using his position was also able to gain access to the US Navy's still experimental Skyhook rescue system which was used to lift actors Sean Connery and Claudine Auger from the water at the end of the film.[2] Russhon appears in Air Force uniform in the film.

Russhon later worked on You Only Live Twice in 1967 and Live and Let Die in 1973.

Personal life[edit]

Russhon was a lifelong close friend of the renowned cartoonist Milton Caniff, and provided Caniff with the inspiration behind his ice cream-loving character Charlie Vanilla in the comic strip Steve Canyon. Caniff was well aware of Russhon's fondness for the dessert.[1]

He died at his Manhattan home on Saturday June 26, 1982, aged 71, and was survived by his wife Claire, and a son, Christian, both of New York City.



  1. ^ a b "Charles J. Russhon, 71, Dies; Basis of Comic Strip Figure". The New York Times. 28 June 1982.
  2. ^ "Thunderball Production Notes". Retrieved 17 May 2015.

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