Use Historic Photos as a Memory or Writing Prompt
Battle of Leyte Gulf, Pilots of a torpedo squadron in their ready room aboard the carrier USS Franklin 24 October 1944, just before the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea. They are watching as the position of the Japanese fleet is posted. Note life vests, with die marker pouches, worn by several of these men. Other life vests, and .38 caliber revolvers, are hanging on the bulkhead. (US Navy archives)
What were these men probably thinking?
Do they remind you of friends or those who shared your wartime experience?
Did each have a unique past?
An individual personality?
A future that you are aware of?
Did any of them soon die in combat?
Can you say more about the physical objects observable in the photo?
The photo below could also be turned into a short story. Descriptions of the characters are there, the wartime context, as well as a physical setting with many objects. Everything so far is "true" in the sense that the photo captured a moment in time, exactly as it happened. You just need to use your imagination and knowledge to create a story that will get readers to "see" what a strictly factual rendering might flatten.