Many of my followers know that I actively collect WWII color slides, predominantly those developed by the Eastman Kodak Company. These Kodachrome slides are typically regarded in the field of vintage color photo collecting as the crème de la crème of vintage color. Taken at a time of incredible social and political upheaval, these images capture an era that will never be seen in the same light or colors again. With the small percentage of the world populace that used color photography, an even smaller percentage of the slides have been passed down or purchased by people with the ability to scan and post them to the internet.
In this rare case, I was able to purchase a large set of Kodachrome slides taken by a US serviceman before he shipped off to war. One box of the Kodak-developed slides were unopened. I took a photo of the seal, opened the box and immediately scanned them! Please enjoy the following 12 slides that are only seeing the light of day 70+ years later….
Taken in Fort Benning, GA, these slides were shipped home in January of 1945 to only be opened in 2016! Enjoy.
PortraitsofWar recently acquired a collection of over 200 color slides taken in the mid to late 1950s depicting the rebuilding of Postwar Germany in the Kassel area. The images follow a group of American volunteers who helped rebuild churches in and around the city. They also were charged with feeding and taking care of refugees who were waiting for new homes to be built. Although there is no linear progression to the photos, they nonetheless show a side of European history that has been glossed over. The Marshall Plan brought industry and revitalization to Europe, and also brought American tourists who snapped countless photos of the rebuild process.
Picked up a nice 15 slide Korean War grouping on ebay this past week. After doing some research on the USS Okanogan (APA-220) I found that it took part in the evacuation at Chinnampo in December of 1950. Looking at the photos, it is obvious that they were taken around Christmas time – and there are some shots of civilian and POW evacuees as well as a nice image of some 3rd Division soldiers.
A fresh grouping straight from the hallowed halls of eBay! A wonderful selection of armor and scenery shots taken in 1951 by a member of the 987th Armored Field Artillery. The unit was supplied with M7 Priest tanks and served as an artillery support unit. The colors and scenes of the Korean War pop into life!
140th Tank Battalion – 40th Division in Korea
The colors of the Korean War as never before seen. From my personal collection of amateur Korean War color slides.
Korean War Sand Bag Bunker
This will be a constantly updated theme here at Portraits of War so please check back often.
Today’s posts are from the 89th Medium Tank Battalion taken in 1952 during the middle of the Korean War.
The 89th Medium Tank Battalion was with the 25th Division (insignia seen in the slide below) from between 1951 through the armistice.
Color war photos are one of my favorite forms of amateur photography. The history behind each image is intensified when documented in color, allowing the historian to glean historical details not visible in B/W photography. One such image can be found below, from my collection of images taken in Roswell New Mexico right after WWII. The photos were taken by a member of the 509th Composite Group. The unit was responsible for dealing with the atomic weapons of WWII and also dropped a bomb on the Bikini Atoll in 1946.
The QB-17 shown below is possibly one of the first handful of B-17’s outfitted to fly unmanned. This plane was used to fly through an atomic cloud and collect important radiation data. These data were later used to test for radiation fallout numbers. I’ve only personally seen two other color images of a QB-17 painted in this scheme. What an important resource for historians, hobbyists, and vintage photography collectors!
Front Page of Drone Unit History
Back Cover of Drone Unit History
Just a quick photo post to show off my new color slides! Hot off the scanner – enjoy!