All in all, a pretty well rounded collection. The unnamed photographer made sure to captured shots of German equipment, a few Panther tanks, U.S. aircraft, lots of vehicles and trucks, destroyed buildings, local people and some great painted signs. Essentially this collection contains everything that makes a good wartime ETO photographic grouping.
226th Signal Corps – From what I can tell they were in charge of transmitting info from the front back to London. They operated specially fitted trailers with radio and signal equipment. I found the address of the 226th historian and will write him a letter.
D-Day Southern France
German Panther Tank
Although the focus is a bit off, I’m still pleased with the color range of the four color slides from Guam that I recently acquired through a trade with a friend. Nothing spectacular, but I thought others may enjoy seeing the “colors of war”.
Amateur combat snapshots are nearly impossible to find. I only have a handful in my personal collection, and have only seen them for sale on rare occasions. In this photo, a veteran named Earl Reese snaps a photo while his squad is attacking through a forest on April 13th, 1945 while in the “Ruhr Pocket”. I have a collection of Reese’s photos and personal memoirs that were saved from the trash bin at an estate sale in California. Imagine images like these rotting away in a landfill?
Is that a ricochet dent on the M1 helmet?
Isn’t it hard to imagine that these images were taken in 1944? They were, and casual followers of the blog will remember that this is only a sneak peek of a larger collection of prints and negatives that I acquired from a series of two eBay auction in 2010 and 2011. The photographer, Alva V. Alegre was a professionally trained artist who served with the 388th Bomb Group during WWII. His treasure trove of images haunt me; my quest to figure out his life story has brought me many new leads and a number of new friends and acquaintances.
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Snapped by a member of the 16th Infantry Regiment towards the tail end of the war near Falkenau, Czechoslovakia, the following pair of photos gives a brief glimpse of some of the encounters made by US infantry troops during the closing period of the war. In this instance, a German soldier dressed in civilian garb was shot in the leg with an M1 while attempting to run away from the concentration camp near Falkenau. Luckily for him, a medic is standing in the left center of the image.
Alva Alegre took every opportunity to shoot in and around London while on pass. His images capture wartime London as seen in 1944, at a time when the Luftwaffe was still a real threat to the civilian population. Please enjoy the view through Alva’s lens as he travels throughout the city of London!
Alva and Muse
The Royal Arcade
Close Up View of Sign