Casual followers of this blog will know that the majority of my slides and photos are mainly portraits and posed scenes, although a few capture moments of combat, the vast majority of WWII snapshots floating around the web were taken at leisure during down-time after combat. A recent set of photos to come into my possession show an uncommon view of front line fighting. This is my third set of photos of this type, the other two being from the 99th and 42nd Divisions. This set comes from a veteran of the 347th Infantry Regiment of the 87th “Golden Acorn” Division.
Russian Slave Laborers Looting
Tanks and Infantry Advance in Schietz
Dead German in Street
Sherman Tanks in Plauen Germany
Captured German Police Helmet
Captured German Belt
Unit Crest of the 347th
The Runner up for Unit Crest Design
Many more to come!
Earl Denzil Reese
I recently purchased a mystery grouping of WWII photos off my favorite internet auction site and stumbled across the wonderful story of Earl Reese and his wartime experiences while with the 99th “Checkerboard” Division during WWII. The full story starts out on a sad note, but I hope to honor Earl and his life achievements by publishing his story here on PortraitsofWar.
Earl Reese ca.1980
After purchasing a grouping of 50+ images from an eBay dealer back in April, I became interested in the details pertaining to the man who took the photos. He had a knack for writing blurbs on the back of photos, something not many soldiers did at the time. The content was first rate; the unknown soldier seemed to be in a front line unit that saw a good amount of action. I contacted the seller in hopes of finding some additional information to help me piece together the identity of the unknown GI. I’ve done this in the past with varying amounts of success. Most of the time the seller knows nothing about the photos, or maybe only a first name or general geographical area the fellow was from. In this case, the seller had a small treasure trove of information about the soldier.
Earl in 1945
After attending an estate sale in Santa Barbara the friendly eBay seller was rummaging around through some paper bins outside and found the life memoirs and photos of Mr.Reese. Some family member or estate executor threw away the entire life work and memories of Earl! He generously sent me the complete memoir manuscript and photo collection as a gift. I plan on digitizing the wartime section of the memoirs, which constitute three or four chapters of the 30+ volume.
Crossing the DanubeCombat!
Earl Rides an M8 Greyhound
Germans Surrender on Motorcycles
Ruhr Pocket Battle Rest
In the Ruhr Pocket