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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • Farm caravan near Caserta, Italy, 1943

    • 1943
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A small caravan of wagons with hay and clover travel along to the farm from distant fields; late summer, 1943. To the northeast of the city of Caserta, located about 30 miles north of Naples, the land is rich and farming a major activity. While...
    • Invasion beach, Southern France

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This photo, taken a few hours after the invasion, shows a reasonably tranquil scene, the force -- the Third Division of the United States Army -- having moved inland in pursuit of the relatively small German contingent defending the beaches. This...
    • The ruins of the Abbey at Monte Cassino, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The Abbey at Monte Cassino (the Abbazia di Montecassino), bombed into rubble by the Allied forces, only to make ideal cover for the German troops who rapidly re-entered the Abbey after the bombing. As a result, the Allies attempted again to "take"...
    • Evacuation hospital near Cassino

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Another view of the hospital described elsewhere. The sound of fighting in and around Cassino could be heard and smoke from mortar and artillery fire could clearly be seen as I made this photo from a small artillery-spotting plane.
    • Children, Italy

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The children universally liked American soldiers; we returned the feeling by saving up candy and food from our rations and sharing with the kids. It was not unusual for the first soldiers to occupy an area -- almost immediately upon arrival -- to...
    • Children, Italy

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The children universally liked American soldiers; we returned the feeling by saving up candy and food from our rations and sharing with the kids. It was not unusual for the first soldiers to occupy an area -- almost immediately upon arrival -- to...
    • Child in the village of Bou Saada, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A small child walking with his toy on a hot, sandy, and windswept street in the village of Bou Saada, about 100 miles southeast of Algiers. His homespun clothing was typical of the area, warm and good protection from the desert sun. This was French...
    • Small boy and donkey, Biskra, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A family takes their little boy for a donkey ride, Biskra, Algeria (famous for its figs, a staple of the Algerian diet). Some families here were well-off, but this little boy shows the classic love and attention accorded small kids everywhere
    • Traveling story-teller, Bou Saada, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • People of the desert had no modern communication at all. There was no electricity in the small villages, no newspapers or magazines, and very little contact with the outside world. They had heard about radio but none had ever heard a radio. In this...
    • Traveling entertainer, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • This traveling entertainer in a small village near Biskra played music on the drum you see here, as well as on various horns hidden beneath his costume. These men would travel across the desert from one market to another making a meager living with...
    • Hotel in Bou Saada, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The Hotel Beau Sejour, Bou Saada, Algeria, in the Fall of 1943. A reasonably modern facility, its rooms were comfortable and clean. The food was adequate but to an American initially a bit strange: dates, mutton and small birds, cooked whole on a...
    • 99 Rue D'Isly, home for a few weeks, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A room in a private apartment at 99 Rue D'Isly, Algiers, that we were able to rent for a few weeks. Our commanding officer later discovered this flirtation with luxury and ordered us back to base. Typical of the time, this apartment belonged to a...
    • Small girls in the Medina, Rabat, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • These are probably children of the Berber families who do not follow the Moslem custom of the veil and sequestering of the female. To the contrary; both men and women were outgoing, friendly, and clearly the backbone of the labor force in Morocco,...
    • Algiers, Ferris wheel

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • In Algiers we frequently came across attempts by the locals to lead normal (i.e., peacetime) lives. This scene depicts a small Ferris wheel in one of the city's parks. Mostly it was hauling American soldiers around. A very unstable looking...

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