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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • Casablanca, laundry, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • In the fields near Casablanca, after the war and its activity was gone from the area, these Berber women did laundry in the time-honored way. They chatted and sang as they worked, giving the impression of being at peace with themselves and the...
    • Maurice Manson and donkey with trash, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • This photograph made in the Medina, Algiers in the fall of 1943. The photograph shows a typical Medina scene -- a garbage donkey being observed by an American soldier, Corporal Maurice Manson. Streets in this and most native quarters in North...
    • Date merchant, Biskra, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Market vendors sold dates, the staple of the diet in Biskra. They were delicious (after being washed in boiled water) and even to this day I tend to compare any date I eat with the ones I found in Biskra.
    • Camel pulling irrigation lift, Casablanca, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The camel is truly the all-purpose animal, here turning the pump on an irrigation post in Morocco. His entire life would be spent walking in this circle, bringing up water from one level to a higher one. An attendant in the shack would not be...
    • A little nap, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • This old man, a traditional teller of the news, moving from city to camp telling the same stories and tales of rain to his fellow Arabs, gave the appearance of being able to sleep wherever he happened to be -- here, a staircase in the Medina of...
    • Moslem women waiting at department store, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • These Moslem ladies were waiting for the only department store in Algiers to open. They usually sat on the sidewalk for hours before the opening and seemed to enjoy being together and chatting. I do not know how they got the word that the store...
    • Casablanca, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Casablanca from the north. This beautiful white city was very modern and cosmopolitan, even in September 1943. My assignment here was at the Pasteur Institute, where advanced work was being done on a typhus vaccine. Mice feces were being tested as...
    • Casablanca from the north, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Casablanca from the north. This beautiful white city was very modern and cosmopolitan, even in September 1943. My assignment here was at the Pasteur Institute, where advanced work was being done on a typhus vaccine. Mice feces were being tested as...
    • Leaning tower of Pisa, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The famous tower escaped damage even though major military activity did take place in the vicinity. The Mausoleum next door, however, did sustain damage; the sides of ancient burial vaults were blown away and gave a good view of the bones of the...
    • Patient with shrapnel wounds being x-rayed aboard the Hospital Ship

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This soldier's wound, while probably not serious, was undoubtedly caused by an explosive weapon such as a grenade or mortar because of the multiple entry points to his body. Survival rates among soldiers wounded in this way were far higher than...
    • La Mostra, site of 15th Medical General Laboratory, Naples

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This picture shows La Mostra d'Oltremare as it was during the days prior to its conversion for war purposes. A few years before the war Bennito Mussolini had built a World's Fair-type exhibition on the outskirts of Naples. Its purpose was to...
    • MAMAS Headquarters, La Mostra, Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • La Mostra, Naples after being taken over by the Medical Services. A few years before the war Bennito Mussolini had built a World's Fair-type exhibition on the outskirts of Naples. Its purpose was to display Italian products and culture. When...
    • Another view of the leaning tower of Pisa, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The leaning tower of Pisa as seen through an archway which shows the angle of the lean against the vertical archway. A few buildings in this area were destroyed -- in fact, one directly adjacent to the tower was badly damaged -- but the tower...
    • Mt. Vesuvius at night, eruption of 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The fury of the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius was more apparent at night when lava flow could nearly always be seen, a pattern of outcroppings that changed nightly. Here the front is advancing towards Naples. This flow occurred irregularly...
    • Fred Toelle at work

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The artist Fred Toelle, who painted the large murals depicted in this collection of photographs. Fred, a classical fine artist, was very slow and deliberate, making many sketches then a small-scale painting of each subject. His assignment was not...

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