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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • Mt. Vesuvius eruption, San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The Allied forces invaded Italy in September, 1943. This was followed in March, 1944 by a massive eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Lava flowed for days and covered many villages and farms to the northwest from the ancient ruins of Pompeii. At least the...
    • Attending the opera in Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • It was not unusual to be at the "front" during the early part of the Italian campaign, only to retreat late in the day and return to Naples to attend the opera or engage in some other activity that had nothing to do with the war. On the morning of...
    • 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...
    • Morning call to prayer, Bou Saada, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • His voice was loud and clear, his prayer long enough for me to get up and make an emergency trip to get his photograph. He then invited me into the Mosque to witness but not photograph the morning service. Activity began in earnest in the village...
    • 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...
    • Prayer tower, Rabat

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • This prayer tower, then situated on the outskirts of Rabat, was in use by a Mullah who rode a horse to its top on a roundabout staircase 5 times each day for the call to prayer. The structure -- also known as the tower of Hassan or Hassan tower --...
    • 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,...

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