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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • 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...
    • Algiers Harbor, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A view of Algiers harbor with wartime shipping anchored and waiting to unload. Much of the war material for the African campaign came through this harbor. It was also a vital supply link in the battles of Sicily and Italy. [paragraph] The Germans...
    • Traditional Moslem women, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • These Moslem women were shopping on the main street of Algiers in October 1943. Most Algerian Moslem women wore the veil. They were not covered over the eyes and many made the most of decorating their beautiful dark eyes. They always seemed quite...
    • Grand Cafe, the Medina, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The Grand Café in the Medina, Algiers, a gathering place for locals and travelers alike. Food was served with tea but no wine. A similar café further on did serve wine but the Moslems avoided it and the clientele was made up almost exclusively of...
    • Street in the Medina, Algiers, November 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Narrow, dark, and restricting to traffic and commerce, a very high population density made these streets impassable and dangerous at times. Consequently, soldiers tended to visit and tour in the very early morning hours or (quickly) at the time of...
    • Homes in the countryside near Casablanca, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Made of native materials, these homes provided cheap and effective protection from the mild climate of Morocco. The people lived with their animals, sharing housing, water and sometimes food. When cold at night, close proximity to animals provided...
    • Rome, Mussolini's balcony, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The Palazzo Venezia, from which Mussolini made his infamous "Il Duce" speeches in the years prior to the war.
    • Opera, Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The stage at the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples demonstrating simple staging made necessary by wartime scarcities. That said, talent was still in abundance.
    • The stage of San Carlos opera, Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The stage at the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples demonstrating simple staging made necessary by wartime scarcities. That said, talent was still in abundance.
    • 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.
    • Erecting tents for the 8th Evacuation Hospital

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Depicted here is just one of many moves this hospital made up the Italian Peninsula as the fighting progressed. A huge complex, it could nonetheless be picked up, transported, and then returned to operation within two days.
    • Mt. Vesuvius eruption, Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A view of Vesuvius from the western part of Naples, clearly showing the massive lava cloud spewing from the volcano's top. This photo, made near the beginning of the eruption, shows a southward flow of lava and a very high concentration of ash in...
    • Melvin Shaffer overlooking Pietramala, Italy, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Looking north from Pietramala towards the German lines just at the ridgeline near the top of this photo; the Germans were no doubt watching me, as they had observation points all along this range as well as made frequent sorties at night into the...
    • 8th Evacuation Hospital, Pietramala, Italy, Winter 1944 / 1945

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The 8th Evacuation Hospital -- manned by a unit from the University of Virginia -- at the Pietramala location, about 40 miles north of Florence. The photograph was made from atop a mountain to the west of the Hospital. The highway shown is one of...
    • 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 painting, "Trench Foot, Socks"

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This is one of a series of oil paintings, 4 x 6 ft in size, done by Sgt. Fred Toelle. They made their way back to Washington after the war and, since I was involved in the project by furnishing Fred with photos from which he made these works of...
    • Fred Toelle painting, "P.O.W.'s draining in the Pontine Marshes"

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This is one of a series of oil paintings, 4 x 6 ft in size, done by Sgt. Fred Toelle. They made their way back to Washington after the war and, since I was involved in the project by furnishing Fred with photos from which he made these works of...
    • Fred Toelle painting, "MP directing traffic through a minefield"

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This is one of a series of oil paintings, 4 x 6 ft in size, done by Sgt. Fred Toelle. They made their way back to Washington after the war and, since I was involved in the project by furnishing Fred with photos from which he made these works of...
    • Fred Toelle painting, "Home disinfection, Pontine Marshes"

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This is one of a series of oil paintings, 4 x 6 ft in size, done by Sgt. Fred Toelle. They made their way back to Washington after the war and, since I was involved in the project by furnishing Fred with photos from which he made these works of...

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