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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • Olympic Pool, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The Olympic swimming pool, constructed for the 1936 event. It was used almost immediately after the surrender by the occupying military and an occasional fraulein.
    • Aircraft hangar, Dachau, Germany, May 2 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The only photograph I kept of Dachau: the remains of an aircraft hangar just east of the compound. This was significant to me because we had used captured aircraft with US pilots to film the burning of Dachau. The two barracks buildings remaining...
    • The Tempelhof, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Housing near the Tempelhof airport, which had survived the devastation of war and was taken over by the US military for its personnel. [M.C.S.] [paragraph] In 1948, during the Berlin Airlift (a.k.a,"Operation Vittles", this same airport was used...
    • 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...
    • Melvin Shaffer with Cine Special, 8th Evacuation Hospital Italy, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Melvin Shaffer and his Cine Special used for filming surgery and patients in hospitals. This camera, however, was never used for photography in the forward areas. These cameras were not suitable for "rugged" use and, for fieldwork, were left behind...
    • Moving casualties to the hospital ship, Southern France, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Here a landing craft approaches the hospital ship (the "Shamrock", a United States vessel) with patients on army litters. Having collected my usual contingent of casualties in order to photograph the progress of their treatment, I returned to the...
    • Landing craft / casualty transport, Southern France, August 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Here a landing craft approaches the hospital ship (the "Shamrock", a United States vessel) with patients on army litters. Having collected my usual contingent of casualties in order to photograph the progress of their treatment, I returned to the...
    • Tracer trails from anti-aircraft fire over Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A composite print of anti aircraft tracer fire over Naples. While not subjected to bombing runs, the port was a frequent subject of night photography by the German forces. They always knew just how high they needed to fly to avoid the...
    • Captured vehicle used as mobile lab

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A captured German vehicle was converted into a mobile Medical Laboratory and used throughout the Italian campaign doing blood analysis and other lab work. Lou Breslow is on the left.
    • Liberty ship, November 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The best sight of all: the rigging of a liberty ship on the way home. This ship had been used for hauling mules to Italy, said mules to be employed for ammunition carrying in the Apennines. The ship had during that year-long term of this...
    • Bill Snavely and Melvin Shaffer, Italy, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Lt. Bill Snavely of the 8th Evacuation Hospital and Melvin Shaffer, still holding his Kodak Cine Special camera, used for filming surgery and patients in hospitals. The tents to the rear are actually units of the hospital. Near the Po River,...
    • The Via S. Agata, San Gimignano

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This Alpine community was used by the German forces as a rest area. It was also used by German and Austrian families as a shelter, yet it remained virtually untouched by the war. Fresh supplies of wood products, including decorative items and...
    • 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...
    • Arab man in traditional carryall pants

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The costumes of the Arabs were a constant source of curiosity among the troops. The extra space was used to carry all manner of things -- teapots, bags of grain, tea, sugar, salt -- all tied into neat sacks and hung from a waistband inside. When...
    • Craftsman, the Medina, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A craftsman working metal in the Medina, Algiers, November 1943. He is typical of the workers whose skill with simple tools could produce a gun, a sword or a spoon. They were completely essential members of their society; most of the things owned...

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