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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • Naples and Mt. Vesuvius, April 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A view of the harbor at Naples with Mt. Vesuvius in the background. A truly beautiful city, Naples was a nice retreat from assignments in the forward areas. This photo was made after the massive eruption of Vesuvius and clearly shows the newly...
    • 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...
    • Unidentified café

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Arab men enjoying tea at a sidewalk cafe, a very popular pastime for these folks who never seemed in a rush and always had plenty to talk about. On rare occasions when I had an interpreter available, he would assure me that they were not discussing...
    • French woman bicycling through the invasion of Southern France, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • At the very height of the invasion of Southern France I was lying behind a sandbank, occasionally sticking my head up to take advantage of every photographic opportunity that might make itself available. On one occasion I glimpsed this French...
    • 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...
    • Col. Edward "Pete" Churchill, Epinal, France, 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Colonel Edward "Pete" Churchill, Chief of Surgery for the Mediterranean Theater of operations is pictured here in Epinal, France during the final push across France and Southern Germany. Dr. Churchill, Professor of Surgery at Harvard and an...
    • Berlin, parade ground, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Films of Hitler's forces goose-stepping in this great plaza were very fresh in our minds as we strolled this entire area, talking about and reviewing what each of us remembered from those pre-war films of Nazi Germany. It was here that Hitler first...
    • Parade ground, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Films of Hitler's forces goose-stepping in this great plaza were very fresh in our minds as we strolled this entire area, talking about and reviewing what each of us remembered from those pre-war films of Nazi Germany. It was here that Hitler...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • Melvin Shaffer takes a reading break, Italy, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Melvin Shaffer takes a reading break. War was a "hurry-up-and-wait" environment so it always paid to have a good book. The military was very good at supplying quality material and it was always available, particularly in the hospital environment.
    • Naples, Spring 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Naples, Spring 1944, after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. One of the world's most beautiful cities, Naples was a mix of very old residential and fairly modern apartment structures, each built to afford a view of the magnificent harbor.
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...

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