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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • Laundry, Casablanca, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • These facilities appear to have been constructed specifically for this purpose and were in constant use. Some of the ladies appeared to be doing wash that was for commercial purposes: very large quantities; batches had to be kept separate from one...
    • Street scene in Medina, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The Medina, Algiers, Fall, 1943. These streets could be very busy: veiled women; pickpockets who could take off your underwear without you knowing it; prostitutes showing their wares through upper windows; nursing mothers everywhere; the smell of...
    • Village of Bou Saada, Algeria, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The city of Bou Saada, about one hundred miles southeast of Algiers. The population during my stay was nearly 100-percent Arabic, with a few French Foreign Legion forces in the area. Probably because of the Foreign Legion, the city was best known...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • "Heart of Algiers" , December 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • This is the intersection of the Rue D'Isly and the harbor street, with the Medina to the left. This was the heart of Algiers. Again, we have a view of a streetcar making its appointed rounds. The Algerian Lottery and the cinema are advertised; the...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...

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