RESEARCHING THE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM WORLD WAR TWO

For years I have researched many of the famous photographs of WWII to find out what happened to the men and machines in the photos. I have always wondered whether those soldiers in the photographs were killed or whether they survived the war. So I set out to find the names of the men and to track them down. In some cases it was easy if the man had an unusual name. In other cases they proved difficult to locate. I am still searching for a number of men who appeared in photos during the war, one who appeared on the cover of Life Magazine, another on the cover of Newsweek.
A number of the photographs produced surprises. One famous photograph of a wounded US soldier was used as a poster for home front blood drives. The Army searched for his name and finally discovered his identity. What I found out, however, was that the GI in the photo died the day after the shot was taken. This fact was never known.
Another famous photograph shows a chaplain administering last rites to a "dying" young man. Only the young man didn't die and is alive today in his 80s.
I will continue to post various photographs on this discussion page and ask if anyone can identify the man or men who appear in them.

Discussion

WHAT BECAME OF THEM - THE MEN AND MACHINES IN THE PHOTOS OF WORLD WAR TWO


WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THIS AIRCRAFT? WHAT HAPPENED TO It? WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THE MAN WHO FLEW IT? WHERE WAS THIS PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN? AND WHAT FAMOUS SONG DID THIS PLANE INSPIRE DURING THE WAR?

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Dear Mr. Colley,
Yes! I like your website. I have also enjoyed reading your book THE ROAD TO VICTORY: THE UNTOLD STORY OF WORLD WAR II'S RED BALL EXPRESS. Thank you for your research and writing and for preserving the knowledge of these men. Do you know if any of the African American men from the Red Ball, or other truck lines remain alive? I am also interested to discover if any of the African American men who fought in the Battle of the Bulge are living. I would be most grateful for any information you can provide me about these men. Thank you. Sincerely, Mary Cronk Farrell

Dear Mr. Colley, I've just started reading "Decision at Strasbourg" after having finished "Guns at Last Light". I cannot help thinking about the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Days after the war started, Egyptian and Israeli armies were at a standoff over a long North-South battlefront in the Sinai peninsula just east of the canal. Israel found a seam to the canal between the Egyptian 2nd and 3rd armies. In operation "Stouthearted Men" General Sharon established a corridor to the canal and General Adan crossed the Suez Canal in the now well-known operation. The Israeli beachhead on the West side of the canal rapidly expanded and allowed them to 1)threaten Cairo, 2)wipe out SAM missle sites allowing the Air Force to re-assert itself, and 3)encircle the Egyptian 3rd Army, making its ultimate destruction inevitable. This later development induced the US and Russia to immediately move to end the war. I haven't finished your book but can't help pondering whether a US crossing of the Rhine by Devers in 1944 would have produced very similar results. I'd appreciate everyone's thoughts about this.


Mr. Colley:

Can you send me your email address?

Thanks,
Richard Ernsberger
Managing Editor
World War II magazine
Leesburg, VA

richard.ernsberger@weiderhistorygroup.com

Mr. Colley,
Thank you for your article. I would like to ask you a question, though. Who actually performed the disinterments? America soldiers? My uncle just passed away at the age of 81 and he returned from Europe in a condition called "shell shock." No one was supposed to talk about what happened to him, but my father told me that my uncle was assigned to "burial duty" in Europe in 1947 or 48. That made him about 18 years old. Daddy said the experience messed up my uncle for life, because the stress of dealing with the graves and the bodies was more than he could deal with mentally and he had a breakdown. That was a lot to put on a boy that young. Daddy said my uncle was told before they left the States that they were to never talk about their mission and that he (Daddy) only learned what happened after talking with my uncle's doctor a few years later. I was wondering if you had any more-indepth information about the soldiers who were involved in the disinterments. Thanks so much. We have a probate hearing scheduled for next month and I would like to tell my family while they are all together about what happened to our uncle so they can understand the heavy price he paid-his hold on reality-in performing his duty as an American soldier. Daddy said he ever told anyone else in the family because he was afraid to tell, due to the secret nature of my uncle's job as a soldier. My email address is awood@rh-law.com

Mr. Colley,
Jake Devers was married to my grandmother's sister. Growing up, we knew him as Uncle Jamie. He was always my favorite relative and he used to tell me war stories and take me to Senators Games. After his death, I lived in his Georgetown home and would often read his papers,letters and diaries.

I read Decision at Strasbourg with great interest and it provided a wealth of information for me. It tied together the whole "lost in history" aspect of Devers' career and likewise brought to light some of the reasons why he never got the glory of his peers.

Are you suggesting that his Rhine crossing would have happened without Ike's prior knowledge had Ike not just happened into his HQ on his rounds of the front just prior to the crossing? It seems ironic, given his gung ho- pursue the enemy attitude that he would not have just crossed first-asked questions later as Patton had done later.

Congratulations on a great book. It is the best Devers coverage I've seen.

Very truly yours,

Tilford C. Jones
Potomac, Maryland

i am working on sending a group of university students to travel the "red Ball Route" and can not find a map, of the actual routes. So i can have a bus driver recreate driving on any sections f rom Le Havre to Paris, do you have one? Thanks Laura forrest ready_2_go@comcast.net









I am also interested in the book circle and the fields of little america by jan bos...can u help me find it. My uncle Robert Jordan was mentioned in this book , he was MIA and then presumed dead. His body never recovered. Thank u and GOd bless. Vanessa Burchette staarbrcht@yahoo.com







Hi, This is a wonderful website!!! My father in Law Russell Long was in the 82 Airborne Division 376th Paratroopers. He was apart of the invasion in Nijmegen. He was so proud of the Paratroopers .. From what I understand some of his diaries and or his name was mentioned in the book "Circle and The Fields of Little America" by Jan Bos... I would love to purchase this book or what ever you could recommend for my husband and our children. Please forward where and how I can get your book. Thank you, Robin Long my Email is RobinL@Metalcraftdoor.com





greetings from Nijmegen in Holland. I am reading your book Safely Rest, am about halfway. I enjoy your book very much, very well written. I also enjoy your website. My name is Jan Bos, 54 years old, married, my wife and I have two daughters, we have two grandchildren. I am a police officer in my home town Nijmegen, 34 years of active service. I am an amateur historian on the history of the 82nd Airborne Division and Troop Carrier Groups. As for myself I have written a 226 page book about the history of the 376th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division. The 82nd liberated my hometown during the so-called operation Market Garden, September 17, 1944. It took me nine years to gather/collect all the information, then write the story and put it in the computer. The book came out in a limited edition in 1992 in the States, title "Circle and the Fields of Little America". After the book was published I received a lot more of information that actually should have been in the book. I do not have the money for a second printing, but have decided to put everything on DVD. I scanned all my documents and pictures ref the 376th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion. The 376th was heavily mauled by friendly fire during the invasion of Sicily, July 11, 1943. The 376th [part of the 504th Parachute Combat Team] was on board of 144 C-47 and C-53 transport planes of various Troop Carrier Groups. Approaching the coast of Sicily gunners opened up and shot down 23 [out of the 144] within a short time. The 376th lost seventy-five men during WW-II. During the years I have ordered their Burial Files and scanned them to go on the DVD. One of the chapters I wrote is "Returning the dead", this is so close what I have read in your book. I am a member of the Historical Section of National Liberation Museum 1944-1945 at Groesbeek [east of Nijmegen], our section wrote the book Roll of Honor 82nd Airborne Division, stating names, ranks, Army Serial Number, state of origin, company/battery, date of death, location and circumstances - if known, name of both the temporary cemeteries, plot and grave number, date of burial. We have access to files of the American Battle Monuments Commission, microfiches bearing the names of all American WW-II dead, overlays of temporary cemeteries, weekly burial reports, we have gathered these files during the years. We are now working on a similar book on the 101st Airborne Division. More to follow. Our chairman is a priest, he is writing a book . . . . . . . on the airraid on PLOESTI !!!! I am also one of the editors of the DAKOTA MAGAZINE, a bi-monthly published by the Dutch Dakota Classic Airlines at Schiphol airport at Amsterdam in Holland, we have two DC-3s in flyable condition. I write stories about the C-47's (military version of the DC-3), bombers and Rosies (American women who helped building airplanes during WW-II) Jan Bos Nijmegen,Holland

I love your site. I recently found out that my father Leonard J. Hebert was a member of the Red Ball Express. As with many of the men who served there, they never told anyone of their accomplishments. It took his funeral, and a trip to Quantico to find our thaat my father was an honored soldier. If there are any other readers who have family members who were part of this group, please e-mail me at yrm16@scdmh.org

Mr. Colley. sir, recently my uncle passed away. while we were going through his things we found a treasure trove of information regarding his life in the army. most of our familty had no idea of his life in the service. and none of use had ever heard of ploesti, romania. needless to say we were all surprised when we found photo's , and medals that he had taken and received for his part in this historic mission. I know that this may be a strange request but I was wondering if you give me some insight to maybe finding the group of men that are in the photo's we have of him standing in front of his plane.I believe this photo was taken just before that mission . we also have photo's he took from his plane on that mission. my uncle wally never talked of his life in the army but in his things we found his medals and some written letters about that life . 79 mission's, as a talegunner on the fortress liberator, from what we understand that was more than he had to fly. anyway thanks from this forum and hope you will respond. Pete Poulsen wwtp@portofkalama.com

Mr. Colley,my name is Pamela Woodley, a military brat. My father, Ret. Sgt. Richard Woodley is the core essence of me contacting you. He was a soldier of 18-years old when deployed with the only black infantry to guard the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. We have an illistrious story of history to tell. Please,please contact me by phone 770.482.7259 fax 770.482.6287 mobile 678.755.1423 or by email cherubfurberre@hotmail.com. to dicusss more meticulously this, another unsung African-Americans affectation during that time. We have documentation to verify this historical event. We, my father and I, believe that he maybe the only survivor of that horrific era, that is cognitive. Please contact me. I am with hopes to have produced a documentary of this or some means of having it illuminated oe illustrated. Thanking you in advance for your correspondence, Pamela

Additional information can be found in recent book: Fateful Flight of the Lonesome Polecat II, by Michael I. Darter, iUniverse, Inc., ISBN 0-595-32588-2, 2004.

My brother (S/Sgt. Eugene F. Darter) was an airman in a B-17F crew (95th BG, Horham, England)Lonesome Polecat II, #42-30255) shot down 16 Dec 43 and MIA. My investigation starting in 2000 located eye witnesses on Texel (island) who saw his B-17F, members of crew, and eventually my brother land on or near Texel. My badly wounded brother landed in Wadden Sea just off Texel island, was blown out into sea and his remains never washed ashore. B-17F landed just off North Sea beach of Texel and both pilots never got out of plane and remain there today. Other 7 crew became POW's and survived war and have been located in US. I cannot locate relatives of pilots but would like to turn information over to JPAC for possible action. Do you know what their reaction would be, given we have not located their relatives? Michael Darter, mdarter@ara.com

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