As the saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words” – I think I’d have to disagree. I think it tells you more than that. Maybe I am too much of a WW2 fanatic, but every time I look at those images, my mind starts to analyze every tiny detail in the picture.
Enjoy the pictures! They come with the official NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) descriptions. There are 15 in total. (Click pictures to zoom in.)
#1 – Over the Pyramids, Egypt
An Air Transport Command plane flies over the pyramids in Egypt.Loaded with urgent war supplies and materials, this plane is one of a fleet flying shipments from the U.S. across the Atlantic and the continent of Africa to strategic battle zones. 1943. Exact Date Shot Unknown. (Army)
#2 Arriving in France on D-Day
Landing on the coast of France under heavy Nazi machine gun fire are these American soldiers, shown just as they left the ramp of a Coast Guard landing boat, June 6, 1944. CPhoM. Robert F. Sargent. (Coast Guard). The effect between clouds and dunes is extremely nice.
#3 Shell After Shell
American howitzers shell German forces retreating near Carentan, France. July 11, 1944. Franklin. (Army)
#4 Paratroopers Over Holland
Parachutes open overhead as waves of paratroops land in Holland during operations by the 1st Allied Airborne Army. September 1944. Exact Date Shot Unknown (Army)
#5 Noisy Mortar
“Getting across the Rhine wasn’t all there was to it. There was the little matter of establishing a beachhead. We threw our mortars at them and everything else we had untill they finally gave away.” 1945. Army. Exact Date Shot Unknown (OWI)
#6 Stay Low!
“I drew an assault boat to cross in – just my luck. We all tried to crawl under each other because the lead was flying around like hail.” Crossing the Rhine under enemy fire at St. Goar, March 1945. Army. Exact Date Shot Unknown (OWI)
#7 Air Bombing
“The first big raid by the 8th Air Force was on a Focke Wulf plant at Marienburg. Coming back, the Germans were up in full force and we lost at least 80 ships – 800 men, many of them pals.” 1943. Army Air Forces. Exact Date Shot Unknown (OWI)
#8 Running Into Uncertainty
Soldiers of the 55th Armored Infantry Battalion and tank of the 22nd Tank Battalion, move through smoke filled street. Wernberg, Germany. April 22, 1945. Pvt. Joseph Scrippens. (Army)
Observer who spotted a machine gun nest finds its location on a map so they can send the information to artillery or mortars to wipe out the position. Iwo Jima, February 1945. Dreyfuss. Exact Date Shot Unknown (Marine Corps)
#10 Raising the Flag
Flag raising on Iwo Jima. February 23, 1945. Joe Rosenthal, Associated Press. (Navy) From the crest of Mount Suribachi, the Stars and Stripes wave in triumph over Iwo Jima after U.S. Marines had fought their way inch by inch up its steep lava-encrusted slopes. Ca. February 1945.
Corsair fighter looses its load of rocket projectiles on a run against a Jap stronghold on Okinawa. In the lower background is the smoke of battle as Marine units move in to follow up with a Sunday punch. Ca. June 1945. Lt. David D. Duncan. Exact Date Shot Unknown (Marine Corps)
#12 Dashing For His Life
A Marine dashes through Japanese machine gun fire while crossing a draw, called Death Valley by the men fighting there. Marines sustained more than 125 casualties in eight hours crossing this valley. Okinawa, May 10, 1945. Pvt. Bob Bailey. (Marine Corps)
#13 Anti-aircraft Fire
Japanese night raiders are greeted with a lacework of anti-aircraft fire by the Marine defenders of Yontan airfield, on Okinawa. In the foreground are Marine Corsair fighter planes of the “Hell’s Belles’ squadron. 1945. T.Sgt. Chorlest. Exact Date Shot Unknown (Marine Corps)
#14 Air Raid
USS ESSEX based TBMs and SB2Cs dropping bombs on Hokadate, Japan. July 1945. Exact Date Shot Unknown (Navy)
#15 Hundreds of Shells
Task Force 58 raid on Japan. 40mm guns firing aboard USS HORNET on 16 February 1945, as the carrier’s planes were raiding Tokyo. Note expended shells and ready-service ammunition at right. February 1945. Lt. Comdr. Charles Kerlee. (Navy) – Note the shells on ground.