Photos Colour and Colourised Photos of WW2 & earlier conflicts

Addressing the mud problem - 1921 Ford with tracks.
Two Mosquito crew members from No. 45 Squadron RAF pose on a bomb trolley in front of a Mosquito FB Mk.VI .
Kumbhirgram, Assam, India. 7 January 1945.


Left - RNZAF Flying Officer Rex Garnham of Blenheim.
Right - I think this might be RAAF Flight Lieutenant Flt/Lt Jack Nankervis, of Glenelg but am unsure.
No. 45 Squadron spent the entire Second World War operating in the east, at first as a Blenheim bomber squadron operating from Egypt, from where it took part in the campaigns in the Western Desert, Italian East Africa and Syria, before moving to Burma early in 1942, where it eventually operated as a ground attack squadron, first with the Vultee Vengeance dive bomber and later with fighter-bomber Mosquitoes.
RNZAF Photo - via the Airforce Museum of New Zealand
Colourised by Daniel Rarity
Last edited by a moderator:
US NAVY Norman Jack Dusty Kleiss.jpg

"Never Call Me a Hero"

"Dusty" Kleiss - The only pilot to hit three Japanese ships with bombs, during the Battle of Midway. - Posing in his dress white uniform at the rank of LTjG, wearing the Distinguished Flying Cross (received from Admiral Chester Nimitz) - June 1942
#colorized by Jecinci

Norman Jack "Dusty" Kleiss
(March 7, 1916 – April 22, 2016)

Dive-bomber pilot in the United States Navy during World War II.
"On June 4–6, 1942, Kleiss fought in the Battle of Midway. On the morning of June 4, Kleiss accompanied thirty-two SBD dive bombers led by Enterprise's air group commander, Lieutenant Commander C. Wade McClusky, on a search to find the Japanese carrier task force led by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo. After several hours of searching, McClusky's group spotted a lone Japanese destroyer, the Arashi, and changed direction to follow it. In a few minutes, McClusky's pilots caught sight of the main body of the Japanese fleet. At 10:22 (Midway Time), Scouting Six attacked the Japanese carrier Kaga. At least four pilots from Kleiss's squadron and the accompanying squadron (Bombing Six) scored direct hits. Dusty Kleiss was the second pilot to score a hit, putting his 500-pound bomb and his two wing-mounted bombs into the forward section of Kaga's flight deck, right near the Rising Sun insignia. In five minutes, three United States dive bomber squadrons had mortally damaged three of the four Japanese aircraft carriers.

On the afternoon of June 4, Kleiss accompanied another dive bomber mission launched from USS Enterprise, this one led by Lieutenant W. Earl Gallaher. Gallaher's dive bombers located the fourth Japanese carrier, the Hiryu, and fatally crippled it. Again, Kleiss scored a direct hit on the bow, one of only four or five pilots to do so. On June 5, Kleiss accompanied Enterprise's dive bombers on their third mission of the battle, one that failed to sink (or damage, for that matter) a lone Japanese destroyer, the Tanikaze. Then on June 6, Kleiss accompanied Enterprise's dive bombers in a mission that helped sink the Japanese cruiser Mikuma. Kleiss's bombs struck near Mikuma’s smokestack. Kleiss was the only pilot to score three direct hits with a dive bomber plane during the Battle of Midway. For his participation in the battle, Kleiss received the Navy Cross in November 1942." -

Six fierce-looking SAS troops sit in jeeps while on a mission in the North African desert. A knife can be seen in the belt of the man at the front, while machine guns can be seen mounted on the back and front of their vehicles

Archibald David Stirling

The Scotsman Lt Colonel David Stirling, pictured above on a campaign, founded the SAS in 1941. He was knighted in 1990, the year of his death, for his service to the country

Two SAS soldiers are shown on campaign driving in a jeep armed with machine guns. In 1942, Adolf Hitler issued an order stating that Allied commandos seized by the Germans should be killed immediately without trial

This photograph shows French SAS troops in the North African desert during the Second World War. To the left, locals in traditional clothing pose for the camera
German Kradmelder1.jpg

The German Kradmelder, motorcycle dispatch rider in English, could be used at any time in history, but in this case, they were used during World War II, specifically on the Eastern Front.

The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of conflict between the European Axis powers against the Soviet Union (USSR), Poland and other Allies, which encompassed Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northeast Europe (Baltics), and Southeast Europe (Balkans) from June 22, 1941 to May 9, 1945.

The Soviet Union called it the Great Patriotic War, but everyone else called it the Eastern Front.
Dispatch riders were used by armed forces to get information from headquarters to the military units.

They often didn’t have radios, and depending on the message, they might not have trusted the airwaves with some of the top secret messages.
They were expendable, and that was all there was to it. Nevertheless, they played a vital role at a time when telecommunications were limited and insecure.

They were also used to deliver carrier pigeons. The pigeons were used to send information back to headquarters, concerning the current situations on the front.

This type of dispatch was essential, but riding on an exposed vehicle in the Russian Winter, was brutal, and even deadly sometimes.
During the winter the riders had better have protective clothing, or they could freeze to death.

The Kradfahrer (motorcycle rider) might wear a sentry’s fur-lined overcoat, heavy mittens, the fur-lined cap of the reversible winter suit, which is no doubt being worn beneath the overcoat, and a gas-mask for face protection with the air filter canister removed from the gas-mask.
Special extra eyepiece lens were issued for cold weather to prevent fogging by creating an airspace between the two lens.
US Navy Capt. David McCampbell01.jpg

US Navy Capt. David McCampbell02.jpg

US Navy Capt. David McCampbell03.jpg

US Navy Capt. David McCampbell wasn't just the top naval ace of World War II — he's considered the service's all-time leader in aerial combat. His spirit and leadership are what made his air group one of the war's most decorated, and they earned him the Medal of Honor.
McCampbell was born Jan. 16, 1910, in Bessemer, Alabama, to parents Andrew and Elizabeth McCampbell.
When he was about 12, the family moved him and his older sister, Frances, to West Palm Beach, Florida.
As a teen, McCampbell moved north to attend the Staunton Military Academy in Virginia. His graduation in 1928 earned him an Army commission, according to the Army University Press. Instead, he chose to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he played football and was on the swim team.
He also joined Navy ROTC, which led to his appointment to the Naval Academy. While in Annapolis, McCampbell became an accomplished swimmer and diver, competing in and winning various NCAA regional championships.
McCampbell graduated in June of 1933, but since Great Depression-related economic issues had affected the number of commissions that were available, he immediately went into the Naval Reserve.
He returned to Alabama to work in construction and at an aircraft assembly plant for a year before finally receiving orders in June 1934 to report for active duty.
The young ensign's first duty station was aboard the USS Portland. By May 1937, he'd worked his way up in the ranks and began flight school in Pensacola, Florida, earning his wings in April 1938. His first few years as an aviator were spent serving on the USS Ranger and the USS Wasp.
World War II began while McCampbell was on the Wasp. The aircraft carrier spent the first half of 1942 in the European theater before being transferred to the Pacific.
On Sept. 15, 1942, the ship was sunk during the Guadalcanal campaign. McCampbell, surviving its demise, was promoted to lieutenant commander and brought back to the U.S.
By late 1943, McCampbell was in command of a fighter squadron attached to the USS Essex. He was promoted to commander in January 1944 and put in charge of the ship's Air Group 15 — one of the war's most decorated air groups. It was in this position that McCampbell became one of World War II's great aces.
McCampbell took out his first Japanese aircraft on June 11, 1944. About a week later, during the First Battle of the Philippine Sea, he led several F6F Hellcat fighter aircraft against 80 Japanese carrier-based planes that were headed toward the U.S. fleet.
McCampbell personally destroyed seven of those hostile aircraft — five bombers and two fighters — which helped his outnumbered men virtually annihilate the enemy. According to the Encyclopedia of Alabama, McCampbell's team accounted for about 68 of the 600 Japanese downed aircraft.
On Oct. 24, 1944, during the infamous Battle of Leyte Gulf, McCampbell and a fellow pilot, Ensign Roy Rushing, took on 60 hostile Japanese aircraft that were approaching U.S.
Despite the overwhelming airpower against them, McCampbell shot down nine Japanese aircraft, setting a U.S. single mission aerial combat record. Rushing took out another six enemy warplanes.
Their successes completely threw off the Japanese air group; the remaining aircraft abandoned their mission before any of them reached the U.S. fleet.
In a 1987 U.S. Naval Institute interview, McCampbell explained how he nearly didn't make it back to his ship after that engagement.
"When I got over the ship, I found they had a flight deck full of planes, and I knew that to launch all those planes would take a good 20 minutes, and I didn't have that much gas left," he said.
When the ship did make room for him to land, he said, "I ran out of gas on the deck. They had to push me out of the landing gear area. I found out from the mechanic that re-ammunitioned the guns that I had exactly six rounds left in the starboard outboard gun, and they were all jammed."
"But it worked out all right," he added nonchalantly.
McCampbell returned to the U.S. in December 1944. By then, he had become the Navy's all-time leading ace and top F6F Hellcat ace, having downed 34 Japanese aircraft during his months of aerial combat.
His impressive tally made him the third-highest American scoring ace of World War II, behind only Army Maj. Richard Bong and Army Maj. Thomas B. McGuire, neither of whom survived the war.
For his bravery in the skies, McCampbell received the Medal of Honor on Jan. 10, 1945, from President Franklin D. Roosevelt during a ceremony at the White House.
After the war, McCampbell served in various positions, including as a senior naval aviation advisor to the Argentine Navy.
After becoming a captain in July 1952, he also notably served as the captain of the aircraft carrier USS Bonhomme Richard and as a member of the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. In the latter position, McCampbell helped draw up contingency invasion plans during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, according to a 1996 Palm Beach Post article.
McCampbell was married a few times and had three children, Frances, David and John. He finally retired from the Navy in 1964 after 31 years of service.
According to the Palm Beach Post, McCampbell "dabbled in real estate in the Bahamas" before setting back down near West Palm Beach, where he lived for the rest of his life.
McCampbell died on June 30, 1996, at a veteran's home he'd been living at for about a year. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
SBS troops are shown waiting in ambush armed with a variety of weapons, including Bren guns and a Thompson sub-machine gun, during the campaign to free the Greek islands from Axis control

SAS WWII A001.jpg
SAS WWII A002.jpg

A topless and tattooed SBS commando sits on a boat near an island in the Aegean Sea while sharpening his knife. In front of him lie a revolver and a rifle, and on his beret is the SBS emblem
6th South African Armoured Division using a captured German Sd.Kfz.8 half track to recover a disabled M3 scout car, in Lagaro, Bologna, Italy. 24 November 1944.
(possibly the 5th SA Field Squadron Engineers '49')


Photo by Baker. 3131 US Signal Service Co.
US Army Signal Corp
Colourised by Doug
ALEMANIA Gordon Gollob (16 June 1912 – 7 September 1987).jpg

Gordon Gollob (16 June 1912 – 7 September 1987) was an Austrian fighter pilot during World War II.

A fighter ace, he was credited with 150 enemy aircraft shot down in over 340 combat missions.

Gollob claimed the majority of his victories over the Eastern Front, and six over the Western Front.

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