Photos Colour and Colourised Photos of WW2 & earlier conflicts

Sergeant Lydia Myakisheva with the Soviet Expert Marksman Badge and Order of Glory medal 3rd class. Date and location unknown.

9 December 1944


"These soldiers of the 357th Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, were fighting the enemy last night across the Saar River near Dillingen. They have just received word that they are part of 64 US soldiers who will be granted a thirty day furlough at home plus 2 months travel time."
All have received the Purple Heart and numerous other decorations for outstanding acts of courage. L to R, (sitting)...T/Sgt. Thomas L. Chamberlain, Kansas City, Mo.; S/Sgt. Merle A. Welfare, Ledyard, Ia.; Sgt. Joseph Dorner, New England, N.D.; and L to R (Standing)...S/Sgt. Ed Melton, Haskell, Tex.; Pvt. James Jirles, Aphens, Tenn.; S/Sgt. Albert J. Apple, Bottom, Tex.; S/Sgt. Victor E. Wold, Friday Harbor, Wn.; and T/Sgt. Albert E. Lambright, Amarillo, Texas. (A).
"The defenses of the 1st and 2nd Battalions 357th Infantry were severely tested by a series of attacks which continued without abatement from morning to night. All were repulsed with extravagant losses to the enemy. Battalions reported that these Germans were fanatical, that they advanced in close formation through terrific artillery fire until their ranks were decimated. Never, they said, had they seen so many dead as littered the battlefield by the end of the day. I and L Companies were likewise struck by an infantry-tank assault; they too held their ground. Although the regiment had yielded not an inch, the constant pressure was beginning to make itself felt on the fatigued, exposed, casualty ridden ranks of the
infantry and plans were made to withdraw the 1st the 2nd Battalions slightly so that the regimental front might be firm and supply line shortened." 8 Dec 1944
(90th Infantry Division Action Report)
(ETO HQ-44 28968 9 Dec. Credit...U.S. Army Signal Corps. Photog...Pfc. W.J. Rothenberger...166.)
(Colourised by Doug)
It looks quite young! Do you know if he died or if his death occurred during the war?
Unfortunately, I don't know her story.


9 December 1944
An American self-propelled howitzer M7 "Priest" (105 mm HMC M7) in position overlooking vineyards in Ribeauville, Alsace, France.
(shelling enemy targets as the expended shell casings show.)


(Colourised by Royston Leonard)
Prince George, Duke of Kent with a group of Polish Navy officers, seamen and Royal Navy officers, during his informal visit on the Polish Navy destroyer ORP Krakowiak, 11 July 1942.


In keeping with the Christmas theme, here are B-17G's of the 92nd BG - 327th BS taxiing out in snow and early sunrise, at Podington, in December of 1944. The nearest aircraft 43-38477, UX-R (un-named) was received by the group in the previous September, and survived the war to go in to Europe and join the 9th AF in their efforts for the 'Green Project'. She was salvaged on 10th Dec 1945.

The "Green Project" was an effort to move soldiers to Port Lyautey, Morocco, for onward shipment home to the USA, and also to bring French citizens from Morocco to Marseilles, France. It operated from 15th June 1945 to 10th September 1945.
Airfield Volkel, Holland, 13 December 1944.


Leading Aircraftman Fred Fazan from London, dressed as Santa Claus hands out presents to Dutch children at 486 Squadron, No. 122 Wing.
Members of No 122 Wing had saved their sweet ration for weeks, and contributed enough money to give the children their first proper Christmas party. It was noted by the photographer that this year Santa was afraid of Messerschmitts, so he decided to come by RAF Hawker Tempest Mk-V!
On 28 September 1944 with the V-1 threat over, 150 Wing became 122 Hawker Tempest Wing, trading places with three Mustang III squadrons. Later additions to 122 Wing included 80 Squadron and 274 Squadron; 41 Squadron, a Grffon-engined Spitfire XIV unit was also a part of the Wing, providing high altitude cover.
122 Wing was attached to the Second Tactical Air Force, and moved through Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Denmark. The wing's role was low-medium altitude fighter operations, although many ground attack missions were also undertaken. During these operations German light and medium Flak took a steady toll of Tempest units. 486 lost two commanding officers, Arthur E Umbers and Keith G Taylor-Cannon, to flak in the last few months of the war.
(Photo source - © IWM CL 1729)
Clark N S (P/O)
Royal Air Force official photographer
Brazilian Army Pvt. Francisco de Paula of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force during the Italian Campaign, WWII.


"A Cobra está fumando" (Smoking snake).

The Smoking Snakes - The Brazilian Expeditionary (BEF).

"The Brazilian Expeditionary Force or BEF (Portuguese: Força Expedicionária Brasileira; FEB) was an expeditionary force of about 25,700 men and women arranged by the army and air force to fight alongside the Allied forces in the Mediterranean Theatre of World War II. Brazil was the only independent South American country to send ground troops to fight in the Second World War.


In photo: Brazilian soldiers during slack in a unidentified region of Italy.
Brazilian Expeditionary Force soldiers being greeted on their arrival back home.
ca. August 1945


On 2 May 1945, the German troops in Italy unconditionally surrendered to the Allied Forces. For 239 days; the BEF fought against German forces, covering more than 400 kilometers and capturing more than 20,000 prisoners.

After this success, the Brazilian government did not accept the United States' invitation to remain in Italy for a longer period, and to assist the Allied forces in dealing with the Trieste problem, which involved a border dispute between the Allies and Yugoslavia in Italy. The Brazilian government indicated that it had accomplished its agreement with the United States, and the BEF should not be involved in the Yugoslavia, and elected to withdraw its forces back to Brazil.

Even with the shipping demands of the Pacific theater, the United States provided all the necessary transport for the BEF for its journey back home, giving the BEF disembarkation top priority. In order to carry on this transportation, the BEF was divided in echelons, the first of which left Italy on 12 July 1945, and the last on 13 October 1945. The BEF returned home with 509 men less, having 451 killed in action, and 58 missing-in-action. The 1,577 wounded in action during the Italian Campaign returned on a different schedule.2 Since the Paraguay War in 1865, Brazilian Armed Forces had not lost so many personnel in less than a year.

On 18 July 1945, the first BEF echelon and members from the United States 10th Mountain Division paraded in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, where they were cheered by the Brazilian populace that attended the parade. This event demonstrated how the BEF victorious campaign in Italy enhanced Brazilian national pride.

Read more:

Surrender of the German 148. Infanterie-Division (plus survivors of the 90. Infanterie-Division) to the 1st Brazilian Infantry Division BEF (Brazilian Expeditionary Force - Smoking Snakes) in Collecchio-Fornovo di Taro, Italy 1945. The German in dark jacket is Oberts Otto von Kleiber with his aide-de-camp on behest of General Otto Fretter-Picco. Receiving the surrender is Major Franco Ferreira, Brazilian Army.
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt (Brazilian Air Force) on Italy (1945)


The "1º Grupo de Aviação de Caça - 1º GAVCA" (1st Brazilian Fighter Squadron) was established on 18 December 1943, as the Brazilian Air Force fighter unit that would be deployed alongside U.S.A.A.F. units in the European Theater of Operations during World War II.

The Squadron was sent to Italy, where they arrived on 6 October 1944.Beginning their first missions on 31 October 1944, during the first missions the Brazilian pilots flew, individually, attached to squadrons of the other three U.S. squadrons - 345th Fighter Squadron, 346th FS and 347th FS - that composed, with 1º GAVCA, the 350th Fighter Group. As the Brazilian pilots acquired operational experience, they were progressively posted to more difficult missions.


With the end of hostilities in Italy on 3 May 1945, the 1º GAVCA could make an account of its activities: there were 2,546 offensive and 4 defensive sorties, carried out on 445 missions during 184 continuous days of operation. Its pilots had flown for longer than the U.S. pilots, due to the lack of replacement personnel; several of them completed more than 80 combat missions. The Squadron flew only 5% of the total of missions carried out by the squadrons under operational control of the XXII Tactical Air Command, and yet was responsible for the destruction of 85% of the ammunition depots, 36% of the fuel depots, 28% of the bridges (19% damaged), 15% of the motor vehicles (13% damaged) and 10% of the horse-drawn vehicles(10% damaged).

But a high price was paid for all this: of its strength of 48 pilots, five were killed in combat, four in air accidents (one of them while on their training in Panama); five were shot down and made prisoners of war, while other three were shot down but were rescued by the Italian "partigiani"; and seven were removed from flying duties due to illnesses.


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