Source “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram Lieutenant Walter L. Chewing Jr. climbs aboard a crashed F6F “Hellcat” to save the pilot from the burning cockpit. The entire crew of the USS Enterprise (CV-6) was one of the greatest symbols of American Naval power. CV-6 was one of only a handful to survive the entirety of the war in the Pacific (1941-1945). despite being right in the thick of the fighting in some of the Pacific’s most bloody naval battles. She was the first US Navy ship to sink an enemy vessel after sinking the Japanese submarine I-70 on December 10th of 1941…just three days after Pearl Harbor and 2-days after the U.S. declared War on Japan.
In fact, her first major engagement was the Battle of Midway in June of 1942. By the battle’s end, Enterprise was undamaged…it is considered to be the first major victory and turning-point in our battles against the Japanese Empire.
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An American Marine clears his boot of dirt and sand while resting on a 16" Naval artillery shell that did not explode, Saipan, June, 1944. . The Battle of Saipan began on June 15th, 1944, after the US Marines landed on the island under heavy enemy fire. The Japanese had anticipated the attack and had set up their defenses in a way to create a deadly crossfire and catch the Marines in the open while they were landing. With a hail of lead and mortars coming from every direction the Marines on the beach became pinned down. Only after sufficient fire support was given the Marines were able to move off the beach. On that fateful first day over 3,000 Marines had become casualties. It would be come to known as the "D-Day in the Pacific" because the impacts of the battle cemented the beginning of the end for Japan. The Marines fought forwards through the thick brush of Saipan, the enemy was all around, hiding in villages, on cliffs, and in caves. The fighting around Saipan's capital and highest peak, Mount Tapotchau, was the climax of the battle. The Marines fought a determined enemy through thick forests and deep valleys, being hit by enemy fire from all sides. Some of the worst of these mountainous areas earned nicknames for their bloody reputations like "Death Valley" and "Purple Heart Ridge." The Japanese were running out supplies though and their ability to continue waging war on Saipan was dwindling. When the Marines finally trapped the Japanese in the northern sector of the island, they made a massive suicide charge. Yelling "Tenno Heika Banzai!", (Long Live the Emperor!), at the tops of their lungs, 4,000 Japanese soldiers charge through withering American fire. Some parts of the American line were breached and hand-to-hand combat ensued but the suicide charge had ultimately failed. It was the largest of the war, the dead could be smelled for miles. By the end of the battle 55,000 would be dead. Saipan was one of the most deadly yet important battles of the Pacific. Afterwards the Americans were able to launch bomber raids against Japan and the Japanese war cabinet resigned. #ww2 #history #nocares #dontcare #reckless #leatherneck #marines #usmc
Source “1W1nuot” on Imgur Two members of the ground crew at an American airfield in Italy paint eggs and write a message onto an AN-M65, 1,000 pound bomb that reads “Happy Easter to Adolph!”, Italy, April 1944.
Source colorized by Paul Reynolds BDI on Deviantart.com Pin-up Girl – Awesomeness
A U.S. Marine, shows off his favorite pin-up gal to the camera as his landing craft speeds towards the deadly Battle for Tarawa In the distance, you can see the smoke from the pervious day’s heavy fighting. The Marines, having a smile over the hot-blonde picture were sent in to reinforce the shore where the previous wave of Marines had been (pun) pinned-down for 24-hours.
As the Higgins Crafts got near the island, they became stuck on the coral (which had failed to been spotted by American intelligence).…forcing Navy skippers to let the Marines out hundreds of yards from shore. They were weighed down by over 80-pounds of equipment while trying to wade through the warm Pacific waters. All the while, the coral cutting through their boots and gashing their feet open AND bullets rained-down from entrenched Japanese positions.
Source colorized by Paul Reynolds BDI on Deviantart.com Ever watched “Band of Brothers”? This is the real “Easy Company” at Hitler’s mountain house, the “Eagle’s Nest”.
Source “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram A song enjoyed by both sides…
The photo above is a Dainler armored car opening fire in the gloom of early morning at the start of the Battle of Tripoli, January, 1943.
But there are small joys in the Hell of War.
A German run radio station in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, got their hands on the record of “Lili Marlen” by Lale Anderson. Initially, Radio Station Belgrade played this song many times during the day and in the later hours of the night, broadcasting to both German soldiers and Allied on the Eastern and North African Fronts. The men of the famous British 8th Army would tap into the German broadcast and listen to the song which -although many did not know it’s meaning -they began to fall in love with the song. British and Russian soldiers loved the tune and made both German and Allies troops long of home and sweethearts.
The song is a rare chapter of humanity and understanding during such a vicious war.
Photo Source colorized by Paul Reynolds Mediadrumworld.com Nazi p.o.s. Goebells, the German propaganda minister, ordered the song to atop being played.
But after some persuasion from Rommel, Goebbels reluctantly allowed it to be played at the very end of the broadcast. At 9:55 PM some nights the fighting would stop in the desert as men gathered to listen to Lili Marlen. After the desert campaign the song continued to be played but it is most famous for its popularity during the North African Campaign. Lili Marlen is the song of both the Afrika Korps (German) and the Desert Rats (U.K./Allies).
While listening, keep in mind: for many this would be the LAST song they ever heard.
Source colorized by Paul Reynolds BDI on Deviantart.com Picture above is NOT from D-Day landing.
89th Infantry taking cover in an assault boat during the Rhine River crossing into Germany (March 1945).
Source “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram Russian soldiers, armed with PPSh-41 SMGs, move through a shallow trench on their way to push out and raid German lines in Stalingrad, fall, 1942. The Battle of Stalingrad is one of the war’s most well-known battles as well as the war’s bloodiest battle. Stalingrad was Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin’s prize industrial city, situated on the massive River Volga which was the lifeline of the USSR.
American troops are marching through the streets of a British port town on their way to the docks where they will be loaded into landing craft for the “Big Assault”…the invasion of Normandy…D-Day.
Source “1W1nuot” on Imgur B-17G assigned to 401 Bomber group, 612 Bomber Squadron about to drop its load.
This photo was taken at 27,600ft, just before lunchtime on Saturday 14 October 1944, over Cologne, North of the Rhine, Germany.
Source “YMdopme” on Imgur Sergeant C. Orton of the Highland Light Infantry of Canada with a jug of “cider”. June 20, 1944, France.
Photo Source colorized by Paul Reynolds Mediadrumworld.com Perfect “balance”:
Douglas SBD Dive bomber, some-how, balances on its nose after crashing.
Wiki Commons M3 Lee M3 “Lee” was quickly designed in 1940 because of the U.K.’s immediate demand for 3,650 medium Tanks. This co-British/American collaboration led to an interesting armament naming which was based on the main gun’s 75mm turret design:
-U.S. M3 “Lee” was named after the Confederate General Robert E. Lee
-British M3 “Grant” was named after the Union General Ulysses S. Grant
Source “YMdopme” on Imgur Soviet Air Force officers, Rufina Gasheva (848 night combat missions) and Nataly Meklin (980 night combat missions) decorated as ‘Heroes of the Soviet Union’ for their service with the famed ‘Night Witches’ unit during World War II. They stand in front of their Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes.
Source “YMdopme” on Imgur One-armed bad-A**.
Squadron Leader J.A.F. MacLachlan, the one-armed Commanding Officer of No 1 Squadron RAF, standing beside his all-black Hawker Hurricane Mark IIC night fighter, ‘JX-Q’, at Tangmere in West Sussex, England.
Source “YMdopme” on Imgur Three troopers of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division taking a break after 5 days frontline fighting. From left to right : Pvt William H. Sandy from Charlottesville, VA, Sgt Dehaven Nowlin from Goshen, KY and Pvt Howard Fredericks from Los Angeles, CA., near Essen (Germany) 10th of April 1945.
Source “YMdopme” on Imgur Pay-back time for the Red Army:
Soviet artillerymen transporting a 76-mm divisional gun M1942 (ZiS-3) during the forced crossing of the Oder River, entering Germany…racing to take Berlin. (December of 1944)
Source “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram “Elbe Day” April 25th of 1945
An American, a Soviet and a British soldier share Camel Cigarettes. Although the Cold War was looking to become a future reality, on that day American and Soviet along with some British troops, decided to meet each other at the Elbe River near Torgau, Germany. With the help of multiple translators, troops of the 3 major Allied countries were able to share in discussion. They even managed to embrace each other…and for good reason; meeting-in-the-middle meant that they had split the German Forces. As in, the War in Europe would soon be over.
Source “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram Before the day eventually took on the name “Elbe Day”, the moment was called “East Meets West” (back in 1945)…a second image was also captured when American and Russian troops shook hands in a photo known as “Soldier of two Armies”.
Source Gmic.co.uk Years later, the famous “Soldier of two Armies” U.S. soldier Joseph Beyrle and his son (US ambassador) took a picture together at Russia’s “Red Square”.
Source colorized by Paul Reynolds BDI on Deviantart.com
Source “YMdopme” on Imgur The crew of an up-ended (M4A1) Sherman tank of the 7th Armoured Brigade enjoy a ‘brew’ beside their vehicle while waiting for a recovery team, on the ‘Gothic Line’ in Italy, 13th of September 1944.
Source colorized by Paul Reynolds BDI on Deviantart.com A Coast Guard-manned LCVP from the USS Samuel Chase on June 6th of 1944…”D-Day”.
The men of E Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Division known as “The Big Red One”. Many of them were veterans of the landings in North Africa and Sicily…which is why they were chosen to land early because of their battle experience.
They landed on ‘Easy Red’ Omaha Beach at 06:45 in the face of murderous fire, two-thirds of E Company were immediate casualties (100 KIA out of 183 landing), but those remaining kept wading right into everything the enemy had and took their objective, which provided the only exit from the beach that the entire Fifth Corps had for 48-hours.
Source “YMdopme” on Imgur The RAF’s top-scoring fighter pilot, with 31 confirmed kills at this date, Wing Commander James ‘Johnnie’ Johnson, with his Spitfire and pet Labrador ‘Sally’ in Normandy, July 1944.
Source: “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram “Hard-Core Jackets of America’s Bomber Boys”
“In the photographs above, you can see multiple excellent examples of the different artwork pieces on each jacket.”
-Text Source: “ the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram
Source: “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram “I handpicked these (following 3) examples, as they show the variation between art styles and how each crew selected their jackets to be painted in a unique way. Jackets like these were incredibly common among American bomber crews throughout the war.
Typical designs included the crew’s nose-art, and how many missions they had completed usually signified by a yellow bomb (as you can see above.)”
Source: “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram “It gave a feeling of esprit de corps among crews, showing your crew’s insignia/pin-up and how many missions you had completed.
It was also not uncommon to have the location of the mission stenciled above the bomb.”
Source: “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram “Others Jackets were more simple, like that of “Goin’ My Way”, which features Bugs Bunny sitting on a bomb that appears to be marked with 33 E.TO. Perhaps this denotes their number of mission in the European Theater of Operations, otherwise known as the E.T.O?
Today, these jackets are highly sought after by collectors.”
-Text Source: “ the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram
Source “1W1nuot” on Imgur Capt. George H. Lage’s Second Battalion, 502nd PIR medics driving toward Hiesville in their 82nd Airborne jeep. The original bumper markings have been covered. Pvt. Harvey Brotman (survived the war) rides on the hood, Cpl. Ernest C. Labadie (survived the war) is visible behind him, Pvt. James T. Milne (POW at Best, September,1944) is highest, wearing goggles on his helmet, and S/Sgt. John P. Durka (KIA June 11th, 1944) is at the wheel. June 6th-11th, 1944.
Source “YMdopme” on Imgur The United States was the only country to equip its troops with an auto-loading rifle as the standard infantry weapon of WWII. It gave their troops a tremendous advantage in firepower, and led General George Patton to call the M1 Garand, “The greatest battle implement ever devised.”
Source “YMdopme” on Imgur A British iconic Supermarine Spitfire Vc ‘Tropical’ JK707 MX-P serving with 307th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group operated by 12th USAAF.
Source: “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram On March 6th of 1945, Clarence Smoyer and his crew became Heroes for the following actions:
“He was an American tank gunner that would later write the bestselling book “Spearhead” after Mr. Smoyer dispensed-justice on the Nazis, near the Cologne cathedral.
Source: “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram “It began when a German Panther tank crew came out to fight to the death, to kill to the last round.
And they succeeded in knocking out two M4 Sherman tanks, killing Karl Kellner (26) from Wisconsin, who had a fiancé waiting for him back home, and Julian Patrick (23) from Kentucky, whose three brothers would never see him again, and Curtis Speer (21) who would never step-foot in his beloved Texas again.”
Source: “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram “A desperate call went out for someone, anyone, to counter the Panther.
A Pershing tank rolled forward. In the gunner’s seat was Clarence Smoyer, a crack-shot with a tank gun.
The rest was history.”
Source: “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram “The two tanks would come face-to-face in a duel reminiscent of a Wild West gunfight.
And that day, Clarence shot first and shot straight, three times, until the Panther was reduced to a burning hulk and its crew sent fleeing, unable to claim any more American lives.”
Source: “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram “On this anniversary of the duel, join us in raising a glass to Clarence, the avenger of Cologne, and to his brothers in arms—Karl, Julian, and Curtis, who remain forever young.”
-Text Source: “ the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram
Wiki Commons – U.S. Air Force released photo The Northrop P-61 “Black Widow” night fighter was the FIRST aircraft designed to use radar. Within the central fuselage, a crew of three: pilot, radar operator, and gunner navigated the night-time darkness while armed with:
-Four 20mm M2 forward-firing cannons (below fuselage)
-Four .50-inch M2 “Browning” machine guns (mounted above in a remote-controlled gun turret)
Source “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram Bren machine gun
“Private W. Wheatley of “A” Company, 6th Battaltion, Durham Light Infantry, 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division, fires his Bren gun from a ruined house in Douet de Chouain, near Bayeux, 11th of June, 1944. The Bren Light Machine Gun (LMG) was one of the most famous, iconic, and effective pieces of weaponry used during World War 2.
It was easy to move and disassemble, making it beloved by its operators during the multiple wars it found itself in.
The Bren Gun had a 30 round magazine that was loaded on the top of the gun opposed to being belt fed or having a box magazine on the bottom like a BAR. The magazine took just 2 seconds to reload unlike the BAR which could be tricky to reload.”
-Text Source: “ the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram
An American paratrooper from the 17th Airborne Division, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, stands tall’n-proud for one last photo before a jump into Wesel, Germany in March of 1945. The photograph shows many improvements in American paratrooper gear since the D-Day jump in 1944. For example, their harness was now the same as British paratroopers; the main advantage being, to take off all your gear, they just had to do with push-and-turn latch…allowing for much easy removal. During D-Day many paratroopers landed in lakes and with over 120 pounds of gear they dropped like rocks and their harnesses were very difficult to exit because each corner took about 15-30 seconds.
Their gear would usually consist of:
-jump knife and bayonet
-helmet/extra jump cord/harness
-Don’t for get obvious, Parachute/Reserve parachute
-clicker (used for signaling)
-a few personal items like toothbrush/mess kit
All of this, including the jump gear, could weigh over 100-pounds.
Many paratroopers during D-Day had their gear literally ripped from their chest because of the speed that they jump into, while exiting the “perfectly good” airplane.
Source “YMdopme” on Imgur Boeing B-29 Superfortress 42-24592 “Dauntless Dotty” 869th Bomb Squadron, 497th Bomb Group, 73rd Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force. 24th of November 1944.
Source “the_ww2_memoirs” on Instagram An American soldier engages German snipers entrenched in a spire of the church of Saint-Michel, while the tank in the foreground provides supporting fire. During the Allies advance to and across the Rhine, they had to enter and liberate hundreds of small towns and villages that dotted the French-German border. By early 1945 most of the German forces on the Western Front began pulling back to the heavy fortifications that protected most of the German border.
However, many times snipers would stay behind in these villages/towns, waiting for when the Allies entered.It could take hours to find and clear a well-concealed sniper. During the Battle of Cologne, German snipers halted American units for hours while they tried to traverse the maze of rubble and bombed out houses to flank and eliminate the sniper.
Photo Source colorized by Paul Reynolds Mediadrumworld.com
Source “1W1nuot” on Imgur Over a year before D-day:
American troops of the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division on board a landing craft heading for the beaches at Oran in Algeria during Operation Torch, 8th of November, 1942.
Source colorized by Paul Reynolds BDI on Deviantart.com Grave of an unknown soldier in Normandy, France 1944.
The note says “Mort pour la France” – Died for France.
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