Friday, January 8, 2016

US Bombers Raid Antwerp Plants, 1943

I bought a 1943 aerial photo of the Antwerp docks where my grandfather's battalion served in 1944–1946. The photo was taken by an American plane that was bombing the automobile factories that the Germans were using for military production. The city was liberated the following year.

(This photo has north on the right-hand side)

Here's the caption that was on the back of the photo:

Bombs dropped by US Army Eight Air Force heavy bombers during a daylight attack May 4 cause smoke to rise above the Ford and General Motors plants in Antwerp, Belgium. This US Army official photo, made from a bomber during the raid, shows parts of both factories obscured by smoke. May 16, 1943.

Diagram of the docks where my grandfather's battalion unloaded supplies from ships and guarded warehouses, 1944 to 1946. I found this in the National Archives official historical report of the 519th Port Battalion.

I looked on Google Maps and found what the Luchtbal area of Antwerp looks like today.
The Antwerp docks in a 2013 Google Maps photo.

The docks in this 1943 photo.
This map shows where German v-bombs fell in the docks after the Allies liberated Antwerp. I got this image from

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

5th Engineer Special Brigade headed to Omaha Beach

I found this color photo of members of the 5th Engineer Special Brigade in Weymouth, England. They're loading landing craft to head over to Omaha Beach, June 1944. You can lisence this image as a stock photo from Galerie Bilderwelt. (And you can browse their collection to see more photos of Operation Overlord)

The 5th ESB along with the 6th ESB were responsible for all logistics in Omaha Beach during the Normandy invasion and the months after. The Normandy beaches were the main place to land troops and supplies while the Allies waited for the sea ports of Cherbourg and Antwerp to be opened (the Fall of 1944). 

Check out my color photo of members of the 1st Engineer Special Brigade on Utah Beach. (My grandfather's battalion was attached to the 1st ESB in Normandy.)