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

1 comment:

  1. HELP.

    I would like to use photos of the Antwerp Docks you have posted to illustrate a chapter of the book I am finishing, focusing upon a specific Freighter that at Antwerp: S.S. SANTA MARGARITA.

    Can you provide permission?

    She visted twice:


    Can you tell me the Port units at Antwerp at that time?

    I would be very interested in any records that might mention the ship.

    I suspect I have already asked these questions...but cannot fin the answers in my files. If so, I apologize for both my disorganization AND asking you for twice the responses.



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