Argunners Magazine published a series of amazing WWII photographs recently uncovered from the archives of General Charles Day Palmer, who was a four-star General. Most of the photographs were confidential photographs taken by the U.S. Signal Corps not fit for publication, Brig. Gen. was allowed to have them for private use after censoring (names of places etc.). Although the first part were more general photographs of WWII and the second part depict the true horrors of war. This final part ends with more photographs on the liberation and “war necessary destruction” as General Palmer remarked on one of the photographs.
Charles Day Palmer was born in Chicago, Illinois on February 20, 1902. After graduating from Washington High School in Washington, D.C., he entered the United States Military Academy, where he graduated in 1924. During World War II, he worked in the British West Indies to establish military bases and ran projects on anti-submarine warfare. In 1944, he became the Chief-of-Staff of the 2nd Armored Division, nicknamed “Hell on Wheels”, participating in the Invasion of Normandy, breakout from Saint-Lo and the crossing of the Siegfried Line. In October, he was transferred as Chief-of-Staff to the VI Corps, where he received a battlefield promotion to Brigadier-General.
After World War II, Palmer took part in the Korean War. During his career, he received various valor and service awards such as the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and the Bronze and Silver Star. He passed away on June 7, 1999 in Washington, D.C. The photographs were shared by his grandson, Daniel Palmer, honoring the memories and service of his grandfather.
Looking down over the Tyrolean Alps, Innsbruck, Austria in 1945. (#P38 – Credits: T/5 Ernest Brown)
Original caption reads: Yanks go on a special service tour to Tyrol Mountains resort. Yank looks through the telescope on top of the Tyrol mountain. From here can be seen Innsbruck, Austria and the Brenner Pass. (#P39 – Credits: T/5 Allan G. Smith Jr.)
General Palmer remarked “Where Gen. B. met Corps from Italy” and “The twain shall meet“. Original caption reads: Italian border! Two American Seventh Army soldiers walk over the Austrian border into Italy as Seventh Army climaxed its drive through the national redoubt by linking up in the famed Brenner Pass with Fifth Army troops driving up from Italy. (#P40 – Credits: T/4 Irving Leibowitz)
“Sooking from Italy into Austria at (?) border (?)“, captioned General Palmer. (#P41 – Credits: General Charles D. Palmer)
Italian Prisoners of War and slave workers of the Germans are being taken back to Italy from Austria. Here they wave as they see the sign “Brenner Pass”, and the arrow pointing in the direction they are going, reads the caption. (#P42 – Credits: T/5 Allan G. Smith Jr.)
Caption: On the Austrian-Italian border at the Reissa Pass. A patrol of the 324th Inf. Regt. 44th Inf. Div., Seventh Army, links up with troops of the 101th Mt. Div., Fifth Army. They are rushing up to greet their comrades at the gates who were doing border patrol. Palmer remarked “We meet the troops in Italy.” (#P43 – Credits: T/5 Louis Weintraub)
Infantrymen meet a patrol of the French Army on a fork of the road leading into (?), Germany. The (?) came down from the east side of the Rhine to help the French army in their Rhine river crossing and this is the first meeting of the two armies. General Charles D. Palmer added: “Interesting picture of the (?) (?) French-Algerian troops east of the Rhine.” (#P44 – Credits: T/5 Francis E. Lane)
“The humble beginning for his great book,” remarked General Palmer sarcastically. Landsberg jail, Adolf Hitler was imprisoned here from November 11, 1923 until December 20, 1924. (#P45)
U.S. Engineers blow up a wooden bridge after U.S. vehicles have withdrawn across the river. “Making (?) war necessary destruction,” wrote General Palmer. (#P46 – Credits: C. Bell)
“An excellent picture showing the Ulm cathedral standing amid ruins,” wrote General Palmer. (#P47 – Credits: T/5 Jerry Rutberg)
Yank of the (?) walks thru one of the streets of (?), town was in complete ruin. “The (?) of an attack,” remarked Palmer. (#P48 – Credits: Sydney Blau)
Street by street: Two germans flushed from a house in (?) are marched under guard over battle churned ground. Past razed buildings to the rear and the fighting goes ahead in another street. Palmer added: “Good example of the result of heavy village fighting.” (#P49)
Seventh Army riflemen dash for cover amidst rubble of destroyed buildings in (?) as enemy pours in intermittent artillery, nebelwerfers and small arms fire at advancing yanks (?). Road and rail communications town and key to southern Germany has been bitterly contested by fanatically resisting German forces. (#P50 – Credits: T/4 Irving Leibowitz)
Aerial picture of showing damage done to the city of Mannheim before it was taken by American troops. Palmer remarked “Excellent shot of a thoroughly ‘liberated’ town. My first (?) (?)” and “Where Gen. Brooks with 6 Corps, crossed the Rhine.” (#P51 – Credits: T/4 Clifford Bell)
The French ceremony held in Stuttgart on 3rd May where awards are being presented by General de Lottre de Tassigny, 1st French Army commander to French soldiers and American generals, Brig. Gen. Carl A. Baehr, VI Corps Arty. Commander (front row), and Brig. Gen. Charles D. Palmer, VI Corps Chief of Staff (second row). (#P52 – Credits: T/5 Allan G. Smith Jr.)
We are looking in help to identify some of the places; personalities, equipment or units that are shown on these WWII photographs, as many of the backsides are unreadable due age of time and wartime censoring. Contact us, if you can help. Supply the referral number in the e-mail (ex. Backside – #P01) so we know which photograph you are talking about.