503rd PRCT Photographic Collections

Perhaps one of my favorite passions is locating photographic images that help tell the story of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 462nd Parachute Field Artillery Battalion, and the 161st Parachute Engineer Company of WWII. The latter two are harder to find because of their smaller unit size.

The digitized photographic images contained in these collections originated in one of two ways, those taken by photographers of the Army Signal Corps and those taken by a person who served with the unit or came into contact with the unit in some way.

While many of the photographs are original, some are copies. It was not uncommon for the men to share their photos with the other men in their immediate unit. This was particularly true for events, which each man in the unit could relate to. The photos would be duplicated and passed out at the time of development or years later.

In most cases, an actual copy of the photo is in my possession or has been digitally made available by a third-party for sharing with those who have an interest. In either case, to share a photo, the photo needs scanned, digitized, and optimized for viewing on a webpage. This may include, but not limited to, resizing the digitized image and image restoration.

Those photographic images that originated from the Army Signal Corps normally will contain a short description of the image. Most of the Army Signal Corps photos contained here are copies of the original Signal Corps Photos that the Army released to the Associated Press for use in local newspapers during the war.

The majority of the photos acquired from personal and private collections are often vague in any type of description or details, only when the collection is looked at as a whole and put in proper context, can a knowledgeable guess be made about the image. Unfortunately, these are often acquired by sellers who break up the collection by selling the individual photos based on the subject matter. In the process, the context of the photo and source is lost, making it harder to interpret the photo's true meaning.







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