A collection of 350+ photographs from a soldier in the 744th Railway Operating Battalion.
Highlights include photographs of the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp; bombed buildings in Aachen, Germany; German refugees boarding trains; burning wreckage of tanks in Belgium; wreckage of German trains; and members of the 744th enjoying their time in Belgium. A few of the larger photographs were previously mounted in an album. Occasionally the photographs contain contemporaneous descriptions of what is occurring in the photograph, with date and location. All photographs printed on period paper, including Gevaert Ridax and Agfo Lupex paper. A fine collection.
The 744th Railway Operating Battalion landed in France in August 1944, and quickly became known as the “Queue-busters” for their ability to relieve railway congestion in the Cherbourg peninsula. By December 1944, they were moved to Charleroi, Belgium, in time for the Battle of the Bulge. They distinguished themselves again with their ability to quickly clear railways in preparation for the allied advance into Germany. They continued to run all railway operations in Belgium, until returning to the United States in 1946.