PHOTO #34048 Luftwaffe Schweinfurt Air Base / GI Berchtesgaden Photo Album
This photo album is a very large format measuring about 14 inches by 14 inches. The album is beautifully bound, similar to a book, and it is also encased within its own cardboard container. On the outside of the container, the capturing G.I.’s have written, “ Germany , April 28th, 1945 / We took his airbase.” Obviously the Americans involved with this album liberated the artifact when they captured the Schweinfurt Fliegerhorst ( Schweinfurt airbase) in April of 1945. The album, apparently, belonged to the Commander of the airbase. It features about 65 outstanding photographs, all beautifully mounted with headings done in ink for each section. The photographs are quite interesting, as they look like they were prepared by an underling for this Commander and there are sections showing the beautiful town of Schweinfurt with its war memorials, river and even a racetrack. Then there is a section showing the Hitler Youth in the area with a fantastic picture of a Hitler Youth lad blowing a trumpet equipped with a banner having a large white skull on the black-fringed material. Another section shows a glider plane at the airbase and yet another section shows local workers and also members of the Luftwaffe Sport Team active in swimming and other sports. The last section in the album shows the commanders and staff of the airbase greeting a military visitor and lastly, under the date of May 1940, a large Luftwaffe band performs with many good shots of the instruments and uniforms. There are daggers shown in wear as well as great uniform studies. There are also many pictures of the main building at Schweinfurt used on the airbase. After this, which is about the halfway place in the album, the pages are blank and then it picks up with an album obviously started by the liberating G.I.s. The main individual does not name himself, but he is the first one to be pictured and he is shown throughout the last part of the album with his army buddies during training in Texas and then in France on October 31st, 1944. The men with him are all named in the photographs and it looks like the owner who liberated the album was named Sgt. Al Ingersoll. The ablum goes on to show Ingersoll clowing around in parts of Alsace Lorrain and other areas of France . He is seen with other army buddies and fraternizing with women in the area. The end photographs feature the same group entering Bertesgaten where the G.I.s are seen in the mountains posing with captured troops, captured vehicles and posing with fellow G.I.s. There are pictures of Hermann Goering’s house in ruins, the entrance to the tunnel that went up to the Eagle’s Nest, a wrecked Packard that very likely could have been Eva Braun’s personal vehicle, as I know she did drive a Packard. This album has a great war story to tell and it would be interesting to trace some of the people mentioned and pictured to get more facts of their great campaign. A very interesting historical album here.
Excellent Plus. $995.00