Sights from the End of the War

While American GIs moved throughout Western Europe, Europeans slowly trekked back home, or to where their homes used to stand.

This was a common scene in Germany the latter days of the war. Many people were homeless or distant from their homes. Here the mother & Father have all their belongings plus two children in the small wagon.

Bernard McKenzie, Germany, June 1945

 

 

 

Maybe one day through the power of facial recognition and these photographs, these children or their descendants will discover images of these most important times in their lives.

Friendship in the Midst of Chaos and Destruction

 

Chuck and I near Schleiz, Germany.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

Old Glory flies in our pup tent city.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

Not many structures in Aachen, Germany stand intact today. Refusal of SS men to surrender brought only more havoc from our Air Force.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

The Germans, very much unlike the French, are here busy clearing the ruined city of Aachen, Germany.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

One didn’t have to scout around to find destruction in Aachen, Germany.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

Our Postal Chiefs. L.B. Kinlaw of Ayden, N.C. & Harvey Dunbrook from Cleveland.

Kathleen Dunbrook Leonard

U.S. Third Army’s 87th Infantry Division, the Golden Acorns

cropped-87thcampaignmap.jpg

 

“Bo” trying to console some of the fellows that the chow he serves “isn’t too bad.”

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

Passing through a small German town enroute to Le Havre & eventually U.S.A.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

Enroute to Le Havre, France from Plauen, Germany we were guided signs of our Division, “Golden Acorn Division.”

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

Returning Through a Destroyed Germany

As my dad and his comrades made the beginnings of their way homeward, they encountered remnants of war in the homes of the German oppressor. When the Nazis dug in to protect their homeland, they didn’t have the full support of all the German people, but their actions led directly to the destruction of their own country by the American-led Allies. These images tell a slice of the story of that destruction. See this video of Aachen and this video of Plauen.

Three Regimental messengers near Plauen, German.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

This German lady has been trying to clear her yard of all rubble. Her home here was likewise bombed but was in better shape than mane of her neighbors in Aachen, Germany.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

Aachen, Germany (the first large German city taken by American troops of the U.S. First Army) knows well what war is. Our bombers kept pouring it to the Hitler S.S. men who refused to surrender their headquarter city.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

This once was the town hall at Wasserbillig, Luxembourg. Our 3rd Br. fought their way in and took this town.

Bernard McKenzie, 1945

 

A small gasoline D.P. near our (unreadable) area. Ration stamps were unheard of.

Bernard McKenzie, 1945

 

“Take Ten.” Our convoy, homeward bound, would take a ten minute stop every two hours. Business pertinent at that time was taken care of.

Bernard McKenzie, 1945

Destruction of War, Everywhere

 

The remnants of one of our planes shot down near Trier, Germany.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

Closed for the duration Plus. This was once a pastry shop in Trier, Germany.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

Ruins still standing on the banks of the Moselle River near Trier, Germany.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

The calm Moselle River as she flows through Trier, Germany.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

A scene snapped as we crossed the Moselle near Trier, Germany.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

The once beautiful bridge spanning the Moselle River at the entrance to Trier, Germany. Trier, like many other Nazi party cities, was slow in surrendering. Results of the delay are obvious.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

Civilians Returning Home

 

Civilians (displaced people) crowded the highways. Many would start toward their houses not knowing they may be found in.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

It was either walk or ride a bicycle during the latter days of the war in Europe. Many Germans owned a bicycle.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945, Trier, Germany

 

Displaced civilians (Germans, Russians, Czech, Poles, etc.) were numerous at the war’s end. To expedite their getting home after our transportation–at least our gas–was used. Here a truck of such people homeward bound.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945