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[65th Infantry Division Patch] 65th Infantry Division Photo Album

Below are selections from a magnificent photo album by a soldier of the 65th Infantry Division in Germany and Austria in 1945. Most of the photos are not labelled, and the unit is only identified from the shoulder patches and jeep markings.

The 65th Infantry Division arrived in France in January 1945. Entering combat in March, the 65th Infantry crossed the Saar River and captured the heights near Merzig in heavy fighting. The division continued on to capture Fraulautern and Saarlauten, fight through the West Wall, and capture Neunkirchen. At the end of March, the division crossed the Rhine and advanced through Germany until reaching the Danube southwest of Regensburg. The 261st Regiment reached Passau on May 2 and assaulted across the Inn River at Neuhaus. Passau fell May 3, and the 261st advanced to the Enns River and overran the city of Enns. The division closed to the Enns River by May 6, and made contact with the Soviet Army near Strengberg on May 8 as hostilities ceased. The division remained in Austria until disbanded on August 31, 1945.

For more information on the 65th Infantry on this website, see Right to be Proud: History of the 65th Division's March Across Germany and We Are Proud: History of Co. 'C' 260th Infantry.

Units, persons, and locations mentioned in the photo album:
  • Units: 65th Infantry Division
  • Persons: Hy Marinoff, Harold Pinkston, George Misuriello
  • Locations: Passau, Germany; Enns, Austria;
  • Soldiers

    [Last Day of War: GI of 65th Infantry Division]   Unfortunately blurry, but one of the few labelled photos in the set: "Taken the last day of war before we got cleaned & laundered."

    After getting cleaned up, a formal photo of the same soldier from later during the occupation.   [GI in Uniform during Occupation: 65th Infantry Division]

    HQ  Jeeps

    A series of photos of the soldiers with the jeeps and trailers of an unknown headquarters unit. The jeeps include H-9, H-10, and HQ-18, and all carry the unit marker of a square with a single center dot. The jeep in the first photo has the nickname "Little Willie" under the windshield. In the sixth photo, a blonde, rather formally dressed, stands in the background doorway sweeping. The soldier in the last photo has picked up a souvenir Luger pistol.
    [Little Willie Jeep: 65th Infantry Division] [Jeep and GIs: 65th Infantry Division] [Jeep: 65th Infantry Division]
    [Jeep and Soldiers: 65th Infantry Division] [Trailer: 65th Infantry Division] [Jeep Repair: 65th Infantry Division]
    [HQ Jeeps: 65th Infantry Division] [Soldiers and Weapons: 65th Infantry Division]

    Two additional photos with weapons including a German Kar98K rifle with scope in the background.
    [Captured Enemy Weapons and Material: 65th Infantry Division] [Jeeps, Weapons and Captured Material: 65th Infantry Division]

    Passau,  Germany

    [GIs in Passau, Germany in 1945: U.S. 65th Infantry Division] [Doms St. Stephan in Passau, Germany]
    The photos that led to identification of the location.  Left: The sign in the background says "Franz Uhrmann" -- an Internet search turned up a "Franz Uhrmann" still in business in Passau.  Right: Now that the search is narrowed, the Doms St. Stephan is easy to recognize.

    [65th Infantry GIs with Mannequin in Passau, Germany, WW2, 1945] [65th Infantry GI in Passau, Germany in 1945]
    With the fighting over, there is time to clown-around with a mannequin and pose for photographs. The left photo is taken at the corner of Grosse Klingergasse. Under magnification, the 65th Infantry Division shoulder patch, a white halbert on a blue shield, is recognizable in both photos.

    [Soldiers in Passau, Germany: 65th Infantry Division]
    More photos in and around Passau.
    [Battle Damage in Passau, Germany: 65th Infantry Division] [Destroyed Railyards near Passau, Germany: 65th Infantry Division]

    [GI with Rifle in Front of Shop in Passau, Germany] [GI from 65th Infantry Division in Front of Shop in Passau, Germany] [GIs from 65th Infantry Division in Front of Shop in Passau, Germany] [GI from 65th Infantry Division in Front of Shop in Passau, Germany] [GI with Rifle in Front of Shop in Passau, Germany]
    Five photographs of the soldiers, taken in front of a Passau Foto shop.

    [German Panzer IV Destroyed near Passau, Germany: 65th Infantry Division]   A late production German Panzer IV tank with the rare mesh skirts.

    [The 65th unit history pamphlet describes Passau as defended by "300 SS troops and three Mark IV tanks." If so, this must be one of the three Panzer IVs. Elements of the 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich" may have reached Passau and the panzer might be from that unit.]

    German  Prisoners

    The photographer took a number of pictures of German prisoners collected in an open field. This unit must have surrendered relatively intact with their vehicles. In the lower photo, the two nearest German vehicles carry a unit marking, which is unfortunately too small to recognize.
    [German WWII PWs After Surrender in 1945: 65th Infantry Division] [Surrended German Soldiers After V-E Day: 65th Infantry Division]
    [Surrendered German Transport and Equipment at End of WWII: 65th Infantry Division]

    On  the  Move

    An interesting series of photographs, probably of a column of freed POWs or slave laborers returning to their home country. The column is entirely unarmed men, many in berets or civilian hats. Several men are flashing the victory sign as they pass the photographer. The second trailer is actually a heavily loaded German Kubelwagen pressed into use as a trailer.
    [Column of Displaced Persons WWII: 65th Infantry Division] [Additional View of Column: 65th Infantry Division]
    [Salvaged Kubelwagen in Column: 65th Infantry Division] [Salvaged Kubelwagen in Displaced Persons Column: 65th Infantry Division]

    [Civilian Refugees with Wagon: 65th Infantry Division]   Civilians refugees are also on the move. Headed in the other direction, refugees ride along the road in a heavily loaded wagon.

    Enns,  Austria

    Photos from later during postwar occupation in Enns, Austria. On the left, Hy Marinoff, on the right, the album owner.
    [Enns, Austria: 65th Inf. Div. during Occupation] [Enns, Austria: 65th Inf. Div. during Occupation]
    1. 65th Infantry Division Association, official website.
    2. The 65th Halbert, 65th Division Association Newsletter, various issues.
    3. 65th Infantry Division 1943-1945 (50th Anniversary Reunion), Turner Publishing Co., 1993.
    4. Right to be Proud: History of the 65th Division's March Across Germany, Sgt Bill Jordy, 1945.

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