A slice of the Wehrmacht, heading home

This is just dying for Osprey to make a uniform plate:

National Archives 80-G-353582

Here we see a group of German WWII Prisoners of War arriving at NAS Jacksonville, Florida, on 9 June 1945. The date is important because it is more than a month after VE-Day, the end of the war in Europe. The men are a mix of Heer, Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe non-commissioned officers wearing a variety of tropical (Afrika Korps, anyone?) and continental uniforms. All have U.S. raincoats with “P.W.” stenciled on each arm.

Odds are the group had been in an EPW camp somewhere in the South and are heading back home to a Germany that looks very different from the one they left. For train buffs, note the old Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N) cars in the background.

Also, note the U.S. Army (or more likely Florida Defense Force) personnel including a corporal with a M1917 revolver in a M1911 shoulder holster. Contrast it below with the very sweaty Florida Defense Force personnel at the Jacksonville USO in late 1942, outfitted with a variety of 1903s and M1917 rifles.

Spottswood Studio Collection

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