Dogface Soldiers

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3rd Signal Company Photography WWII  ::  ANZIO to AUSTRIA  ::  U.S. 3rd Infantry Division

s i t e   i n f o

Anzio | Rome | Dragoon | Breakout | Montelimar | Vosges | Strasbourg | Colmar Pocket | Rhineland | Germany | Austria

Growing up in the 1960s ...

dogface soldiers < Deep Dive: WWII reenactor 2008-2015

There was a crushed shoe box stuffed with war photos in the dusty basement of the house I grew up in. As a young boy, the images were exceptionally shocking and still are. I needed to connect the frozen events in the hundreds of photos with the person and the moment the camera exposed it to film.

As it passed, I would never have my father's direct comment as the photographer about any of these photos. We did not have a relationship where we would have talked together about these photos, and it never happened before he died in 1979. My father spoke little of the war except for a few favorite and remembered stories and his occasional performance of the division song "Dogface Soldier". My mother was very reverent and proud of her war hero story. The photos wrap around all of it and tell a longer version of their war story.

In 2003 my interest in the photos took a more profound direction. While thinking about my Dad's war experience, I had discovered, a website developed by Rich Heller, the son of another member of my father's 3rd Division unit. Then in 2004, I found myself on a "Greatest Generation" trip to Washington D. C. with my own family and my mother and sisters for the dedication of the WWII Monument. The inspiration to learn more about the photos and my father's experience in them turned fevered.

With passionate Web searches, and investigation of books, maps, and personal papers, I uncovered a treasured and fascinating journey 60 years into the past.

My hope is that this educates and inspires and perhaps shares personal meaning with visitors about war, democracy, commitment, bravery and all that is revealed in these photographs. I dedicate this site to the soldiers of the 3rd Division, past , present, and future plus all dogface soldiers anytime and anywhere.

Denis Toomey
Site Launch : June 6, 2005 (through 2015)
Site Launch : August 15, 2020

(This site was originally posted from 2005-2015. On August 15, 2020, the 76th Anniversary of Operation Dragoon and the 75th anniversary of the Japanese surrender, it was re-posted with additional edits, improved navigation and an addition of over 200 images from the dogfacesoldiers collection, 163rd Signal Photo Company that traveled with the Fifth and Seventh Armies, and the National Archives.)

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Anzio | Rome | Dragoon | Breakout | Montelimar | Vosges | Strasbourg | Colmar Pocket | Rhineland | Germany | Austria