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3rd Signal Co. Photography WWII  ::  U.S. 3rd Infantry Division

d o g f a c e  s o l d i e r
P h o t o g r a p h e r   B i o s

WWII images from five combat
photographers of the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division

surf all sections : ANZIO | ROME | DRAGOON

Howard B. Nickelson - U.S. 3rd Infantry Division WWII Cpl. (T5) Howard B. "Nick" Nickelson (1917-2006)

Howard Nickelson was drafted into the Army from Livingston, Montana after studying at the Montana School of Mines. Originally with the 10th Engineers (landing at Fedala), Nickelson and Jack Cole were the first two photographers assembled for Fuzzy's Folly on the Anzio beachhead. By the time the division was in Austria, Nickelson was able to muster out just days before VE Day on "points". He was married in December 1945. After the war, Nickelson attended the Montana School of Mines again to become a geological engineer working for several mines in Montana and then for 25 years with the United States Geological Survey, retiring in 1978. In 1988 he authored "100 Years of Coal Mining in the San Juan Basin, New Mexico", for The New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources.

William J. Toomey - U.S. 3rd Infantry Division WWIISgt. (T4) William J. Toomey

Bill Toomey grew up in Everett, Massachusetts and was drafted into the Army in 1943 from a newspaper job where some of his work was with news photography. Bill was married to Rose Judge and had recently added a baby girl to the family. Bill joined the 3rd Division at Anzio in March 1944 seeing front line duty as part of the 3rd Reconnaissance Battle Patrol, instrumental in the Anzio breakout to Rome through Cisterna, Cori and Valmontone. He was reassigned as a photographer in the 3rd Signal Company in July 1944. He was later awarded a Bronze Star for his photography in France and Germany. His enlisted ended on November 17, 1945. Bill died while on vacation at Lovell Lake in New Hampshire in 1979. He was an avid photographer to the last days of his life and defined his career in the newspaper printing industry employed to the day of his death at the Salem Evening News in Salem, Massachusetts. With his wife, Rose of 39 years, he had 5 children with ten grandchildren.


Sgt. (T4) William "Pop" Heller (1910-1972)

Born and raised in Chicago, Bill Heller operated a portrait studio on the south side for more than forty years. He played 3rd Base for the Springfield Cardinals before the war. He was married to Sylvia with two sons. He volunteered for service in WWII when he was 33 years old. Bill was with the 15th Regiment before joining the photo team on the Anzio beachhead. He was awarded a Bronze Star along with William Toomey for photography in France and Germany. Heller served through 1945 with the 3rd Division in Germany.

Jack Cole -  - U.S. 3rd Infantry Division WWII

Sgt. (T3) John D. "Jack" Cole

Jack Cole joined the army from Texas and served with the 10th Engineers HQ as the unit's photographer including aerial assignments using a 4x5 Speed Graflex camera. Cole was first to be chosen to join Capt. George Fezell's unique group of photographers in the 3rd Division known as Fuzzy's Folly. Jack left the unit at the time of the German surrender.

dogface soldiers

Pfc. Robert S. "Bobby" Seesock

Bobby Seesock joined the photographic team as a new recruit in Rome, Italy.

Eddie Hausner - U.S. 3rd Infantry Division WWII

Pfc. Eddie Hausner

Eddie Hausner graduated from Manhattan's Metropolitan High School in 1941 immediately joining Paramount Pictures as a film inspector before entering the war in 1943. Hausner fought with the 7th Regiment in France and Germany and joined the 3rd Signal Company photographers in Austria after the departure of Jack Cole and Howard Nickelson. He joined the New York Times in 1946 and spent five decades there becoming one of the newspaper's top news photographers and was named a senior photographer in 1990. Hausner's work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in his hometown of New York.

William T. Vaughan - U.S. 3rd Infantry Division WWII

William T. Vaughan

William T. Vaughan joined the 3rd Signal Company photographers at the time of the German surrender as a replacement after the departure of Jack Cole and Howard Nickelson. Vaughan served with the unit in Germany through 1945.

Official War Photographer

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