752nd Tank Battalion - Nauders, Switzerland - 1945

O'Connell's "Eyemo" captures the moment

Sgt. Burke O’Connell, 196th Signal Photo Company, (left), takes aim with his Bell and Howell 35 mm Eyemo camera towards tankers of the 752nd Tank Battalion parked along the Italian-Swiss border at Nauders, Switzerland. Color photo by Donald Wiedenmayer, 196th Signal Photo Company.


Map of the 752nd Tank Battalion


Burke talks to a Swiss border guard at the Munster, Switzerland crossing. The same Swiss guard is seen climbing up onto a tank of the 752nd Tank Battalion to talk to tank commander, First Lt. Herb Mann.


-- Photo by Donald Wiedenmayer,

196th Signal Photo Company


Army 1st Lt. Herb Mahn explains to a curious Swiss border guard the operations of a hand held microphone used to communicate with crewmen inside. Wiedenmayer recalls climbing onto the tank and submitting the photo for consideration to Fifth Army headquarters. Mahn has a copy of the print in his Connecticut home ever since the war and was delighted to learn the photographer, Donald Wiedenmayer of the 196th Signal Photo Company had captured the special moment for history.




Fellow photographer Don Wiedenmayer, 28, sits on the Italian-Swiss border gate at Munster, Switzerland, May 1945.


-- Photo by Burke O’Connell,

196th Signal Photo Company



Burke shakes hands with Corporal Weintraub of the 163rd Signal Photo Company at Resia Pass across the Italian-Austrian border.


“After the American tanks had taken up positions along the road and the squads of infantrymen were deployed, Don and I noticed across the border some infantry soldiers steadily coming our way,” O’Connell recalled.


 “One of them enthusiastically started running toward me. I saw he was carrying what appeared to be a Speed Graphic still camera.” “My God, I thought, he’s an Army photographer.”


The U.S. Seventh Army marched all across Europe and there in the little town of Nauders in Austria, had finally linked up with the one who had started the whole fight in Italy three years before, General Mark Clark’s small but courageous, Fifth Army.


-- Photo by Donald Wiedenmayer, 196th Signal Photo Company


163rd Signal Photo Company Photographers - Group Photograph

They “Shot” the Invasion - Southern France – June 27, 1944 – You’ve seen the pictures, now you can see the men who risked their lives to obtain photographs of the huge invasion of France. Members of an Army Signal Corps Photographic Combat Unit (163rd SPC) are: left to right; Private Louis Weintraub, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Pfc. Francis P. Lee, New York City; Lieut. George A. Steck, Euclid, Ohio; T/Sgt. Val C. Pope, Compton, Calif., and Pfc. Walter Rosenblum, N.Y.


Click here to register a veteran with the WW II Memorial Registry! The memory of America's World War II generation is preserved within the physical memorial and through the World War II Registry of Remembrances, an individual listing of Americans who contributed to the war effort. Any U.S. citizen who helped win the war, whether a veteran or someone on the home front, is eligible for the Registry. Names in the Registry will be forever linked to the memorial's bronze and granite representations of their sacrifice and achievement.

196th Signal Photo Company Photographers - Selected Photos

These special tribute pages features some of the significant still photography of five Army Signal Corps photographers who served in the 196th Signal Photo Company. They include:

Harry Morgan / Cecil "Max"Campbell / John Mason / Donald Wiedenmayer / Jerry Kosseff

Index to 196th Signal Photo Company - Still Photo Gallery

Known Army Signal Corps photographs attributed by Signal Corps serial number to individual members of the 3131st Signal Service Company and the 196th Signal Photo Company, Italian Campaign, 1944-1945. These photos were obtained from the National Archives and the public domain.

A-F / G-L / M-R / S-Z


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Home / About the Co-Authors / About the Book / The Latest - Author Events / Edmund Burke O'Connell / Media Inquiries / Screenplay / Villa Calamai / Donald Wiedenmayer / Contact the Authors / Buy the Book


Historical Resources

O'Connell's Equipment: Bell & Howell 35mm Eyemo Camera

Captain Melvin Gillette / Architect of the Army Pictorial Service

Selected Reference Materials (Orders and Official Documents) / Army Pictorial Service - North Africa

196th SPC - Awards and Decorations / 196th SPC Roll of Honor / 196th SPC - Unit History

/ 196th SPC - Campaign for Sicily / 196th SPC - Motion Picture Coverage / 196th - Still Photo Coverage

 Bibliography / Veteran's History Project / Nauders Crossroads - 1945


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© The Last Farewell - A journey of the heart

By Edmund Burke O'Connell and co-authors Julie Whitman Jones and Thomas J. Sullivan, Jr.

email the authors: info@thelastfarewell.net


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