Pictorial History of the 63rd
Infantry Division in Combat-Page 54
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Special collection of combat photos taken by Pfc William J.
Toomey of Everett, Massachusetts and his fellow
photographers of the 3rd Signal Company, 3rd Infantry
Division-  Permission to use these photos was granted by Pfc
Toomey's son- Denis Toomey.
These photos pertain to combat in the Colmar, France area during the period January- February 1945.  
While only a few of them depict actual scenes involving the 254th Infantry Regiment, I thought those I
have selected for posting provided an excellent view of what it was like to be in combat during that
terribly cold winter.  So when you see a scene, just put yourself in the place of those in the photos and
experience pure misery. Those of you who were with me in the Colmar battles will understand the
significance of the experiences depicted by these photos.  I apologize for those photos that graphically
display the bodies of dead soldiers, but then that is the reality of what we experienced and I thought you
should know how terrible war really is.
Algerian troops in the Vosges Mountains- Dec 44
A 15th Infantry Regimental Ambulance passes French Algerian troops on foot and with
packhorses in the Vosges mountains near Plainfaing, France December 1944.  Who from the
254th Infantry Regiment doesn't remember these fierce fighters?
Third Division soldiers in camouflage- Dec 1944
Third Infantry Division soldiers deployed in snowy positions wearing
camouflage covers for their uniforms.  Problem-  The Germans had the same
type of camouflage covers and it was difficult to tell friendly from enemy.
Third Division soldiers in defensive positions- Dec 44
Third Infantry Division soldiers in defensive positions- Dec 1944.
A 155-mm "Long Tom" in position in Guemar, France around 20 Jan 1945.  The attack from
Guemar called for crossing the frozen Fecht River towards Ostheim and the Ill River near
Riedwihr.  About this time the 28th Infantry Division was reassigned from the "Battle of the Bulge"
area and moved to the Third Infantry Division's right flank next to the 254th Infantry Regiment.
Graves Registration area- Ribeauville, France  Jan 1945
Soldiers killed in action in the Colmar area are collected at a Graves Registration
Point located in Ribeauville, France- January 1945
Ostheim, France January 1945
View of Ostheim, France seen by soldiers of the Third Infantry Division as
they entered the town after liberating it from the Germans.-  Note the church
steeple on the right of the photo and the stork's next on top of the steeple.  The
last time I passed through Ostheim a few years ago a stork's nest was still
there-  not likely the same one.
Bailey Bridge near the Maison Rouge, Ill River
The 30th Infantry Regiment advanced to the Maison Rouge Bridge across the
Ill River where a tank from the 756th Tank Battalion commanded by Lt John
Harmon collapsed the standing bridge.  Without supporting armor the attack
was pulled back as American troops held the bridgehead against strong German
counterattacks.  Photo shows the site after a Bailey Bridge was placed over the
river around 25 January 1945.
Ostheim, France 23 Jan 45
A view of Ostheim, France on 23 January 1945 where the 7th Infantry
Regiment held against a counterattack from Houssen.
Go to Pictorial History Page 55 for continuation of this group
of photos.

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