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Sgt Al Brown Memoir ::

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

dogface soldiers
photographer bios

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

         Official War Photographer

Cpl. (T5) Howard B. "Nick" Nickelson (1917-2006): 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 along with Jack Cole were the first two photographers assembled for this unit on the Anzio beachhead. 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 to become a geological engineer working for several mines in Montana and then worked 25 years for 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.

Sgt. (T4) William Toomey (1917-1979): 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 Third Division at Anzio in Feb. 1944 seeing frontline duty as part of the Third Reconnaissance Battle Patrol which was instrumental in the Anzio breakout to Rome through Cisterna, Cori and Valmontone. He was reassigned as a photographer in the Third Signal Company in July 1944. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his photography in France and Germany. 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 operated a portrait studio on the south side for more than forty years. 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 for his photography in France and Germany.

Sgt. (T3) John D. "Jack" Cole: Cole joined the army from Texas. Originally 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 Third Division known as Fuzzy's Folly.

Pfc. Robert S. "Bobby" Seesock: Seesock joined the photographic team as a new recruit in Italy.

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