Friday, July 25, 2014

The League of Nations

A visit to Switzerland in 1946 involved touring a number of venues. On a "G.I." tour my Dad collected a number of post cards.  "Le Palais des Nations" was included in his collection.

Geneva (Switzerland) it reads on the back.  Mont-Blanc is pictured above the horizon.  An impressive site it must have been coming from Winchester, KY with a population of 8,000 souls.

The Bureau of International Travail is pictured next.  There must have been lots of folks visiting this place around the League of Nations.  International travel would certainly be involved, but it looks like "Le Palais des Nations" takes up a little more space.

A third post card is labeled "Geneve, Notre-Dame et place de Cornavin".  A little different angle it is.  First you traveled, had meetings, and then prayed?  Or is it the other way around?   A busy time in 1946 must have been The League of Nations.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Chateau de Chillon 1946

Past postcards filled a box kept by my father since 1946.  The "Great War" had just ended, and he was part of the "Army of Occupation" that resided in Germany after the war.  On leave, he visited Switzerland, and collected a number of postcards.  The following are two of the "Chateau de Chillion".

Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, near Montreux, it has occupied a place in history since the Bishops of Sion found a site many years ago.

The dungeon has been home to a number of distinguished guest.  In 1946, my Dad was at least a visitor.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

88 Birthdays

My Dad is 88 years old today.  As a child growing up in the 1950's, I thought reaching the age of 60 years was getting "really old".  Now reaching the age of 88 is not that usual, and not that "really old" since I have passed the age of 60!   How times change.  The following is a picture of Dad some 88 years ago.

Facing the world in is walker.  Let's get going into these 88 years he seems to be saying.  Happy Birthday Dad this July 8, 88 Birthdays later.  Let's keep going.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

On Leave

Being in Germany 1946, must have had its unique experiences.  To have a weeks "leave" would certainly bring all the smiles to the faces.  Here are some.

The back row certainly seems all smiling where my Dad stands back row left (looking forward at the picture).  Heading to Switzerland is the plan for these fellows of the 9th Army Air Force.

My Dad collected a lot of post cards from this visit in 1946.  The following is one.

Basel, Munster it says in the lower right.  On the back in small print it reads: "Bale, La Cathedrale".  It would certainly be a place you might want to visit on leave.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Black Widow

Toward the end of WWII, Northrop produced a night fighter called the P-61.  It was given the name "Black Widow" after the venomous spider.  Wikipedia writes that no P-61 ever engaged in combat with a German jet fighter.  The following photograph of my Dad standing beside a P-61 is shown below.

It was 1946.  It was taken at an airfield near Munch.  On the back of the photo my Dad wrote:

"P-61 with a Jet-German Plane to its credit.  Also called "Black Widow".  Send more pictures in next letter."

Trying to enlarge the picture, I could only produce the following:

It is not very clear, but he is pointing to a marking on the plane that he interpreted as a "Jet-German Plane".  This would seem to suggest that this P-61 took credit for a German jet fighter?  The picture is a clear documentation that at least one P-61 took credit for this activity.

The 424th Night Fighter Squadron, Oberpfaffenhofen Air Depot, near Munich used the P-61.  Does any one out there have information regarding this squadron of the 9th Air Force.  My Dad seemed to think that this P-61 took down a jet.  He was there.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hotel Jura 1946

Arriving Basle, Switzerland after months in war ravaged Germany 1946, must have been a delight.  My Dad kept a shoe box full of post cards and pictures of the days spent here.  Hotel Jura must have been one special stop over since the following was kept:

It must have been a hotel card to write your name and room number, but you can see that Dad did neither.  It is stated "Opposite main railway station"...well here is a post card he kept...

I assume it is the main railway station at this time.  Very impressive indeed it is...just across the German border.

Now if you needed a watch just "turn over please"...

Here is a list of  "qualified watch maker's shop", and a list of the members of the Swiss Watchmaker's Association of 1946.  There are lots of names here, and there must have been lots of watches.  If you could not afford a watch, the card suggested buying  "Swiss Postage Stamps  as Souvenir".   Also, there were two "Movie-Houses" that presented "the best Original American Films in your own lingo."  Wonder what was showing in 1946 for the Hotel Jura?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Government Issue

What you wear, what you eat, what you shoot, what you sleep upon...etc...etc...are all government issue in this army of occupation 1946.   This theme became the word "G.I." which was applied to all those in this army.

Now who would have thought a few days off would also be G.I. issue.  The above is a copy of such a offer.   It was in a group of post cards that were collected during a visit to Switzerland.   Montreux was one option.   There were five tour options given by the tourist-office Montreux (in the center of the town).  You just had to ask at the hotel where you were staying.

The small pamphlet contained a page shown above. 

       "Does not the sweat smiles of these lovely girls tempt you to take the motor-boat to Montreux-Plague?"

Duh...what do you think...Mr. Tour Guide...

It must have worked for my is a post card from the visit.  Montreux-Clarens #987 post card it is.  "Government Issue" it was.