Photo AlbumBlue leatherette bound photo album containing photographs from Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1954. Measuring 14" x 11" with 172 standard 3.5" x 4.5" photos, plus six 8" x 10" photos, with 50 images showing parachute jumps. Most photos in black and white but three are notably in color, two depicting a crew of GIs huddled around a fire and wielding their pistols after having had a few drinks. Another color photo depicts a GI in combat gear crouched in a forest clearing, squatted and using a field telephone. Some highly impressive shots of GIs taking a leap off of a Fairchild C-123 Provider cargo plane, as well as ground shots of the multitudes of parachuters floating down. A few aerial shots of the parachute drops, including one on what appears to be a ski slope. Other subjects photographed include life on and off base, family, automobiles, and a strong general feeling of camaraderie in the men pictured. Numerous images of a multiracial crew of GIs, a testament to a feeling of group solidarity in a time of overall very fraught race relations.
The Korean War had recently concluded in 1953, but the American military machine was still at full hum, with limited intervention in Vietnam coming in 1955. The 82nd Airborne as a unit originated in 1917 as a land-based unit, and first saw combat in the Western Front of WWI. In the Second World War, the unit was highly active in the European theater, participating in the airborne assault of Normandy during Operation Overlord and later in the occupation of Berlin. The unit was not deployed to Korea, but instead kept as a strategic reserve by military high command in case of a Soviet ground attack, domestically or elsewhere. In light of that, the troops depicted in this photo album do not seem to be in fear of a Soviet invasion, given their persistent grins and ample time for leisure and bonding.