Welcome to Lost Images of World War II, featuring the photo collection of my grandfather, Staff Sergeant Jerry Pinkowski of the 347th Ordnance Depot Company. These photos serve as a chronicle of his journey across France, Luxembourg and Germany during the war in Europe as his unit chased General Patton's Third Army. After coming home, his pictures of World War II were put away in a dusty hatbox and forgotten for almost 50 years, until they were rediscovered after his death in 1993. With the chance lost of learning of his experiences directly, I set about researching the photos, themselves to unlock their mysteries and retrace his steps across a war-torn continent.
--T. Scott Pinkowski
SPOTLIGHT GALLERY: UNKNOWNS
Many photos have not been identified yet. Sometimes I can narrow the photo down to a region or timeframe, but other times it takes hard work, luck, or the help of a knowledgeable visitor. If you see something you recognize, contact me!
SPOTLIGHT GALLERY: THE MACHINES
From the American Jeeps and trucks that he worked on to wrecked aircraft of the defeated Luftwaffe, the legendary machines of war that S/Sgt. Jerry Pinkowski photographed can be found in this gallery.
SPOTLIGHT GALLERY: PANORAMAS
Some of the photos of S/Sgt. Jerry Pinkowski are actually tiles of a larger panoramic view. Digital photo editing has made viewing these panoramas possible with an ease never dreamed of in his 1945 darkroom.
ABOUT THIS COLLECTION
The hundreds of exposures that make up this photo collection were discovered after the death of my grandpa in 1993. Of course, I had known that grandpa was a World War II veteran, but the details of his service were always vague. Like many war veterans Jerry Pinkowski was tight-lipped about his service and it was very difficult to get anything out of him in the way of stories or information. I might have heard him talk about the war on only one or two occassions. I learned more from talking to my Dad over the years. As his son, he was obviously more successful in gleaning information from the old veteran than I was. I found out that Grandpa was not considered fit for service. He was 4-F to hear him tell it! But more likely he was 1-Y, or available for limited service only in war time. He broke his arm as a child and it healed incorrectly, limiting his range of motion in his left arm. Personnel needs being what they were as the country geared up for war, a grateful nation accepted his service and expertise as a trained mechanic. He was also a hobbyist photographer, and this photo collection is the result of him continuing that hobby during his service to his country. He became a soldier but he also became, perhaps unintentionally, a recorder of history. (Read-More)