In this section we publish assorted Now & Then comparison photographs in the well-known Battledetective Now&Then format.  Each of these comparisons has its own story. They do not fit the regional Now&Then categories; nor are they as such part of our case files. 
Sometimes, during our investigations, we stumble upon situations just asking for a modern day - or period -  comparison. Also, the veterans we met make a fascinating subject for Now&Then publication.

(click on the images for the full-size Now&Then comparisons)

Normandy  Holland(1) Holland(2)  Ardennes  Wordwide

 

Private First Class Bill Galbraight

Bill Galbraight served in "I" Co./506th in Normandy and as an aide to Captain Kiley of the S3 (Operations) section of 3rd Bn./506th in Holland. Bill was severely wounded in Eindhoven.

 

Colonel Robert E. Jones

Bob Jones was Commanding Officer of "H" Co./502nd in Holland, the company of Medal of Honor recipient PFC Joseph E. Mann. Unfortunately Bob Jones died in September 2007.

 
SGT George Mullins

George Mullins served in the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment. In 2004 in Eindhoven someone remarked that George rather looked like a Viet Nam veteran than a World War Two vet.

 
Technical Sergeant Lud Labutka

Lud served in "E"Co./502nd. We met him in July 2007 during his first visit to his former battlefields.
Lud died on the 7th of April 2011.


 
Staff Sergeant Ray Nagell

Ray served with the 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division. Ray and his wife Helen visit The Netherlands more than once a year.

 
Corporal William Priest
Bill Priest served as a cannoneer with the 377th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion (PFAB), attached to the 101st, jumped into Normandy on D-day and Holland during Operation "Market Garden" and fought in the
Ardennes and Germany.
Bill suffered frozen feet and hands and a
pneumonia from The Battle of the Bulge.
Bill's "Now-"photograph can also be seen in the, not-so-correct, Now&Then comparison photo on our homepage.
"Then" was in Bavaria (Germany) around VE-Day.
Today, Bill resides in Florida.
 
Colonel Tom Kennedy

Tom served as a 2nd Lieutenant in "G" Co./506th in World War Two. After the war he became a career soldier and retired as a Lieutenant-Colonel.

 
"Babe" Heffron & Bill Guarnere

Bill and Babe of "Easy" Company/506th need no introduction since the HBO hit TV-series "Band of Brothers" gave them superstar status.

 
Dutch YPR765 and British M5 tanks on Demer, Eindhoven

This is almost the exact Now&Then location. The Royal Netherlands Army pulled a recruitment stunt during shopping hours on Demer. On September 18th 1944, British tanks moved towards Arnhem through this same street as part of Operation "Market Garden".

 
Koningshoeven Bridge, Tilburg, The Netherlands (same type as in Son 1944)

The bridge of Koningshoeven in the Dutch city of Tilburg is an exact copy of the one in Son, just before the Germans blew it up on Sunday September 17th 1944.

 
Koningshoeven Bridge, Tilburg, The Netherlands (same type as in Son 1944)

Another view of what the first objective of the 506th was during Operation "Market Garden".

 
101st soldiers take five on curb in Afghanistan and Eindhoven.

Soldiers of the 101st take five on a roadside curb. Afghanistan and Eindhoven and almost 65 years later.


 
Photo Reenactment on Brahms Straat in Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Battledetectives Tom and Ivo starred as extra's in a clear case of 'photo reenactment'. The men and women of www.yankreenactment.nl have recreated scenes in numerous period photographs. This is Brahms Straat in Nijmegen in September 1944.

 

Photo Reenactment on Dominicanen  Straat in Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Another reenacted photograph. In the original photo we see paratrooper Dennis O’Loughlin taking his wounded buddy Otis Sampson - both members of “E” Co./505th Parachute Infantry Regiment - to an aid station in a jeep. This is Dominicanen Straat in Nijmegen, September 1944.

 

Photo Reenactment on Sonniuswijk in Son, The Netherlands

This Now & Then comparison was made almost exactly 66 years after the original one was taken. The location is on the same road, Sonniuswijk in Son, but only about a mile or two west of the town since its development has largely expanded after the war. The paratrooper in the original photo is Bernard M. Nakla, giving candy to local girl Anneke van Nostrum. Battle detective Tom stood in for Nakla.

Photo Reenactment on Frankrijk Straat in Eindhoven, The Netherlands
A very short paratrooper poses on Frankrijk Straat. The civilian is identified as Mr. Kluytmans. The paratrooper may have been a runner, judging from the way of tying his boot laces loosely.

 

 

 

 

Photo Reenactment on Bleek Straat in Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Paratroopers of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment lean on the fence along Dommel River on Bleek Straat in Eindhoven. It is speculated that the paratrooper holding the souvenir wooden shoes is Frank Perconte of E Company of the 506th.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Reenactment  Eindhoven, The Netherlands
The "Now-" picture has been taken mere yards from the previous one.
Paratroopers of 3rd Bn. - 506th patrolling  in downtown Eindhoven on September 18th 1944.
It is assumed though, that the "Then-" photograph was taken on Stratumse Dijk near the indoor "Sportfondsenbad" swimming pool.
Photo Reenactment on Boschdijk in Eindhoven, The Netherlands
A local toddler admires the M1 Garand rifle of a paratrooper on the corner of Bond Straat and Boschdijk in Eindhoven on September 18th 1944.

 

 

Photo Reenactment in Eindhoven, The Netherlands
A paratrooper enjoys a break and some female company somewhere in Eindhoven on September 18th 1944.
Battle Detective Tom acted as "hand model" in the right corner of the "Now-"Photo.
Photo Reenactment  Son, The Netherlands
We choose a location in the town of Liempde, close to Son, where the original photo was taken. The photo shows personnel of 506th Parachute Infantry Regimental Headquarters talking with Chaplain MacGettigan; center of photograph with Communion set on his back.
Photo Reenactment in Veghel, The Netherlands
Medics of the 3026 Airborne Medical Company pose in front of the Saint Lambertus Church in Veghel. "Then-" picture is often used  to illustrate the cooperation between Dutch resistance and US Forces. The resistance fighter in the black suit has been identified as Mr. Van den Meerenakker.
Battle Detective Tom poses as the absent-minded medic at left. Battle Detective Ivo is the center airborne medic.
Photo Reenactment in Veghel, The Netherlands
This picture is also featured in our Now&Then Holland page.
It shows Medic Billl France and Private Leonard Cinquanta of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment flanking local girl Greetje de Wit in the harbor of Veghel.

 
Photo Reenactment of Battle of Arnhem, The Netherlands
At the 2011 edition of the Bussum Bridgehead history event, the men and women of Living History Group Holland recreated a scene as depicted on German photos of British airborne jeeps, trailers and equipment discarded after the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944. "Then-photo" is from the Bundesarchiv in Germany and taken behind the Hartenstein Hotel in Oosterbeek.
Photo Reenactment of General Taylor, The Netherlands
"Then-photo" shows General Maxwell D. Taylor, commander of the 101st Airborne Division just before take-off in England for Operation "Market-Garden", September 17th, 1944.
"Now-photo" was taken in 1976 when actor Paul Maxwell, playing General Taylor, reenacted the scene for the film production
"A Bridge Too Far".
Captain Arie Dirk Bestebreurtje
His name was too difficult to pronounce for his drill sergeant who named the later Dutch commando "Distribution" as it phonetically sounds like his Dutch family name. Bestebreurtje became the liaison officer of General Gavin, commanding the 82nd Airborne Division, during Operation "Market-Garden".
"Now-photo" was taken in 1976 of Dutch actor Peter Faber, playing "Captain Harry" in the film production "A Bridge Too Far".

Pegasus Bridge, Ranville, France
"Then-Photo": The link-up of Lord Lovat (left)  and his Commandos and Major Howard (center) of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Howard's men captured this bridge in a coup-de-main glider mission in the night before D-Day. This is a scene from the movie "The Longest Day" filmed on the exact same bridge in 1962.
"Now-photo": The bridge replaced by a new river span, "Pegasus Bridge" found a place in the Memorial Pegasus Museum in Ranville in Normandy.
Although the wooden planking is gone, the steel sides still shows battle scars today.

 Market, Eindhoven, Holland, September 18th, 1944
You can't say that the Dutch do not like to party and especially in the Southern city of Eindhoven they know how to celebrate.
This comparison photo was taken in front of the Wildeman Café.
Market, Eindhoven, Holland, September 18th, 1944
Cheering the Dutch national soccer team for victory over the team of Uruguay, Battle Detectives Kim and Tom stand on the same location as admirers of the Allied liberators of World War Two.
Market, Eindhoven, Holland, September 18th, 1944
"Orange is the Color of the Day" as Holland has the chance to win the final in the Soccer World Championships against Uruguay.
Photos taken on Market in front of the Wildeman Café.
Rijn Straat, Arnhem, Holland
An example of the "MacDonald's Index" as a benchmark of freedom. The pre-war Voss department store on Rijn Straat in Arnhem and the post-Battle of Arnhem fast food restaurant in the same building, just a few hundred yards from the Rhine river bridge hardly touched by battle.
Frederic A. Bahlau
"Girls love Veterans!"
First Sergeant Fred Bahlau of HQ Company / 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (later becoming 1st Lieutenant through a battlefield commission) with a European admirer in the "Then-Photo" and a stateside dame in today's photo.


 
Geldropse Weg, Eindhoven, Holland, September 18th, 1944
"Building in background completely changed" was our field investigator's advise for not publishing this Then&Now-comparison on the primary Now&Then-Holland page.
However, the location of a paratrooper removing his helmet after a straining day on Geldropse Weg is correct according to our research on location.
Just the tree is original in this post-war Eindhoven scene.
Eugene E. Gilbreath
We credit Tom Peeters, webmaster of www.battleatbest.com, for identifying PFC Eugene Elbert "Gene" Gilbreath of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. In "Then-" photo he can be seen relaxing with his 2nd Battalion HQ-Company buddies on the day their regiment captured Eindhoven; September 18th 1944. "Now-"photo taken in Nijmegen in 2009 when Gene visited Holland with the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team.

 
Dud enemy missiles
In the 'Now-"photo a soldier of the 1st Bn./506th Infantry Regiment (then part of the 2nd Infantry Division) poses with an Iraqi 120mm mortar round in 2005.
The "then-" photo shows a British paratrooper with an inert Nazi Nebelwerfer rocket on  the grounds of the Hartenstein Hotel during Operation Market Garden in September 1944.
 
Knocked out tank

In the 'Now-"photo a soldier of the 1st Bn./506th Infantry Regiment (then part of the 2nd Infantry Division) poses with an American M1 Abrams Tank which has slid in an Iraqi road side ditch in 2005.
The "then-" photo shows American paratroopers with a knocked out Nazi tank in the Betuwe region of the Netherlands in October1944.

World War 1 Maginot Monument
Near Verdun, France.
The following 7 comparisons are based on a set of 1920's vintage photographs for World War 1 battle tourists. We took their contemporary photos. This monument was dedicated to André Maginot, a French civil servant, soldier, and Member of Parliament. He is best known for his advocacy for the string of forts that would be known as the Maginot Line.
World War 1 American Cemetery
Near Verdun, France. In this cemetery which covers 130.5 acres, rest the largest number of American military dead in Europe, a total of 14,246. Most of those buried here lost their lives during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I.
World War 1 Wounded Lion Monument
Near Verdun, France. In the Douaumont area is the memorial for the men of the 130th Division who fought as part of the Souville Garrison. Its position at the site of the former ruins of the Chapel of Sainte-Fine marks the furthest point which the Germans managed to advance towards Verdun in their attack of 12JUL1916.
World War 1 Trench of the Bayonets Monument
Near Verdun, France. When the battlefield clearance parties began to search the Verdun area after the war, they found what appeared to be a mass grave of men from the French 137th Infantry Regiment. It was thought that they were killed in their trench when the German shelling buried them alive. See our report on this location in Case File 17.
World War 1 Trench of the Bayonets Monument
Near Verdun, France. The story was that an army chaplain found a line of some thirty nine bayonets protruding from the ground: each one marking the location of a body and here the legend started and the spot is marked by a memorial known as the "Trench of the Bayonets".
World War 1 Ossarium Memorial
Near Verdun, France. The ossuary is a memorial containing the remains of both French and German soldiers who died on the Verdun battlefield. Through small outside windows, the skeletal remains of at least 130,000 unidentified soldiers of both nations can be seen filling up alcoves at the lower edge of the building.
 
World War 1 Pennsylvania Monument
Near Verdun, France. This memorial was erected by the State of Pennsylvania in 1927 to honor her sons who gave their lives in France in World War 1.
Screaming Eagles with Mohawks and War Paint
PVT Clarence C. Ware gives PVT Charles R. Plaudo a war paint before emplaning for the jump into Normandy on June 6th 1944. Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) serving in Iraq, follow their example even to their Native-American Mohawks.
Film locations of "A Bridge Too Far", Deventer, Holland
Not without a bit of professional pride we pose on a balcony of an apartment building which was also at this bridge in Deventer -doubling for the one at Arnhem- when the battle scenes of A Bridge Too Far were shot in 1976. Movie crew members went to great lengths obscuring the building from the scenes. We were granted access to this location by an undisclosed resident of the building.

Film locations of "A Bridge Too Far", Deventer, Holland

British Parachute Regiment Lieutenant firing his .303 caliber Lee Enfield rifle at SS troops of Hauptsturmführer Gräbner's reconnaissance unit on Arnhem bridge on September 18th, 1944.

Film locations of "A Bridge Too Far", Deventer, Holland
A Royal Netherlands Army (RNLA) Leopard tank converted into a Nazi Tiger. Paratroopers try to destroy it with a P.I.A.T. anti-tank weapon. These elevated scenes were shot from temporary structures, depicting Dutch houses.
Film locations of "A Bridge Too Far", Deventer, Holland
"Having a go at the far end".
British paratroopers approach the Northern ramp of Arnhem bridge on September 17th, 1944. Seconds before enemy fire erupts.
Film locations of "A Bridge Too Far", Deventer, Holland
Field Marshal Model overlooking the battle raging on Arnhem bridge. This is the Bolswerkmolen windmill not far from the IJssel River bridge in Deventer.
Film locations of "A Bridge Too Far", Deventer, Holland

An abandoned and vandalized mansion on Wilpse Dijk was patched up and used to portray Field Marshal Model's Head Quarters; the Hartenstein Hotel in Oosterbeek, only to be destroyed in the battle scenes.
Today the "Het Schol" mansion has been refurbished into its old glory.

 

Recreation of drowned All American Paratrooper Photo
In the new "Operation Neptune" wing (a building shaped like a C47 wing) we found this recreation of a well-known World War Two photo of an American 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper who drowned in his parachute harness in the inundated Normandy fields during the night of June 5th to 6th, 1944.

American Soldiers moving forward
The "Now- "photo shows US Army soldiers enter an Iraqi structure during the 2003 invasion. Their positions in the picture look similar to those of their fellow-GI's advancing in Normandy in 1944.
"Now-" Photo was published in the Eindhovens Dagblad newspaper.
 

 

 
 
 
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