Abe Joseph

Thanks to Mrs. Elaine Afflerbach, a childhood friend of my Dad's, these pictures of Abe as a young man fighting in World War II have finally come to light. I know you will enjoy them as much as I did.

God bless you and yours in this Holiday season, and have a very Happy New Year!

Click on blue-edged photos for enlargement

"Me and the Fruit Wallas (Peddlers)." India, 1943. "I weigh 152, here," Abe says. One wonders if this was a record high for Dad in those days. In light of recent events, this almost looks like Dad is in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban!

Abe types on the back: "Chungking, China, 4 July 1945. Tall person is Gen. Wedemeyer, CG China Theater."

"Fellows from Allentown," Abe marks this picture, taken in Burma, 1944. This reminds me, I once got in trouble when I tried to use Dad's capital "F" in a school paper. I specifically asked him how to write a capital "F" and the above is what I got.

Another from Burma in 1944, likely shot on the same day since he is wearing the same rolled-up trousers. "See my wash on the line; it finally dried after 1 week."

"Chungking, China. July 1945," Abe types on the back. Then adds, "(ME)" as if he hadn't sent Elaine enough pictures to know him by now. Of course, this one may have needed the extra ID because of the mustache. "P.S. I had a moustache on this picture. Ugly!" We'll be the judge of that! A Syrian Douglas Fairbanks?

"Burma, 1944." Another picture probably taken the same day as the other two labeled Burma. "This is in our Monsoon weather. See the mud!" This also shows a rare event, Dad smoking a cigarette. Actually I never saw him carry a rifle all that much, either.

Another one from Burma, 1944. "At our Fox-hole." These guys look ready for anything, especially someone with a camera. Dad looks especially dashing!

I am indebted to Mrs. Afflerback for keeping these pictures safe all these years. It meant a lot to me to see brand-new pictures of my Dad after all that has happened this year. I know you join me in thanking her for the peek into Dad's early youth as he served our country in East Asia, as many young people do today.

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