Travels, Sightseeing, and Vintage Postcards
Photographs taken by US Navy sailors in 1944
By Stephen Sherman, April, 2010. Updated March 22, 2012.
The Mediterranean and southern France suffered heavily in World War Two. When my father traveled to this city in the popular tourist destination of the French Riviera, with the USS Denebola in August, 1944, much of the region had been bombed out, but the monuments, churches, hotels, and harbor still attracted the sailors on sightseeing trips. His memoirs, which we pick up here, reflect that.
The French Riviera!
That's the term that started to get tossed around when we left Corsica and set a course northward. We tended to overlook the fact that this area of the world had undergone four years of wartime conditions.
Perhaps if we had been more thoughtful of that, we would not have been so disappointed when the south coast of France turned out to be more of the same.
Actually we stopped at only three places; Toulon, St.Tropez, and St. Maxime. One after another those names sparked our imagination. As we moved from place to place we began to realize that these people and these places were worn down and nearly out. They had had it!
Vintage Postcards of Toulon
|Notice the streetcar, truck, and hand-drawn cart.|
an old narrow street in Toulon
|the port and arsenal; note large yacht in foreground|
|Le Cap Brun, French Riviera|
|Le Port et le Faron, Toulon|
Photographs of Toulon
|Toulon Grand Hotel|
|Toulon street scene|
|Toulon - hillside pillbox|
|wreckage of French fleet in Toulon harbor, scuttled by the Vichy French government in Nov. 1942|
|lighthouse at Toulon|
|warships in Toulon|
|bombed waterfront, Toulon|
|US Navy sailors, eating with the locals, Toulon|
|more scuttled French warships, Toulon|
|the harbor, Toulon|
|bomb-damaged buildings in Toulon|
another Grand Hotel, Toulon
Memoirs and photographs of Milton W. Sherman (1919-2010). He served in the U.S. Navy during WW2, on board the USS Denebola, AD-12, when he was in mid-twenties. On board the Denebola, he sailed to Toulon in late 1944, where he bought these vintage postcards from street vendors and the photos from the ship's photographer. You might enjoy reading a fuller version of his travels in the Denebola.