[N.p. Edward D. Biggerstaff, Jr., ca. 1945]. Seventeen sepia-toned photographs, each with captioned tissue guard. Oblong 16mo. Original textured wrappers, title printed in dark blue on front wrapper. Minor edge and corner wear, front joint creased. Fore-edge of photographs a bit curled, but clean. Very good. Item #WRCAM55486
Pocket-sized photograph album commemorating the members of the 604th Ordnance Ammunition Company, a unit of African-American soldiers who served as battle support in Italy during World War II. A small line of text on the rear wrapper reads, "Photographs by 1st Lt. E.D. Biggerstaff, Jr." Edward D. Biggerstaff, Jr. was the commanding officer of the 604th Ordnance Ammo. Company, evidenced by his photograph in the album; he is also pictured with the other white company officers in a separate photograph. The album opens with a photograph of the entrance to the company's "Bivouac Area" and an image of the Villa Traxler in Nugola, Italy, which is captioned as "Occupied by 604th Ordnance Ammunition Company." Then, following the images of Biggerstaff and the senior officers, the album features a series of photographs depicting the African-American junior or non-commissioned officers and personnel, beginning with First Sergeant Leroy Crosby. After Crosby's photograph, the album includes group photographs of Crosby with his other five staff sergeants; the company headquarters personnel; the depot office personnel (gathered around a small cannon); kitchen staff; the motor pool (with a separate photograph of their vehicles); separate group pictures of the first, second, and third magazine platoons; the service and supply section; the guard mount; and a photograph of the remaining members of the company who did not appear in the other images. Especially useful in this album are the captioned tissue guards before each photograph, which identify each soldier by name and rank. The album was likely made by or at the behest of commanding officer Edward D. Biggerstaff in an unknown quantity. It appears to be quite rare, as we can locate no other copies in OCLC, auction records, or the trade.