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March 24, 1945

513th PIR Insignia

Robert Capa and the 513th PIR, Part II

by James|November 8, 2011

As mentioned in a previous post, Robert Capa jumped with the 513th PIR into Germany to cover Operation Varsity as a photojournalist for Life Magazine. The results of his embedded efforts were published in the April 23, 1945 issue of the magazine. Capa had no formal parachute training but he had allegedly previously jumped into combat with the 82nd Airborne during the invasion of Sicily in 1943.

I have always admired the article’s title page photograph of nineteen year-old Sgt. John Conboy. In typical fashion, Capa has perfectly captured his subject. The photo’s low angle and strong lighting, combined with Conboy’s Mohawk, fighting knife and combat equipment present the viewer with a portrait of a confident WWII airborne warrior.

Here is a video excerpt from Robert Capa – In Love and War featuring an interview of John Conboy, wherein he tells the story of being photographed by Robert Capa on the morning of March 24, 1945.

> Read Part: 1 of Robert Capa and the 513th PIR

Categories: 17th Airborne, Featured

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