A Brazilian soldier poses for a portrait after the war. His shoulder patch illustrates the wide variety in style, reflecting the multitude of creators. The tin versions, such as what he wears, were generally unpopular compared to the cloth patch.
A soldier of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force decked out in winter gear. The jacket is a liner from an M43 field jacket turned inside out.
Lt. Gen. Truscott decorates a lieutenant of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force. The patch worn by the Lt. evoked the “smoking cobra” nickname that the BEF took for itself, repurposing the rumor in Brazil, prior to her declaration of war, that Hitler had said it “more likely for a snake to start smoking than for Brazil to join the war”. Although officially sanctioned, most of the patches were produced in Italy by local craftsmen.
Brazilian Expeditionary Force, Winter Operations, Italy 1944-1945
11th INFANTRY REGIMENT; BOMBIANA
About to leave for a night recon patrol, this soldier from I/11th Infantry wears a loose, non-reversible snow-camouflage suit made by the Brazilian QM depot in Livorno. (The Brazilians also used US M42 snow parkas.) Under it he wears a US “tanker jacket” (properly, “winter combat jacket”), and note the four-buckle overshoes. His weapon is an M1 Thompson .45 cal submachine gun.
PRIVATE, 1st INFANTRY REGIMENT; MONTE CASTELLO
As from December 1944, much-needed US winter gear arrived in quantity in the regimental depots of the Brazilian division. This soldier belonging to III/1st Infantry is seen after the consolidation of positions taken from the enemy on Monte Castello in late February 1945. He wears an M43 pile cap, M43 field-jacket liner worn inside out to expose the pile lining, bib-front winter combat trousers, and four-buckle overshoes.
RIFLE PLATOON LEADER
This platoon leader on patrol can hardly be distinguished from the enlisted men he commands. He wears a US-made “jeep cap,” and his shortened Brazilian officer’s coat is covered by a US field jacket displaying the “BRASIL” sleeve shield. The magazines of his M3 “grease gun” are taped together, and extra magazines are carried in his front trouser pockets. (The M3 was not standard issue to rifle platoons, but small numbers were available in the HQ sections of rifle companies, and were issued for duties such as patrols.) This segundo-tenente is one of many Brazilian officers who opted for US-made double-buckle boots.
Alongside the Brazilian Expeditionary Force, an army endeavour, the Brazilian Air Force contributed two squadrons to the fight as well, a the 1oGAVCA, a fighter squadron flying mostly P-47s, and the 1oELO, an observation squadron flying the Piper L-4, such as the one above.
(de Campos Collection)
With the fighting over in Europe, the Brazilian Expeditionary Force began to be shipped home. These men parade through São Paulo in August of 1945.
(WW II Veterans Association)
Newly arrived home from fighting in Europe, BEF Private Marino poses in uniform with his parents.
Brazilians pose with one of the thousands of German POWs taken in late May, as they advanced north through Italy.