Edward Targaczewski - Mickey Strand - Veterans Series

Mickey Strand - Veterans Series

The Veterans Portrait Series

Mickey is a retired Navy Photographers Mate, Chief Petty Officer, and was the Leading Chief of the Navy's elite Combat Camera Group Pacific. Mickey's current focus is the Veterans Portrait Series, which documents veterans' stories of service. He is focused on our Worlds' Greatest Generation. The veterans of World War II. 

Mickey interviews each Veteran, collecting and writing their service stories, archiving these notable historic figures and their stories for generations to come. Mickey has collected and displayed images and stories from over 100 warriors that at one point, signed the dotted line when our country needed their sacrifice of service most.  Mickey continues to collect Veterans from all services for the Veterans Portrait Series. In 2019 this body of work was displayed at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre Museum from Nov 11, 2019 — to March 1, 2020.

Mickey and the project were in the national spotlight, featured on the Sunday Today Show with Harry Smith Today Show Link to YouTube.  See the Google 360 Virtual walk through from the Palm Beach Museum Exhibit. Enjoy, and thank you for your help with this project. In 2022 Mickey has photographed over 25 more WW2 Veterans and will be hosting a print show in San Diego in November with an open house on Veterans Day.

Featured Veteran

Edward Targaczewski
US Army
PFC
World War 2

Edward Targaczewski, PFC, born in January 1925, served as an Infantry soldier with the 3rd Battalion, 317th Infantry regiment, 80th Blue Ridge Infantry Division during WW2. 

 Ed, who grew up in Allegheny, PA, enlisted into the army after completing two years of High School on 13 March 1943 at Ft Meade, Maryland. Ed trained with his unit, moved to Scotland, and was deployed into Europe on the 5th of Aug 1944, landing on Utah Beach as the Work Horse of Pattons 3rd Army.

 Ed volunteered as a driver for an M4(105) VVSS Sherman 105mm Howitzer tank because nobody else wanted to drive the tank. The M4(105) was armed with a 105 mm howitzer designed to fire powerful high explosive HE artillery rounds His unit was deployed in a six-tank platoon and provided fire support and smoke to assist the lead tanks. It was not designed to take on enemy tanks. It was an artillery gun fitted inside a tank turret. The M4 had a five-man crew: commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/machine gunner.
See Full story in the WW2 Veterans Page 
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Where can I donate?

I have created a way to accept donations to grow the project, use the WWII Veterans Portrait Series
  Go Fund Me.

Where are you located?

I live in the San Diego area but have traveled to many locations to interview and photograph Veterans.


How Long is an Appointment?

Appointments usually last 1 hour. But please free up time for Mickey to set up lights and cameras, hold the interview, and take some photographs for the project.

Do you accept reservations?

Yes is the simple answer to the question.  Each appointment is set up as an individual session. Group sessions have been set up when I visited a senior living facility or many of the California Veterans Homes.

US Army PFC World War 2 Edward Targaczewski was born in January 1925, served as an Infantry soldier with the 3rd Battalion, 317th Infantry regiment, 80th Blue Ridge Infantry Division during WW2. Ed, who grew up in Allegheny, PA, enlisted into the army after completing two years of High School on 13 March 1943 at Ft Meade, Maryland. Ed trained with his unit, moved to Scotland, and was deployed into Europe on the 5th of Aug 1944, landing on Utah Beach as the Work Horse of Pattons 3rd Army. Ed volunteered as a driver for an M4(105) VVSS Sherman 105mm Howitzer tank because nobody else wanted to drive the tank. The M4(105) was armed with a 105 mm howitzer designed to fire powerful high explosive HE artillery rounds His unit was deployed in a six-tank platoon and provided fire support and smoke to assist the lead tanks. It was not designed to take on enemy tanks. It was an artillery gun fitted inside a tank turret. The M4 had a five-man crew: commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/machine gunner. While out on foot patrol one day, Ed found a Thompson Submachine. Thinking the gun booby-trapped, he secured a line, exited the building, and pulled the Tommy Gun out. He had to clean dirt out of the barrel but got it back into service within 30 minutes. Members of his unit coveted this find for standing guard duty, especially at night. The regiment experienced its first combat in August 1944 when it assisted in closing the gap at Falaise and spearheaded Third Army's attack on Nancy. The regiment moved through the Maginot Line in November and prepared to attack Hitler's West Wall. Ed and the 317th was one of the first units to begin the movement north to relieve the beleaguered American troops in the Ardennes. The Third Army resumed the offensive in February on Valentine's Day, 1945, when they entered the Reich, moved rapidly through the Eifel and Palatinate regions, and crossed the Rhine River. The 317th overran some concentration camps before moving through Nuremberg and into Austria, where the war ended as it prepared for a ferocious battle. After serving as an occupation force, the unit was deactivated in January 1946. Ed was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, w) 3 bronze stars, and the World War 2 Victory Medal. Ed was separated on 24 Jan 1946.
mickey,strand,photograph,nik
Edward Targaczewski - Mickey Strand - Veterans Series
US Army PFC World War 2 Edward Targaczewski was born in January 1925, served as an Infantry soldier with the 3rd Battalion, 317th Infantry regiment, 80th Blue Ridge Infantry Division during WW2. Ed, who grew up in Allegheny, PA, enlisted into the army after completing two years of High School on 13 March 1943 at Ft Meade, Maryland. Ed trained with his unit, moved to Scotland, and was deployed into Europe on the 5th of Aug 1944, landing on Utah Beach as the Work Horse of Pattons 3rd Army. Ed volunteered as a driver for an M4(105) VVSS Sherman 105mm Howitzer tank because nobody else wanted to drive the tank. The M4(105) was armed with a 105 mm howitzer designed to fire powerful high explosive HE artillery rounds His unit was deployed in a six-tank platoon and provided fire support and smoke to assist the lead tanks. It was not designed to take on enemy tanks. It was an artillery gun fitted inside a tank turret. The M4 had a five-man crew: commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/machine gunner. While out on foot patrol one day, Ed found a Thompson Submachine. Thinking the gun booby-trapped, he secured a line, exited the building, and pulled the Tommy Gun out. He had to clean dirt out of the barrel but got it back into service within 30 minutes. Members of his unit coveted this find for standing guard duty, especially at night. The regiment experienced its first combat in August 1944 when it assisted in closing the gap at Falaise and spearheaded Third Army's attack on Nancy. The regiment moved through the Maginot Line in November and prepared to attack Hitler's West Wall. Ed and the 317th was one of the first units to begin the movement north to relieve the beleaguered American troops in the Ardennes. The Third Army resumed the offensive in February on Valentine's Day, 1945, when they entered the Reich, moved rapidly through the Eifel and Palatinate regions, and crossed the Rhine River. The 317th overran some concentration camps before moving through Nuremberg and into Austria, where the war ended as it prepared for a ferocious battle. After serving as an occupation force, the unit was deactivated in January 1946. Ed was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, w) 3 bronze stars, and the World War 2 Victory Medal. Ed was separated on 24 Jan 1946.