Salvas, Adrien J.

Adrien J. Salvas was born in Franklin N.J. (Sussex County) on December  9th, 1914.

He graduated from Franklin High School, Class of 1932, and soon began working with and learning photography with C.E. Engelbrecht in nearby Lake Mohawk, N.J. and then worked briefly as a photographer at the Sussex County Independent, one of two local newspapers at that time.

He subsequently moved to Miami Beach, FL, where he worked for a public relations firm whose accounts included various hotels in the area, including the Roney Plaza, a major hotel, and a favorite of vacationing Hollywood stars.

He photographed many Hollywood stars including Joan Crawford, Glen Ford, Lucille Ball, Judy Garland, and also famous gangster Al Capone at his son’s wedding in Miami on December 31, 1941.

Adrien entered the army and joined the Signal Corps in 1942, and later, his first overseas assignment was at a base near Cambridge, England.

He left there just after the June 6, 1944 D-Day Invasion of Normandy Beach, and photographed the Normandy area in the days after the invasion.

He then moved with the army eastward through Paris, covering the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 and into Germany by 1945.

He served in the Army during World War II as an officer in charge of the combat photo unit with the 35th Infantry Division of Patton’s Third Army.

He was awarded the Bronze Star and Oak Leaf Cluster.

In March 1945, Adrien was the officer in command of the 4th Detachment of the 166th Signal Photographic  Company.  His detachment consisted out of T/5 Arthur Herz (stills), T/4 Robert Brill (movie), T/4 Bernard Caliendo (movie) and T/5 Theodore Halkias (still).


April 1945, Det #4 found itself in the heart of Germany, while Patton’s Third Army was moving rapidly into Thuringia.  The 4th Armored Division and 89th Infantry Division had just liberated the first concentration camp in Germany, shortly followed by the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp and the underground aircraft factory “REIMAHG” near Kahla in the Saale Valley.

He was discharged from the army in the fall of 1945, and came home to marry JoAnne V. Gibb of Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., on November 24, 1945.

They settled in New York City, and soon moved to Newton, N.J. where he returned to work for the Sussex County Independent as a photographer.

He and JoAnne had two children, Adrien and Michele.  In 1955 he found employment with Jersey National Liquor Company, based in Paterson, N.J., as a salesman. He remained with them for 29 years, retiring in 1984 at age of 70. He continued to live in Newton, N.J., until the 1990’s, when he purchased a home in the San Diego, CA, area, where he passed away on August 20, 2000 at the age of 85. He is buried in Newton, N.J.

Adrien’s legacy lives on.  His daughter Michele kept a large amount of original photographs and documents, which allows us today to discover the important work Adrien realized.

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