THEN NOW

On January 28, 1943, the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, met with Getúlio Vargas in Natal, RGN, to discuss mutual collaboration in the war effort. The meeting, held on board a North American destroyer moored in the port of Natal (located on the banks of the Potengi River), became known as the "Potengi Conference".
Roosevelt came from Casablanca, Morocco, where he met Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, and Charles De Gaulle, leader of the French Free Forces.
Among the subjects discussed at the Meeting were the protection of the South Atlantic and the increase in the production of rubber and other inputs in the Amazon, essential for the manufacture of war material by the United States. They also discussed Brazil's more effective participation in the conflict, giving rise to the Brazilian Expeditionary Force. They visited the works of the Parnamirim air base and the port of Natal, used by the Americans.
The presidents released a joint statement, stating: “We had the opportunity to study the security of the Americas. We are convinced that each of the American republics is equally affected and interested in it. The strength is in unity ”.
In the photo on the side: Pres. Roosevelt (in the left front seat) and the driver, USAAF captain, David Channing Moore. In the back seat, on the left, is Pres. Getúlio Vargas and Admiral Jonas Howard Ingram, Commander of the Fourth American Fleet in Brazil, during World War II.
The black cuff used on the left arm of Pres. Roosevelt, is still mourning the death of his mother, on September 7, 1941. He used it for two years.
When I visited, the photo site next door, in november 2017, it was being renovated.

THEN NOW

Near Sick Bay, at the Base of the Hydroplane of Natal, RGN, where the 17th Field Artillery Group (17th GAC) is currently located.
During his visit to Brazil, in January 1943, President Roosevelt talks to the Vice-Consul of Natal, Mr. Harold Sims, while President Vargas speaks to Rafael Fernandes, an intervener in Rio Grande do Norte.
Caption credit: Fred Nicolau.

THEN NOW

During the time that the city of Natal, RGN, was "occupied" by the American military who served in Campo de Parnamirim, several of them stopped in front of a house window to talk to a beautiful young woman at the window. The house was located on Av. Rio Branco, almost on the corner of Rua Apodi. Nowadays it is in ruins, leaving only part of the facade wall that is easily identified by the old photograph.

THEN NOW

American soldiers serving at the base of Parnamirim have fun on the sands of Ponta Negra Beach, in Natal, RGN.
In the background, you can see the "Morro do Careca".

THEN NOW

The famous control tower of Parnamirim Field, in Natal, RGN, probably in 1942 or 1943.
In the old photo, you can see another tower in the background. It was the first tower built at the air base.
It was knocked down to build hangars.
Caption credit: Fred Nicolau.

THEN NOW

Balcony of the Grand Hotel of Natal, RGN.
During the time that the city was "occupied" by the foreign military, a young, unidentified waiter serves a group of US soldiers from the US Army Air Forces, and the Air Transport Command.
The Hotel operated from 1939 to 1987.
In 1991 the building was listed by the State Historical Patrimony, and currently houses offices of the judiciary in Natal.
It is located at Praça Cap. José da Penha, Ribeira neighborhood, in front of the church of Bom Jesus das Dores, covered by the trees in the current photo.
Caption credit: Fred Nicolau.

THEN NOW

American military ceremony at the Alecrim Cemetery, in Natal, RGN.
In this cemetery, the allied military personnel, killed in accidents, were buried during the operation of the Parnamirim Field Base.
At the end of the war, the remains of these soldiers were repatriated. Only one remained there.
Caption credit: Frederico Nicolau.

THEN NOW

Late 1941.
Panair do Brasil Pier, on the Potengi River, in Natal, RGN.
People and company employees await the mooring of a Pan Am Boeing 314 to Africa.
Caption credit: Fred Nicolau.

THEN NOW

Former Miguel Couto Hospital, in Natal, RGN.
It was used to host authorities who frequently visited the city during the time that Parnamirim Field was in full swing (until mid-1944, shortly after the Normandy Invasion). Today it belongs to the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, it was added one more floor, and received a new name: Honofre Lopes.
Caption credit: Fred Nicolau.