Well, my wife and I did the Bastogne march yesterday. What an event. You actually felt like you were in the middle of World War II with all of the reenactors. Most of the reenactors wore their uniforms all weekend, giving the feeling of US Soldiers stationed in town. Military vehicles were everywhere. I will post some photos tomorrow. Until later, please check out the following links:
For a new World War II discussion group that you all might be interested in: MilQuest
Wreaths Across America for Christmas
Wreaths Across America is a non-profit group that start laying wreaths on the graves of US Soldiers 15 years ago. They now have a website and are looking for support in their cause. Their mission: Remember the fallen
Honor those who serve
Teach our children the value of freedom
The group is trying to lay wreaths at over 230 cemeteries across the US. Here is a little history: 2006 will mark the 15th anniversary of holiday wreaths being sent from the State of Maine to Arlington National Cemetery. Each year the folks at Worcester Wreath Company make and decorate wreaths that will adorn over 5000 headstones of our Nationís fallen heroes - in what has become an annual event coordinated with the Cemetery Administration and the Maine State Society.
Please visit their websitefor more information and please help if you can.
Bastogne Memorial March
Well, this time of year there are a lot of different commemorations taking place around the world. December 7 will mark the attack on Pearl Harbor and December 16 marks the anniversary of the Bastogne seige. This will be my first time to go, and unfortunately probably my last opportunity ever. There are three different ways to commemorate the battle...through marching around the city. There are three different marches a person can do, a 3 KM, 7 KM and a 20KM. I decided to go all out and do the 20 KM. Warm clothing will be the order of the day. The march will be on Dec 16 with a festival and other activities taking place in town. Anyone who wants to join me please give me some word. The deadline to register is Dec. 5. You can find more information at the following websites: Bastogne City Bastogne History
Well I have been deployed to Norway and to Sicily over the past few weeks. I am currently in Sicily and unable to make a great posting about Veterans Day. I hope everyone is doing well and please take some time to thank a veteran of any war.
Save the Bomber Art
Here is the website for a professional group working to save the nose art for WWII aircraft. Give the site a look, however, be advised that the images involve nudity.
Institute for Studies in American Military History
The University of Texas has established a continuing education institute, part of which is dedicated to Military History. Dr. Tom Hatfield is heading up the Military Studies portion. Tom is a WWII historian. His interest in WWII started when a member of his community died in WWII. He took his first trip to Europe to visit the battlefields when he was 19. From there his interest in WWII history continued forward. For more information here is the website:
American Military Studies
Texas 60th Veterans
The Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) is searching for information about the following members of the 60th Infantry Regiment:
Edward Pavelka, PFC
Live Oak County, TX
Andres Aguilar, PFC
Presidio County, TX
Ruben R. Marburger, TSgt
Taylor County, TX
Chester A. Golden, 1st Sgt
Young County, TX
Luther C. Martin, PFC
Callahan County, TX
Flem D. Snider, PFC
Comanche County, TX
Lawson R. Gibson, PFC
Dickens County, TX
Melvin J. Pope, Sgt
Hockley County, TX
These men are all buried in the Henri Chapelle Cemetary in Belgium. If you have information about them, please contact the Texas Veterans Commission or me to forward on your information.
Washington D.C. It Is
Well, after a few responses came in (thanks to those of you who wrote) it appears that Washington D.C. will be the best place to host a get together this year. Sorry to those of you on the west coast, but maybe in coming years we will do something out that way. Anyhow, D.C. is the place, now we need a time (looking to the May/June period) and a spot to meet up. More to come.
FDR Operation TORCH Speech
Thanks to the great folks at the FDR Library I just received an audio copy of the speech FDR gave in French at the start of Operation TORCH. The streaming audio of the speech and a translation can be found below:
Hope you find it educational.
Transcribed below is the english version of the speech that Roosevelt gave in French:
After the announcer: My friends, who suffer day and night, under the crushing yoke of the Nazis, I speak to you as one who was with your Army and Navy in France in 1918. I have held all my life the deepest friendship for the French people--for the entire French people. I retain and cherish the friendship of hundreds of French people in France and outside of France. I know your farms, your villages, and your cities. I know your soldiers, professors, and workmen. I know what a precious heritage of the French people are your homes, your culture, and the principles of democract in France. I salute again and reiterate my faith in Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. No two Nations exist which are more united by historic and mutually friendly ties than the people of France and the United States.
Americans, with the assistance of the United Nations, are striving for their own safe future as well as the restoration of the ideals, the liberties, and the democracy of all those who have lived under the Tricolor.
We come among you to repulse the cruel invaders who would remove forever your rights of self-government, your rights to religous freedom, and your rights to live your own lives in peace and security.
We come among you solely to defeat and rout your enemies. Have faith in our words. We do not want to cause you any harm.
We assure you that once the menace of Germany and Italy is removed from you, we shall quit your territory at once.
I am appealing to your realism, to your self-interest and national ideals.
Do not obstruct, I beg of you, this great purpose.
Help us where you are able, my friends, and we shall see again the glorious day when liberty and peace shall reign again on earth.
Vive la France eternelle!
Location for a 60th Regiment Conference
Folks, I am trying to establish a location for a 60th Infantry Regiment conference. Please let me know by going to the 60th Regiment Google Group and posting your interest in location.
60th Regiment Google Group
We have a few choices such as Washington D.C., Chicago, New York, Maryland etc. Please let me know your thoughts and if you are interested in attending. If we have the conference in Chicago, I can guarantee a visit by a veteran of the unit.
Hope to hear from you all soon.
International WWII Conference
Sorry for not posting in a while, lots of family visiting. Anyhow, if you have a chance, try to attend the International WWII Conference in New Orleans. It looks like they are going to have a lot of great speakers. Wish I could go, but alas I am stuck in Germany.
For those who are interested, there are a number of military related blogs out there, of which this blog is a member. To see more click on the following links:
Well, my final posting of the three posts about southern Belgium deals with the town of Blaimont. As my wife and I were preparing for our day trip I did some nightstand reading about Blaimont....here is what caught my attention:
The Medical Detachment, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry, is cited for extraordinary heroism in the face of the enemy on 6 September 1944 when it accompanied the battalion under cover of darkness in assault boats to cross the Meuse River near Blaimont, Belgium, in the face of heavy small arms, mortar, and artillery fire. The detachment advanced with the battalion in the seizure of a steep, wooded hill and the western portion of Blaimont, Belgium, 2200 yards from the river, coming under a fierce enemy counterattack of flame throwers, tanks, artillery, mortar, and machine gun fire and a large number of enemy infantry.
As a result the battalion suffered 14 casualties in addition to those incurred in the river crossing. An aid station had been set up in Blaimont when an enemy counter attack forced the battalion to retire. The enlisted medical personnel, in the absence of a surgeon, removed all equipment and casualties through the woods, down the hill under shell fire and infested with enemy troops to the river.
Finding no boat available, a detachment member swam 100 yards across the river for a boat which enabled the detachment to evacuate wounded across the river through intense fire. During this action many casualties were suffered and the boat was nearly swamped by shrapnel and bullets. Yet this heroic group continued their errand of mercy until the aid station was established on the rear shore and all casualties had been evacuated. Then the detachment, still under fire, recrossed the river, returned to its former site, and treated and evacuated other casualties of the battalion.
This was taken from Eight Stars to Victory, page 233. Remember their great work and sacrifice. The following pictures were taken in the village of Blaimont, looking down towards the Meuse River. You can see the terrain was very very steep as shown by the village you can see in the background of the pictures.
Google Group for discussions
Folks, the time has come for an easier way to communicate, a google group for the 60th Infantry Regiment historic preservationists.
The small village of Hermeton Sur Meuse has a small memorial to the 60th Infantry Regiment. While I do not have a translation from French, if anyone does, please let me know. Here is a large view of the memorial along the Muese: This photo was taken from the west shore of the Muese. The river is just on the other side of the tank and plaque. Here is a photo of the plaque itself: On the other side of the river you can see the terrain rising again, leading to the town of Blaimont which overlooks the area. Blaimont is a very tiny village that had a 60th Regiment aid station. The aid station was over run by the Germans during the attacks on September 6. More from the Blaimont perspective to come.
60th Infantry Belgian Battle Area
My wife and I decided to take a little weekend getaway to south Belgium. Just an overnighter. I had wanted to see the area of Dinant, knowing that the 60th had fought there. Little did we know that the B&B she picked out was smack dab in the heart of where the 60th Infantry Regiment came through the hills of Belgium. Along the Muese River, in a village area called Hastiere Par Dela. This is a picture of the signs to the town.
This is the view looking south from the bridge in Hastiere over the Muese. To the right is where the 60th came over the hills. To the left were the hills owned by the Germans. On September the 4th until around sometime on the 6th or 7th, 1944, the 60th fought a hard battle here. I have to admit it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen and cannot believe that once upon a time a huge battle took place here. The 60th zone started in this town and extended south to the town of Heer. If you have an opportunity to read the story of the 60th in this area, it is amazing. Here is a picture of the local memorial:
We drove through three towns, two of which had monuments dedicated expressly to the 60th Infantry Regiment. I will post more tomorrow on these areas. If you are interested in a family get away, this area has mountain climbing, water skiing and any other outdoor sport you can imagine. More to come!
Web page tutorial
I have had a few requests for information about how to get personal information about World War II onto the internet. Here is a tutorial page to help explain the process. I hope it helps.
My wife and I just finished watching an interesting PBS series called 1940's House. It is a series of episodes about a modern day family living as though they were in a London home during WWII. We were able to rent the DVD through NETFLIX since Germany does not have PBS. Anyhow, it is highly recommended. The entire show lasts about three hours and certainly gives a lot of insight into the "little things" that went on in wartime Britain.
Today is the 62nd anniversary of D-Day. Please take time to remember those who sacrificed.
Have a great Memorial Day folks. Thanks to those who will serve, have served and are serving now.
Since Memorial Day 1945, the Dutch have come out in force to the Margraten Cemetary to remember those who died during WWII. In the past, the cemetary had over 20,000 graves. After many plots were re-buried in the states, the cemetary now has around 8000 sites.
Two things really stuck with me about the ceremony. First, that the Dutch adopt individual graves and put flowers on the graves during special holidays and birthdays of the deceased. As time passes, these graves are handed down to later generations for care and upkeep. That is a lot of wonderful dedication.
The second thing that took me at the ceremony was how many people from Holland, at the ceremony, knew all the words to the Star Spangled Banner. As the ceremony kicked off, the national anthem of Holland was performed. The crowd around me began singing the song in Flemish. Next, the Star Spangled Banner started, we all saluted, and the crowd around me just went straight from Flemish to English and sang the anthem as we saluted. Glad to see the spirit of rememberance continues, even in a country where the holiday is not their own. Here are a few pictures from the ceremony:
Here are the heroes:
Sharp colorguard starting off the ceremony:
This is one man who has been through it all...a member of the Timberwolves Division, he flew out all the way from the states, and this was his second time to do it...that would be me on the right in the blue:
The capstone of the ceremony was a flyover of F-16s from the Royal Netherlands Air Force and F-15s from the USAF:
And of course, who could not take a picture of this fine lady at the end of another Memorial Day Ceremony...Old Glory:
To all heroes past and present who did not make it back to the US, thank you.
60th Veteran Remembered
Here is one veteran of the 60th who saw it all, from North Africa until the war ended in Germany. Colonel Bill Voller, a great one. Thanks to Bill for the picture, and thanks to Jonathan for forwarding it on this way.
Port Lyautey Visit
Just got back from a visit to Morocco last week. One of the great things that I got to see while there was the invasion area of the 60th Infantry Regiment at Port Lyautey. While I did not get into too much detail while there, I was able to see the Kasbah and the invasion beaches.
Here is a shot of the Kasbah:
Here is a picture of the Kasbah after the battle on Nov. 11, 1942:
This is a view looking from the back of the Kasbah toward the beaches where the 60th came ashore. You can see the fortress had a commanding view of the entire invasion and Green Beach was right in their sights:
If anyone wants to go for a visit, let me know.
60th Infantry Map
Sorry for not keeping up with things lately, there have been multiple family emergencies lately.
ENJOY...be sure to select "SATELLITE" for the best image resolution.
Texas A&M Restoring Point Du Hoc
In case you are wondering, I am a graduate of Texas A&M University. One thing that always drew me to the university as a young guy was their relation to World War II...the Corps of Cadets...the history department...General Earl Rudder.....General Rudder was a graduate of Texas A&M and is most well known for the assault he led on Point Du Hoc during D-Day. He led his battalion of Rangers up the cliffs and on to victory. One of the most challenging battles of the war. I had the privelege to meet his widow once upon a time. France was nice enough to provide her with a home near the point. Well, if you have ever visited the point, you know that it is falling into the channel. Thanks to the splendid history department, archaeology department and geology department, Texas A&M is going to take over the land and restore it as much as possible to prevent it from slipping away. Here is a report explaining their plans If you can provide some support, I am sure they will welcome the help.
Rene Malevergne helping the 60th at Port Lyautey
A few years ago I came across a website dedicated to a civilian who did a lot of great work with the 60th Infantry Regiment in their attack on Port Lyautey, November 8, 1942. His story is very interesting, please take a look at the website if you have a chance!
I picked up a book this weekend titled: "D-Day 1944 (2) Utah Beach & the US Airborne Landings." Page 79 shows the 60th's route from Utah beach to the west shore of the Cotentin Peninsula. Page 86 shows the route of advance of the 60th towards Cherbourg on 23 June. Page 81 details the decision to commit the 9th Division to combat and states that the 9th was regarded by General Bradley and General Collins as one of the two best divisions in theater.
The book is clearly written....if you desire a copy here is the ISBN number: 1-84176-365-9
Saturday I took a trip to see the town of Malmedy in Belgium. For those who do not know the history of this area in WWII, it is worth a look. During the Battle of the Bulge a number of Americans were massacred here, aptly titled the Malmedy Massacre. I will not go into too much detail, more information is available around the internet. But, here is a picutre of a memorial in the nearby town of Ligneville. Malmedy is the main town in the area that creates the region (if you will) of Malmedy. So even though the massacre did not take place in Malmedy, the fact that it is in the Malmedy region gives it the name. Here is the picture:
WWII Memorials around Belgium/Luxembourg
One of the things I enjoy doing is trying to visit as many WWII memorials as I can. Not many people realize that here in Europe a lot of great people continue to take care of memorials to those who lost their lives in WWII. Here is a great website that lists just about every memorial in every village and city in the Belgium Luxembourg area. Enjoy.
Last year I began to search out veterans of the 60th Infantry Regiment to collect their memories of the war. One man that I specifically wanted to get in touch with was LtCol Mike Kauffman, who eventually rose to the rank of General. General Kauffman was a member of the 60th as a battalion commander from Port Lyautey onward until the European campaigns. He passed away in the 1990s, but did write a few pages of memoirs that the 9th's famous historian H.G. "Red" Phillips was nice enough to pass along. Here is a copy of these memoirs in PDF format. Gen Kauffman talks in detail, day by day from Port Lyautey until July 3, 1943 about the unit. He writes about deaths, victories and the famous Easter battle of 1943, a battle every vet of the unit cannot forget.
Here is an interesting story from the internet today, a helmet from a paratrooper who died during Operation MARKET GARDEN was returned to his daughter. Here is the article:
Operation MARKET GARDEN helmet
WWII Student Essay Contest
The D-Day Museum in New Orleans is holding an Essay Contest titled by a comment from a personal hero of mine Site:Essay Contest The statement "Can you tell me how we did this?" was uttered by the great Col. James Earl Rudder. Himself a Texas Aggie, after leading his Rangers up Point Du Hoc and on to victory, returned to Texas A&M University as the President. A lot can be learned from his style of leadership.
For those who are interested, a new infantry museum is being prepped near Fort Benning in Georgia. Rumor has it that a former commander of the Ninth Infantry, General Manton S. Eddy will have a prominent display. Since he was in command of the 60th as one of his regiments, there might be some interesting information there.
I had a little brain storm this evening....on my little jaunt across the Cotentin last summer, I found that a Medal of Honor winner from the 60th Regiment does not have a plaque citing his heoric deeds. John Butts ate his last supper with my grandfather...the next morning he died in a heroic fight near the town of Cherbourg. This, and a few other things got me to thinking that a public fund might be a good idea.....through this transparent fund a scholarship could be set up for descendents of men from the unit....as well as setting up memorials around the US and the North Africa/European theater. Please e-mail me with your thoughts on this....and any ideas that might improve on this.
Picture of Christmas 1943
During the November 1943-June 1944 time frame, the 60th Regiment spent their time in the village of Winchester England.....a place more commonly referred to as Winchester Barracks. While here, the unit put on a few parades for important folks and took care of preparations for D-Day. One thing that gets little note in the history books is the time they spent during Christmas at the local orphanage. Many kids were orphaned by the war of course, the men of the 60th took some of their time and shared it while they could. This is a picture of Lt John Doxsee and Lt Bill Voller with some of the orphans before Christmas, 1943. Thanks to Bill Voller, veteran of the 60th for the photo.
Starting vacation planning
I don't know about you, but one thing that comes to me every January is my wife's request to start planning trips for the year. Well, her big trip this year will be a cruise, mine....well I don't know yet....I would like to try and visit Tunisia and see a battlefield where the 60th fought one of their toughest, if not the toughest battle of their history.....the battle for Djebel Dardyss. We shall see what happens.
Last summer, Karen (my wife) and I took a trip up and down the Cotentin Peninsula in France. Here is one picture of Utah beach.
The 60th came ashore on Utah Beach at D plus 5. Good luck to you in your planning, be sure to remember the 60th Veterans throughout the year.
60th Regiment Reenactors
Well, something new is always coming up, and the 60th Regiment Reenactors group is just that for today. This group of fine folks has a website:
The gentleman who pointed out these websites, himself a reenactor, also has a site dedicated to collecting information about his father in WWII
Tarawa Stop by all of these sites, there is something interesting on each!
African Americans in the 60th Reg
I read a few days ago about a black company within the 60th Regiment. Does anyone have any information about this unit? I cannot find any pictures or anything at all anywhere. Evidently one of their members won the DSC in combat. I would like to do something special for February which is African American History Month. Any clues out there?
I have had a few messages requesting a reunion at some future time of 60th Infantry Regiment Veterans. If you are interested in helping organize or would like to participate in some fashion, please let me know.
60th Regiment Scholar
Folks, we have a scholar in our midst who is trying to complete a thesis on the 60th Infantry Regiment. Interviews of as many members of the 60th Regiment are desired, so if you are a veteran please contact the following e-mail address for more information:
Please hurry though, as we all know, classes don't last forever and this thesis needs completion!
Top of the Evening
Just a good evening message to everyone.....it is getting late here in Germany and I am signing off for the night. I hope everyone has had their request of 60th Infantry.com completely met. If not, let me know!
Cheers and Guten Naght!
Technical Plans of WWII Equipment
Have you ever needed to get your hands on cut-away drawings also known as engineering drawings, of WWII equipment like ships, bombs and rifles etc. Well, here is a site for you:
I received an email today from a gentleman requesting information on a man named Rito Hernandez. Patrick Staley has set up a great site dedicated to the letters sent by Rito showing a great time line of some events in 60th Regiment History. Head to his site, the letters are a great read and if you have any information on Rito, let Patrick know.
Here is an interesting site for WWII history buffs: History Shots
Well the new year is here and I am still working on getting the site transferred over. Please be patient. I still have a few more New Year's wishes to get out, so if I have not called you yet, it is not because I have been slacking!
Happy New Year
Welcome to the 60th Infantry Regiment website. With the new year we have taken on a new look and new content. As I am making the transition over to the new site style, please refer to the information in the old site through the Old Site link on the menu bar. Cheers and Happy New Year!