Remember VE Day Today !!!

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70th Division
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Remember VE Day Today !!!

Post by 70th Division » Sat May 08, 2021 8:01 am

Hello,

Since it in May 8th, I want to wish everyone a Happy VE Day 2021 !!

I am putting my jeep along the road and a flag on my unrestored 1941 WC .

But first some pics to commemorate the significant day , that society has pretty much forgotten these days.
We need to change that !!
It is a whole lot more important that Cinco de Mayo that isn't even a US holiday, but everyone knows about 🙂
Maybe get some brewers to generate a holiday commemoration so that people will celebrate it and remember it !!

Hmmmm, what a great idea 😁😁

Well I took some books that people should read to get the scope of what today's remembrance should be all about .
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Here is a brewer that has the right idea 😁
Remember VE Day !!!

Best Regards,
Ray


Mark Jesic
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Re: Remember VE Day Today !!!

Post by Mark Jesic » Sat May 08, 2021 8:32 am

Great tribute Ray, thats two of us who remembered. :D

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Re: Remember VE Day Today !!!

Post by 70th Division » Sat May 08, 2021 9:50 am

Thanks Mark,

You said it !!
Such an important day that so few remember .
Let's change that !!

Here are some more pics from my 1 Jeep effort 😁
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Keep them Rolling !!
And Keep the Memory Alive !!!

Best Regards,
Ray

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Re: Remember VE Day Today !!!

Post by Joe Gopan » Sat May 08, 2021 3:13 pm

One of my prized possessions is the "Stars and Stripes" May 8, 1945 London Edition that he picked up in London while awaiting return to the US. GERMANY QUITS!!!.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

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Re: Remember VE Day Today !!!

Post by 70th Division » Sat May 08, 2021 7:32 pm

Hello Joe,

That is a great treasure to have !!

I was given these 2 papers about 2 years ago by a WW2 Veteran at a 70th Division Reunion.
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I made an incredible discovery a few weeks ago !!!
I found a picture of my father after he arrived at Stalag 4B likely the second week of January, 1945.
A new battle for survival began for him and all these GIs. The Camp was a huge prison camp, with a large number of British troops already there. Some having been on the death march from Poland in the middle of winter to this camp near Dresden. My Dad and the other Pows were actually captured during the Nordwind offensive, known as the other Battle of the Bulge, but without camera men and press agents that were with the Airborne units to the north.
They has just arrived at the camp when those picture was taken by a British Spy camera a British Soldier had hidden in his Bible.
Wow I am so happy to have this picture, and my father would have loved to have seen it !!
He is standing with and next to, the other surviving water cooled machine gunner from D Company after they were over run, and out of ammo.
They were locked in a 40 and 8 boxcar for a week with no food, water, or medical attention.
They were at 4B for a short time, before being sent, along with some British Pows, to labor camp Lillienstein above the Elbe River, in Bad Shandau, on the Czech border.
Looking at the picture, my dad is standing at the far right corner with his over seas cap on, looking at the ground. Jack is standing eight next to him.looking at the camera.
They both had a rough time there, and each weighed 90 pounds when they got back to American lines on June 1, 1945. They got to Pilsen, Czechoslovakia and were air evacuated out via C-47s to France.
My father always said Thank God for the Russian soldiers who battled against the German War Machine, and the Czech woman and family that took him in after the Germans took off and kept him alive, and to the 2 Russian Ukraine soldiers who gave him a ride on a bulldozer, pulling a huge cannon towards the West.
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My Father on the right
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What a generation !!!!

Also here is a link to the British newspaper report I found and saw the great picture of my Dad, and 3 other Pows . I sent the picture to Jack, and his Family, he and his Family were very happy with this incredible discovery !!

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... rticle-top

The other 2 Pows , one was from the 14th Armored Division, his halftrack was knocked out in Bannstein, France up the road from Phillipsburg, France where my Dad and Jack were over run and captured, being out of ammo.
The other was in the 42nd Infantry Division, and I see another 70th Division Vet , Ed , from I Company.

Best Regards,
Ray

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Re: Remember VE Day Today !!!

Post by Mark Jesic » Sun May 09, 2021 3:05 am

Fantastic post Ray, i enjoyed reading that. A bit similar to my Fathers story, he was held in Munsterlaager POW camp, and rescued by the British army.

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Re: Remember VE Day Today !!!

Post by Heath MI » Mon May 10, 2021 12:20 pm

Very nice tribute. Agree that most people in today’s society probably have no idea of the significance of May 8th.

My grandfather was assigned to 70th ID, 276th IR, 3rd Bn., K Company. I recently acquired a 1942 Ford GPW. The vehicle markings will reflect this in the coming months. I will be having some fun with the vehicle for the remainder of this year before I plan on doing a thorough restoration.

I’ve read a few of your past posts and you seem to have a lot of insight on the 70ID. Question regarding unit callsigns. I’ve researched the 70ID Association website at great lengths (I’m an Associate Member). As I understand it, in early 1945 their callsigns were Wriggle (276IR), Blue (3rd Bn.), King (K Co.) — Wriggle Blue King. I’m wondering what the company would actually state over radio or wire communications? Reason being, I’d like to emboss the unit’s radio callsign on the windshield area. Curious what the CO would state — “Wriggle Blue, this is Wriggle Blue King Leader”.....etc., or would they likely abbreviate it even more? Guess work I know, looking for other opinions so I may formulate a best guess on accuracy.

Also, would you happen to know how many Jeeps were assigned to a rifle company? Most references I’ve found regarding TOE suggest two. Any insight would also be appreciated. I was planning on going with a “K-1” bumper number.

Are you also a member of the 70ID Association? I joined in late 2018 after I finally discovered what my grandfather’s assigned unit was. If so, you might have read a couple articles I wrote last year for the Trailblazer newsletter. Long story short, I found the area around Forbach, France, where my grandfather was WIA on 17 Feb 45. It was a long (life long) journey to finally walk where he once did during the war.

Historical note for K/276, on 8 May 45, his company was located at Neustadt Am Main not far from Wuerzberg, Germany, when the war ended. Little did I know for many years, that I was stationed (US Army) not far from there before I retired.

Again, great post. I will certainly do the same with my Jeep when I have the opportunity in the future. That’s amazing you found pictures of your father during the war. Priceless. We must never forget.

v/r,
Heath
v/r,
Heath

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Re: Remember VE Day Today !!!

Post by 70th Division » Tue May 11, 2021 1:52 pm

Hello Heath,

That is great !!!
Yes I am in the Association, and have been going to reunions with the father since I was a kid and on many, many, back to Europe trips.
We used to visit with a 6th Mountain Division Veteran who lived in Neustadt and fought against the 70th, but became great friends with the Americans after then met on the same battlefield.
I have known so many of the great Trailblazers over the years.
My father was in D Company 275, and was captured well before the Forbach offensive.
Ben Franklin had visited the area of Forbach, and Eisenhower's family came from a nearby area.
The French have put up quite a few nice monuments to the 70th Division who liberated their towns at great cost. The also actively teach the young people about WW2, especially in the schools.
I was last there in 2015 with the 70th Veterans in Forbach, where they had over 200 school kids welcome the 70th Veterans back , and had a big banquet for the entire group.
It is always a remarkable time with the French and returning to the Battlefields with Veterans.
There is nothing quite like it, especially when local residents remember particular soldiers so many years after the war. Unbelievable but true, what a great thing to see !!

The radio calls signs were designed with Wyoming,Wrecker, Wriggle because the Germans could not pronounce the W and didn't know the use of the silent W.
So if they got on an American radio they would be discovered in short order using the call sign.
The W in German is pronounced as a V .
I don't know the call signs and how the were used, but you likely have it correct. I remember a 70th Vet recreating calling in an artillery strike into Saarbrucken on a few hundred German troops that were spotted all congregated together. He was using a radio in the back of a French jeep to recreate his calling it in, but no idea what calls signs he used.

What you have come up with sounds very much like the call signs used in the old tv series Combat, that can be seen on youtube. I have been watching the episodes there, and they are quite well done !!
Take a look at the show, and listen for their radio call signs. I am certain they did it as accurate as they could on the show.
Wriggle Blue King sounds pretty
accurate !!
Here is a youtube link to many of the Combat shows.

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJFy ... YfMzUh7-zs


Actually sounds great !!
I will ask a Trailblazer if they remember, but the radiomen I knew have sadly passed away. They would remember their call signs.

If I find anything written up in books on the 70th call signs I will let you know.

The next reunion will be later this year in Kansas City, Kansas.


Post a picture or 2 of your Jeep !!

Best Regards,
Ray

Heath MI
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Re: Remember VE Day Today !!!

Post by Heath MI » Thu May 13, 2021 8:49 am

Hello Ray,
Thanks for the input on the callsigns and the TV show references. I will definitely check out a few episodes in my free time.

Yes, the people of Forbach are very friendly. My wife and I have been there on two occasions, and will likely go back again when the world restores itself to normal. I enjoy walking the fields and forests where the 70th ID were. As I mentioned, I didn’t learn of my grandfather’s assigned unit until 2018 (13 years after he passed away). I got a late start retracing the unit history but it keeps me going just the same. Oh what I would give just to speak to my grandfather again for just one hour.

Ironically, you mentioned the 6th SS Mountain Division. When I was stationed at Illesheim, Germany (2007-2014), we always heard rumors about the 6th SS having reunions at a local hotel nearby — Hotel Reichsstadt, in Bad Windsheim. Little did I know at the time that the rumors were true, and that it was the 70th ID that was the former adversary that was often mentioned. I was overjoyed to discover the truth about the past reunions in old copies of the Trailblazer. As I think back on it now, I feel like there were plenty of ironies along the way before I learned which unit he was with. My plan is to visit every location my grandfather was at during his wartime service (both US and Europe). This pandemic has slowed my progress for sure.

My wife and I still have an apartment in Germany, which is why I’m able to visit WWII battlefields regularly (pre-COVID anyway). I was planning to meet up with some 70ID Association travelers when things opened up again. I was also hoping to attend one of the reunions at some point, but I don’t think I’ll be able to this year. I work in the Middle East as a contractor so my schedule is limited at present due to travel restrictions.

However, I did find the motor pool Jeep of my childhood dreams. Technically, it’s a 1942 Ford GPW, but it’s a mix match of Willy’s and Ford parts. Truthfully, I have not been home yet to touch it or see it with my own eyes but will do so in a couple months. Luckily, I saw the sales ad on Craigslist and my wife got the deal done quickly. First thing I’ll be doing is fixing the hood star and repainting the bumpers to reflect K/276, 70ID. The previous owner didn’t like it when I informed him the star was upside down. Lol. Until then, “Wriggle Blue King” will have to quietly stand watch inside my farm shed. My plan for the near term is just to have fun with it for a few months and, once my workshop is finished, I will start disassembling it for the restoration.

Let me know if you’re ever going back to Europe again. I consider myself a fairly decent student of WWII history. I’ve seen a lot of battlefields after being stationed there for as long as we were. With a little luck, I hope to be in Bastogne again in December for the 77th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. I went to the 75th anniversary with a fellow 101st buddy of mine. It was the final straw of motivation I needed to find a WWII era Jeep. Jeeps, trucks, halftracks, and tanks, everywhere. The Europeans have a much deeper appreciation for keeping history alive — outside of people like us, of course. I would encourage you to look up a website called “Europe Remembers.” They have some great videos from that event.

Respectfully,
Heath
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v/r,
Heath

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Re: Remember VE Day Today !!!

Post by loni17thAirD » Fri May 14, 2021 6:27 pm

Great post about the 70th ID and your experience with the vets. I enjoy reading about WWII and the European theater. My grandfather served in the 79th Infantry Division and my father served in the 17th Airborne Division. Growing up I talked to a lot of WWII vets about their experience's. The French are very thankful for our soldiers fighting for them.

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Re: Remember VE Day Today !!!

Post by 70th Division » Tue May 18, 2021 7:28 pm

Hello Heath,

That is quite something about your experiences and time in Germany and now in the Mideast.
You have a beautiful.and well deserved Jeep right there 😁😁
I certainly thank you for your time in the military and serving the cause of Liberty !!!

I am amazed that you heard about the 70th Veterans meeting with the 6th SS Mountain Division Veterans
in Bad Windsheim.
I was there at the time in the fall of 1985 with my Father and very many of the great 70th Division Veterans.
Their reunion was held at an old hanger,complete with a traditional German band, and beer steins everywhere. Everyone was seated with Americans and Germans together at many takes. Their must have been about 1000 Germans in attendance, along with 50 Americans.
It was quite an experience, and one that the the Veterans on both sides decided to maintain and make a lasting Peace with their once bitter enemies. We still have beer steins and coca cola glasses the German 6th Vets gave us as souvenirs 😁😁😁
They all became lifelong friends since then. People don't have any clue about what making Peace and friends with former enemies actually does for all those involved.
It was and is a great thing.
The 70th Vets first went back on a tour to Germany and France in 1977. They went to France and looked at the Battlefields that were so costly in January, 1945 through the next months and the bitter fighting from the Alsace-Lorraine to Forbach, and into all the villages, before crossing into the Saarland.
It is an amazing story how the 6th was first discovered.
A 70th family member of a KIA Trailblazer was wandering around a French village I think in 1976, looking for answers about what the battle looked like there, and happened to meet a 6th Mountain family member doing the exact same thing. They became friends, and found many answers and closure.
From that developed the great friendship between the groups.
We went back to Europe countless times since 1985, and we often visited German Veterans , and their kids as well, from the 6th who lived all over Germany. Many came to America as well to attend 70th Reunions, and many stayed on to visit with 70th families. Many have stayed with us in New Hampshire, as well as here in Florida.
I think the first grouo came here in 1981, to the Philadelphia 70th Reunion there, and my father brought them home to our house in NH .

What a time, and so many stories to hear. I have grown up with all the 70th Vets, and also spent quite some time in Germany with the German Vets.

In 1985 there was quite a stink made by the US and European media about the initial meeting there with the Germans.
Complete with rent-a-mob protesters, bussed in to several joint events where the Trailblazers laid a wreath at a German Military Cemetery, and the Germans laid wreaths at the American Military Cemetery in France. The German Cemetery still had German helmets on the crosses. After they saw the US one, the helmets were removed and their cemeteries were cleaned up.
President Reagan had done a similar wreath laying at a small German cemetery in Bitburg .
The hypocrite media didn't like that at all either. He was with Helmut Kohl and was invited by the German government to lay a wreath to symbolize the years of Peace since WW2 ended.

We must remember everything, and always promote peaceful relations, so history doesn't repeat itself, as it often does.

The Trailblazers did it, and many other Infantry units have done the same. Everyone was better for it, and the former enemies and war memories, were now replaced with good memories and friendships , and beer and wine fest drinking .

God Bless all our Veterans, and what then did to achieve Victory in WW2, and secure the Peace !!
Blessed are the Peacemakers, as it is written.

Best Regards,
Ray
Last edited by 70th Division on Tue May 18, 2021 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Remember VE Day Today !!!

Post by 70th Division » Tue May 18, 2021 7:44 pm

Hello Loni,

You have a great Family history right there !!!
The 79th was a great Infantry Division, and served a long to
time in Combat all over France !!!
What a great heritage !!!
They are the "Cross of Lorraine " Division, and fought there in both WW1 and WW2 !!!!

Wow !!

So much history, and we are doing our part trying to preserve it and remember it !!

If we don't, who will ??

Keep them Rolling, and protect and defend our History and Military Heritage !!

The French are Great People and have done more to preserve and protect our collective shared history than I can imagine, along with the other countries in Europe.

We need that knowledge, and remembrance here in America, more now, than ever !!!
It is seriously lacking in the USA.
We need to actively change that !
I think that is why so many of us around the world do what we do, to honor all those who have defended civilization, and to remember the victims, and those who paid the price. They made the Peace, we must continue to secure it, it is so important !!!


Best Regards,
Ray


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