This section features hand-picked photos, scrapbooks, videos, exhibits, and featured content from our collection. Come back often as new featured content is added often.
A Gracious and Memorable Tribute
This summer had me returning to France with my brother Curtis, to place a card for our mother, and to participate in a number of memorials and tributes. These included the 66th Anniversary of the Liberation of Luneville), a moving tribute in the Foret de Parroy to the recently discovered remains of fallen soldiers of the 90th Division, 773rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, a dedication at Ancerviller to the 315th Infantry Regiment, and an emotional ceremony and memorial to the 314th Infantry Regiment and a dedication to my grandfather.
The Battle for the Foret de Parroy, 25 September - 21 October, 1944
The thickly wooded Parroy Forest proved to be a major obstacle in the path toward the Vosges mountain barrier and the Saverne Gap. While the 79th Infantry Division and XV Corps artillery gradually wrested the Parroy Forest from elements of the German 11th Panzer and 15th Panzer-Grenadier Divisions and later, the 553rd Volks-Grenadier Division, the intense combat in this sector caused more than two thousand casualties in the division in less than a month, more than it had seen in any other single battles to date.
In My Grandfather's Boots: From Utah Beach to Epinal
In August of 2009, I had the rare opportunity to walk where my Grandfather, and countless others walked. From the landing beaches of D-day, following the path of the 79th Infantry and 314th Infantry Regiment across France, I caught a glimpse, perhaps, of how his 5 months on the front lines made him undergo a remarkable transformation. From an apprehensive novice into a battle-tested veteran, this was my Grandfather's journey. In September 2010, I will return to see a marker placed in Fremonville, near his last fight.
The 79th Infantry Division
Utah and Omaha beaches, Cherbourg and Fort du Roule, La Haye du Puits, the Seine River, Parroy Forest, Haguenau, Hatten, Rittershoffen. Names that will be forever etched in the minds of the veterans, widows, and families of the 79th Infantry Division. Major-General Ira T. Wyche commented after the war that "I shall always look upon my command of the 79th Division as the most successful period of my official career. This is so because of those fine Americans who wore the Cross of Lorraine".
Christmas in the Ardennes
In the fall of 1944 the Allies had every reason to hope that the war in Europe would be over by Christmas, but on December 25, 1944, American troops found themselves stuck behind a new German line. On December 16, 30 German divisions, 10 of them armored divisions, had attacked the American Army along the Belgian-German border, achieving absolute tactical and strategic surprise. The result was the largest battle Americans have ever fought in. Some 640,000 of them took part in the Battle of the Bulge.
The Battle of Arracourt
Start a discussion about famous WW2 battles and many immediately come to mind: Kursk, Stalingrad, Battle of the Bulge, and the Battle of El Alamein, to name a few. However, there are many battles that remain relatively unknown or often, unheard of. One of these is the Battle of Arracourt. It was the largest tank engagement ever fought by the US Army, until the Battle of the Bulge in which a German tank force equipped mostly with Panther tanks was defeated by an American tank force equipped mostly with 75mm Sherman tanks.
2nd French Armored Division
The troops of the 2ème Division Blindée, or French 2nd Armoured Division, first saw combat in the disastrous 1940 Norwegian Campaign as a part of the independent 501ème Régiment de Chars de Combat (501st Tank Regiment). After the fall of France, the unit retreated to the United Kingdom where it formed the core of the free French forces under Charles De Gaulle. Operation Cobra, the Battle for Paris, Alsace & Lorraine, and finally in Germany, the French 2nd Armored Division was pivotal in the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Missing Tank Crew Discovered
Sometimes a battleground and a burial plot are one and the same. In a forest just outside Lunéville, France, 3 men with the 90th Division, 773rd Tank Destroyer Battalion pay the ultimate sacrifice when their tank is hit and explodes. Their location is a mystery until local Frenchman, Gérard Louis, discovers some dogtags almost 60 years later. Mr. Louis made an oath on the site, to find the families so that the soldiers he discovered, could return home. Every October 9th, Gérard places flowers at the site, honoring these men in his own way.
Lunéville Celebrates 65th Anniversary of its Liberation, 18 Sep 2009
A new monument was dedicated to the 314th Regiment's courageous battle action at Fraimbois on the outskirts of Lunéville and a city square was dedicated to General Patch of the 7th Army. The afternoon enjoyed all the pageantry of the main 65th Anniversary commemorative celebrations in Lunéville's central square followed by an evening banquet in the French military garrison. Brought together by Philippe Sugg, a historian of local fame, this was a celebration not soon to be forgotten.
51st Evacuation Hospital
The history of the 51st Evacuation Hospital and its service to soldiers in the European Theater of Operations. Excerpts from an interview with one of the surgical nurses and the Medical Supply Officer are included, who married in Vincey, France. Additionally, I've added some photos of my trip to France as I visited Vincey including the church, some local historians, and the fields where this field hospital once stood and serviced wounded soldiers, my grandfather just one of many.
The Stories of Ernie Pyle
To the millions on the American home front during World War II, Ernie Pyle's column offered a foxhole view of the struggle as he reported on the life, and sometimes death, of the average soldier. On April 18, 1945, Pyle died on Ie Shima, an island off Okinawa Honto, after being hit by Japanese machine-gun fire. When he died, Pyle's readership was worldwide, with his column appearing in 400 daily and 300 weekly newspapers. His daily war reports made many readers feel that he was writing them personal letters.
The 104th Infantry and the Liberation of Camp Mittelbau Dora
Few realized the evil acts that Hitler and his Nazi regime were committing against humanity. By the end of World War II, many soldiers had witnessed the horrors of war, but nothing could prepare them for what they would encounter upon liberating the concentration camps Hitler had created with the goal of exterminating those "unworthy of life". This is the story of the 104th Infantry and their discovery of the Mittelbau Dora labor camp; the camp in which prisoners were forced to work on a top secret weapon: the world's first ballistic missile.
Battle of the Scheldt
In early October 1944 Allied forces led by the First Canadian Army set out to bring the Antwerp ports under control. But the well-established German defenders made the Battle of the Scheldt an especially gruelling and costly campaign. The Scheldt was one of the most important and bloody campaigns Canadian soldiers ever fought in. This was a chapter of WWII that had, by and large, been forgotten, with the exception of the Dutch people who were liberated, and the Canadian soldiers who fought in it.
A Poem & Photo of the 313th Infantry Regiment
Here is a poem written by all of the men of the 313th Infantry Regiment, Co. A. It was then mailed to all of their dads. This copy is signed by Private James E. Cowart. James is the 3rd from the right on the back row, in the included photo, and as this photo might indicate, their company stayed less than full strength most of the time. Special thanks to his son, Leonard E. Cowart.
Russian Songs of War
In understanding the meaning of music in World War II, it is important to reflect upon the use that countries would make of music, and the ends to which private individuals would use music to give meaning to their situations. The Russians have a long history of Folk music and the Soviets expanded upon this with several dozen songs, especially during the Great Patriotic War.
A Sergeant's Scrapbook
Over a hundred pages of a meticulously kept scrapbook filled with reflection, drawings, pictures and more. This is the scrapbook of Henry Glendon Hays, S Sgt, Airplane mechanic, Gunner of the 748 AAF, 360 Bomb Squadron of the 303rd Bomb Group stationed in Molesworth, England.
A Philippine Photo Journal
Some unique photos provided by William Barber, Sr. taken while fighting with the 35th Regiment, 25th Infantry Division in the Philippines. They include a photo of Balete Pass a few days after they broke through at Luzon, a Japanese prisoner, and more!
WW2 Aircraft Nose Art
Aircrews in World War II decorated their planes with cartoons, sketches, and pictures of pinups and pretty girls, typically modelled after the "cheesecake" art of Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargo, and George Petty. It was (and still is) an interesting practice. Here is the Private Letters Collection.