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30th Infantry Division, Old Hickory

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by Ruud, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    rat power and Slipdigit like this.
  2. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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  3. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Dutch resistance and liberation of Valkenburg by old Hickory:
    World War II: Pierre Schunck, his resistance in Valkenburg (Holland). Its Liberation by the 120th Rgt. of the 30th Infantry Division (Old Hickory) of the 19th Corps of the First US Army

    Also footage of liberation of Maastricht (Market Garden is misleading title and a little scene at aboput 1.17min also answers my question i had at my introduction about what is towing this 57mm anti tank gun :p...)
    http://cgi.omroep.nl/cgi-bin/streams?/nos/nieuws/2004/september/video/140904/marketgarden20.wmv
     
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I know the 30th ID man speaking in this video. Frank Towers. He is a good man and is very active in the 30th Infantry Division Association and runs this website Welcome to the 30th Infantry Division Web Site

    Here is another page about him Frank Towers
     
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  5. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    That is a great website on Mr. Towers, Jeff. I am going to see if I can find time later to watch the videos on it.
     
  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    The pages of Mr. Towers are a significant part of the story of the 30th. Thanks for the link, Jeff.
     
  7. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Dutch? I'm barely competent in English, and that's my native language.
     
  9. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    a little story which i translated from Dutch to English (sorry for mistakes):

    The brewery De Ridder (Maastricht, Holland), build in 1930s, was very modern for its time.That was also known by the Americain soldiers who liberated Wyck (quarter of Maastricht) on 13 and 14[SUP]th[/SUP] september.Their task was to seize the brewery, preferably undamaged.

    This wasnt because of the beer but it had to do with the natural waterspring of Brewery De Ridder and the state of the art bottling hall which could be used to fill bottles with water in case of necessity. The Americains feared problems i.e. poisonned drinkingwater and all kinds of diseases which could occur by this. Specially in the vicinity of Aachen this was very concerning. Aachen was a big city which wasnt situated at a river. All of the drinkingwater was from a lake filled by rainwater only. If this lake would be poluted or the water would be poisoned this would mean a major disaster.

    Fortunally it didnt end like that. Brewery De Ridder continued to do what they were best at: brew beer, lots of beer !

    50 years later i visited a home for elderly “Malberg” and joined a conversation between a former beertruck-driver from De Ridderbrewery, mr Cerfontaine and a few visiting Americain veterans.
    He said: it was unbelievable, whatever quantity of beer we tried to produce, you took it all . We didnt even get time to produce some stock for our own. Can you remember that ? I never saw guys that thirsty !

    The veterans of Old Hickory made a very big smile: You bet we remember that ! This beer tasted very good ! And by the way...we still have this thirst -and while they put their arms around his shoulder- the way to the bar is that way, isnt it? ….

    Beerbrouwerijj De Ridder
     
  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'll ask him about the brewery and see if he remembered it. He drank, but was not a big drinker. He still have some calvados from Normandy when he go to Germany.

    The tedious part is over, now The object is to get them to read it.
     
  11. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Finally Free
    Bevrijders en bevrijding - MestreechOnline - Forum Stad Maastricht

    (if someone needs a translation of some text let me know)

    (Willis died: Willis Irvin Jr.
    AUGUSTA, Ga. - Rev. Dr. Willis Irvin, Jr., 86, of Augusta, GA, went to be with the Lord on Friday, February 10, 2012 at the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home. Born...
    http://www.legacy.com/Link.asp?I=LS000155854095

    One of the last things Willis Irvin did on his own was make a trip to the Netherlands in September 2009 for the anniversary of the liberation of Maastricht, one of the cities freed from Nazi rule by the 2nd Armored Division.
    “We tried everything to stop him, but he wouldn’t listen,” his wife said. “He had to go, and he did.”
    According to an article from a Dutch newspaper, Irvin suddenly appeared unannounced one day at the mayor’s office in Maastricht, much to the puzzlement of everyone there.
    Undeterred by his lack of appointment, Irvin asked to see the mayor and regaled those who cared to listen with tales from World War II and showed them his book, which he hoped the mayor would like to translate and publish in Europe.
    According to the newspaper, Irvin eventually got to speak with the mayor, who arranged for him to stay another night in a nice hotel and ensured that the old veteran made his flight back to Georgia.
    “He came back with this newspaper with his picture in it and everything,” Shirley Irvin said. “They really treated him like a hero.”
    Irvin will be buried with military honors at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Summerville Cemetery. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church.

    http://chronicle.augusta.com/latest-news/2012-02-13/veteran-made-his-mark-author-and-tennis-player


    and the book written by Wills Irvin jr:
    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=6469554277&searchurl=an=WILLIS+IRVIN,+JR
     
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  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'll have to look for the book. He was in the 2nd AD.
     
  13. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Thanks for the story about the Deridder brewery. I'll have to taste that beer the next time I go to Maastricht .
     
  14. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Sorry for you, Skipper, the brewery closed in 2002... :(
     
  15. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Oh, no I was thinking about taking pictures .
     
  16. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

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    What a great story, Ruud. I wish I could have been there to hear his stories. Very great to hear that the Mayor honored Rev. Dr. Willis in such a nice way. Thanks for the post.
     
  17. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Here is the translation of the article in the newspaper:

    A 84 years old veteran at the Townhall of Maastricht


    All of a sudden an elderly Americain stood on the stairs of the Townhall.
    Beside him his suitcases.
    Willis Irvin Junior, liberator of the city in 1944.
    A very old man walks with all his luggage into Maastricht Townhall.
    Willis Irvin Junior (84) has a few personal requests.
    Only adressed to Mayor mr Leers
    “You will have to wait a little more, the Mayor is still in a meeting” explains Mayor Leers spokesman Math Wijnands patiently
    Willis Irvin jr. knows Maastricht from WWII.
    He fought here in 1944 in 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] armoured division
    The Americain freedomfighter came to Maastricht on his own initiative, totally allone.
    With him he has 3 samples of a book he wrote, his memories of the war.
    “last Thursday he was also here” says mr Wijnand
    “He was in the centre, but could not find his way tot the Townhall
    By accident Municipal councillor J. Costongs passed him. Because the councillor was on his way to the townhall he took mr Irvin with him. Irvin wanted to speek the Mayor, but it was not possible right away. These kinds of visits have to be planned specially”
    In septembre Zuid-Limburg is liberated for 65 years. It will be memorized by a parade of Americain
    veterans, but Irvin Jr did not visit because of that.
    “I am here to promote my book. I want to ask the Mayor if he knows a way to have the book translated and published. My books ar all already sold to Americain soldiers. In this way i let them know that they are not on their own in Irak. God takes care of them as he did when i was fighing at the front”
    Irvin flips through some pages of his book 'The Point of the Arrow'.
    Memories spring up in his mind, now and then he stops and starts a story.
    He is searching a drawing of a altar in the snow.
    "Let me tell you how i found God. We were on our way when all of a sudden the Germans launched V1 Buzzbomms to us. I dug for shelter in a little chapel dedicated to Jezus”
    He cant finish his story because Mayor Leers is standing next to him.
    Mayor Leers thanks Irving Jr wholehearted for his part in the battle for Maastricht.
    Mayor Leers says he will see what he can do about the book, but he cannot make any promisses to Irvin.
    Irvin nods his head to show he understands.
    “And what will you be doing next in Maastricht?” Leers asks.
    Irvin shrugs his shoulders.
    "I checked out of my hotel this morning. I came here to see you and i dont know were to sleep tonight. Here is my flightplan.I have euro 200 and $300 with me“
    Irvin shows his papers to the Mayor and searchs for his wallet.
    “And nobody is here to accompany you ??” asks spokesman Wijands while he makes eyecontact with Mayor Leers
    The veteran smiles
    “My wife, which i married in march, tried here utmost to prevent me from coming overhere.

    But despite that: here i am !”
    Leers secretary calls a taxi for Irvin Jr. to drive him back to the hotel he checked out that morning.
    "Dont worry " says spokesman Wijnands. We arranged a bed and meals untill he is on his flight back to USA”

    (© Eva van Wijngaarden
    gazet de Limburger
    5 september 2009)
     
  18. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    The diary of Hette de Jong:
    [h=6]3: 30 uur rumours that the Americans are in Heer. 3:40 uur rumours that the Americans are in Gronsveld. In that way the have to come down the Heerderweg! From the third floor i can see the railroadcrossing right through the trees. Om 5:15 uur a soft rattling noise... That must be tanks. Germans? American? Wating...waiting.... All of a sudden people cheering in Wyck ! The air is one big cheering ! And then: i see them! Tanks! Yanks! White stars ! I stumble down two stairs and rush into the street! People, you have only heard them, but i have seen them, seen them, seen them!
    [/h][h=6]Everybody gets totally crazy. In a worldrecord time i run the route from Prof. Scholsstraat to the railwaycrossing. Halfway people shout there might still be some Germans at the railwaystation. But why should i care about those bloody Germans? I want to see the Americans, our liberators. The last few meters after the Passerel i complete stumbling and i fall in the arms off Preston K. Wright from Kansas City. While I hit my head against the barrel of his carabine, i stutter without thinking: „Do you speak English? , to which he responds grinned: „No, Chinese!". He embraces me; and laughing through my tears i stare at him. [/h][h=6]The Stationsplein is full of delighted people..Its a total madhouse and in between all those people the calm Americans are handing out cigarettes, chocolate en chewingums. The flag is risen at the tower of the railwaystation! [/h][h=6]We are free! The crowd is singing the Wilhelmus (national anthem Holland) ! Again new tears. After 4 years off suppression, hunger and plundering: FREE! The Jerries are gone! Unbelievable. The nightmare is over for Maastricht, the first freed large city of Holland! A fact to be proud off, to be happy about! I will never forget this day, Its so beautifull these happy faces, those happy colours, the red-white-blue (dutch flag)! To be able to say whatever you want! People who never met before are shaking each others hands. The tanks have written messages in chalk on them, greetings from cities which were liberated earlier.'Long live freedom, Long live the Liberators!' [/h]Oorlogsdagboek Hette de Jong Maastricht 2e WO september 1944
     
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  19. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    Oh that this generation of Americans would read this, the emotion, the lack of fear of dying because a free man can die in peace. The words and phrases that stand out so clearly in this passage:
    But why should i care about those bloody Germans?
    We are free! The crowd is singing the Wilhelmus (national anthem Holland) ! Again new tears.
    After 4 years off suppression, hunger and plundering: FREE! The Jerries are gone! Unbelievable. The nightmare is over for Maastricht, the first freed large city of Holland!
    To be able to say whatever you want! People who never met before are shaking each others hands. The tanks have written messages in chalk on them, greetings from cities which were liberated earlier.'Long live freedom, Long live the Liberators!
    I pray American men, women and children, never have to repeat these words!
     
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  20. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    some footage of a bombardement on Maastricht and burial of 100 dead, at 9.16 min retreating Germans and 9.42 the liberators :

    http://www.archieven.nl/nl/zoeken?miview=ff&mivast=0&mizig=317&miadt=38&miaet=14&micode=22.002C&minr=2482925&milang=nl&misort=last_mod|&mizk_alle=rooddorp

    You can actually see the railwaystation i mentioned in my earlier post.



    Whole Netherland City Joins In Thanking U.S. for Liberation

    Letter, in Name of All Maastricht Citizens, Asks God’s Blessing on America and ‘Your Boy’ Who Put End to Long Servitude.



    By Wireless to The New York Times.

    WITH THE AMERICAN FIRST ARMY, in Germany, Oct. 4 – A Letter to the editors of THE NEW YORK TIMES, written “in the name of all the inhabitants of the city of Maastricht,” the Netherlands, to thank the United States for the town’s liberation, is on its was to New York, according to Het Parool, a Maastricht newspaper.

    The letter thanks America through THE NEW YORK TIMES “for the arrival of you boys who have brought us the liberty for which we have longed so fervently.”

    TEXT OF LETTER

    The text of the letter follows:

    To the Editors of THE NEW YORK TIMES:

    We, the inhabitants of Maastricht, citizens of the first liberated town of the Netherlands, want an opportunity to thank you for the arrival of your boys who have brought us the liberty for which we have longed so fervently.

    We need not describe to you our suffering and our want. The tyrant robbed us of everything that has been dear to us. He tried to destroy our culture; our unions were dissolved, our religion was hindered, our men and boys were carried off, our food was stolen, our horses and our cattle were stolen, our bicycles were transported to Germany and even our hens had to lay their eggs for Huns. Only German music was heard, and with great danger we had to listen secretly to our friends who brought us news.

    Our children became underfed, badly clothed and had to wear worn out shoes; old Dutch wooden shoes became by force the fashion again.

    Each new day brought new pain and new care. Our young people have no youth. They were chased and hidden in cellars and woods.

    Such was our situation – and then your boys came. Can you, readers, conceive and realize with what joy we welcomed them.

    Can you imagine how we wept when we could shake hands with the first American boys.

    Thanks, many thanks for the arrival of your dear boys. And they were beyond all expectation; what a wrong idea we had about America and its people.
    The pleasant smile of your boys has stolen our hearts. Their laughing faces, their vigorous and brave appearance, their kindheartedness and especially their simplicity have told us that these sons of the great American Republic bear true democracy in their hearts and that the world may be glad the United States has interested itself in behalf of our country and of Europe.

    How we shouted for joy and feasted with them and how we shared with the greatest pleasure the little we could still give. How wise of your commanders to forbid the boys to buy here. Our enemies robbed and plundered and you soldiers have been instructed not to take the little that can be bought for money.

    Thank you for all this; thank you for the arrival of your boys – God bless America and its soldiers in their battle. May He carry your boys safely back to their country. God bless many American mothers who have given the dearest they possess for the liberation of our country and of Europe.

    We Dutch people shall never forget the sacrifices that America has made and we shall pray that your battle and victory may be the beginning of a new time, a time of understanding and goodwill.

    God bless the United States and its citizens, God save the dear boys who have brought us freedom and who have captured our hearts by their strength, their kindness and their good nature.

    Thank you – once again thank you.

    (Singed)

    IN THE NAME OF ALL INHABITANTS OF THE CITY OF MAASTRICHT



    And placed in New York Times on 6 octobre 1944:


    LETTER FROM MAASTRICHT

    This newspaper expects in the near future to receive a letter written “in the name of all inhabitants of the city of Maastricht,” which lies on the left bank of the Maas River in that part of the Netherlands which is almost pinched off by Belgium on the west and Germany on the east.
    The text of the letter arrived by wireless on Wednesday. It speaks of what went on under the German occupation; horses, cattle, food and bicycles stolen; labor unions dissolved; men and boys carried off; the young people “chased and hidden in cellars and woods.” The Dutch humor survived. “Even our hens.” Says the letter. “had to lay their eggs for Huns.”

    Then the Americans walked in. As to them, this is the testimony of the people of Maastricht:

    The pleasant smile of your boys has stolen our hearts. Their laughing faces, their vigorous and brave appearance, their kindheartedness and especially their simplicity have told us that these sons of the great American Republic bear true democracy in their hearts and that the world may be glad the United States has interested itself in behalf of our country and of Europe.

    This is what “invasion” means to Netherlanders when the “invaders” are Americans. We needn’t doubt that any other Allied contingent would have made a good impression, but the parents, sweethearts and friends of American boys on the Western Front can take a special pride in this tribute – which wasn’t extorted from unwilling signers by any A. E. F. version of the Gestapo. The description happens to fit the soldiers we all know best, and for a moment it lifts the black curtain of war on a cheerful and hopeful scene.


     

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