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Old Hickory Recon, Memories of the 30th Infantry Division 1943-1945 - Marion M. Sanford

Discussion in 'Honor, Service and Valor' started by Old Hickory, Apr 17, 2009.

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  1. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I am so very sorry to read of Mr. Sanford's passing. My condolences to his family and especially you, Jeff, having been close to him and his voice on the Forum.
     
  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Guys, I forgot to post a photo of the flowers that some friends from the Netherlands and i bought for the service. I thought the florist did a good job

    View attachment 24010
     

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  3. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Wow, thats great !
     
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Today is one year since the passing of Mr. Sanford, although he was gone from us about a week earlier, having suffered several strokes during surgery.

    He was a good old boy and I miss him terribly.
     
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  5. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    R.I.P. Mr. Sanford. It was a honor to meet you and Jeff in Holland.
     
  6. Dion1996NL

    Dion1996NL New Member

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    Hello, my name is Dion and i am from the netherlands.
    I wish to thank all allied soldiers who gave up their safety for our freedom,
    a lot of you good men didnt make it in that war, i cant imagine what you guys have been through.
    i hope you all have a peacefull life untill you pass away,
    you deserved it.
    if not for you guys i would probably speak german or be dead.
    far ancestors of me where in the resistance and in my village there was a great fight over the railways, i knew about monuments in my village and went over them with a friend of mine a couple days ago.
    since then it just kept eating away at me so i had to get it off my chest.
    many men and wimen where executed or deported to mass destruction camps and we even have 2 war graveyard wich i hope to visit one day to honour our liberators and resistance members.
    however not all germans are bad, some where forced to serve in the army or they would be executed for treason.
    i got a ww2 era reichspfennig to remind me of what cruel deeds a man can do.
    i hope Hickory Recon will have peace with himself and that he will rest in the peace he deserves.

    I hope you guys dont mind me getting this off my chest.

    sincerely Dion.
     
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  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    This came today. It is the DUI of the 30th Cavarly Reconnaissance Troop (Mech). I found a place that could make reproductions of insignia and ordered 25 (the minimum). It took a little bit longer than I first thought since the first set that came 10 days ago were orange and not yellow, as depicted in the proof.

    The company made good on them and I am satisfied. It is not as yellow as it appears in the photo.

    View attachment 25191
     

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  8. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Nice insignia Jeff.
     
  9. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

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    I know no one minds and many are very grateful, Dion. It is a great quality that you think and remember thoughtfully about all the men and women who made the Allied victory possible. What a herculean undertaking that they were able to complete this epoch of history in such a short time, though it must have seemed like centuries to the men fighting and freezing.
     
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  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I finally finished this shadow box and have hung it.

    The Ike jacket is from 1945, but worn by someone else. The insignia, awards, and badges are what Mr. Sanford was eligible to wear in Aug 1945. I don't think he ever actually wore everything depicted here because he separated from the Army two months later.
    Shadow Box on wall resized.jpg
     
  11. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Very nice job, Jeff. Including his book is a nice touch. Did you have the case made, or was it purchased?
     
  12. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Nice job, Jeff. It may have taken some effort, but it was worth it.
     
  13. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Thanks guys. A friend from The Netherlands sent me the jacket a couple of years ago. He used to come to the 30th ID reunions and was instrumental in getting the trip in 2014 organized.

    I bought the insignia online and had the DUIs made by a company in Florida.

    The display case came from Hobby Lobby.

    My wife surprised me. I was going to hang in our office. My wife wanted in hung in the great room. She won.
     
  14. Patrick Prejean Jr

    Patrick Prejean Jr New Member

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    Good day Henry Lee Prejean sr. Was my grandfather and had both of his legs blown off and he work for the sheriff's department and lived just north of Scott Louisiana
     
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  15. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Patrick, I would like to talk to you. Could we talk via private message?
     
  16. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    These men of the 30th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (Mech) of the 30th Infantry Division gave their last full measure of devotion to our country. May God rest their souls.

    McClure, Sheldon A. Pvt 15-Jul-1944 Normandy, France
    Billings, James R. T5 27-Jul-1944 near St. Lo, France
    Blackwood, Alec B. Pvt 7-Aug-1944 Mortain, France
    Dombkowski, Edward P. T4 7-Aug-1944 Mortain, France
    Kull, John J. T4 7-Aug-1944 Mortain, France
    Obenour, Charles E. T5 7-Aug-1944 Mortain, France
    Smith, Harland Pvt 7-Aug-1944 Mortain, France
    Walker, Miles W. 2LT 7-Aug-1944 Mortain, France
    Seal, Robert K. Pvt 11-Aug-1944 near Mortain, France
    Babin, Richard E. Cpl 23-Aug-1944 near Evreux, France
    Blankenship, Carlos S. Pvt 23-Aug-1944 near Evreux, France
    Lyczynski, Richard L. Pvt 23-Aug-1944 Fains, France
    Castner, Merlyn C. T5 28-Aug-1944 Pointoise, France
    Dennis, Walter E.T5 2-Sep-1944 Gaurain-Ramecroix, Belgium
    Haldiman, Frederick L 1LT 2-Sep-1944 Gaurain-Ramecroix, Belgium
    Scott, Francis E. SSgt 2-Sep-1944 Gaurain-Ramecroix, Belgium
    Dale, Perry, E. Cpl 25-Dec-1944 south of Malmedy, Belgium
    Nila, Willebaldo PFC 12-Apr-1945 Siestedt, Germany
    Works, Harold G. T5 12-Apr-1945 Siestedt, Germany
    Vincenzo, Dominic S. Sgt 12-Apr-1945 Siestedt, Germany

    I was able to visit some of the locations where these men died when Mr. Marion, Ms Peggy, and I were there in 2014. We were also able visit the graves of five of the six men who are buried in the hallowed grounds at Margraten, Henri-Chapelle and Normandy cemeteries. We were unable to visit Brittany American Cemetery, where Robert Seal was laid to rest, even though we drove to within an hour of it. Time was not on our side that day.

    It was only after Mr. Marion died that I learned why he was so disturbed when we drove to where his friend, Edward Domkowski, died in the fighting around Mortain, France. It was a horrendous way to die and I am certain it affected Mr. Marion and the other men who witnessed it greatly. Domkowski was the driver of an M-8 that was hit by German armor on the road to Barenton, south of Mortain. The other members of the crew, Walker, Obenour and Smith will killed immediately, but Domkowski survived the initial hit, but was unable to climb out of the vehicle. He was hung up, partly in partly out as the vehicle began to burn. He called out to the other soldiers around to shoot him as the fire consumed him. He friends were unable to and he burned to death begging to end his misery. Also killed at the same location were Alec Blackwood, and John Kull.

    We laid a wreath at the intersection of Rue d'Antoing and Le Grand Route in Gaurain-Ramecroix, near Torunai Belgium, where Walter Dennis, Frederick Haldiman and the "Finest soldier I ever knew" Francis Scott died that terrible night of September 2, 1944 in a case of mistaken identity. The HQ platoon of the 30th Recon were at the intersection, waiting on 125th Recon Squadron that was expected from that direction. Around 11:30pm, the sound of wheeled and tracked vehicles was heard from the west and several of the men stepped out to meet what they thought were friendly forces. The Germans opened fire them and in confusing firefight that followed, the three men mentioned above were killed and four others wounded, including the company commander, Capt Kenneth Cornelius.

    I did not know that exact location where Dale Perry died on Christmas Day, 1944, but we were in the area and I wondered if we passed where he died as we were driving. I understand that he was badly wounded and could not be carried back to US lines and he froze to death.

    I have a copy of a photo of Richard Lyczynski made mere moments before he was shot and killed by a sniper while talking to French villagers. He was a fresh-faced boy, really.

    I also want to go to the location downstream on the Seine from Paris where Merlyn Castner bled to death after being shot in the chest by a sniper.

    Finally, I want to go to the German village of Siestedt where the last three men on the list died. The German defenders of the village had raised white flags and as the men advanced to accept the surrender. The defenders then fired on the vehicle column, killing the three and wounding several others.

    Included in those killed at Siestedt was Harold Works, a dear friend of Mr. Marion, who had predicted his own death 10 months before by saying he would die at the end of the war. Six days after his death, the 30th Infantry Division concluded offensive operations after taking Magdeburg, deep inside Germany, on the Elbe River.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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  17. Thomas Fouts

    Thomas Fouts New Member

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    Hello, I am new to this forum, but have been reading it with great interest. My dad, Arthur W. Fouts served with Old Hickory 30th Division, Mechanized, Class V. He never really talked much about the war to me, but when I would hear him talk to others, he spoke fondly of those he served with. I know he was able to go see some of his buddies a couple times to reminisce.

    He brought back a few items, one a 30th Division Hardcover book, many black and white photos, a few German souvenirs which disappeared, and large maps of the movement of the 30th Division and the resistance they encountered.

    I was wondering, is there still some kind of "get together" of Old Hickory members someplace? The more I learn about what my dad went through, the more amazed I am, and how much respect I have for all that served. My dad passed November 8, 1978.

    PS. I would be interested in any links, books, or other information I may find of my dad. Thank-you.
     
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  18. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    There were two groups of veterans that held reunions. One of the groups had its last reunion in 2015. I'm not sure of the current status of the other group.

    I see your father's name listed on the roster, showing his rank was T/5.

    I suspect that if he went to reunions in the Southeastern US, that your father talked with Mr. Sanford, as Mr. Sanford only missed one reunion, the year before his 1st wife died.

    Here is a site you may want to visit:
    30th Infantry Division IN the list on the left, click on units, then 30 Recon. Under that, you will find rosters, unit histories and After Action Reports.
     
  19. Thomas Fouts

    Thomas Fouts New Member

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    Thank-you so much. I still have my dad's uniform, all professionally cleaned and pressed in a protective case. A valued possession!

    Once again, thank-you!
     

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