On Tuesday, July 4, the World War 2 Guys were back in action at our favorite Independence Day Parade in the historic Field Club Neighborhood. Our unit impression was open this year so in attendance we had Joe as a 2nd Armored Division infantryman, Jacob as a 101st Airborne paratrooper, Eric as a B-29 Superfortress pilot in the Pacific, and Will as a street sweepin' US Army soldier in his denim work fatigues. The weather was perfect for the 4th of July and we had a great time being together as always!
On Tuesday, June 6, Eric was invited to set-up a D-Day themed display at the Omaha Golden K Kiwanis Club weekly meeting. First Sergeant Dan Falcon, who is a big deal in the local Airborne community and a strong supporter of our group, invited me to be a part of his presentation. Dan has been an 82nd Airborne paratrooper since the 1970s and is a tremendous leader both with JROTC and with Airborne veterans. The morning provided another great chance to show off some of the uniforms, equipment, and weapons that the brave men of the 82nd and 101st Airborne took into battle 79 years ago in Normandy.
On Sunday, June 4, the World War 2 Guys were happy to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Omaha's Memorial Park dedication. On hand for the day were Will representing a Bombardier of the 20th Air Force, Eric was a U.S. Marine on Iwo Jima, Deqlan was a 507th trooper from Alliance Army Air Base, Jacob was a 101st Airborne trooper in Normandy, and Joe was a 101st trooper in the Vietnam War. We had our WWII Small Wall Tent, a WWII Shelter Tent, and a Vietnam War poncho hooch all set up for our display layouts. We had lots of visitors throughout the day and some thunder and heavy rain as well. It was a fun chance to interact with the public in one of Omaha's greatest settings.
On Saturday, April 29, the World War 2 Guys gathered for our annual Spring Training event. We held our event at historic Fort Atkinson which stood in for Alliance Army Air Base in far western Nebraska. The time period for the weekend was the spring of 1943 wearing HBT Coveralls with Jump Boots, M-1941 Field Jackets, and typical web gear. We had seven enthusiastic troopers in attendance making this one of our larger training events. Leading quite a bit of the training was our top-notch Sergeant Patzke, who did an excellent job keeping us educated, on schedule, and out of trouble. Some of the afternoon highlights were a uniform and equipment class led by Corporal Green, rifle drill and marching on the parade ground, and even a little recreational baseball time. For supper, Sarge cooked us up a delicious meal of beef stew with bread, tea, and apple pie for dessert. Following dining room clean-up, we did a spirited unit field march and practiced our hand signals and squad field formations. We even took out a pesky sniper hidden in the Powder Magazine! This was followed by a nighttime showing of the 1949 Van Johnson film "Battleground" right on the west wall of the fort. This was a really neat activity out under the starry sky, imagining what it must have been like in the Army long ago. Our overnight stay in the fort's barracks was fairly comfortable in our 1820's era bunks. In the morning there were donuts and coffee as well as some light unit calisthenics. As the weekend came to a close, we all realized that this was quite possibly the best training event we've ever done as a unit. We're already tossing around some ideas for 2024 and ways to make this event even better!
On Saturday, October 15, Eric and Joe headed out to the beautiful outdoors for a quick Vietnam photo shoot. The focus for this event was the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the fall of 1965. This was around the time of Operation Hump which began on November 5, 1965. Staff Sergeant Krelle was wearing the classic OG-107 Utility Uniform with Corcoran black leather jump boots. SP4 Quinn was wearing the 1st Pattern Jungle Fatigues with 2nd Pattern Jungle Boots. It was a gorgeous day with all of the fall colors in their full majesty.
On Saturday, May 28, the World War 2 Guys marched in Omaha's 2nd Annual Memorial Weekend Parade through downtown Omaha. After tossing around a few other ideas, we decided to go with a timeline walk again this year. Our representative soldiers were Will for World War II, Cody for the Korean War, Eric for the Vietnam War, and Mark for Desert Storm. The crowds were huge once again and the weather was about as nice as you could get for a Saturday morning parade! We'll certainly be back again next year.
On Saturday, April 23, the World War 2 Guys were excited and honored to be a part of a ceremony remembering the 51 members of the 73rd Cavalry Regiment who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Global War on Terror. The event took place at Omaha's beautiful Memorial Park near the Airborne Memorial. 51 new bricks were unveiled directly behind the Airborne trooper statue in a moving ceremony. To assist with the unveiling were Jerrimy representing a World War II paratrooper of the 82nd Airborne Division, Eric representing an 82nd trooper from 1965 in the Dominican Republic, and Joe representing an 82nd trooper from 1983 in Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada. It was a great event to be associated with and a pleasure to help recognize and remember those who have given their lives in the service of our country.
On Saturday, April 9, the boys of H Company gathered for our annual Spring Training event at Fort Atkinson. In attendance were Eric, Will, Matt, Mike, Joe, and Jerrimy. The day started off with rifle drill and some basic marching on the parade ground. Jerrimy did an excellent job guiding us through this phase of our training! Next up was some familiarization time with the 17th Airborne uniform, equipment, and weapons used in Operation Varsity. That was followed by everyone's favorite time of day - chow time! Jerrimy showed off his new 5 in 1 Rations project that he's diligently been working on. Everyone was impressed with the quality and attention to detail that he's been putting into his WWII rations research. We did some refresher course work on our hand signals and field formations work from last month followed by a little field march. We got some great photos of a few troopers doing a mock house clearing which was fun. The day ended with some good old fashioned baseball time with a few of the guys getting some nice hits. Hazard's head almost got taken off by a line drive but he survived! It was a great day and another top notch event for the World War 2 Guys!
On Saturday, February 26, the boys of H Company, 507th PIR kicked off our exciting 2022 season with a winter training event at the Loess Hills State Forest. This was the first of two training events leading up to our Operation Varsity event in May. In attendance were Privates Mason, Quinn, Patzke and Yurgil along with Pfc. Williams, Sgt. Hazard and SSgt. Krelle. The morning started with a vigorous field march up and down the picturesque hills of our training site. Sgt. Hazard led the way in an action that sets our unit apart from many others in the field. We then began some classroom training led by SSgt. Krelle who covered squad hand signals, squad structure, and movement in the field. The whole squad enjoyed a test run of new C-Rations created by Pvt. Patzke which tasted excellent and looked extremely authentic as well. Our unit now has a reliable source of period correct rations for future events. We then spent time as a squad moving in the field using various formations such as open and closed squad columns, skirmish lines, a wedge formation, and the diamond formation. As a final exercise, we assaulted a group of unsuspecting German armored vehicles using a base of fire and maneuver team with much success. We ended our day discussing our 2022 events schedule and plans for the year ahead. It was a great first event and a pleasure to see our group together in action once again!
Read all about the great events that the World War 2 Guys take part in throughout the year.