On Saturday, March 11, the World War 2 Guys kicked off their 2023 season at the 144th Annual Omaha St. Patrick's Day Parade organized by the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Our line-up for the day included Jerrimy, Will, Eric, Matt, Cody, and Jacob who was joining us for the first time. The story of the day was the weather which was typically nasty for March in Nebraska. Temps were hovering in the low 30s with continuous rain for the whole parade. Thanks to Uncle Sam, our M1943 uniforms incorporating the layering principle kept us pretty warm, however our toes and fingers still got a little numb. Our uniform for the day was focused on the 17th Airborne Division at Operation Varsity in late March 1945. Two of the notable features of this uniform are the American Flag worn on the right sleeve and the Parachute First Aid Packet tied to the front of the helmet net. The parade itself was quick and enjoyable with hundreds of enthusiastic spectators braving the cold, wet morning to support a favorite Omaha tradition. Afterwards our group tried to get into the Dubliner for a pint, but they were overcrowded so we had to find another venue. So the boys from H Company headed west and snuggled into a nice Party Room table at The Brazenhead. With Guinness all around, some Reubens, and some cold Bangers and Mash our squad spent an enjoyable lunch hour together talkin' Army stuff and events to come.
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 Sunday, March 22, Casey, Will, Matt and Eric along with photographers Bob and Dan headed out to Camp Sill for a photo shoot honoring the 70th Anniversary of the Operation Varsity jump. The four of us did our best at recreating the uniforms of the 17th Airborne Division for this event spending weeks trying to get everything as accurate as possible. Some unique features of this uniform are the M43 uniform, the American flag patches on the right sleeve, typically the Parachutist's First Aid Pouch attached to the helmet, and a mix of both early khaki and later OD#7 field gear. Temperatures were rather warm for a March day in Nebraska, but we all enjoyed being together and spending some time in the field.
Read all about the great events that the World War 2 Guys take part in throughout the year.