On Saturday, April 20, a few of the World War 2 Guys hit the field for a little spring training. Jon, Fisk and Eric headed up to Ft. Atkinson for some morning fun. The uniform of the day was HBT Coveralls, Helmets, and Jump Boots replicating the look of the typical 507th trooper at Alliance Army Air Field in April 1943. We started the day by giving Fisk a tour of the fort and it's buildings and attractions. We did some field marching and held a little unit meeting under a grand old tree. We then covered unit hand signals and discussed upcoming events. We finished the day back up on the parade ground throwing around the baseball a little. We didn't have enough guys to do much but it was still great to get outside and take in the beautiful spring weather.
The World War 2 Guys met up at Ft. Atkinson on Sunday, April 29 for our annual Spring Training and baseball game. We had a lighter attendance for this event with Casey, Jon, Matt, and Eric taking part. We started the morning with some much appreciated donuts and coffee supplied by Casey followed by some rifle drill and marching on the parade ground. We held a short administrative meeting covering upcoming events and other important unit topics. The four of us then geared-up and made our way down to the lower river plain for some patrol time. Casey led us on a somewhat lengthy patrol through the trees and grasses on this beautiful sunny morning. We stopped off for a breather and to shoot a few rounds through Staff Sergeant Krelle's new Thompson. Then it was back to the parade ground for some good old fashioned baseball! We knocked-off the rust by warming up our arms first with a few spirited games of catch. Then it was home run derby time with each trooper taking several turns at bat. Corporal Hazard had the longest shot of the day, but the true headline moment was when SSgt. Krelle actually hit the leather cover off a baseball! Seems that he's a regular Roy Hobbs at the plate! It was a really fun event which we will hold again next year for certain.
On Sunday, March 25, the World War 2 Guys held our first training day as our new B-29 Living History Crew. Working in conjunction with the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, we will be conducting living history displays with the museum's B-29 Superfortress "Lucky Lady" a few times each year. Our first event with the public will be April 7 in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the United States Air Force. Our Sunday meeting topics included unit events, recruiting news, HRS news, a unit weapons update, and an indepth study of U.S. Army Air Force uniforms and equipment. We ended the day's activities with a walk through the museum, spending some time with the B-29, the B-17 Flying Fortress, and the B-25 Mitchell.
On Sunday, April 23, the World War 2 Guys visited the Loess Hills near Mondamin, Iowa for some much needed field time. Will, Jeff and Eric came dressed in a mix of Pacific Theater uniforms with Will wearing an early war Camouflage Coveralls ensemble compete with the transitional M1917A1 helmet, and Jeff and Eric wearing the later style HBT uniform. We started the day with some field maneuvers through the picturesque fields and Loess Hills of western Iowa. We made it to the top of some of the highest hills in the area where the views of the Missouri River valley are breathtaking! The three of us took a break to refuel on some K-Rations and share some good old war stories. Then it was on to some live fire time where we pulled out quite a few goodies. Among our arsenal of weapons were a 1903 Springfield, an 1897 Trench Shotgun, an M1 Garand, an M1A1 Carbine, and a replica M16A1 from the Vietnam War era. From 100 yards, our old Direct TV dish made for a nice target. We finished the day with Will modeling for us in his summer khakis which is always a treat! During our time up in the hills, we came up with a great idea to do a Korean War reenactment at this site sometime in 2017. So we're all looking forward to that!
On Sunday, March 19, the men of Company H met for our annual Spring Training event at Fort Atkinson, Nebraska. In attendance were the Sarge, Haz, Cody, Luke, Jon, Jeff, and our new recruit, Tyler. This was the first official event with our new Company H guidon and our new 507th "Jumping Spider" wood sign. We started the day with some WWII style calisthenics followed by some rifle drill and marching. The Sarge unveiled some clever new 507th cadences which had the boys smiling! Next up we covered some important administrative topics to keep the group moving forward in the right direction. Private Paul then gave the squad a rather difficult quiz on World War II history, followed by Corporal Hazard administering a quiz and lecture on the trusty ole' M1911. "Doc" Williams gave an excellent refresher course on real life medical emergencies, including how to spot them an what to do in certain scenarios. We then downed a few K Rations during a quick lunchtime break. After that the gloves, bats and balls came out as we held our first annual baseball day. We all had a unit game of catch and then actually started playing some ball. Cpl. Hazard and Pfc. Hinz were the big hitters both having a few long balls but everyone had a few nice hits. It was so much fun to run around the imaginary bases on the old fort's parade ground! The weather was absolutely wonderful with sunny skies and temps hitting the upper 60's. We followed up the baseball game with a little unit song time and a hearty rendition of 'Blood Upon the Risers'. Our final course was on platoon movements and formations in the field. It was a memorable day for the unit and a really strong way to kick off the 2017 reenacting season!
On Sunday, April 10, the boys of B Company, 507th PIR met up at Ft. Atkinson, Nebraska for our April training event. The weather was wonderful with periods of sun and clouds and temperatures pushing into the 60s. Our training began with some good ole' fashioned rifle drill on the parade ground to loosen up the squad. Luke then instructed us on the Douglas C-47 followed by Will teaching on the various classes of uniforms and headgear. Matt quizzed us on the finer points of the M1 Garand Rifle and Jon gave us a quick refresher on first aid in the field. Staff Sergeant Krelle led the squad in a rousing rendition of "Blood Upon the Risers" followed by a quick break for some K-Rations at the fort's flagpole. Afterwards we did some field maneuvers around the grounds of the fort. We stumbled upon an old barn that served as a really great backdrop for some unit photos and we visited the fort's Memorial to the Fallen. We ran through a first person exercise that each trooper completed in advance to further explore the life they lived as a World War II soldier. And finally, we ended the day making plans for the coming months. We crammed a lot of great activities into five hours and really enjoyed our time together. A final highlight of the day were the promotions of Corporal Hazard and Private First Class Hinz. Congratulations paratroopers!
The boys of B Company, 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment kicked off the month of March with an exciting and educational training day on Sunday, March 6. Our training was intended to simulate the 507th's arrival in Alliance, Nebraska in March 1943. The weather was unseasonably warm and sunny with temperatures pushing into the 70s by the afternoon. Our uniform of the day consisted of HBT Coveralls with basic paratrooper field gear including the Service Gas Mask in the MIVA1Bag. SSgt. Krelle led the training with Sgt. Green, Pfc. Hazard, Pfc. Williams, Pvt. Hinz and Pvt. Paul forming up the squad. The day started out with some basic drill with and without arms. We pulled out some old cadence calls as we marched along dusty gravel roads. We had classroom instruction time on the mission of parachute troops, hand signals, knowing our enemy, and Sgt. Green demonstrated the use of the Service Gas Mask. We performed a road march all the way to the Missouri River where we took a break over some K-Rations, canned peaches and chocolate bars. Afterwards, we brushed up on squad formations in the field as well as dropping to a prone position from a run. We finished our instruction by simulating the attack of an enemy position and clearing a linear obstacle. When all was said and done we had marched over 3.5 miles throughout the day. It was a top notch training event and a great way to kick off 2016 in the field. This was merely one step on the 507th's way to the eventual invasion of Europe!
On Sunday, April 19, the Airborne enthusiasts within the World War 2 Guys met up at Ft. Atkinson for a field training day. In attendance were Will, Matt, Eric, Casey, Bob and Luke. This was the first time out in the field for both Bob and Luke, two great new additions to our unit. The weather was the story of the day with gusty winds, temperatures in the 50s, and a constant heavy rain. We all agreed that it felt very much like we really were training in England before the D-Day invasion. We started with classroom instruction with Will walking us through what it was like to be a soldier in World War II. This led to a good interactive discussion on uniforms and field gear of Airborne paratroopers. Matt then led us through field striping the M-1 Garand Rifle and then reassembly and proper rifle lubrication. Casey gave some instruction on hand signals used in the field as well as tactical formations for squad level movement. With a lull in the rain, the six of us headed outdoors to put some of our knowledge to practical use. We did some squad movements across various types of terrain using hand signals. This was followed by Eric giving a brief course on camouflage and concealment for the individual soldier. We ended the day with some more field maneuvers and then headed back up to the fort. We covered a lot of material in a few short hours and had a great time hanging out as a unit. Can't wait to do it all again!
Read all about the great events that the World War 2 Guys take part in throughout the year.