02/20/2016

Attended Recruitment Day at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at the Carlisle Army Barracks in Carlisle, PA. Had a great day and talked to many people about the group as well as interacted with many other reenactors from different periods and made new friends. The center has areas in the fields around the building that are set up to look like different eras of conflicts that the Army has been involved. There were trenches from WWI, alot of WWII areas like barracks and training obstacle courses among things. Alot of vehicles too. Check out the pics on the Photos page. If you are ever in the area it is definitely worth visiting. US Army Heritage and Education Center

2016

11/07-08/2015

Supported the Sigal Museum at the annual "Baconfest" event in Easton PA

09/26-27/2015

Historic Soldiers Weekend at Historic Fort Mott. Great weather and a great event. Soldiers timeline from colonial era through present day were represented. Lana Turner and Lt Vince Turner (we call them "The Turners") entertained the troops and the public. They really put on one hell of a show! And one of our very own, Pvt Justin "Abner" Fay popped the question to his wonderful and lovely girlfriend Jolene Busher. This was special to the unit also because they met through the unit. We met Jolene at one of the first events we attended at the 9th and then Justin joined, met Jolene at the Devil's Den and the rest is history. We are so happy and proud for them! Another great thing at the event was meeting a 78th veteran who was the switchboard/radio man. This was especially exciting for TSGT Gary Oprendek because that is his position in the 9th. Gary and him talked at length about the equipment and we all loved listenening to his stories.

08/21-23/2015

Attended D-Day at Conneaut, OH

07/25/2015

"Call od Duty" at the Greate Egg Harbor Historical Society. We love this event! A great time was had by all. We set up a camp, drilled and marched. The Fubar Boys entertained the crowd with thier outstanding sets and we had weapons demonstrations by the many units participating!.

06/07-07/2015

Attended Easton Salute to the Soldeiers in Easton, PA

05/16/2015

Members of the 9th Division were honored to be asked to the wedding of Justin Fay and Jolene Buscher. We met Jolene at one of our first events as a unit and she quickly became an honorary general in the unit. Justin joined the group later that year and met her at The Devils Den at the Gap the following January. The rest is history. We are so proud of both of them and wish them tons of love an happiness in the future!!

04/25/2015

Battle for the Rhine at Fort Mott.

03/07/2015

The 9th Division WWII HPS attended the Annual CLA Dining Out and 112th Field Artillery Reunion once again this year.

After setting up an extensive display in the back of the country club, members of the 9th Division WWII HPS talked the guests about our displays and about thier experiences.  Dressed in our Class A uniforms, we talked with veterans from WWII through the current Afghanistan veterans. The evening ceremonies included toasts from various members of the units represented, and several awards to members of the CLA, and other dignitaries present. It was a memorable night!

01/29/2015 - 02/02/2015

The saying “War is Hell.” is an understatement, the horrors and scourge that war brings to the planet is not a subject to make light of. But, the War wasn’t all bad. Sometimes it was even fun, the camaraderie, friendships, and adventures that occurred will forever live in our memories, and will scare be relived. One such “up” period for the unit’s enlistment was shortly after the Battle of the Bulge, in Belgium. The men were resting and had leave on base.

            A few industrious GIs decided to utilize one of the base’s unused shacks to open and enlisted men’s club. After a few days of cleaning, stocking, and decorating the aptly named “Devil’s Den” was open. With beer kegs liberated from the mess, and “V1 Rocket Fuel” and “Hedgerow Cutter Juice” (both concoctions made from whatever kind of hooch the boys could get their hands on) and rag-tag band of men from the unit, the Den was ready for a party. The first night of operation was a little slow, mostly bored and curios grunts looking for somewhere new to go. By the second night place was packed within an hour. Soldiers were laughing and singing, some had begun to bet on rat races in one corner; all in all , it was a good time. To look at the ear to ear grins, and goofy behavior, and to hear the raucous singing you’d think you’d walked into a sports bar after a huge victory for the local team; but this happiness is more earnest. The men in the Devil’s Den have a pure happiness, for they’re surviving war and just happy to be alive.
 
01/01/2015

Happy New Year!!!

2015

12/13/2014 (evening/night)

Soldier's Christmas at Historic Fort Mott. The 9th and cooperation with Fort Mott hosted "A soldier's Christmas at the fort. The 9th portrayed the celebration of being taken off the line for some needed Rest just prior to the Battle of the Bulge. The public was greeted by singing, smilling, laughing G.I.s' whose spirits were high as they thought of Christmas. As the public was beginning to share the joy of the season, a message came in that tore away the laughter and song. The sarg formed the men up, right faced them, and marched them back to the front. The Germans, had breached a sector in the Ardennes.
Merry Christmas.

12/13/2014 (afternoon)

Wreaths Across America at Finn's Point National Military Cemetary. As before we were honored to be the honor guard and flag bearers for the wonderful event to honor our veterans who have given thier lives in the service of our country. Please support this endeavor. Visit the site and make a donation - https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/

11/08/2014

Thank a Vet for "Saving Your Bacon"… that was our slogan for Easton's Bacon Fest 2014. Having been asked to participate, but honor Veterans as well, the 9th Infantry HPS found themselves representing American Soldier's from the Revolutionary War to Viet Nam. We set up a small display (courtesy of Matt Carroll) and had guys in uniform as a Colonial Soldier "Patriot", a few Civil War "Hillbilly Yanks", a WWI "Dough Boy", and a mix of WWI I impressions that included a Tanker, Airborne, Army Air Corp Bomber Pilot, several regular "GI Joes" (that means Infantry or foot soldier), Signal Corps and our Viet Nam "Tunnel Rat".
Our impromptu sign (dreamed up at Louis's river house the night before) "All real Americans LOVE the taste of BACON" signed: General G.S. Patton Jr., 11, November, 1943 - got much attention and lots of photos.
We also had another mission at hand: the 9th was there, with the full support of Frank (Owner of Cheeburger, Cheeburger) to try and secure interest in bringing a Historical American Soldier event to Easton. Frank has given his full (and we do mean FULL) support on this bold endeavor. We did get to meet the Mayor of Easton, Sal Panto Jr.; and he was eager to hear what we wanted to do. He was truly enthusiastic and was thrilled by the idea and concept. The target date would be June 6 & 7 – D-Day Anniversary. Mr. Mayor was delighted with this date as he stated "Our Venue is OPEN then, and it would be a perfect fit to flush out our schedule of events!" Key was having both Frank and Sal Panto meet our very own Matt Carroll – and details on an HSW type event were offered up. NOW, we will move the ball forward and hope that we can bring "Easton Salutes the American Soldier" to life in 2015!
We also welcomed a few new recruits to the ranks: Max, Kyle and Arron – all would be terrific guys to bolster our ranks! All in all it was a fun event, with Bacon EVERYWHERE you looked!
Lastly, we want to thank Frank at Cheeburger, Cheeburger for feeding the troops both days! What truly sincere hospitality and GREAT CHOW! We all learned that Frank is a really shy, low-key, moderate fella – YEA, RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks again to all who attended this event. No doubt, those who know him well, truly MISSED that Gary O was not with us – for God's sake "HE LOVES BACON!"

09/26-27/2014

Historic Soldiers Weekend at Historic Fort Mott. Great weather and a great event. Soldiers timeline from colonial era through present day were represented. Lana Turner and Lt Vince Turner (we call them "The Turners") entertained the troops and the public. They really put on one hell of a show! And one of our very own, Pvt Justin "Abner" Fay popped the question to his wonderful and lovely girlfriend Jolene Busher. This was special to the unit also because they met through the unit. We met Jolene at one of the first events we attended at the 9th and then Justin joined, met Jolene at the Devil's Den and the rest is history. We are so happy and proud for them! Another great thing at the event was meeting a 78th veteran who was the switchboard/radio man. This was especially exciting for TSGT Gary Oprendek because that is his position in the 9th. Gary and him talked at length about the equipment and we all loved listenening to his stories.

08/23/2014

The unity attended D-Day at Conneaut, PA. This event was great! Make sure you check out the pics on the Photos page. There is even a short video of the tank firing. Here is the AAR from Sgt. Tom Pucci:

It was a chilly, damp and gray day. Grim faces sat round a table and fretted carefully over the maps and papers. A lonely figure stood off in the corner looking out the window and shook his head, ever so slightly at the discouraging weather outside. His mood was a match for the dark clouds and sopping rains coming down. No one spoke. The room was engulfed in the silence. But that was June, 1944 in England, and the world would soon know that "Operation Overlord" had been unleashed. D-Day, as it would ever after be known, was under way with one single phrase. "Let's Go."

And now, we find ourselves some 70 years later, heading to Conneaut Ohio for the annual D-Day Invasion re-enactment on the shores of Lake Erie. This event has been going on for 15 years and each year, it gets bigger and better. It now boasts of being the largest WWII event in the U.S.A. Allies and Axis forces gather from all over the country and abroad to assault the mocked up shores of Normandy in this quaint little town. Complete with bunkers, artillery, machine gun pits, beach obstacles, multiple landing craft (Higgins Boat, Alligators and LSTs), several P-51 Mustangs providing air cover and a B-25 Bomber, accompanied by some 1500 Allied Invasion troops "Hit the beach" and engage some 600 German defenders who boast their own artillery including the infamous German 88. To find oneself on a period correct landing Craft charging in against the waves and the enemy was like no other battle re-enactment one can experience. The Town of Conneaut likes (YES, likes) Reenactors! They have truly become a reenactor-friendly town. That alone was a great feeling and the "Thank You's" alone make it worth the trip if you are a living history guy. The staff running this event was exemplary as well. This event ran like a Swiss Clock! Kudos to Betsy and Rob Bayshore and all their people and volunteers that put this event on… they do an outstanding job!
And then, there was the Fubar Boys! Yes, our very own GI Combo was the evening's entertainment on Saturday at the vintage Legion Hall. We were joined by Jennelle Gilreath and loved hearing her sing again. This was a FUN place to spend the evening for sure. Highlighting the night had to be a few hardy WWII Airborne Veterans who took the stage (like they did D-Day) and gave us all a lasting and truly unique experience; singing "Glory, Glory what a Helluva way to Die"… followed by a few other tunes and stories. No one there will ever forget those special moments!
Let's NEVER forget all our Vets!!!! WE salute them and hope we carry on in their spirit and memory.

07/26/2014

Soldier's Weekend at the Greate Egg Harbor Historical Society. We love this event! A great time was had by all. We set up a camp, drilled and marched. The Fubar Boys entertained the crowd with thier outstanding sets and we had weapons demonstrations by the many units participating!.

08/09/2014

Members of the unit set up a display of different time periods at the Segal Museum in Easton, PA.

06/07/2014

The 9th were the guests of the Fort Mott coastal artillery at WWII weekend in Reading PA and we greatly appreicaited the invite. we had a great time!

04/29/2014

The family of William "Wild Bill" Guarnere reached out to their friends in the 9th Division for their support with the Memorial Service On Tuesday April 29th, 2014 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia PA. It was an appropriate venue for the South Philly native and it was a packed house of fans, friends and family who attended to pay their last respects to a man who was larger than life.

The guest speakers included Mr. Guarnere's family, Talk show host Dom Giordano, Philly sports legend Vince Papale (of the movie Invisible fame), Mrs New Jersey, several senators, Philly councilmen and Judge Shamus McCafferty. The seats were filled with veterans from WWII, the 101st airborne association, and many, many more.

The 9th division's history with Mr. Guarnere dates back to 2002, when members of the 9th division met the WWII legend at a speaking appearance for students at a Medford NJ location. Joe Toyes son was a good friend of the History teacher from Shawnee who wanted his students to learn history from the actual veterans. That was where we first met Mr. Guarnere. Mr. Guarnere was always sharp as a tack, and he was always ready to tell folks how it was in WWII. He was always the life of the party.

We brought Babe and Bill over to Medford NJ on another occasion for a weekend BBQ with high school students in Medford a few months later. Mr. Guarnere never tired of calling us "NJ hicks" and busting our chops. He also enjoyed bugging babe who was down in the dumps while he was confined to his wheelchair.
Over the next few years, we took Mr. Guarnere to breakfast on numerous occasions (he would rarely eat anything with us) and we learned to make sure we brought cakes, food, beer, bakery cookies etc. and stocked his kitchen for after we left.

We were proud to have Mr. Guarnere attend the events we hosted such as Historic Soldiers Weekend in New Jersey. We were always happy to see "Wild Bill" out and about at Reading, Plymouth Meeting Armory or any other military or WWII event.

Mr. Guarnere was on a very tight schedule after the TV series was released on video – always signing items, answering EVERY letter he received, and visiting his friends. He had his "date book" nearby at all times and he was always aware of not only his schedule, but also that of all of the 101st veterans. He was the glue that held the organization together, and he was the one who kept their reunions going (which is no small task).
He worked with Babe Heffron to get their own book released, and started to tour for that as well. Through all of that, Mr. Guarnere was never too busy for our guys and always had time for us at events he was appearing at.

The stories were heard and the lessons we learned from Mr. Guarnere are priceless. Why did he do the things he did? Why did he have to leave his foxhole, how did he endure the constant artillery barrages without breaking, and why did he risk his life and leave his foxhole for his friend? He said, "Somebody had to do it. Why not me?"

When we think of leadership, self-sacrifice, putting your friends / comrades above yourself, and a humble hero…we will always think of Mr. Bill Guarnere.

04/19/2014

The members of the 9th attended further shooting for the film "Surviors Stories". We can't wait to see the finished film!

03/29/2014

The "Battle for the Rhine" at Fort Mott. Unfortunatly the weather didnt cooperate with us this year. We did get off the morning battle but after that the torrential downpours put a damper on the event. Amazingly, we still had a large turnout! Thank you to all the courageous souls who braved the bad weather to come out to the event. As the casemates are now waterproofed we have a large indoor area to hold our events even though the weather outside is less than optimal.

03/01/2014

The 9th Division WWII HPS attended the Annual CLA Dining Out and 112th Field Artillery Reunion once again this year.

After setting up an extensive display in the back of the country club, members of the 9th Division WWII HPS talked the guests about our displays and about thier experiences.  Dressed in our Class A uniforms, we talked with veterans from WWII through the current Afghanistan veterans. The evening ceremonies included toasts from various members of the units represented, and several awards to members of the CLA, and other dignitaries present. It was a memorable night!

01/30/2014 - 02/01/2014

The saying “War is Hell.” is an understatement, the horrors and scourge that war brings to the planet is not a subject to make light of. But, the War wasn’t all bad. Sometimes it was even fun, the camaraderie, friendships, and adventures that occurred will forever live in our memories, and will scare be relived. One such “up” period for the unit’s enlistment was shortly after the Battle of the Bulge, in Belgium. The men were resting and had leave on base.

            A few industrious GIs decided to utilize one of the base’s unused shacks to open and enlisted men’s club. After a few days of cleaning, stocking, and decorating the aptly named “Devil’s Den” was open. With beer kegs liberated from the mess, and “V1 Rocket Fuel” and “Hedgerow Cutter Juice” (both concoctions made from whatever kind of hooch the boys could get their hands on) and rag-tag band of men from the unit, the Den was ready for a party. The first night of operation was a little slow, mostly bored and curios grunts looking for somewhere new to go. By the second night place was packed within an hour. Soldiers were laughing and singing, some had begun to bet on rat races in one corner; all in all , it was a good time. To look at the ear to ear grins, and goofy behavior, and to hear the raucous singing you’d think you’d walked into a sports bar after a huge victory for the local team; but this happiness is more earnest. The men in the Devil’s Den have a pure happiness, for they’re surviving war and just happy to be alive.
 
01/01/2014

Happy New Year!!!

2014

12/14/2013 (evening/night)

Soldier's Christmas at Historic Fort Mott.

For most Americans, Christmastime is a time for families, festivities faith and goodwill towards men. There are Christmas feasts, Christmas pageants, and Christmas presents under a trimmed and decorated Christmas tree. However; for a small group of American GIs, this Christmas was nothing like the standard Norman Rockwell scenes that most of us have to come to associate with the holiday season. Christmas is a tough time for any soldier, be he on the front lines, or lucky enough to be on pass; but all soldiers miss the comforts of home and family. A small group of soldiers feels this homesickness and war weariness more than most. These soldiers are prisoners of war, held by the German army.

Some of the soldiers in the prison camp had lost count of how long exactly they had been there. The cold gray days all blend into one eternity for the men during winter; not being allowed outside because of the weather. Their only solace is their confidence in the American fighting man and their hope for an impending rescue. However; this day was different, everyone knew what day it was today. It was 25 December, it was Christmas Day.
The Stalag was cold and damp, more so than usual on this Christmas morning. The GIs lit their Smokey Joes, heated water and coffee, and groggily got ready for the camp commandante's inspection. The GIs expected no turkey with trimmings, no fruitcake or eggnog, and certainly no gifts. After all, the Germans had held their Red Cross boxes and mail for months. The men began to mill around their small fires, trying to drive the cold from their bones as they wished each other "Merry Christmas," and sang a few Christmas carols to try and lift their spirits. The Commandante's shrill whistle brought the men to attention.

A thin snarl appeared on his lips; one would guess his attempt at a smile. "Merry Christmas miene freunde," he sneers. Two Germans make the rounds, one old man, too old to fight anyway, paired with a young kid no older than 16. These guys had to be close losing the war to enlist these men. This might explain their next action: a few more Germans trailed in carrying crates, crates that appear to be filled with fresh blankets and clothes. The Commandante goes on to explain that "Due to our good behavior, and his good spirits…" they were finally giving us our mail and packages. It just goes to show you that even the coldest of hearts can be swayed by good tidings during Christmas.

The men felt a little bit of that Christmas magic when they got their letters and goodies from home. Sure, the news a little old, and cookies a little stale, but to the GIs in that prison camp everything tasted a little bit sweeter that day with the memories of home and the hope that they'd be back home for the following Christmas.

12/14/2013 (afternoon)

Wreaths Across America at Finn's Point National Military Cemetary. As before we were honored to be the honor guard and flag bearers for the wonderful event to honor our veterans who have given thier lives in the service of our country. Please support this endeavor. Visit the site and make a donation - https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/

11/16/2013

The unit was honored to be asked to participate in the making of the documentary "Angels In The Mud". It was a great weekend for filming and we enjoyed it thoroughly!

10/26/2013

The unit attended the 4th Annual Military History Day at Tamanend Park in Southampton, PA.

09/28-29/2013

Historic Soldiers Weekend at Historic Fort Mott. Great weather and a great event. Soldiers timeline from colonial era through present day were represented. Lana Turner and Lt Vince Turner (we call them "The Turners") entertained the troops and the public. They really put on one hell of a show! And one of our very own, Pvt Justin "Abner" Fay popped the question to his wonderful and lovely girlfriend Jolene Busher. This was special to the unit also because they met through the unit. We met Jolene at one of the first events we attended at the 9th and then Justin joined, met Jolene at the Devil's Den and the rest is history. We are so happy and proud for them! Another great thing at the event was meeting a 78th veteran who was the switchboard/radio man. This was especially exciting for TSGT Gary Oprendek because that is his position in the 9th. Gary and him talked at length about the equipment and we all loved listenening to his stories.

08/24/2013

The unit were cast members in the filming of "Survivors Stories - WWII North Africa". According to some vets the filming site looked exactly like North Africa. It was Africa hot too. We refilmed some scenes that was shot the last time we were here and some additional new scenes. We really can't wait to see the finished product!!!!!! We would like to thank Mike and the whole film crew and we look forward to working with you more!

07/27/2013

It was a hot mid-July day. The flies were buzzing, not a breeze blowing, nor a cloud in the sky. The grounds were silent save the "crunch, crunch, crunch" of a soldier's boots on the ground, or so one would think; but this sound is much too loud for just one man. The unity and precision of the six-man squad under the direction of their sergeant is impressive, indicating a hardened group of crack soldiers. The group comes marching around the Great Egg Harbor Historical Society and Museum. The men of the 9th Infantry Division soon make themselves known: drilling, marching, singing cadences, and interacting with the public, the squad has the crowd enthralled. After a short demonstration of rifle drills and marching, the squad is dismissed. Like true soldiers the men start to mill around: some joking, some smoking, some napping, some talking to the public; all under the awestruck eyes of the now crowded park. The display of weapons, camp setup, and machine gun emplacement, and half-ton truck make the camp look like a photo torn right from YANK Magazine.

Under the pavilion, the true heroes, the men to whom we are forever indebted, the men whom we attempt to emulate are speaking. There is a period of story-telling and question and answer with World War II veterans. Reenactors and public alike sit on the edge of their seats, holding on to every word. As the veterans close their session, a rowdy, rag-tag group of soldiers takes the stage. They are the FUBAR Boys, a few men of the 9th, who have formed a band. After they are done setting up, and were announced by the MC, the band looks out and is surprised to see a sizable crowd assembled. The band plays a some period correct tunes, the audience cheering and singing along. When the band wraps up and heads back to camp, the crowd follows, eager to see what comes next. A swarm of spectators invades the camp, asking questions, thanking the group, enjoying the displays and company. After what seemed like only a short break, the men are back on their feet, marching once again. With what seems like endless energy the men return to camp, throwing a baseball, practicing rifle drills and relaxing in camp. As the day winds down, the people that planned this event give thanks to the 9th. Asking us to return and giving us their appreciation.

The men of the 9th have made such an impression on this small town, donations of original Nazi memorabilia are made. Veterans' families, and the veterans themselves come into camp to swap stories, teach, and learn. History buffs bring out photos, stories of parents, even a BAR. However; what means the most to the squad is the veterans, now thin, gray, and bent with age who seem to get a little younger at events; they start telling us of their experiences in the War, some stories being told for the first time. Seeing the reenactors seems to bring them back to those years in which they earned the moniker "The Greatest Generation."

A special thanks to Mr. Dan Lawless, event coordinator for all his help and support running this event.

06/15/2013

The Unit attended the Honor Flight for our Veterans in Washington, DC. We were thrilled to greet the Vets at the event. We set up displays and talked with them and made many new friends. We can't wait to do it again!

06/08/2013

The Unit attended the D-Day event at Eisenhower's Farm in Gettysburg, PA. AAR:.

It lingered. No matter how much you tried to not feel it, it was there. You tried to make lite of it with jokes, to hide it, to say and show you weren't scared. We all did it. At least those of us this night, in this army, but there was no dislodging it. We tried to write it away with letters to our moms and dads or that special girl, and for a moment it would seem to be gone, but it wasn't. We tried to play it way with poker and craps, but there was no way to dislodge it. There were moments, minutes, seconds that it would appear to be gone but it would return. That crick in the nap of your neck, a stiff haunting pain that made you twist your neck or lift your hands to try and massage it away, but it was still there. Yea, it lingered. It lingered in your stomach, a heavy knot that caused one to become nauseous. The attempt to sleep it away was useless, so trying to sleep it away was futile. That anxiety clung to us, all of us like a leach imbedded on our bodies extracting our blood. Yes, it lingered all night, and then. . . Morning had Come!

There was a pause in the rain, and deep thick fog veiled the choppy seas of the Chanel. Gray shadowy figures clung to rope ladders flung off the side of ships; the frightened soldiers lowered themselves into the heaving Higgen's boats. The salty mist of the sea could be smelled as it moisture seeped in to their uniforms, causing them to cling to their damp bodies. Just as the descent into the Higgins's boats was silent, so to was the way to the beaches. All that could be heard was the drone of the boats motors, and a GI occasionally saying the Lord's Prayer. Yes, morning had come, and for some it would come no more. This was D-Day, June 6th 1944.

The 9th honored D-Day again at the home of the Supreme Allied Commander uropean Theater of Operations, General Dwight David Eisenhower in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The 9th this year portrayed the 4th Cavalry Group. The 4th Cav. put ashore the first Allied soldiers of the D-Day invasion on the Îles Saint-Marcouf islands off the coast of France. With the islands unoccupied, but heavily booby trapped, the cavalrymen came ashore at Utah Beach.

The highlight of the event was suiting up the youth, from ages of 4 to 1 in G.I. Equipment to give them a better understanding of what the men carried on to the beaches and weight of the equipment, which included, mok-M1 Grande, knap sack, ammo belt, gas mask bag, gas mask, bandoliers, mock-grenades, G.P. bag, and helmet.

After they were suited up, they were placed into simulated Higgins's boat. They were then swayed around as if on the ocean, sprayed with water, and when the ramp went down, they were ordered to, "HIT THE BEACH." Afterwards, they were duly paid with, and given a few period rations.
The smiles on their face, and of their parents was the reward.

 
05/18/2013

The Armed Forces Heritage House Museum held an event at Johnson's Farm in Medford, NJ this weekend to raise money for the museum. We felt that this is a very worthwhile event and we came in full force. We set up a mock D-Day landing craft and let spectators suit up in gear and exit the landing craft to teach what it was like for the soldiers when they hit the beach on D-Day 1944. This was a great event and we are always happy to help our friends at Joint Base Mcguire/Dix/Lakehurst. We are always at thier beck and call. If you wish to support the museum you can contact them via thier site - http://www.armedforcesheritagehouse.org/

04/5-13/2013

Members of the 9th Division WWII HPS took a trip to Europe to tour the battlefields. We are still getting all of the photos and events organized. A special page is being developed to take you along on our tour. It will be up and running soon! Stay tuned!

03/16/2013

March 1945. Somewhere in Belgium.

As the dawn broke through the fog of the early morning, our troops were just arriving in from their contact patrols. They appeared tired and moved in such automation, that they have been asleep on their feet. The unlucky ones, who were awoken by the shuffling feet, lifted off their GI blankets and shelter half's, cursed at the amount of frost on the ground, and the amount of water in their foxholes and now also on their gear. As if one body, they staggered into the freshly acquired casements and bunkers, no longer property of the German army which had become our new CP.
The CP had been transformed into a highway of radio wires, field phones and switchboards. Lines were going in all directions, and it made the GI's smile, and feel good to know that they were not the only ones up late "working" last night. That GI signal corps wire does not run itself. Some guys where hauling wire out all night.
They loitered near the CP, under cover long enough to grab a cup of cold Joe, and something to drown out their stomach grumblings, all the time awaiting either new orders, mail call or maybe even a brief respite.
The word came down from the sgt, it was "off and on" again- off you're a$$ and on yer feet…we are driving on to the Rhine.
Comrades helped comrades into their harnesses, and fresh bandages were either removes or darkened with soot, to prevent standing out. As the word came down to "load and lock", the men glanced at their buddies as they broke into two columns. Was it goodluck or was it goodbye, which was inside that last unspoken glance to their friends as they moved out, slowly…methodically….steadily…like time itself …onward to the next objective.
The Battle to the Rhine was a combined arms campaign that placed both war-weary veterans and green GI divisions on the lines as the GI's forced their way towards the last natural barrier between them and the enemy homeland. The epic battles that followed were to test the allied supply chain, of both men and materials as well as the GI resolve.

02/17/2013

The Unit attended the Guy Anhorn Memorial Veteran's Fair at the National Guard Armory in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. First off, the unit wishes to give our condolences to the Anhorn family for thier loss. We have worked with Guy in the past and considered him a friend. We grieve with all who knew him.

The Unit set up an enlistment office and barracks display in order to show the public what life was like for GI's during the War. We supplied the MP's for the event and they escorted the Veterans in to the hall where they were promptly sat down and reenlisted. They loved it. We also enlisted many young children and drilled them. We suited them up with equipment so that they had a hands-on learning experience, which is what living history is about. We are not a unit that does static displays. We like to teach the public, not put on a museum display.

There were highlights of the day for Unit members. The Pucci brothers met a Veteran who served in the same unit as thier father in Vienna. Sgt Oprendek found to his surprise that the Pearl Harbor survivor and his brother, who is also a Veteran, grew up near and knew his grandfather and father. It is definitely a small world!

 

01/22-26/2013

Battle of the Bulge at Fort Indiantown Gap.

Snow began to falling and covering The markers are covered in snow. So too are the monuments that have been erected to those forever young who were caught in the crosshair of a German rifle. Wind and time have swept away the crimson of blood that stained the snow, and the olive drab of a soldier. A soldier who then lies still and as cold as the snow that blankets him, and we ask, what was his last thought? What did he think of? Did he have time to think? Was his death quick and painless or was it a lingering torment of pain and anguish. We think of those who survived and so we honor them. But they too have been forever damaged even if they had escaped the hell of war. For them it is guilt. Their guilt, a guilt that we cannot understand, truly, and one that cannot be explained and so we honor them. We remember the names; Malmedy, St. Vith, Bastogne, but do we remember their sacrifice? We honor them because it is the right thing to do. But I ask, have we reached out to them; to thank them, to help them across a street, to give them a hand because age has consumed their strength, to just say hi. Have we done as much for this nation as they have? I find in this generation, these World War Two vets is that their greatest character is how humble they are.

The 9th Division attends The Battle of the Bulge re-enactment at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa not for our enjoyment, but to honor the Veterans – to honor the Veteran of all of America's Wars. We do this, because it is the right thing to do. It is our motivation.
With that, it is why we take the time, the money, and the effort to create the Devil's Den Enlisted Man's Club. I can sadly admit that this year we saw a significant decrease of those World War Two Veterans who had attended in the past.


A brief Synopsis of The 9th at the FIG.
On Thursday we began set up. We finished Friday morning.

Our special guest Janelle.. aka Lana Turner entertained all of us. Her voice and impression is beyond reproach. The Fubar boys were fantastic as usual with added talent.
Corporal Sean Begin stepped up to miche as well to render a few songs.
Franky, great job singing and great intro for the Push-Cart Dagos.
Sami, seem to come in form.
Louis, was admirable.
The Roost, was simply pure entertainment.
Matt Carroll, well….. I'll only say Coffee Grinds.
Scotty - love that mustache.
Congrads to Jake. You did a good job with manual of arms and keeping in step.
Abner, great trumpet, and remember the eye drops.
Jodie from the TWO 8…. Drums, jeep, and knowing when to rush the door.
Big Jim……..Yea, why we want you to keep things calm.
Akk, Akk… Ackerman…. "just tell me where you want me Pooch."
The Mott Men: Andy, Vince, Bubba and Steve. Glad to have you at the Den and more.
As for me, well I am off revving up the Merlin. There will be some of you who will understand that.

As a unit, our goal has always been to pay respect and honor the Veterans. We did that.

Pucci, David P.

01/01/2013

Happy New Year!!!

2013

12/15/2012

Soldier's Christmas at Historic Fort Mott

Snow began to falling and covering the frozen ground within minutes from went it began. The wind howled with the roar of a lion. I came with such gusts that no wool regardless how thick could keep the cold out and freezing a man where he stood. There in a snow-covered fox hole two dog faces huddled to keep warm and chatted.
"What?"
"I said it is so cold out here that all I hear is my teeth chattering."
"Yea, if those 88s' zero in on us, will take a battering."
"What?"
"Never mind."
"Yea, it so cold I may lose my mind."
"Yea, that is quite a find."
"What? Yea I know were still in line."
"What time?"
"No I am not doing fine. I am freezing."
"Who said we are leaving?"
"I don't know. I gave up believing."
"What?"
"Yea, we can use some more troops."
"Would be great to just fly the coup."
"I found some paper if you need to take a _oop."
"What?"

Just then a jeep came flying up stopping abruptly to jolting stop. The sarg leaped out and said, form up. We got 3 days R&R. Get your gear ready. Trucks will be coming up to pick us up. The men formed up back behind the lines, waiting for the trucks. They were all happy, singing Christmas carols and laughing. Through the pauses of songs, smiles would be replaced by somber tones of remembering those who were no longer with them. Thirty minutes ticked by as they began to hear the intensity of incoming mail. German 88s' pounding the position they recently held. A jeep rambled up to the sarg and shrieked to a clumsy stop. The major gave the sarge a note, and then the major and the jeep he came in scampered off through the snow covered woods.
The sarg turned around, head down with a sour expression as if he just bit a lemon.
"Form up. Were going back into line."
"What did he say?"
"He said form up. We going to have one hell of a good time."

The 9th and cooperation with Fort Mott hosted "A soldier's Christmas at the fort. The 9th portrayed the celebration of being taken off the line for some needed Rest just prior to the Battle of the Bulge. The public was greeted by singing, smilling, laughing G.I.s' whose spirits were high as they thought of Christmas. As the public was beginning to share the joy of the season, a message came in that tore away the laughter and song. The sarg formed the men up, right faced them, and marched them back to the front. The Germans, had breached a sector in the Ardennes.
Merry Christmas.

09/29-30/2012

Rise Up! They are here. They are all here. Do you not see them? How can this be so? Have you shunned them? It is not they that have come here to ask for your thanksgiving. It is, however; you who should thank them for giving so much. Your faces are in the shadows of disrespect. Hide them as you may try, but there is no place dark enough where you can shrink from their ghostly eyes. Do you not here the wind swept echo of their revelry, their final act of battle? Rise up, and Listen! Listen I tell you, for here is their battle cry.
"Give me Liberty or Give me Death."
"The Battle Cry of Freedom."
"Remember the Maine."
"OVER The TOP!."
"Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?"
—Sergeant Major Daniel Daly… Belleau Woods, 1918
"V for Victory." "Remember Peal Harbor." "See you on the Beach." The Enola Gay.
Mig Alley. The 38th Parallel.
The Tet Offensive. The Air Cav.

This years Historic Soldier's Weekend was a grand and successful event held at Fort Mott, NJ. As the weather cleared, the excitement of the event began with the 319th US Army Reserves Band. With that, began the walk through history of the American Soldier.

. Fort Mott, and the 9th Infantry Division would like to thank the following Guests and speakers.
• Sharon Wells Wagner & Steve Wagner, authors of Ordinary Heroes and Forgotten Widow
• Gene Strine WWII Veteran, featured in Forgotten Widow
• Joseph Baddick, Author of My Hero, My Son
• Lt. Colonel Al Bancroft, Vietnam Veteran, Director of Military Affairs (Camden County, NJ
• Jim Milliken, Vietnam Veteran, and Author of: Enter and Die!
• Albert Perna, WWII Veteran, 9th Division
• Sal Castro, WWII Veteran, 32nd Division
• Sgt. Clyde Hoch USMC Vietnam War Veteran & Author of Tracks –Memoirs of a Vietnam Veteran
• Live broadcast Cruisin' 92.1's Derick Glenn Celebrating our Veterans
• Carmen Fiore - Author of Young heroes of the Civil War"
Entertainment was provided by:
• Lana Turner Performed by Jennelle Gilreath – Live music 1940's Singer
• the 319th US Army Reserves Band Lead Vocals Kate Cortese
• A big thanks to Vince Turner for MC'g the event.
Battle and Field Demonstrations:
• Civil War Artillery Demonstration
• WWII BATTLE DEMONSTRATION
• Special Thanks to our German Re-Enactors for providing support and realism to the Battle
The event concluded with Taps performed by Justine Fey. Listen, for within the somber notes of taps, you can hear the past cadence of soldiers fighting for our Freedom.

08/11/2012

VJ Day on the Battleship New Jersey in Camden,NJ. What a grand day at the most decorated Battleship in American History. Lots of vehicles, sun and activities. Tours of the ship were fantastic as always. There was an overnight stay with a swing dance too.

07/14-15/2012

Eckley Miner's Village

"Yea, yea, yea."
"Here we go again."
"Yep, we go from one command to other."

"Wherever there is a problem."
"Yea, isn't it great being Bradley's Darling."

The Fourth Cav had seen plenty of combat, and even Bradley concluded that this unit needed a bit of R and R. With that command sent out a platoon to recon the area for rest. A few miles behind the lines was small mining village called Eckley. It was a lazy sleepy little town with most of the young men were either dead or in uniform. As far as any young pretty woman, well they were as sparse as finding corn on the moon. It was old men and woman that remained. With that, an OP was set up, the perimeter secured and a line of communication linked to command.

The 4th Cav (9th Div.) set up a field command at Eckley Miner's Village to welcome vets and visitors. A massive crowd of people were shuttled from camp to camp to ask question and to learn the History of the American Soldier. Some of those attending came as far away a Tibet. MPs were enlisted for crowd control.

"Yea, Yea, Yea."
"Yep, back to the front.

06/02/2012

D-Day
June 6, 1944

"Word came down through the ranks fast after General Eisenhower gave the command to go. We were rustled up from… well really didn't get much sleep on the transports. It was hot, and the air was stale and seemed thicker than the cool air of home. It seemed that one had to breathe faster and harder to get a breath." He smiled. "I don't know if it was the heat or fear that made it so damn hard to breath."
His face was gnarled with age, wrinkled like a crumpled old newspaper and course like leather. The skin drooped into folds, and his lips had grown thin. His eyes were not bright and clear or glistened like that kid that stormed the beaches of Normandy. His eyes were dim, translucent and the whites of his eyes were like parchment. He wet his lips with his tongue, and his voice crackled like pine burning in an open pit. He would go off in a memory, as if in a trance, remembering that day.

"The transports bucked and rocked, tossed and turned on the Channel's waves. Men were panting, praying and vomiting. I remember, I remember how I clutched the crucifix that my mother had given me. I held it so tight that when I open my hand the cross was imprinted on my palm. We were all so scared. We could hear the shells exploding, and bullets whizzing by us as we approached the beach. The, the transport lurched to a halt, and down went the door. The guys in the front were mowed right down. We, we," his chest was heaving with hard breaths, "We had no choice. Over the side we flung ourselves into the cold water."

The Ninth was recalled for duty at Eisenhower's Farm in Gettysburg, Pa. on June 2nd and 3rd to commemorate the anniversary of D-Day. This year we added a new chapter to the program. We invited the public to come forth, volunteer and see how it was to storm the beaches of Normandy. The kids from 7 to 16 enjoyed it greatly and so did the adults at seeing their child outfitted in Government Issue.

What we did was gear them up. This included: HBT top, ammo belt, 1928 pack, invasion gas mask, canteen, bandoleers, GP bag, inflatable life preserver, and weapon and helmet and a few grenades. Also included in the equipment for some was: Ammo can, Demolition spools. Weapons consisted of one of the following: M1, Carbine, Tommy Gun, and Grease Gun.

After gearing them up, we shook them up a bit to give them the sensation of waves (we even splashed water on them), and then we blew a whistle symbolized that the Higgins boat ramp was going down. With that we sent them running in a blaze to storm "the beach". Our goal was to give them bit more understanding as to the sacrifice these brave men gave on D-Day. We heard comments like: "how did they ever do it…" and "I can't believe my grand pop did this and he was getting shot at…"

I recommend that you view a few video samples of those who gladly volunteered that are posted on this web site.

The park officials at Eisenhower's gave us a very pleasant report as the public had told them that they really enjoyed the presentation and thought it was great.

"So many friends were lost that morning." His eyes seemed to glaze over as a lone tear traced the cracks and folds of his weathered face. "I just don't understand why I was able to come home." He turned his face away, his mind trapped in memory of that day.

The Ninth Division WWII Historical Preservation Society asks each and all of you to thank a Veteran of all wars that America was involved in. Believe me, they will be moved that you have taken just a moment to say thank you.

DpPucci

04/17/2012

AAR from "Honor Flight":

They departed their homes; left behind their family, their sweethearts….their childhood innocence….and they embarked on their journey, what General Eisenhower referred to as the "great crusade".

They were young, they were brave and they were filled with a sense of purpose and resolve, an unwavering belief of righteousness. They were delivered to recently constructed tar-papered camps, subjected to assorted levels of rigorous training, uncomfortable living conditions and other discomforts that we can never imagine.

They were then whisked away by train, boat or plane to distant countries they never heard of, and to corners of the world which they didn't even know existed. Fed into these environments, they were forced to become comrades, by nature they became friends, and by surviving - they became a family.
They endured historically cold winters, endless rain in the tropics, and seemingly endless contact with the enemy. They endured the extremes of human endurance such as hunger, thirst, loneliness, fear and boredom. They pulled together, they dug in and they survived. Then, it was their turn, and they followed through, gearing up and marching that additional mile when it seemed impossible. And they triumphed. They carried on.

On April 14th, the 9th Division WWII HPS was waiting at their final destination, to welcome these veterans home from their trip to the WWII monument. It was our honor to salute these veterans as they came of their transports, and we were given the opportunity to shake their hands, and say "Welcome home – Great job – Thank you!"
With tearful eyes and a purposeful salute – the Veterans looked at us and smiled their humble smiles…and replied, "Carry on.

03/31/2012

The Unit was at Fort Wadsworth, NY for the weekend. What a great place! It is not just one fort but a series of forts. We had a great time!

03/17/2012

The Rhine River. That last obstacle into Germany. There it was, the Remagen Bridge, still spanning the Rhine. Not yet blown up by allied air strikes, blown to bitz by the German Army. The towers of the bridge were imposing, almost mid-evil, and it was certain that the German were sure to have machine gun nests in them. So there it was, and so were we. Assault the bridge; take it so that we could rush men and tanks across the Rhine.

Weekend of March 17th, Fort Mott, and the 9th Infantry Division hosted the Remagen event. Units/Vendors arrived on Friday. The 9th set up a field op. This consisted of using the bunkers of the fort for our OP. This consisted of field radio, ammo crates, cans, K-rations, medic crates, tents and tarps, and was open to the public for view.

Saturday, two battles would be conducted for the public, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The assault on the German pill boxes began with the allies forming into two tactical columns, and advancing on the Germans. Suddenly, an explosion ripped the dull quit of the moment, and then the German's opened up with machine guns. The allied soldier quickly moved to the cover of the rising ground of the embankment of the Fort. With that it was high-low. One squad went high and the other oblique left and low to provide covering fire.

"One, "yelled the Sarg!

The first GI advanced with satchel charge but was mowed down.

"Two! Covering fire!"

"Three!"

Thank God he made it, I was four. He tossed the charge into the German nest and silenced it with one tremendous explosion. We advanced, under a deadly fire fight, but we took it.

There was a large public gathering. Over 1500 people visited the Fort, the highest attendance thus far. The afternoon battle we had to move up 30 minutes as the anticipating public began forming up on the ramparts of the Fort to watch the battle. The public was courteous, absorbed and from their comments from the public on the tactical, the defense of the Germans, the assault, the fire fight, the pyro techniques; perhaps was best illustrated by this comment, "Great job guys. I felt I was there with you."

As with all events the 9th and the Fort hosts, we appreciates greatly when veterans attend. We thank them for their support, but most importantly for their service.

Also in attendance was 97.1 Radio Host, Derick Glenn who was broadcasting live from the Fort, and we thank him for this. We would also like to thank Doc, and the 35th, Lucas in command of the Germans and for putting up a stout defense.

Doc, great medic set up and surgery. Way to keep the public enticed after the battle.

To all re-enactors, Andy, the staff of the fort, vendors, the public and the Veterans – Thank you for all your support and attendance.

03/03/2012

The 9th Division WWII HPS attended the Annual CLA Dining Out and 112th Field Artillery Reunion once again this year.

After setting up an extensive display in the back of the country club, members of the 9th Division WWII HPS welcomed the guests and escorted them to their seats.  Dressed in our Class A uniforms, we talked with veterans from WWII through the current Afghanistan veterans. The evening ceremonies included toasts from various members of the units represented, and several awards to members of the CLA, and other dignitaries present. Col. Tony Radice received well deserved recognition for his military service and his tireless dedication to the CLA. Thank you to Col. Radice for his endless efforts to grow the CLA, and allowing associate members to join on their families behalf. Best wishes to Sgt Major Powell with his new assignment, we will stand by to assist you next year.

The 9th Division WWII HPS members presented the awards to the WWII guests of honor. We also presented a 6th Marine Division Flag to Mr. Milillo, for his service in the PTO. We handled out several well dersved bundles of invasion money to WWII veterans.  Most memorable, however, was the pleasure of escorting WWII veteran Mr. Hall, along with fellow history buff Ron Bareiszis, in a specially equipped Van from Burlington to the event. This was one of his first trips out in several years, and will not be his last. We have a steak dinner temporarily on hold for Mr. Hall, but we will be trying it again in the next few months. Thank you to Mr. Smith for his assistance with this wonderful vehicle service.

Our WWII veteran friends were honored by veterans past and present, in front of their family and friends. They are humble men, who claim, “I just did my part”. In a sense, the 9th division was there on March 3rd, to return the favor, and “do our part”.

It was a memorable night, and one that will be kept close in our hearts when we are asked, “Why do you like this hobby?”
 
02/19/2012

"Saddle up. Lock and load.
Saddle up, Lock and load?

What does it mean?
It is not the whimper of broken men. It is not the sad resolution of defeat. It is not to hide oneself when one is to be counted.

Saddle up. Lock and load.
It is men. It is men sent into the hell of combat to deliver unto the almighty - - more than just freedom but life itself.

And so we Salute them, and the National Armory, in Plymouth Meeting, PA did just that.
We, the 9th Davison gladly participated. In support of the National Armory to pay the deserved homage to our Veterans, we posted Field Dress MPs at the door to greet the public, but more importantly to escort the Veterans, those who were willing to give the last full measure for our Freedom

The 9th had set up its field display with weapons, radio, cots, field gear, and had the pleasure
to greet the public, inform them, and instruct them.

As for me, your humble correspondent, at that moment, at that time, at this event,
I was asked by a veteran's son to watch over, escort this Veteran of Okinowa.

His steps were short, planned and thought out as he shuffled forward. His look, the sad eyes of
knowing that his time had come and he had become obsolete. I felt ashamed to look at him. He forced a smile, and said softly as if in a whisper…… thank you.

The 9th asks all of you to take just one moment to shake the hand and thank
a veteran. To do so is to be an American.

Pucci, DP

01/25-29/2012

"Hold the line. Fill the gaps."
A seemingly calm lull came with the falling snow from mid-December to December 15, 1944. The allies, the G.Is were resting, recovering from the Hurtgen Forrest, but their moral remained high, and the thought and spirit of Christmas settled softly upon them. The knowledge of having a hot feast of Turkey would raise the spirit of any soldier after eating rations for so long. Spam! Spam! Spam!
However, Lurking behind the soft whispering wisps and freshly fallen white of snow, was a coiled snake ready to strike.


December 16, 1944 the German Army counterattacked. Panzers and infantry punched a hole in the center of the allied line through the impregnable Ardennes. The object was to sever the British and American lines in half and capture the port city of Antwerp and securing the fuel depots.
The 9th Division attended the re-enactment of the Battle of the Bulge at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. We of the 9th saluted our veterans by once again operating the "Go Devils Den" enlisted man's club. It was our 3rd year at operating the Den at the Bulge re-enactment, and it was immensely successful. So much so, that it is much too difficult to summarize. I suggest visiting our site for photos and more of the Devils Den. Because of that I will simply highlight it here.

-The building was decorated correct to the period with posters, signs, props, etc.
-Although the Den was officially open only on Friday and Saturday it was packed from Wednesday through Saturday night.
-Special Guest, Lana Turner portrayed by the lovely Jennelle Gilreath perfomed Friday and Saturday night.
-The Fubar Boys performed with song, humor and antics.
-Veteran Col. Ed Scholl, the Party Dude performed the Party Song.
-The Rat Races ran swiftly and unrestricted Friday and Saturday
-Special guests, Jolene and Abbey attended both nights
-Kate and Gerard Corteze entertained our guest with song and music
-The Brits performed a wonderful version of Amazing Grace on the pipes
-Chuck of the 101st sat in with the Fubar Boy and plucked the banjo
-Jodi of the 28th sat in on drums
-Allied Re-enactors packed the Den that we had to turn some away
-Most importantly, many Veterans graced us with their presence.
"Attennn-Hut! Preeeesent ARMS!"

The 9th thanks all of you for your generosity, support and in helping us make the "Go Devils Den" a huge success once again. A special thank you to guys of the
28th Division for their support and contributions.

 
 
01/01/2012

Happy New Year!!!

2012

12/10/2011

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
----Yea, huddling in a fox hole trying to keep warm.

Let your heart be light
----Still trying to swallow mine from fright.

From now on, our troubles will be out of sight
----Huh, but not from them damn eighty eights.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
----Maybe when, if we get home.

Make the Yule-tide gay,.
----With purple hearts and bandages

From now on, our troubles will be miles away.
----Only when we are back home.

Here we are as in olden days,
----Wish I was.

Happy golden days of yore.
----Sloppy muddy days galore.
 
Faithful friends who are dear to us
----No longer exist to us.

Gather near to us once more.
----Can't gather near to us any more

Through the years We all will be together,
----With white crosses and marble markers.

If the Fates allow
----Soon will have some chow

Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
----Yea, cause who know where will find our limbs.
 
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.
----Yea, and have yourself a merry little Christmas…. Now.

December 15th 1944 we were finally pulled off the line. For some of us it was 189 plus days on the front. We were to move back to wait for the trucks. They were to pick us up and move us out to rest. Rest! It was more than just rest. It was hot chow, and hot showers, and new clothes. Hot Shower! Wow, we could not wait. Even in the cold our skin felt slimy, oily, and dirty. The only difference was that we were colder. That damn wind! It didn't matter how many layers of "Government Issue" you had on, that damn wind ripped through every damn stitch and shivered every damn bone in our bodies. Huddled in mass, hell we had no choice but to – to try and keep warm.

Giannobile found some old barrels, shot a few holes in them for air vents as the rest of us gathered wood. Unlike the krauts we had plenty of gas and soon, we had a fire. God damn it was nice feeling that heat, warming our wind chaffed faces and lips. Pvt. Carroll and Bergin confiscated some wine and other spirits. That seem to warm us even more than the fire. Little Frankie, "Guppy" Solololokolvizc made a great trade and had us in high cotton of tobacco by trading some candy bars with the locals. At gun point corporal Barebo and Baumeister, well let's say they liberated some chickens. Oprendek kept our cover and gave some bull shit excuse to the brass to get the trucks to as soon as possible. It was a well-made plan, so we thought. The Sarg, Pucci, typical of him, made sure we were all settled in before the poor bastard let down his guard to relax just a bit.

Me?

Hell, I just looked around and realized that even in the shitty bloody mess that I was tossed into, I couldn't think of a better way or better bunch of guys to spend Christmas with. And so, they we were, a ragged bunch of grizzled vets, who welcomed replacements with Christmas Cheer and Song.

The 9th Div. and Fort Mott Hosted A Soldiers Christmas on December 10th 2011. The event was a complete success. It had gathered more public participation than Fort Mott has ever experienced. We participated in the Wreaths Across America at Finn's Point Cemetery. As darkness fell upon the fort, crowds were escorted to the various re-enactment camps or eras to experience Christmas in war away from family, friends, and their homes.

The skit the 9th performed was to promote the relief, the camaraderie and being merry during Christmas 1944, and having been taken off the front for rest. It was to lift the public up, put them in the spirit and then to have them understand the fright, the weariness of having that suddenly ripped away from the soldiers. Of having the safety of sanctuary torn away from under them with the realization that death may soon eclipse their chance to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas. From the reaction and response of the public, this was accomplished.

The cheer, the ease of tension, the belief that we were being taken off the line was gone with one swift sad call. Opendec received it. He was flustered, sad and shaken as his trembling hand passed the note to sergeant Pucci. No words, it was all said in their eyes as they looked at each other, understanding what the note said. The sarg came out of the CP, head down, sad smirk, gritted and with a shaky voice, told us to form up, left face, march. The Germans had broken through the Ardennes, and we, we were headed back to the front. Headed back to………

"Yea, Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

Merry Christmas.
Pucci, David P. pvt, (and sometime Capt. )

To all the Re-enactors and groups, we of the 9th, thank you for your support. To all the Veterans who attended we of the 9th salute you. To Fort Mott, we of the 9th appreciate your continued efforts, constant backing to create an efficacious event. Oh, and we would also like to thank John and Cody for again entertaining us with their Der Fuher routine.

11/05-06/2011

Track 29.
The rains had come and gone, and a beautiful autumn day greeted the soldiers returning from leave as they strolled the sidewalks of the Strasburg Station awaiting their train to take them back to the front. Infantry, Tankers, Pilots and Parachutists shared a smoke exchanging stories. Rank was irrelevant here. A captain took pleasure in lighting the cigarette of gruff sergeant. A young private gladly accepted the flask from an officer he had never seen before. It was easy to tell the replacement from the veteran. Replacements eyes are bright, focused, undamaged. Whereas a veteran eyes are dim, the sockets worn and wrinkled from the pain of combat, and of memory.
Those who boarded the train knew that it would be a long jolting ride, but not long enough. Soon the boiler would be fueled, pressure increased, a cough of black sooty smoke, the piercing blast of the whistle; soon the command from the conductor, "All aboard," and then the train lurched forward.

Members of the 9th Division had the privilege of joining various groups in participating Strasburg's Annual Trains and Troops events. We had a great time greeting and entertaining a huge public from New York City, Philadelphia, New Jersey and a huge contingency from South Korea. Tom Pucci and Louis Giannobile, in dress MP participated with Rail Road to participate in, 'finding the saboteur." Pvt Frank "Guppy" Sokolovic took on the role of be AWOL and was escorted through the train by MPs' Pucci and Giannobile. Capt. D. P. Pucci wondered through train with bat and glove sipping a flask trying to avoid them damn MPs. The event concluded with a great band, and dance.
It was a fun event, and highly recommended. The setting, the station is superb. There are shops, and food throughout, and if you want to learn about the Pennsylvania Rail Road or Engines, then visit the Strasburg Rail Road and Museum.

http://www.strasburgrailroad.com

With that, the train rolled forward through the flat plains till all that could be heard of the clickedy clack of the wheels was but a distant echo, and only the ghostly black fingers of smoke lingering on the branches of trees.


10/22/2011

The "DUG IN! Holding The Line" event at Fort Mott: Special thanks to all – to Fort Mott and their staff, and to all the participating reenactors! Members of the public were treated to four staged tactical battles on Saturday. They were well done and made good use of the various resources and terrain! The fire fights were thoroughly enjoyed by the public; German and American participants were good about taking hits and keeping it more realistic! Loved the Jeep coming through the tunnel AND getting a ride back to camp in a deuce and a half after one of the battles! The communications room looked good and the field phones connecting us to the German camp was a nice touch. The land mine display was awesome, and the WW-II short wave radio display was outstanding! Throughout the event there were live short wave radio transmissions & conversations with various countries and Forts across the country and globe! Well done Gentlemen, BRAVO and thank you to all!"

09/24-25/2011

Historic Soldiers Weekend was held this year at Fort Mott, NJ.

The American Soldier was represented from the Revolution to the Vietnam era. Though the uniforms have changed, the names, the faces, and the weapons, all shared the common heritage of fighting to keep America Free. Even with the rains, re-enactors representing each of those milestones endured to share their knowledge of the period and to help educate that freedom is fragile.

To those who had attended, a great slide show was presented by one of the Vets, and re-enactor of the Lewis and Clark expedition. It was a three year dedication to that adventure.

Hats off to, "Bring up the Guns." Yes, the earth shattering firing of canon from the Civil war."

The 9th put on a demonstration to the vigilance of WWII Vets, to illustrate manuel of arms. "Sixteen Count, by the Numbers.....ARMS!" As typical Louis messed it up.
The 9th also marched through out the for, in crisp unison, singing Jody, and twirling rifles.

A special thank you to the authors who took the time to grace us with their presence. Thank you for your patience, your time and your wonderful interactions with the public. Your stories, and the stories about the veterans from our history are the very reason we hold this event and celebrate their service.

Remember, "That we are one generation away from losing our freedom." President Ronald Reagan.

Freedom needs to be guarded at all times, as it is that fragile.

From the 9th to you, "Keep freedom alive."

09/17/2011

Members of the 9th Infantry were invited by the Vets of the 106th Division to attend, what may be their final reunion. Baltimore, Maryland was the host city for the 106th. A display was put up in honor of the 106th, which included items such as various weapons, the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, 1911 45, Memorabilia associated with the 106th, and many of the Golden Lions were moved. The highlight of the day and evening was actually meeting the Vets, and sharing their stories with us, and I quote just a few.

"For 2 years we trained. We went right from the states to England and we were sent to the front line of the Bulge. Yep, trained for two years, arrive at Bastogne on December 8 and was a POW by December 16."

"Hell, they stripped our ranks due to D-Day, and so by the time we got to Bastogne I never knew who the hell was my platoon leader."

"That man there was the best damn Sargeant I ever had."

"We heard some firing and all scrambled to the gate of the compound. We were from all different units. So this Sherman tank rolls up to the gate. I swear, best damn, well the tank commander pops the Sherman's lid, and he pops out looking down at all us POWs, and there..... he looks down and there is the tank commander's brother. God Damn."

"We had dysentery so bad that you could not walk on the floor, but scale around the barracks by using the bunks."

It was an honor that we were asked to be the color guard, and to be invited to share the dinner afterwards. We of the 9th salute the Golden Lions of the 106th.

08/20/2011

The unit were cast members in the filming of "Survivors Stories - WWII North Africa". According to some vets the filming site looked exactly like North Africa. It was Africa hot too. We would like to thank Mike and the whole film crew and we look forward to working with you more!

08/13-14/2011

"Victory over Japan  /VJ Day / Event at Battleship New Jersey

The 9th ID went “Asiatic” for this PTO event, portraying Pacific theatre GI’s.

AAR
The 7th Division / 32nd Infantry Regiment veterans formed up on the dock awaiting their replacements and troops from their scattered camps. Veterans of four campaigns, they had the embarkation process down to a science.
Jeff, Mike and Phil pulled in their medical jeep and carefully packed up their quinine, mosquito nets  and plasma for the journey. They inoculated the new men, and issued pills.
Our field gear straps were adjusted, weapons cleaned and oiled, and stowed in duffle bags for the journey.
Along our area we flagged down any GI’s who were looking for their new unit. There were quite a few GI’s who looked lost and out of place in the PTO. They were brought over to our impromptu CP (field desk) and checked in, assigned to their squads, issued their pay in invasion currency (Military Occupation - YEN), signed them up for GI life insurance and allotments, and offered them a few extra items for their duffle bags…candy, tobacco products, shaving cream…PX commodities that would be scarce in a few days.

We did send one soldier up to witness the Japanese garrison surrender ceremony 2pm, to get a picture of how to graciously receive an enemy surrender for the unit archives. As our group does not believe in surrendering, and we certainly do not have a need to study up on that process.
After a minor fender bender, the vehicles were on board and the troops were checked in. “Up and In!” was the order shouted by the harbor master and MPs.
Clambering aboard with full packs, we were hustled showed and shoehorned into our assigned (luxury) sleeping quarters or “births”. We dropped our packs and rolls, and told to form up for the “rules of engagement” while aboard.
It was a maze under the decks and one could get lost quickly if you didn’t pay close attention. The knee knockers and head bangers were everywhere on board. The close quarters was made more tolerable since we knew the end of the war was here.

Our groups were called back up on deck with our class A’s (if we had them) and led in a national anthem, TAPS and a recognition of the veterans who served our country. We were then treated to a great BBQ dinner compliments of the Navy (they eat well) and treated to two musical acts. The red cross was on board and they brought quite a few young women to dance with the GI’s. The men had a blast, between the food, drink and the night of dancing. The big band music was a great refresher and livened the mood of the crew and GI’s alike. Some of the veterans were given tours of the ship during this time. Pvt Moretti, ever resourceful, was able to bribe his jailhouse guard and make his way up to the deck for some drinks and entertainment.

When the last song played out, the lights were dimmed and we headed below decks.  The Admiral spotted us walking down past his quarters and we heard “Hey Army”…come here with us”. The admiral was kind enough to take a few of us into his officers lounge and give us a moral bolstering talk. He and his staff treated us “Army” guys like gold. They helped us work on our Rebel yell and other talents. Pvt Bergin was immediately called on to lend a hand counseling a WAC with an issue, which he did the professional manner we have come to expect.
We hope we can repay their hospitality at our next stop.

When we woke to reveille, and banged our heads, knees and shins. We mustered out for chow call, hit the heads again, and lined up in what was the longest chow line I have ever seen. It wrapped around the ship, from deck to deck. They had us fed, and got us some hot ‘joe’ with 15 minutes. The men really were packing it away.

We arrived on sight without any further issues, but were greeted with a monsoon. We knew this was business as usual in this theatre of operations and we dug into our bags for ponchos and wrestled the steep ladders to climb up to the deck.

The “Golden gate in 48” was the joke as we climbed down to our waiting transports..

06/18/2011

"Bivouac, bivouac, where the hell we going to bivouac?"
"Just, just pick a spot."
"Yea, just pick a spot. For once, I'd like to bivouac on something that was softer than rocks, dryer than mud, and warmer than ice."
"Hell, you have that right now."
"Yea, what a tradeoff. More humid than Texas, rainier than England, and more God Damn bugs than the Amazon."
"Yep. Look chum were living in high cotton right now."
"How in the hell do you figure that."
"Easy, nothing has exploded near me in the last 6 hours."

Redeployed by General Bradley, the 4th Cavalry Group found some R&R and the spa town of Kunkletown. The town being abandoned by the Krouts, was occupied, secured, and enjoyed by the 4th. Fishing, wading, and relaxing in the cool water of a stream, the men enjoyed an abundance of beef, chicken, and potatoes. Next day however, it was gear up. We're moving out. And they did.
The 4th linked up with the men of the Bloody Bucket. The 4th Cav, and the 28th Division, liberated the town of Eckley. O.P was set up and secured. No enemy in sight. With that appeasement, they indulged.

The 9th Div./4th Cav. Had the honor of participating in a soldier's time line at Eckley Miners Village this past weekend. There, we were reunited with some friends. We had the privilege of greeting Veterans and children to discuss the sacrifice of all Veterans in all times to solidify our independence and freedom. We thank them all. We also had the supporting task to provide support to the Eckley players for putting on a skit of the sacrifice, tragedy and triumph of love in war.
Hats off to the guys of the 28th, Jodie, Jim, Matt, Ackerman………………dirty… sorry.. and the rest of them. Great stew, great times and the future understanding that more is yet to come when we …. collide. Take the time, a pause, a moment to thank a Vet.

The Go Devils.

NOTE: Naturally, we also want to thank Abbey and Jolene for sharing some fun and laughter, and of course those awesome cookies!

 
06/18/2011

The sun was just rising above the buildings, and the 9th division forward elements arrived at their destination. Rest, refitting and some rifle grenade practice was on the agenda. We were heading into the bunkers again soon, and we needed to replace our grenadiers we lost in combat for the next advance.
The tents were set up quickly, and covered with camouflage quickly, in case of a visit from bed-check Charlie, who was becoming a rare occurrence since Normandy.

 
The new recruits lined up after chow for rifle grenade practice. We set up bunker markers and turned into a squad competition, keeping the men interested in their task at hand. We found our new marksmen and noted it in the morning reports.

Hot chow was served as we waited for our main column to arrive. Gear up boys...patrol action up front...

06/04/2011

Smash the railhead! Saturate the beaches with high explosive! Target, interrupt enemy troop movement, and destroy their communications. The troop ships are on the move, cutting through the choppy, rolling waves of the English Chanel. The G.I.s’ on board are exhausted from no sleep, no appetite, sea sickness and being suffocated by stifling humid conditions. Weary and weak, the climb down the netting to board the dipping, swaying landing crafts. Some men are wounded and lost just trying to climb down the heaving vessels. Some are pinched between the hulks of the rising landing craft and dropping transport. Weighted down with gear; haversack, cartridge belt, ammo, rifle, helmet, GP bag, gas mask bag, bayonet, rations, drop like anvils into the cold sea. Nothing can be done for them now, and so it is keep moving, “move, move, and move.” All this torment, all this hell, and yet this shrinks into insignificant compared to the real Hell that is to greet them.


Enemy artillery zeroing in on the approaching landing craft to the ominous beaches with pretty names like Juno, Utah, or Gold all the while the men on board hears the concentrated clanging of enemy bullet ricocheting off the crafts gate. It is more like a floating coffin than a landing craft. They know what awaits them, and they know that this may be their last day on earth, yet they went anyway to restore God’s justice. Tense, white knuckled, thumping hearts, cold sweat dripping from their forehead, darting eyes, vomit, praying, they are minutes, seconds away from giving the last full measure. This is D-Day, June 6th, 1944.


The members of the 9th brought out our D-Day impressions to Eisenhower’s Farm for fitting tribute to the Greatest Generation.


Our weekend began with a wonderful surprise. We set up camp, and hustled back to the “mess hall” where Major Cobb was hard at work. We heard the Pucci brothers were out on a quick errand to HQ. When Sgt Pucci pulled up to the chow line with the newly acquired (and beautifully restored) vehicle on, we were shocked and of course very happy for him (the sgt deserves a new chariot). When he let us all take turns (a rarity from any Sgt. I ever met) driving it around town, we knew that the Sgt’s Jeep “Hustle up!” was a perfect fit for the Go Devils. What a great addition to the Sgts. Calvary recon group and our growing motor pool (less sore feet, boys).


On Saturday we arrived early, geared up and awaited the buses. From our Robert Capra photographer, to our minesweeping corporal, to our Rifle instruction station, we engaged the public with our “please touch museum” of WWII gear, equipment and old fashioned know- how. We treated the touring public to jeep rides in Sgt Tom Pucci’s new ride, a WWII jeep made to resemble his father’s jeep from WWII. They signed up for rifle instruction lessons, and they learned the proper way to sight in the M1. The public could see the photo recon of the 30th Division and hear of the unit’s history from a direct descendant of a “Roosevelt SS” soldier. They tried out our minesweeper and detected a few hidden mines in the “un-cleared area”. They learned of the various tools of the combat engineer, as well as the assorted weapons used by the average GI. They played ball with a couple of off duty pilots (boy oh boy that kid had an arm).


The park rangers enjoyed our displays, and our treats / takeaways for the kids. The units who supported this event were great and they set up great displays and also engaged the public, making this a wonderful learning experience for all who came through. It was another happy anniversary at the Eisenhower site.
 

 
05/29/2011

Members Louis Giannobile and Joe Baumeister had the honor of representing the 9th Division at the Memorial Day Parade in National Park, NJ. Louis brought his truck and everyone loved it. We are sorry more members could not attend as we were pretty tuckered out from doing Wounded Warriors event in Millville that weekend.

05/28/2011

Antique Auto Race and Air Show in Millville, NJ. We were asked to be the honor guard for the "Wounded Warriors" Tribute. We readily accepted as we are always willing to do anything to honor our military personnel,especially those who have sacrificed so greatly for our country.

05/26/2011

On May 26th 9th ID member, Sean Bergin, a resident of Middletown, NJ attended the Battle of the Bulge memorial rededication ceremony on  5/26/11 at the Bud Thorne Middle School in Middletown.  In attendance were approximately 90 Battle of the Bulge veterans, believed to be one of the largest such gatherings of so many battle veterans at one time.  International dignitaries also attended, including Ambassador Herman Portocarero, consul general of Belgium; Lt. Col. Patrick Eecloo, deputy military adviser, Belgium; and Francois Knaff, consul general of Luxembourg.

This event was a re-dedication of the Battle of the Bulge Memorial, originally located at Ft. Monmouth, but due to the Fort's imminent closure, the memorial was moved to Thorne Middle School.  The school, built on the land that once was the Thorne family farm, was named for Cpl Horace "Bud" Thorne, who was killed in action in the Battle of the Bulge and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. 

Students commemorated the event through chorus performances, essays reflecting on Bud Thorne's virtues, a presentation of a painting, and a school band performance of "A Humble Hero," a concert piece inspired by Thorne. 

The memorial, resting in a semi-circle, representing the Bulge, is adorned with red stones around the monument which represents the blood that was spilled and the Alberta spruces on the ends represent the Ardennes forest where the battle took place in Belgium.

Hundreds of students and residents were also in attendance to honor these brave men who fought so valiantly for our nation.

April-May, 2011

VIENNA AUSTRIA – REVISITED: Black and White Photos are of Tom and Dave Pucci’s Father, who served in WWII with the 4th Cavalry Group. At the end of the war, he was assigned to “Occupation Duty” with the re-designated 4th Cavalry as the 4th Constabulary. He was with the 796 MP Battalion / VAC (Vienna Area Command) assigned to Headquarters/Troop D as part of the “4-Power Patrols” in the International Zone (conducted by American/British/French/Russian troops) - with the USFA (US Forces in Austria).
 

Tom Pucci and Louis Giannobile pose at the same monument at the Vienna Parliament Building wearing 4th Cavalry Uniforms. Tom and Kevin Kane later found another monument and took a snapshot (this was in a large courtyard where the MPs and “District Constabulary” had once been billeted). (note “DC” on Helmet liner in photo of Tom Pucci Sr. on Guard).

 

04/16/2011

We attended The Military Transportation Show at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, NJ. Although the weather wasn't the most cooperative we had a great time. We set up our camp and talked to alot of people. Bob "Click" Clayton was back from his hiatus in grand form. Taking pictures and explaining to the public the ins and outs of WWII combat photography. We of course spent time down at the vendors spending our combat pay on cool things.

 
04/09/2011

The unit was invited to attend the U.S. Army 78th Division "Dining Out" at Joint Base McGuire/Dix/Lakehurst. This was the unit's official yearly dinner date and we were more than honored to attend. The 9th wore 78th Division WWII insignia as well as bringing tons of items to display for our soldiers. General Chahanovich thanked us for doing this but it was our pleasure. We spent the night conversing with the various officers and men of the 78th Division as well as some WWII Veterans. The lovely ladies of the Liberty Bells entertained everyone and boy were they great! We would like to thank the General and Staff of the 78th Division for inviting us.

 
03/19/2011

“GEAR UP!”… “FALL IN!”… “Prepare to head out for COMBAT PATROL”… “TACTICAL COLUMN GENTELMEN!!! “Let’s MOVE OUT”…
The Germans occupied the High Ground and Gun Emplacements and had keen observation of the entire area. The Germans were in a defensive posture holding the line. An MG nest was established in one of the exterior Gun Pits. The GI’s would form up, and advance on a Combat Patrol, to make contact with the enemy. The First Squad, composed of the 9th Infantry Division, Able Company “mounted up” and prepared to “move out” The Second Squad, was composed of the 2nd Rangers and followed out “on our tails” to find the Jerries. The Squads fanned out in Tactical Column and advanced across the roadway past several “Bunkers”.
BATBATBATBATBAT…. MG42 Fire rattled off as contact was made, as both Squads scrambled for cover. Return fire from several GI’s helped pin down the pillbox, as several GIs tried to advance and flank it. Rifle Grenades were fired and smoke grenades were employed as the men assaulted the position. A few GI’s went down, hit by fire from the Germans. Quickly the Germans were knocked out by the Rifle Grenades and the Squads moved up.


BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR…. A Machine Gun nest opened up on the GI’s. “Take Cover”, “Move Up”, “Covering Fire” were barked out as the Squads moved into position. The Americans laid smoke for cover and then M1’s opened up. The Germans laid down a barrage of thick fire, trying to pin the GI’s down. Rifle Grenaders were again called up and began to drop right on Target. GI’s charged up the embankment, while a few other Dogfaces flanked up and over the right side. The Germans continued to fire with the buzzing-sound of the MG. Again, a few GI’s took hits while the remainder of both Squads made the final assault. UP and OVER the ramparts charged the GI’s and finally overtook the fleeing Germans.


BATTLE TACTICS of the ETO at Fort Mott, NJ was sponsored by the 9th Infantry Division and began Friday evening, approximately 1700 hours. Troops, both Allied and Axis arrived and then billeted for the night in the Powder House. Early Saturday morning, additional Troops arrived and continued setting up the 9th Camp area. After some GI Coffee and Donuts, a basic field briefing was held to review Squad Formations, Squad Tactical Colum and Dispersion, Field Hand-Signals and movement from Column to Line. After the briefing, a quick “Walk-Thru” was held to coordinate the Tactics Demonstration. German and Allied roles were determined and planned for the demonstrations.


Public was invited to witness the demonstration, at very close proximity, and found themselves caught up in the fever of the moment – witnessing both defensive and offensive Tactics used by the Americans and the Germans. Very Favorable applause was given by the crowd and numerous comments were shared as to “HOW REAL” it all was. The BEST comment came from an old WWII Vet, who said quite honestly “When I saw you GIs on patrol, I GOT GOOSEBUMPS.” Another Vet said: “I was screaming at the top of my lungs once you guys made contact… SHOOT ‘EM, SHOOT ‘EM!”


Similar demonstrations twice more throughout the day. The 9th also demonstrated Marching, Drilling and Manual of Arms for the public. Special highlight had to be the surprise visit from Staff Sgt. Bruno Giannobile! We would like to thank The Rangers and our friendly “Jerries” for creating a great event and truly Authentic Experience. Special Thanks to KATIE for ushering the Crowds around and assisting with the Public. “Pops” thanks for holding the Fort down and being “Keeper of the KEY”…
and can any of us ever forget Hoop doing Neil Diamond ‘round the fire!!!!

 
02/27/2011

The 9th Division WWII HPS attended the first annual veteran’s appreciation day that was held at the PA Nationd Guard Armory in Plymoth Meeting, PA this past Sunday (www.VietnamVeterans349.org ). Kindly, assigned to the entrance of the Armory, the 9th was also given duty outside and within the corridor of the Armory to greet each of the veterans with a personal touch and welcome all of the guests who attended. We had the pleasure to escort SSGT. Bill Guarnere, WWII veteran and hero from the 101st / 506th / Easy Company fame. He was accompanied by a fellow 101st veteran, and his son. Bill Guarnere is a man with great integrity, humility and a wonderful sense of humor. He signed autographs endlessly all day Sunday, taking one quick break to shake out his hand. It was truly delightful to see so many World War 2 veterans attend this 1st annual appreciation day. In concert with this, let us not forget the veterans of both the Korean War, and Vietnam to give them the honor and appreciation that they have been denied. It is also to be noted, this honor and respect does not end here, but is extended to all of those who even now continue to fight for our freedom.
 

A few Highlights:
-MP duty to engage and have a little fun with the Veteran and Guests.


-Demonstration of 16 count manual of arms for the public lead by Sgt. Pucci.


-Having a Vietnam Vet join us in performing manual of arms of fulfilling his life long wish of a “troop inspection.”


-T4/Sgt. Gary Oprendek drilling a dozen or more youngsters on manual of arms (after which they received either a 9th division cupcake or 9th division tattoo).

The 9th Division Display wasn’t your standard yard sale blanket or retarded mannequin museum. We took the opportunity to bring the public into our “barracks”, complete with cots, desks and various equipment.


Our rifle rack which was set up near our pup tent displayed: M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, 2 Thompson Sub-machine guns, 2 1903 Springfields, 1917 enfields, shotguns, Colt and browning pistols,
Other items included our BC1000, Operational WWII Mine Detector, WWII Field Phones, Cots, Infantry and MP field gear.

Special Thanks to:
-All the veterans for their Service.


-Guy Anhorn for requesting our presence and the duties he asked us to perform such as the duties of Guard and Greeters and Manual of arms. He did a fantastic job organizing this event!


-All the veterans and Guests for all the kind comments regarding our role at the front gates, our field presentation and on our display.


- Special thanks to all of the veterans who donated field gear, periodicals and uniforms to our display.
 

 
02/26/2011

By request of the Camden Light Artillery Assn, the 9th Division was asked to act in the role of escorts during a honorary dinner held for Veterans from WWII to the present day at Tavistock Country Club. Naturally, in keeping with the 9th tradition of showing reverence to all of our Nations veterans, we humbly accepted the invitation. Dressed in various WWII Class A uniforms, white gloved, we of the 9th had the privilege of ushering the guests to their respected tables.

 

The guests were greeted and escorted by infantryman from the 9th and 79th divisions, calvary men from the 4th cavalry and an artillery soldier from the 308th /78th. Colonel Radice, commander of the Camden Light Artillery, spoke to all the veterans with eloquent words. He called to each group of the veterans: WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq / Afghanistan, and paid homage to them all. Afterwards, the restful timbre of Taps filled the quite dining hall.


Towards the outdoor balcony, just beyond the tables sat the 9th divisions display of weapons, rations, original period newspapers (and magazines such as Yank), working Field Phones, and various Photographs for all of the guests to view and touch.
We would like to thank all the Camden Light Artillery, especially Colonel Radice for their service to their country and also for being so kind to all of us of the 9th division WWII HPS.
 

 
02/19/2011

The following is the AAR for the Bedford event submitted by T3/CPL Matt Carroll:

 

The wind whipped through the bare trees as we approached the outskirts of the village. The bitter wind lifted scarves, flung caps and made listening for activity impossible. Scouts were dispatched towards the bridge, crossroads and the nearest causeway. Sporadic fire was heard in the distance signaling the enemy was indeed making a stand.

The Sarge had informed us the Russians forward elements were within a few miles of the village and would make sure no one escaped our advance.
As we took to the first buildings, leaping over fences, and fanning out amongst the first few structures, we knew we were being watched. Roofing material flew down on the street making detecting movement even more difficult than normal. We were wary of an enemy that was not unlike the proverbial wounded animal, which behaved ferociously when corned. The Krauts were being wedged into an untenable position, and like a cornered animal, they still were still full of fight. Even the most reluctant soldiers amongst them were being prodded along enough by their leaders to continue fighting. Delaying us we surmount to a victory to them. Delaying us meant an uncertain end for us, did they have enough gas in the tank for another “bulge”, did they have any more surprise weapons for us, was this tank full of hidden armor, didn’t they know they were licked?

All of these questions were answered with the first hail of bullets that ripped through the nearby picket fence and slapped sharply into the trees at the edge of the woods behind our squad. We acted on instinct, providing covering fire for our scouts as they made for the nearest shelter. Our medic came jolting past our riflemen, and leaped over of riflemen who had already suppressed the first position in the town. With grenades and guts, the lead scouts silenced the enemy gun. Two houses down…40 to go. I reclined behind my corner and slid back up to knees. I reached for a clip to my reloaded my weapon, checked my bandoliers and replaced the grenade that had fallen out of its home in my webbing, thinking to myself, this was going to be another long day.
 

01/26-30/2011

The following is the AAR for the Battle of the Bulge at Fort Indiantown Gap submitted by PFC Dave Pucci:

 

There had been a lull in our advance and fighting. The lines had become stagnate due to winter, and we dog faces, mud crunchers, yea we welcomed it. That little moment of timidity allowed us to think about home and family. We were ok. We learned the 28th division had been reassigned after its hard fought battle in the Hurtgen Forrest. It was mauled. The men were battered and bruised, and SHAEF had decided to give them a respite. Ike Had given them the safest spot in the line- right in the center of the Argonne. Although the 28th was still at the front, it was HQ attempt to rest and refit them. Next to them was the green untried 106th, a good spot for an untried division.
It’s funny, snow and wind and winter is not that cold when you’re tossing snow balls, and thinking about Christmas, the family back home. I’ll tell you though it becomes God Damn cold when some son of a bitch is shooting at you. Yea we were fine. Snug as a bug--- until December 16th. All hell broke loose. Jerry seemed far from capitulating. Yea, looks like we won't be home for Christmas this year.


Contrary to the belief of many the 28th didn’t just run away when they were overwhelmed by panzers. They were battered, and had limited tank support, and in truth they put up one hell of a fighting retreat. No, it wasn’t like Hollywood that they simply crumbled away and the 101st Airborne Infantry saved the day. Yea, the 101st… when they talk of being in combat for 100 days, hell the men of the 28th saw combat for the 300 days and that was just the replacements.
Yea, the two eight retreated but fought. The one oh sixth, helped them, and yea, Patton relieved us all. Never in any combat situation were more men turned 90 degrees, moved while still in a major engagement moved more quickly to relieve us battered bastards of Bastogne in the annals of war.
No, just as the 28th did not collapse though they had every right to, the 101 did spread out the line and yea, Patton’s 4th armored did come. What a Christmas present.

This year’s Gap was incredible. It is far too difficult for me to isolate it all. It was simply a great time. Because I cannot do that, I will simple list what comes to mind. Forgive me if I carelessly left anyone out. Louis G. Commander and the poppa to us all. Thanks for keeping us grounded. Sami Barebo. Damn great job on the raffles. You had humor and grit.
Justin, Little Abner. What cannot be said? Great having you and Son of a gun… I thought you were the great Satchmoe on trumpet. Frankie. Well Guppy…. You did well. Minnie the Mooch will never be remembered without thinking of you. Danny me boy….. Your simple presents added so much. Your antics on stage…. Proud you’re my friend. Gary, Glad you made it. I loved when you came through the door and everyone yelled and your comment… wasn’t my fault she was……. Styx. Way to take over for my brother. Your good with the sticks, but I’ll never tell that you’re as good as my brother.
Kay, “Somersby” Thanks is what comes to mind. Thanks for all the things you did and had put up with. You are alright. Matt Carroll, Matt Carroll, Matt Carroll. What can be said that hasn’t? Simply, there would be no Devil’s Den without you. You are the inspiration. Tommy the Rooster. I am biased here. You show me a better brother, and I’ll tell you, “Well that would be me.” We all know that. Drums, commanding the troops in the field…. You’re the head Rooster Tom. Me. Ringo. Nothing to be said. I am glad to be in your presence and that we created this unit. I pause to salute you all.

The Devil’s Den was a huge success. We had the honor of hosting many units both allied and axis. What antics, from the Fubar Boys to the Rat Races, to huh huh, John Wayne Hour. We were graced by the lovely Jolene on Friday night, and so I say, “Thanks for giving the guys of the 9th a boost.” The Party Dude, Ed Scholl was there and yea... we sang "Party makes the Wold Go 'Round". To the Royal Marine who portrayed the 8th Air force, it was great chat’n with you. Big Jim of the 28, thanks for watching our backs. Johnny of the 101.. great job at the door. Jodie of the 28, thanks for driving me around in the jeep.

Damn, I’m exhausted just thinking about it all, so to the New Year, the 9th, and thanks to all.


Ringo

 
01/08/2011

Only once in a lifetime certain special events occur. Things that you think back about with wonder and pride. Today was once such event. The 9th Division was contacted by the 78th Division Veterans Association, whom many members of the 9th are members, and were asked by them to represent the 78th WWII veterans at the 78th Division repatching ceremony at joint military base Maguire/Dix/Lakehurst in New Jersey. The 78th Division, which had been recently decommissioned and redesignated as the 78th Training Brigade, was recomissioned as a full division. We had thought we would just be there as spectators, but as soon as we arrived the 78th Commander, Brigadier General Walter Chahanovich approached us and asked if would could participate in the ceremony. We were awestruck! What an honor! As the ceremony commenced we were seated at the front of the stage. Then as the repatching ceremony progressed we stood along side the General and presented the patches to him which he would then present to the brigade commanders. We also presented medals to the General which he then awarded to the soldiers. After the ceremony the General and Commanding Sergeant Major came to us to thank us (and we in turn thanked them!). To our surprise the General presented each of us with 78th Division Challenge coins! That only happens in special circumstances! As we each wore the insignia of different regiments from the 78th Division during WWII (309th, 310th and 311th)we removed our regimental crests and presented them to the General and Commander Sergeant Major. They were happy to have them. We can't describe the honor we feel at being invited to this event. We would like to thank all involved, especially 78th Division WWII Veterans Association member Jennifer Norton who asked to attend this event on their behalf. Below are the challenge coins presented to us:

             

2011

12/25/2010 - 01/01/2011

The 9th Division WWII Historical Preservation Society would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!. To those who have supported us through the year we want to give our most gracious thanks and we look forward to working with you in the new year for some more fun and excitement. This is going to be a big year for us! See you all at the Gap at the end of January!

12/19/2010

Matt Carroll and Ron Bareiszis visited some of the WWII veterans at the Masonic home on Sunday, bringing our friends there a few little gifts, as well as some snacks, sticky buns, donuts and some home made k-rations (with some candy and repro stuff inside). 

Mr. Jim Hall, a Marine who served on Okinowa returned the flag Matt gave him last year, this time it was signed by all of the 6th marine vets he knows. It was awesome.

 
12/04/2010

Dear Mom and Dad,                                                 December 24, 1944
There were no lights. Why should this day be any different than the last sixty, and for some even more time has been spent in the dank, dark and dreary barracks. Somehow, even in a crowded barracks, we all felt alone. Isolated, shivering in the cold, and being away from family does not make for a festive Christmas. A small fired burned, yet there was no heat from it. A few candles flickered pathetically on the table. And then, then without our understanding of how it happened, it did. A small shabby little spruce was put on the table, and we began to decorate it. A few good trades with the Ferrets and we now had something that seemed to taste like egg nogg. Then, someone began to sing, Silent Night I think. At first it was sad, but then we all began to sing. I guess it was at that moment that I realized that I was not alone. It was then that I understood that even in a dark place as this that Christmas came to us. It came to us soldiers, us POWs, and at that moment, not a man amongst us shivered from the cold. No, there were not lights, but each man seemed to glow, and we no longer felt alone. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. Please write when you can.
With Love - your son,
Joe


A Soldier’s Christmas.

It was to be an exciting night and event as groups of people came into are barracks. There were treated as new POWs. They were given the rules of the compound, by Louis Gianoblie. Matt Carroll was barracks chief, and Thomas, ‘Rooster’ Pucci was in charge of rationing. Franky gave a quick review of a waste detail. D. Pucci with the help of Trooper who were in charge of the escape committee. Afterward the people were introduced to a surprise inspection by the Krauts, played convincingly by Sami Barebo and Mike Marinetti as guards. The commandant was played by Gary “Cooler For YOU,” O. To all of us who were sent to the cooler, “Thanks Gary.”

 
We would like to thank all those who came to visit us this Soldier Christmas. Thank you for your support and the nice comments that we received from you. The 9th would like to thank Marty Richards for the Café again. What a great time we all had. A thank you to the Fubar Boys for once again for providing entertainment. We would also like to thank all the re-enactors who attended and supported the even. Oh, an honorable mention to John and Cody for their Der Fuehrer rendition. We would also like to give a big welcome to our newest members, Justin Fay and Scott Szymanski. Proud to have your guys! Get ready for a fun year ahead!


To you all, Merry Christmas from the 9th.

 
11/22/2010

Members Matt Carrol and Gerard Cortese attended an event at the Cinnaminson Care Center to honor our Veterans. They worked with our friend Col Bancroft to distribute 15 NJ commendations for service in WWII. The vets included members of the US Navy, Marine Corps, and Army. The 99th division veteran was in the front row, one of Gerard's NG units' original members.

We brought an array of WWII uniforms, as well as coats, field gear, helmets, 2 footlockers full of goodies, and plenty of Life magazines and newspapers.

The veterans were honored by the colonel, and by a staff member who sang a patriotic song for them. we discussed the gear we brought, what we do, and what they all did for our country, including the 30 widows who were present to see our display. They passed out helmets, such as the tanker helmet to a former tank crewman, a navy blouse to a Naval crewman and some heavy wool coats to the ladies who made them at the Kravitz clothing company in Atlantic City. They reminisced about the rationing, the scarcity of gasoline, silk and the basic commodities. The ladies discussed their shifts at the factories. We discussed how all Americans sacrificed during WWII, and all were true patriots.

We were grateful for being to be asked to attend this service. The biggest honor was the big "thank you" we received from the VFW members present, the wives and of course the veterans.
 

11/10/2010

With great humility and great honor 5 members of our group were asked to travel to Arlington National Cemetery to attend the interment of a friend and WWII veteran, Captain George Henry Waple III. His family requested our presence for the services, in WWII uniforms (which is normally not permitted) and surprised us by making us honorary pall bearers. It was a moving ceremony with many high ranking officers present including a three star General of the Army, three Army Colonels (one of which was Col David P. Anders, Commander, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (the old guard)). They were grateful to have us at the funeral and many of George Waple's fellow soldiers were really happy to see that period of his life represented. At the gravesite there was a guidon from every company of the Third Infantry Division. This, we were told, was not a routine procedure; it was done so to honor George Waple. There was a rifle salute, prayers from his brother a retired Colonel, and Taps was played.

We are still in awe of the ceremony which takes place at Arlington, and we are very proud to have been asked to participate in such an honored tradition. Marching behind the caisson was an experience we will never forget. It was a perfect day for such a tribute to a great man, a great friend and great soldier. The tribute and the words spoken at the service reminded us of all the sacrifices our soldiers make for our country. And a special thanks to Jeanne without whom we could not have been able to attend.

After the ceremony we walked through Arlington National Cemetary and visited the graves of many famous individuals who have served our great nation. During that time we met a WWII 9th Division Veteran and chatted with him for some time. We also thanked him for serving and helping to protect our freedom. We then proceeded to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to watch the changing of the guard.

 
10/23/2010

Preparing for War-1942 at Fort Mott.

 

Plant Turn, Plant Turn, Plant Turn! Hip, hup, huree, hore, hip, hup huree, hore. You had a good home, but you left. Your right! You had a good home but you left. Your right! Your baby was there when you left. Your Right! Jodi was there when you left. Your right! Column Right. Guide Left. By the left flank - march. Counter- March.
Attitude! You look like a bunch of guys walking down the road. Chin up! Be soldierly.
Sixteen count manual of arms by the numbers. Sixteen count manual of arms without the numbers.
Count Off! 1, 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Right shoulder – Arms! Present – Arms! Order Arms! Port - Arms, one, two, three, four. That was drill day at Fort Mott, preparing for war.


Awards
Service Award: Rooster for his chillie and feeding his men.
Engineering Award: Pvt Sami for the mine detector and mine field. We found tins of Kraut Rations.
Mfg Award: John Joe for creating a cooler that even the Sahara could not melt the ice.
Musical Award: Pvt Fay, known as Lit’l Abner for Taps, and Minnie the Moocher.
Supplies: Trooper for bringing the thirst quenchers.
Psychology award: Louis “Blondie” Gianoblie for dealing with battle fatigue.
Composed and relaxed award: Chow time Moretti.
Special thanks to the Fire Warden, Gina for keeping the flames burning.
Casualties
Jackie Carroll: Feet in the air. … awarded - Purple Heart.
Pvt. Ringo: Battle Fatigue. Taken off the Line.

A special thanks to Andy, Vince and the crew at Fort Mott for making our stay exceptional. The men of the ninth would like to thank Hoop for coffee, donuts and Gina and Jackie for stew.
 

09/25-26/2010

Support the Fort!


Another successful event sponsored by the 9th Infantry Division and with cooperation from Fort Mifflin.
Historic Soldiers Weekend is a time line. But the real question is what is it measuring? What is it about? It is a line of history. It is a line to be traced back to the conception and the struggles for a nation, this nation to be free. That struggle continues today, here now in the present. As then and now, we must always be vigilant to stand and fight for that freedom regardless of where the battlefield is, abroad or at home. This event is dedicate to all those, past and present who fight for America’s freedom.

Friday September 24, 2010
Members of the 9th under the direction of Matt Carroll did an initial layout and set up of Fort Mifflin for the event. This included, but was not limited to the layout of the re-enactor camps, the posting of signs, setting up camo nets, cleaning and laying out the room for the Vets, setting up the USO Stage, organizing the chow line. The initial phase of setting up the fort was complete by Friday afternoon. Afterwards, the 9th set up their OP. An immediate thank you has to go out to all those who were capable of performing duties prior to Friday’s set up to ease the work load for the weekend. Much was involved behind the scenes to make the event a success that it was, so a salute goes out to everyone for making the time to pitch in.

Saturday, September 25, 2010
The fort was open to the public at 10:00 am. Because of the turnout of re-enactors, registration continued throughout the entire afternoon. The 9th would like to thank all those units for coming out to add to the event and to help support the fort. We would also like to thank Sharon for her help and time in providing transportation to the Vets. The public was greeted prior to entering the sally port by MPs standing guard to check for proper passes to ensure their exploration back in time. The public also had the opportunity to talk with and listen to Veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. A personal thank you to Al Perna. Mr Perna is a 9th Div. World War II Vet, who treated us privately with his experiences and his involvement in the war.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Sunday was a continuation of Saturday. This again included the veterans sharing their stories with the public. The Fubar Boys playing period music. The sound of a Civil War cannon blasting a thunderous volley. The camp was broken down and the Fort was put back into it Revolutionary War mode.
 

We would like to thank the following:
-The Brits for Playing Taps, and playing Amazing Grace on the Pipes.
-Beth for her support throughout the Weekend.
-All the Veterans who graced our presence.
-All re-enactors for their support.
-Matt Carroll for all his dedication, effort, direction and humility.
-The Fubar Boys.
-Angela Hassel for her Lili Marlene ballad.
-The Sloppy Joes, for prepping, and cooking for the Veterans.
-Jackie Carroll - - “Pastafajol” (Past and Fagioli).
-Ron Bareiszis for bringing the 50 lbs of meatballs, the case of spaghetti sauce

 
09/18/2010

The Unit attended WWII Weekend at Eisenhower's Farm in Gettysburg, Pa. Below is the AAR written by PFC Dave Pucci:

 

Behind Enemy Lines.

OP sent ward down to company to find some volunteers to reconnoiter the town. They found none, so five of us were volunteered in typical army fashion. “I need you, you, you, you, and you to check out the situation. Sneak in, find out what is in the town. Check for krauts. Check on troop displacement. What they have in support. Are there any panzers. You know the routine.”


“Yea, yea, yea, we know the routine.”


Volunteers, were Sarg. Pucci, corporal Barebo, and privates, Bergin, Curran, and Pucci. Yea we knew the routine. We snuck in Gettysburg just as the sun was about to set. Shadows were long. We immediately foraged for some grub, and later on for some wine and schöne Mädchen.

 
Next day, the five of us weaseled our way into enemy camp. We wasted no time. We did a quick scamper around the enemy perimeter, sketched out a quick map, and scamper back to the safety of the woods like five startled deer. Foraged some more grub from the locals. Rested, and next day zig zagged our way back to camp to give our report, and map.
 

 
08/28/2010

The Unit visited Fort Mott on the Delaware. Below is the AAR written by PFC Carroll:

A rifle squad of the 4th cavalry was nudged awake in the middle of their first night off the front lines since they landed on the foreign shores, more than 21 days earlier. There assignment was a simple recon mission to investigate the current condition of the defensive fortifications of the coastal batteries, and identify any troop concentrations there. Sgt Pucci nudged his squad awake and repeated his usual instructions, "men, weapons and your belt of ammo plus 1 bandolier per man, and one days rations...on me....hustle up."

The group made excellent time through the hedgerows, as the weather cooperated and in less than 2 hours the patrol had reached the first of the troop barracks. As dawn broke over the horizon, the squad could start to make out the outlines of dozens of rusted out artillery pieces, stripped gun mounts, and twisted wrecks of "guns", as well as several burnt out vehicles. As the squad approached the concrete bunkers from their vulnerable side we also found the observation tower had not been destroyed. After a quick sweep for booby traps, Sgt Pucci, and T-5 Baumeister went topside and confirmed the coast was in fact "clear", from the bunkers to the shore line. Pfc's Jodzio, Morretti and Cortese fanned out, provided perimeter security and swept the area for enemy intelligence and documents.

From his tower position, Sgt Pucci and T-5 Baumeister spotted an operable rail line, which paralleled the defensive positions and directed the squad to "fan out and follow me". The squad moved into the tree line as Sgt Pucci descended the tower and they followed the tracks toward the tunnel entrance. A sweep of the complex was time consuming and the squad worked the site with the skills only learned from experience.

Further inspection of the bunkers showed a hasty escape was made, but the damage had been done. The squad was unable to tap into enemy communications as Pfc. Jodzio reported "those stinkin' krauts cut up the lines"; the commo lines severed in numerous places.

As they silently approached their goal, the railway tunnel; a Jedberg team emerged from one of the nearby buildings explaining the enemy had vacated the port and fortifications that night. The enemy had left in a hurry after rendering many structures inoperable, and many other structure unsafe and uninhabitable. The job could not be finished as the army was approaching and the partisan groups were on their heels.
Sgt Pucci spread the men out, and identified our unit and the purpose of our patrol. After a brief consultation, which left him satisfied the location would have adequate resources and shelter for the entire company for bivouac, Sgt Pucci radioed the news back to HQ.

"The engineers will have their hands full", T-5 Baumeister pointing to the obstructions in the water. Sgt Pucci recanted the Jedbergs story to the Captain, referring to the work needed to restore the Fort and the port to it's former capabilities. By 1300, the first group of ships were ferrying men, supplies and equipment onto the one remaining port....recon complete....mission accomplished. "Take ten men."
 

 
08/14/2010

We attened "Victory - the 65th Anniversary of the End of WWII" on the Battleship New Jersey. The unit attended as various impressions including a tanker, several infantrymen, 4th Cavalry and Signal Corps. Commander Giannobile brought his 1941 weapons carrier and we set it up as a command post. There were many other units and impressions there at the battleship including Marines, Navy and Airmen. We spoke with several Veterans and heard their stories and they perused our equipment. Many loved Commander Giannobile's WC and told us they used to drive them and it brought back many fond memories. There was a reenactment of the Japanese surrender to General MacArthur on board the battleship. We had a great time. If you are in the area we suggest you visit the battleship. It is a great experience. Their website is: http://www.battleshipnewjersey.org/

 
07/31/2010

This weekend several 9th division members were part of a HQ scene for the upcoming documentary: North Africa 1942- 1943 : Survivor Stories. The movie is based on the factual accounts of over thirty WWII US vets, most from the 9th division, all interviewed by the director. Many German Africa corps vets were interviewed by the director, as this film strives to show the real account of what our green troops faced in the early days of WWII. This film is the result of endless research and countless hours of time devoted to showing the sacrifices made by our fathers and grandfathers in WWII.

Sean, Tom and Matt showed up for filming in the morning, hoping to make Dave, Kevin and Danny (stars of the recently aired Hookin up with Mariko in Philly show) proud in our 9th division film debut.


We were greeted by the production staff and led to the “make-up” area. Dust, dirt, and grime was added to our uniforms so were appeared to be victims of a dessert climate, and survivors of a recent face off with the Dessert Fox. Many camera angles, endless takes, and repetition brought the characters to life on the set. Even at lunch we couldn’t help but to look at Col. Brown with distain.

The shoot was a success; the rolls of film boxed and sent for editing. We thanked Mike for the opportunity to contribute to his project and we were happy to hear he would like to use us again for another scene, later this summer, where the GI’s encounter some Germans troops on a hilltop. For additional information on the background of this film, suggested reading includes: “Crack-Thump”, An Army at Dawn, and 9th ID captain, Matt Urban’s self-titled book.

As you were.

 
07/17/2010

Sun rise, sun set. Sun rise, Sun set. Sun rise, Sun set.
Forward! Move Forward. Advance.
It is all we have seen and all we have heard for the past one and half months. But not today, today the 4th Cav. Grp was sent behind the lines for one day R & R. The group occupied the small village of Kunkletown. Once the realization set in that the men would let their guard down, they did. The men bathed, and relaxed in the stream, offering cheers of wine, laughter as the let the cool waters of the Aquashicola wash over them.

Friday: July 16, Set Up & RR

The group began set up at Eckley Miner’s Village at 11:00 am. After set up was complete the group arrived at the Estate of 3 pines, 3 willows for libations and hot chow.

Saturday, July 17 Eckley Miner’s Village

Op was set up or nested beneath the cover of trees. Though it was suffocating hot and humid, a cool breeze would occasionally blow by to cool ones’ brow. The multitude of public passed by, photographed, asked question, discussed the moments and times of WWII. It was requested by the Park Service for the 4th to march and do a manual of arms demonstration. So, at noon the group geared up, and marched through the town singing cadence, “What ever happened to Jody?” At 2:30 the group assembled for the public at the Parade Field to do manual of arms. A few veterans mingled in the OP. There was a gentleman from the 9th Div, part of the Raider Regiment. We also had the pleasure to speak with a B-24 Pilot of the 15th Air Force. He flew 34 missions by age….. 22. He was shot down on his second mission never realizing he had 32 more to complete. In the evening, a USO show was put on by the locals. We thank them.

Sunday: July 17 Eckley Miner’s Village

Sun rise, sun set. Sun rise, Sun set. Sun rise, Sun set.
Forward! Move Forward. Advance.
 

 
06/26/2010

The Unit attended Egg Harbor, New Jersey's "Heritage Day".  This was a fantastic event with period camps, vendors, displays and stage shows!. This event was fantastic!!! The 9th set up our camp as an early war command post in the North African Campaign. For the public we drilled and marched and they loved it. We also interacted with them and taught them what life was like for the soldiers in Africa during the time period and exlained what for and how our equipment was used. For the children we set up a game where they can toss a grenade into ol' Tojo, Hitler or Mousellini's mouth. If they did it then they got an official 9th division tattoo (stick on, not real! If they didn't get it in they got a tattoo anyway. The kids loved it. Also, out own venerable Fubar Boys set thier equipment up on the stage and entertained the crowds with period music. They were a hit!. We would like to thank the organizers and staff of Egg Harbor's Heritage Day for inviting us. We had a great time and look forward to next year!

 
06/19/2010

SSGT Giannobile, T4/Sgt Oprendek, PFC Kane and PFC Carroll of the 9th Infantry were proud to participate in and support our friends at the Air Victory Museum in Lumberton, NJ for thier WWII event. It was a warm day but we are used to that by now! SSGT Giannobile brought his 1941 Dodge Weapons Carrier and the public loved it! We set up out OP around the truck. PFC Carroll demonstrated the fine art of using a grenade launcher for the public and that was a real hit! Please visit the Air Victory Museum! It is a wonderful place to check out. They even have an engine from a German ME-262 (the first combat jet fighter in the world).

 
06/04-06/2010

The 9th Infantry will not deliver the typical AAR. We were invited to Gettysburg at The Eisenhower Farm to represent a variety of units involved in D-Day. We were glad to be there. We greeted the public, answered question and gave the youth an understanding of what these men did on June 6, 1944. This is not about us, and so I will not expand upon it further. Instead, I offer this-

Sixty Six years have past. Time and the waves of the English Channel have softened, smoothed, and cleansed the beaches of Normandy. The obstacles, the Atlantic Wall, the heavy artillery of the German Costal Command have been removed, and the guns – silent. The mines have been pulled from the sea, leaving it harmless today. Sixty Six years ago the waves rolled over not in cascades of linen white crests, but with the red of blood and bodies of men from England, Poland, Canada, the United States and many others who gave their lives for the liberation of not just a continent, but of a world. Yes, a world. What if they had been repulsed? What if the beach head was not secured? What if?

Sixty six years ago, men died to secure a footing to liberate, set free a world from tyranny. Young men, men who were full of life, with hopes and dreams, who came from all states, towns, cities, race, religion and creed to willingly lay down their lives for … the future. And yes, they were scared. Who would not be? They not only gave of their lives but all that would be. What of their children? What of their sons and their daughters? They would never be born to them. So what is left?

The somber notes of taps still echoes within the waves of the channel. The medic, who not heals the wound, but holds the hand of a dying soldier on the beach, can still till this day hear the last gasp of that soldier. The chaplain or priest who gave the last rights to man who advanced against a pill box, to destroy it so that his friends could advance to find some minute cover from bullets whizzing by. The nurse who pulls the sheet over the body of a young man whose eyes are open, but can no longer see. The gasp, the loss of innocence of seeing a landing craft obliterated is welded into the minds of many. The smell of cordite and powder that has burned an unforgettable awful memory into men who advanced under the hell of combat to witness friends die and litter a beach like confetti tossed into the air.

The cries of pain, the cries of anguish, and the cries of the dying for their mothers should still be heard. That last act, of the dying, “Momma, please take me home.” The tear in the soldier’s eye that streaks his cheek. Have you thanked him? They will never grow old. They will never see that their father’s have walked much slower upon hearing of their death. Or the mother who will grieve till the time of her last moment on this earth.

But there is not time now to wallow in remembrance of the dead. Why should we do this? Where are the flowers? Where are the tributes? Where are the silent moments to remember those who have fallen? Where is the kindness to take a moment to give homage to those who sacrifice to save a world gone mad?

In all that is, remember all that was sacrificed.

Sixty Six years ago, June 6th, 1944 was the first sacrifice to set a world free.

We of the 9th thank all who serve.

 
05/30/2010

Calvary Bible Baptist Church, Bridgeton, NJ.

In respect of Memorial Day, members of the 9th had the honor of presenting flags to veterans of World War II and the Korean War. Pastor Mike Pangburn, of the Calvary Bible Baptist Church exemplified the need, the honor, and the respect to Veterans that have come before us; those who are here with us now, and those who have yet to parade past us with words, and documentaries to remind us that there is no greater sacrifice then that which is given to the altar of Freedom. The color guard, PFC. Matt Carroll, T5/CPL Joe Baumeister and PFC David Pucci lead the procession to the front of the altar. SGT. Tom Pucci and T5/CPL. Louis Giannobile carried the folded flags that were to be distributed to each Veteran. After pastor Pangburn introduced each Veteran, flags were presented to them by privates Kevin Kane and Frank Sokolvic. White gloved, PFC's Kane and Sokolvic stood at attention and saluted each veteran after presenting them with the flag. The American flag unfurled, fluttering in the breeze above a nation and people who are free, so take a moment and thank a vet for that privilege.

 
05/15/2010

This past weekend members of the 9th attended the annual WWII weekend at Lancaster Historical Society grounds. Continuing with our Field OP look, we set up a small site with several field items including the return of our Wash-Stand (which got a lot of attention). In keeping with our theme for each event, we portrayed an early-war look with Khaki Shirts and Wool Pants (think Sicily in ’43). The event is a smaller venue but had a very good turn-out of various living history groups including Armor, Medical, Navy, MPs, Infantry and Army Air Corp. There were also British and Russian Soldiers as well. Attendance to the event was quite surprising both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday night also featured a Big Band and Dance in an large outdoor tent.

During the each day we met several WWII Veterans and the highlight had to be running into a Veteran of the very unit we portray – Patrick H.J. Hall of Lancaster PA. While walking around he “spotted” one of our helmets and exclaimed; “Hey, that’s the GO DEVIL!”. Of course, he ended up being our favorite vet of the day. We also met a Paratrooper from 101st Airborne.

Of note, special thanks to “Pops” and “Click” Clayton, who literally saved the day with their displays. It was amazing how many people were interested to look over the rifle and weapons featured. And numerous people were very interested in the Cameras and history of the Photographic/Signal Corps. All in all, it was a great event and the weather was superb. Our thanks goes out to those that run this event as they sure know how to treat all of us living history guys and gals!
 

 
04/17/2010

The unit attended The Military Transportation Show in Augusta, NJ. AAR as per PFC Dave "Snow Leopard" Pucci:

The convoy meandered through the narrow roads that wove between the ridges of the mountains. Sporadic enemy fire caused the advance scouts to pause the convoy at time to clear out these enemy nests. This at times created gaps in the convoy and because of fear of confusion the scouts paused to wait for the all to be back in line. Once formed up, the Convoy of the 9th Div rolled forward to their objective – Augusta, NJ. The Military Transportation Association Show.

Arrival: Saturday, 4/17

Troops arrived. CP was quickly set up. It consisted of a fly, command tent, camo-net, flag poll, pup tents. On display for the public were weapons such as Thompson Submachine Gun, M1 Garand, 1903 Springfield, MI with Grenade Launcher. Click Clayton, our Army Photographer, had a nice display of cameras both stills and movie for the public to see what was used by the Military Photographer during WWII. PFC Carroll, and T5/CPL Giannobile did a great job setting up the command tent and desk with phones, radios, ration boxes, etc. Corporal Barebo rolled out the barbed wire to protect the camp. PFC Ciaravino did a nice presentation on the weapons for the public. Vendors were in full force and many treasures were found.

Depart: Sunday 4/18

Camp was broken down in twenty minutes. The men were on the move again.

 
03/13/2010

Drill Day. Because of the inclement weather we had to move the Drill Day from Fort Mifflin to The Air Victory Museum in Lumberton, NJ. They were gracious enough to allow us use of thier aircraft hanger. Kudos to T5/CPL Matt Carroll for getting this arranged on such short notice. Drill Sgt Pucci made sure the men marched and marched (and marched and marched and...) until we were looking crisper than a newly pressed shirt with extra starch. We went over the correct drill and marching maneuver as per the Us Army Field Manuals of WWII. We have found that other groups do not do them correctly. Sgt Pucci really did his homework on this one, spending countless hours researching manuals and reviewing WWII training films. Way to go! Just another example of the caliber and devotion of our members! The men had a wonderful time and we actually look forward to the next one!

 
02/27/2010

Unit members attended "Winter of 1944". This was a live fire rifle match event where you test your marksmanship skills in various scenarios. WHAT A BLAST!!! The first part was firing at targets at 200 yards and then 100 yards. Marching, laying and firing while in the snow gave it a real feel of being in Bastogne. Pvt Moretti almost earned himself a new nickname of "Ping" because every time he fired his rifle you could hear a "ping" from him nailing the target! Way to go!! The second part was a simulated 1100 yard shoot on the .22 range. A spotter identified targets downrange for you to take out. The last part was out at the pistol range. A German tank was disabled. But the infantry behind it is coming up and is ready to overrun your position. With all of your rifle ammo spent all you have to defend yourself is your pistol. You had to take out the targets around the tank. It wasn't as easy as it sounds. All in all we had a fantastic time at this event. We hope to do more of this in the future! Check out the pictures on our Photos page!

 
02/21/2010

The unit attended the Bedford Village tactical. The following is the AAR as per PFC Dave Pucci:

AAR: Old Bedford Village

Snow! Snow! SNOW!

Friday: Feb. 19th

PVT Moretti, PFC Pucci and SGT Pucci arrived to establish O.P. An abandon school house with solid walls was chosen for this. Firewood was retrieved and the old pot belly-stove was radiating heat that quickly warmed the room to a hospitable temperature. Time was O-16 hundred. As evening approached, the rest of the 9th found their way to the reddish school house. After blanketing down gear, the men reconnoitered the village tavern. The local welcomed them with eats, and refreshments.

Saturday: Feb 20th.

Morning Battle: Advance & Protect the Flank
SGT Pucci rec’d orders from the ranking officer as to where the 9th would be deployed and what was expected of them.
1.) You are the extreme flank.
2.) You can not budge or be over run.
3.) You have to screen our advance.
4.) Keep the Germans occupied while the main body thrust forward to capture the town.
5.) Keep it hot, and the men moving.

The 9th would occupy the ridge that sloped into the river. The ridge rose and ran parallel to the road that ran the edge of the town. Moving in tactical columns, the men moved cautiously, but deliberately to keep the army’s flank protected. Casualties were many, but minor and the men of the 9th rec’d praise by the commanding officer for their operational exploits.

Afternoon Battle: Hold the Left Flank.
While the army regrouped, it was obvious that the Germans would counter attack to recapture the town. The 9th was would hold at all costs the left flank of the army and town to the German attack. It was close combat. Fighting was building to building. The 9th continued to resist as it fell back in order to prevent the onslaught. Pinned, and with the right and center of the army in collapse the 9th would eventually be over run.

Evening Battle: Development and Attack the Right Flank.
The 9th was held in reserve to allow the battle to develop. With the main push being the right and center to recapture the town, the 9th would be then thrust left to envelope the German defenders. The 9th was to advance down the road and attack, but stiff resistance prevented this. The Captain, then ordered the SGT Pucci to take his men and move down along the bank of the river to out flank them. Heavy fighting ensued. Men fell. Casualties were high. Lines did not shift. Eventually, the firing stopped and so did the attempt to advance. Both sides nursed their wounds and waited for reinforcements.

Old Bedford Village had many firsts.
1) CPL Barebo was taken out by a panzer schrek.
2) PVT Geralds earned a nick name Guppy.
3) PVT Moretti earned his name too, Chow Line, and it was a pleasure to just sit and chat with him while we waited

   for the group to arrive.
4) Sgt. Pucci learned not to continue to be point.
5) PFC.Pucci defended a German in a tavern.
6) T5/CPL Giannobile was told by the judges he had to consider himself killed cause the Germans could not advance.
7) PVT Bergin learned he loved the fight, the shooting and being involved in a tactical.
8) T5/CPL Carroll learned how to smoke a pipe.

Another fun time, and I would like to thank all for the ……….. laughs.

PFC Pucci, David P.
 

01/27/2010 - 01/31/2010

The unit attended the Battle of the Bulge at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. Sorry it took so long to get the photos up there folks, there were just so many it took a long time to get them all together and sorted out. There were so many that at least 50% of them didnt make it up to the website, it would have been too cumbersome. The following is the AAR for the event as per Pvt Dave Pucci:

It was cold.  The men made the attempt to dig in, but the frozen ground seem to bend the tips of shovel with each thrust to try and chip away at ground that made concrete seem like butter.  A frosty, icy wind blew over the land, and the men, chilling them to the bone. That damn wind!  That cold and winter wind made men shiver violently, involuntarily.   Yes, the frozen anguish of winter, took a bite out of GIs’ moral, and resolve.  The only movements seem to be the trees moving, swaying as the wind swept them over.  They to bend away from the gusts of wind just as the men did.  It was almost poetic, if it wasn’t so damn cynical.  The frost bite of winter had frozen everything – even time itself.  An hour seemed like days, and minutes simply became lost- frozen.  Seconds were measured by fingers changing color, from white to blue and the dreaded color of black.  The body, the mind, the spirit, and even breath became numb.  This was Unternehmen Wacht Am Rheine  - - - - The Battle of the Bulge.
 

Wednesday, January 27th
Arrival of the 9th Div.  Advanced elements set up the troop barracks, and then proceeded to set up what was to become the GO-Devils Den Cantina.  This consisted of period posters, propaganda, informative dialogue, division flags, signs, tables, chairs, and lounge.  This also included a bar for refreshments, and humble stage for the band,  The Fubar Boys.  This establishment was completed Wednesday Evening.

Thursday, January 28th
A day of inspection and protocol. 
Foot locker and Barracks Inspection began before breakfast.  This was followed up by combat “hand signals” for the coming battle on Friday.  A quick review of the 9th ID schedule for the week before lunch, and then to the quartermaster to obtain supplies.  Then, combat walk review, conduct on the battlefield and setting up the O.P. in the field.  
 

Evening – Allied command briefing followed by a briefing with the 44th at the GO-Devils Den, as to the expectations of our two units during the Friday’s battle.  Radios were tested, maps and call signs distributed to our squad leaders, Sgt Pucci, Crp Barebo, Tech 4th grade Oprendek. After this review was complete, and all the questions were answered the men of the 44th and 9th shared some refreshments.
 
Friday, January 29th
The Battle Begins.  Everyone participating was rousted from their bunks before the rooster clucked.  Coffee and breakfast were gulped down.  Arriving at our destination, the 9th along with the 44th dispersed.  We would be the end of the line of the Allied Retreat.  After the last elements of the allied army was forced past us, the 9th and 44th would close the breach and defend the line.  This was done.
 

Evening -  “The GO-Devils Den”  The 9th began entertaining the crowd with a few sets of period music.  The walls of “The Den,” swelled with units of the allied army.  In between sets, the “rats” ran.  Yes, this year the Rat Races were even a bigger success.  They ran quick, fast and true on a new “Improved Track.”  The camaraderie was immense, and only eclipsed by the sound of laughter, women and song. WWII Veterans poured in from next door, their stories and laughter made the night complete.
 
Saturday, January 30th
The 9th was up early to raid the café for coffee and breakfast.  The day consisted of drill.  First orders of the day, “Gear up, and in formation in 10 minutes.”  After counting off, a quick right face, and forward – march.  The crowd was enthusiastic and approved our formation and marching with applause and videos (WWII Magazine) and photos.  The crowd was also treated to the correct way of doing manual arms during the World War Two years and again showed their approval with applause and more photos. 
 

Evening – “The GO-Devils Den”  Due to popular demand, “The Den,” was opened for the final evening at the GAP.  Again the WWII veterans joined us, and explained once again, what makes the “world go round.”And Yet Again, music and rat races seemed to highlight the evening, however; one can not dismiss the bond of friendship, comedy, laughter and simply – the FUN that was shared by all. 
 
The 9th would like to take a moment to thank all of those who attended The GO-Devils Den as you helped make it a success.  A special thanks to the men of the 44th on the field, in the barracks and at the Den. 
 
“Humbly, we of the 9th, thank you all.”
 
Pucci, David P.  Pvt.

2010

 
12/25/2009 - 01/01/2010

The 9th Division WWII Historical Preservation Society would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!. To those who have supported us through the year we want to give our most gracious thanks and we look forward to working with you in the new year for some more fun and excitement. This is going to be a big year for us! See you all at the Gap at the end of January!

11/07/2009

Ach Tung! Schnell! Rouse!
The cold white-washed room was dimly lit by a single hanging glowing bulb. It was so dim that it barely could cast a shadow on the walls. Lit candles flickered on the table, as men warmed their hands above the flames. A small, pitiful fire occasionally cracked, attempting to convince the men in the barracks that a fire actually existed. It gave very little warmth. The dampness of freshly washed clothes hung lifeless on make shift clothes lines that ran the width and diagonally across the room. The men wore all the clothing they had except for those that hung on the lines. Scarves around their necks, wool caps on their heads, in jacket, coats, they shivered in unison while they huddled close together to keep warm. They sang Christmas songs and decorated a small tree with chaff, cigarette packs, and dog tags.

The Door would be flung open as the kraut guard Sgt Bauer would usher in new prisoners captured in the Ardennes push. The Barracks Chief would welcome them with 3 simple rules.
"One, Don't go near the wire or you'll be shot. Two, never, ever fight with your fellow prisoner. We don't let the krauts see us fight amongst ourselves. Three, we share everything. What is ours, is yours. What is yours is ours." Bunks would be assigned, and the new arrivals would be treated to parcel of black bread, and a dollop of potato and turnip soup. This is their story. This is their Christmas. Arm in Arm, the clunk of cups banging together, a toast of homemade nog, heads bowed, but spirits not dimmed....They Sang - "Silent night, Holy night. All is calm. All is bright.....

The public was treated to A Soldiers Christmas from various time periods of men at war. The event was a tremendous success. The 9th played the part of POWs. Our goal for this event was to educate the public on the hardships and life for our men who were captured in the war and had to spend Christmas in captivity. The members of our group each did research on POW life and contributed items and story lines about POW life so as to teach the public about how hard and emotionally painful this otherwise joyous time was for them, yet how they endured and defied thier captors. Once inside the public became part of the event so that they can learn first hand. They were taken to different stations within the camp and members each explained what each was. We hope each walked away with an understanding and appreciation of what our men sacrificed so that we can live in freedom today.


T4 Gary Oprendek played the German Camp Commandant Oberst (Colonel)von Oprendek and CPL Chris Barebo was in the role of the kraut barracks Sgt Bauer. The public was ushered in as newly arriving POWs. They were instructed in the barracks rules by Allied barracks commander, Louis Giannoble. They were given a number and then assigned bunks by Matt Carroll. Danny Curran gave the harsh lesson of - "I decide what is trash and what can be burned. " Afterwards, they were treated to potato and turnip soup by our barracks cook Phil Jodzio. As the men tried to help the new POWs get accustomed to their situation, Sgt. Bauer would burst in confiscating their record player, and then informed the Commadant. At which time the men were lined up and disciplined by the commandant. The new prisoners were handed escape packets, told to hide them and keep them hidden cause the krauts may search us. Unfortunately, the Barracks commander would be punished with 20 days in the cooler. In defiance, the men became angry and yelled their disapproval until others were pulled out and also taken to the stockade. And so, the cramped barracks became even more cramped, but soon the new POWs too would be singing, "Silent night, Holy night.... all is calm. All is bright."

The public was chaperoned to various time periods of Christmas in time of war. This included scenes from the Revolutionary War to the Korean War. A note of special thanks to our German Re-enactors for setting up the Casement Cafe and treating everyone to a Christmas toast, and music by the Fubar Boys.
 

11/07/2009

The 9th had thier drill day. Here is the AAR as per PVT. Dave Pucci:

Friday Nov. 6th.  Arrival

Men began to arive at 02:00.  At 04:00 we overtook the Tap & Table to enjoy a bit of music and some refreshments.  At 05:30 we arrived at CPL. Chris 'Sami' Barebo's residence to enjoy a pre-dinner drink around a roaring bon-fire.  At this time the men discussed tomorrows activities while New York Strips were being grilled.  Appetizers of Crab D'Avlo and Scallops sautéed in a garlic butter sauce were served.  After mess, a few more refreshments around the fire and then sack time.  Sleep where you can.

Saturday, Nov. 7th.  Drill

The men, eager to go were up as the sun began to crest the horizon.  After some coffee, eggs benedict, hash browns, and bacon, a convoy of men headed towards the plush surroundings of the Otterbine-Barebo facility to drill.  Sergeant Tom Pucci did a magnificent and outstanding job in not just conducting the drill, but in teaching the men.  Even during interludes of break, the men still drilled.  At the noon hour, the sergeant marched the men to a local tavern for lunch.  After lunch and still eager the sergeant lead the men in drill.  After heading back to the CP, the men did some bayonet drill. 

In all, the day, the lesson, the men......... simply OUTSTANDING.

 
10/14/2009

The 9th had the privilege of being the Honor Guard at the Vera Cruz Halloween Parade on Wednesday, Oct. 14. SGT Tom Pucci called cadence as T4 Gary Oprendek, T5 Louis Giannobile and PFC Dave Pucci handled weapons, while PFC Dan Curran was the Flag Bearer.  The parade was highlighted with several rifle salutes at the war monument, followed by CPL Chris Barebo playing the somber notes of taps.  The crowed of people that lined the streets applauded and screamed their enthusiasm as the 9th marched by, paused, and fired the M1. Afterwards we were presented with the award for Most Patriotic Presentation. There was one casualty however, T5 Giannobile suffered a battle injury known as "M1 Thumb". He was presented with a Purple Heart and sent back to the Battalion Hospital.

 
10/06/2009

It is of our great sorrow for us to report the passing of WWII veteran and Grandfather to our most respected colleague, Phil Jodzio. His Grandfather, Joseph Malik, born in 1913, served in the Polish Army during the German and Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939.  

 

He was in a light artillery regiment part of the Carpathian Army which first mobilized to defend against the German invasion, then reversed direction to the east to defend against Soviet attacks.  He and his regiment were eventually pushed to the south into Hungary where, upon the Polish capitulation, they disbanded and unceremoniously went home.  He returned to the United States with his family in 1965.  We say returned because he lived in Cleveland as a small boy until about 1920, when his family moved to Poland. The soldiers who fought in "the Polish Defensive War of 1939" (as it is called in Poland) were not honored, or even acknowledged for their service to their country until 1989, when the communist government finally fell.

We of the 9th Division WWII Historical Preservation Society wish to convey our condolences to the Jodzio and Malik families. You are all in our prayers.

09/26/2009
 Historic Soldiers Weekend 2009 at Historic Fort Mifflin.
 

Friday, September 25.
Re-enactors arrived early and began to set up for the event.  Over 200 re-enactors participated and did an outstanding job on set up.

Saturday, September 26.
Historic Soldiers weekend at Fort Mifflin was open to the public at 10:00 am.  The fort was alive with re-enactors representing the Revolutionary war to Vietnam.  The 9th were in MP gear to provide direction, parking assistance, and registration and various other requests.  Due to the amount of re-enactors that participated, no parking was available for the public, so according to the Trams driver over 800 hundred of them had to shuttled in from the UPS parking area.  Re-enactors engaged the public to answer questions, hold a musket, and hear the thundering boom of
Civil war cannon.  Musketry rattled and machine guns ripped away to give the crowd an appreciation of those weapons used in battle.  AVM kindly set up their display which included the fusilage of a Lockheed P80 Shooting Star.  The crowd was treated to many guest speakers and the comedy of Scoop, and Abbot and Costello. As usual they did a very professional and excellent job.  Thanks for the laughs.  Oh, and a special mention to all the men of the 10th SS
for setting up the Casement Caffe & Pub - a place for all Re-enactors to congregate later. General U.S. Grant gave wonderful lectures and speeches that enthralled the crowd. And how can we not continue without mentioning the simply fantastic show put on by Bill Riley, Joe Ziegler and Jason Crutchley of The Ultimate Abbott and Costello Tribute Show! These guys really crack us up! Check 'em out at http://www.ultimateaandc.com !
Simply said, "great job from everyone."  

Special Note:  Fort Mifflin and the 9th had the privilege and honor to have Mariko Izumi from the Fishing Network to film her while she shot various weapons from the various time periods.  Pvts Danny Curran and David Pucci had the pleasure of escorting here and being filmed with her for her TV Show.  Personal thanks to all units that helped Danny and I with assisting us with Mariko.  We would like to thank Marty Richards of the 10th SS for providing Mariko's costume and for his synopsis on German Re-enactors. 

Sunday, Sept 25

A  wonderful repeat of Saturday.
From the 9th to all re-enactors, thank you for your support.  It is greatly appreciated.

The following units were represented:
    French & Indian War
             Robert Roger's Company of Rangers

    Revolutionary War
            
British    
                    1st NJ Loyalists
            
American
                    HMI 3rd PA Lights
                    Outwaters Militia
 
    War of 1812
             1812 Marine Guard

    Civil War
            
Confederates
                   1st N. Carolina Artilary / Bat. C
                   Company A, 37th Reg. N. Carolina Vol. 
                   9th VA Cavalry 
                   17th VA Medical Hsp. 
 
            
Union
                  8th Reg. NJ Volunteers
                  General Grant / N. East Topographical Engineers
                  HMI Engineers 
                  14th NJ, Company H
                  American Indian Troops / Blackfoot
 
    Boer / War
            OVS Commando - Orange Free State

 
    Spanish American War
            HMI Rough Riders
 

 
    World War I 
            German Kampbgruppe
 
    World War II
             
Axis
                  135th / 45th German Army
                  Grossduetschland
                  Der Erst Zug
                  10th SS Fundsberg
 
             
Allied
                  Irish Guards
                  British Commandos
                  WWII Nurses
                  193rd Rkka
                  280th Signal Corp
                  103rd Infantry 
                  USMC Display
                  USN Beach Battalion
                  9th Div / 60 Rgmt. 
                                                          
   Korean War
             2nd Armored
 
   Vietnam
             1st / 4th US Army
             7/7's Vietnam group
 
   Modern Units
             103 US Army NG 
   
Misc.

             Mike Ciarvino/ Bob Clayton Weapons
             General Ulysses S. Grant
             Abbott And Costello Tribute Show

   Display
             Air Victory Museum (AVM) 
             Camden Light Artillery 
             Battleship NJ
             Civil Air Patrol       

   Vendors
             Toy Bunker
             Lady Aimees
             Ray Grinnell 


The 9th is looking forward to seeing all of you for A Soldiers Christmas at Fort Miflin, December
09/18/2009

The 9th attened WWII Weekend at Eisenhower's Farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

 

Friday Night Sept 18th

Elements of the 9th advanced into the sleepy town of Gettysburg to do some recon on the enemy.  With leopard like speed and stealth, the recon force secured OP at the Colton.  PVT Curran quickly checked provisions prior to the arrival of SGT Tom Pucci and PVT Dave Pucci.   A quick survey of the compound of the Colton was done with no enemy in sight.  We decided to mingle in the town, notably an place called O'Roarkes to see if we could obtain any information from our local contacts.  Having met them, we waited for CPL Barebo to arrive with additional provisions.  He came rolling into town on a captured motorcycle with a sidecar dressed for combat.  He met us at O'Roarkes as well.  Our uniforms, 3 tanker and a pilot worked perfectly.  The patrons at the pub, warmed up to us immediately and we found ourselves singing songs, and chuckling with laughter.  Still no enemy.  Near closing time we did make contact with two soldiers of the enemy who were obviously AWOL.  After interrogations they passed along some valuable intelligence to us. 
 
Saturday, Sept 19th
On Saturday, we advanced into the town circle to reconnoiter other buildings while awaiting an advancing American column .  It was our belief that the column's push would flush out any enemy elements, but again it produced no visual enemy to be seen within a square mile.  Walking about, we allowed many town folk to take our picture, we again found ourselves in O'Roarkes thinking that perhaps now the enemy would show itself.  They did not.  They seem to have scurried away like cockroaches when you hit them light.  They could not be found. At one moment we thought we could see them approach, but after seeing PVT Curran out on the veranda, his bellowing voice thundering, "Hey Sarge", the enemy slithered away.  At 12:30 pm we made contact with the two enemy AWOL soldiers.  Again we interrogated them to gather more information.  They talked.
 
Sunday, Sept 20
Sunday morning, we moved to the rear of the American Line. 
 
 
07/18/2009

The 9th Attended WWII Weekend at Eckley's Miners Village in Eckley's PA. For this event we portrayed the 4th Cavalry Group. The following is the After Action Report (AAR) by PFC. Dave Pucci:

   
Date: July 17- 19th. 1944 (200))
Objective: The Town of Eckleys.


Advanced elements of the the 4th Cav. Group. occupied, and secured the town of Kunkletown on Friday July 17th. Having secured the perimiter, the men relaxed, paused a brief moment, and remembered those who fought along side of them. Their mood was mixed. Having liberated some wine, the sound of laughter, and song could be heard. A cheer to those who have fallen, and smile to oneself; the relief of having lived another day.

Before the sun blinked upon the horizon, the sarg, had them rousted, "Get up.... time to move."
A quick jolt of joe, and the men were on the move. HQ had given the order, "Capture, and Secure the Mining Village at Eckley's. On July 18th, it was done. With overwhelming speed, the 4th reached, captured and secured Eckley. OP was set up immediatly, and radio communication was established. The brass understood, all was acheived with the simple communigue, "Eckley's is ours."

After clearing the woods, the men, relaxed. The white knuckle of war was behind them. With a sigh of relief, and no casualties, they had the joy of being entertained by the locals. Food, wine, a bit of "hey, we made it, " and the companionship of hearing a woman's voice, the smile, the shape, the tenderness - seem to push aside the dirt of combat. Even if for only a few hours, it all seemed right, to look in, gaze upon, and become lost in the blue horizon of almond eyes.

July,19th. "Get up. Time to move." Huh, How simply put. Sunken faces, we all seem older some how. Time for war, yet all we ask, is ---- "Give me just a bit more yesterday."

Personal Note: I, and certainly my brother, thank all for representing the
4th Cav. In my father's word's, I will simply say, "Thanks."

PFC. Pucci, David P.
06/20/2009

The 9th Division formed up to support the Air Victory Museum on Saturday, June 20th for their living history day. We set up a forward command post, complete with operational WWII field phones run through the museum complex. Gerard set up a dozen pup tents along the wood line to keep the soldiers “home away from home” out of site in case the enemy was able to sneak a scout plane overhead past our fighters. Louis G’s truck was draped in a camo net courtesy of Dan Curran to keep it out of site, and we ran our command tent off of the vehicle. Joe Baumeister saved the day with all of his hard work on our camp fly, which kept our gear dry during the showers that ensued. We had our squad artist, Sgt. Pucci, complete our helmet insignias and we debuted some of his handwork on our signs as well. We were instructed how to fire our rifle grenades by the WWII and Korean War vets who were set up in the airport, along with Authors Sharon wells Wagner and Steve Wagner. We also showed a few spectators how to work the M1 rifle grenade when asked! Phil Jodzio arrived with a captured a beautiful German motorcycle and side car, and gave rides to some of our members during the day. We are looking forward to our next event where we will be portraying famous 4th cavalry. We had a great time!

06/04-07/2009
The unit invaded the sleepy town of Gettysburg, PA. We attened the 65th Anniversery of D-Day at General Eisenhower's farm. We set up displays and interacted with the crowds explaining the equipment and teaching them about what life was like for soldiers during WWII. Afterwards we spent time around town talking to people and enjoying this lovely place.
06/04/2009
Welcome to the new 9th Division WWII Historical Preservation Society website! Here you can find all you want to know about us and the Vets that we try to Honor. Read about the history of the 9th Division in WWI, WWII, and Post War. View a map of the journey they made across Europe during the WWII campaign. Browse pictures of the events we have attended, inspect the troops and find links to other WWII resources on the internet. You can even contact us if you feel that you would like to join our group and participate in WWII reenactments! If you have time and would like to make a comment about us or our website, please leave a message in our Guestbook.