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My 83rd Division "Thunderbolt" Collection


ssggates

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Taking some inspiration from the unit specific threads I've enjoyed on the forum I decided it was time to start one of my own. Pardon the display, I have to settle for what I can get until the war room is ready. The 48 star flag in the background hung for years on the office wall of a high school principal and WWII veteran near my old hometown. It was in a storage closet years after he retired when the town was devastated by a tornado, causing the water damage. It seemed a fitting backdrop. I'm TDY at the moment and was able to photograph less than half of my collection before I left, so more to follow.

 

First up is my very first 83rd Div uniform group. It really got me hooked on collecting and researching. All uniform items in the photo belonged to this officer. The coat in the portrait may very well be the same one displayed, as there is a ghost of another circular patch under the 71st Div that could be the TD patch.

 

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Up next is one of my favorites (I'll probably say that about all of them). As I was researching this soldier I was surprised to find the connection to Mr. Dave Curry's father and the subject of his fantastic website http://www.ncweb.com/users/davecurry/brothers/ He is the foremost historian of the 83rd Division and has done more than anyone I know to preserve and share the story of the 83rd and its soldiers. The group photo came from him.

 

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The CIB has a black felt background, the only one like it in my collection. The little brown address book contains a grand total of 108 names/addresses. 105 of them are ladies ;)

 

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The diary is in rough shape but it is legible and I will now be able to preserve it.

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The soldier is standing second from left. Squad mate Thomas Curry, KIA 10 December 1944, is sitting at lower left.

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This one came to me unidentified, but there was a name and last 4 written in the tag and I was able to confirm the soldier using 330th Infantry casualty lists. It wasn't until I was perusing morning reports during a trip to NPRC that I discovered that he served alongside my uncle in Company G. Needless to say I am very happy to have this one! All uniform items in the photo except the tie and shirt belonged to him.

 

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This one came by way of a trade with a fellow forum member. Very grateful that he gave me the opportunity to add it to my collection. I feel a certain kinship with this one, perhaps because as a platoon sergeant myself I feel a little of his pain...

 

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The medals are engraved and I believe are post-war replacements. The bible is well used and is one of my favorite pieces. His company commander, Captain Harry Gravelyn, published a lengthy memoir and this soldier is mentioned a few times. In one instance 2 German soldiers were captured wearing some GI gear and Gravelyn ordered this soldier to take them out and execute them. He returned a little while later and told his commander he couldn't shoot the prisoners, who looked no more than 15 or 16. Gravelyn decided to set the example and do the deed himself, but after looking at their faces he too fell short. The prisoners were spared and sent to the rear.

 

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This one also came from a forum member and dealer. Everything in the photos, including the bringbacks, are original to the group.

 

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I had a little trouble taking pictures of the album. I'll make some scans soon and add to the post.

 

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Garandomatic

I might have had some relation to Romine in my classroom a while ago. Don't see much stuff on here from guys around these parts!

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What a wonderful job preserving the history and stories of those men. Thanks for sharing your collection with us.

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Thank you all for the kind comments! I enjoy every second I spend researching these men and telling their stories.

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SKYLINE DRIVE

What an outstanding collection!! Well done and thank you very much for sharing it with us!

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Nine O Nine

An amazing collection thank you for sharing it. I've been to Sainteny and the surrounding areas a few times now and seeing those hedgerows and narrow lanes it's difficult to believe what these men and men from other divisions had to endure taking those hedgerows.

 

 

Tom.

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Timberwolf

Great display Jason! Looking forward to seeing other 83rd Div stuff!

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Cobrahistorian

Jason,

 

Really glad you posted this! I wanted to ask, do you have any further information on Joseph Rutman during the Bulge? I've just started writing my next book on the 330th and 3rd Armored during the Bulge counterattack and it would be awesome to include as many names as I can! Drop me a line and keep it up with the phenomenal 83rd display!

Jon

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Outstanding collection!

 

I noticed the two bring back Nazi eagle and swastika ... I have one I picked up at a flea market in Belgium in early 1970's when my dad was stationed there.

 

Not sure what it was for, and assumed that it was part of a building or gate?

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