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GI44-45 Living History Group [England]


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We are a group of UK based living historians who portray the GI of WW2. We aim to organize and attend various WW2 reenactments, engage in high quality living history, educate the public and keep alive the memory of those who made sacrifices during WW2.

Our living history impressions are such that we rebadge to suit an event or scenario. This enables us to avoid portraying just one unit and gives us flexibility to pay homage to ALL the citizen soldiers of WW2.

The purpose of this post is to forge links with US based groups, and to work in partnership, swapping ideas and information. You can join and visit our group forum in England and I would welcome anybody to pay us a visit!

Meanwhile to let you all know that we are out there "doing things", loads of recent posts have been added to the GI44-45 forums reference thread...

Wanna know about who Kilroy was?
How to build a K ration crate?

Follow the hyperlink..

http://a-i-m.forumotion.co.uk/the-reference-thread-f9/

_________________


http://www.44-45.co.uk/ LGOP's

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Thanks for your interest folks. We've had a few forum visits today, and three new members, as a result. If you want to do a bit of networking with a UK living history that cares, join GI44-45 today!

 

If you follow the link on the forum to event photos you'll see a variety of images of our various impressions from when the group was formed in 2006.

 

http://a-i-m.forumotion.co.uk/event-photos-f18/

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Oi...Eeenglind geeezaaah...Wowtz wong wivv Shcoa'ish blowkz?

Nice ot see ye here...And posted some photos on the forum mate... ;)

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Due to demand, and I'm guessing because Cold winter months are on their way. A new thread has been created on the GI44-45 forum to allow members and non members to discuss and arrange if they wish, online gaming..

 

Want to hone your infantry tactics in a Cyber world, whilst in the comfort of your home?

Want to create a WW2 themed team death match?

 

Visit the forum!!

 

http://a-i-m.forumotion.co.uk/computer-gaming-f23/

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From Ben Major of our group-

 

Just a few pictures from GI 44-45's recent exhibition at Her Majesty's Prison Sudbury. The prison was used during WW2 by the 108th and 82d General Hospital to treat wounded USAAF personnel. It was officially opened as a prison in 1948, but the buildings are largely still the original ones used by the General Hospitals during WW2.

 

Our exhibition was set up in the theatre, which was originally built to host the numerous dances and USO shows. The dancefloor is the original, sprung wooden one laid by the builders, and many of the other buildings remain unchanged (apart from a re-render here and there). The walkways around the site are also still there, although their shelters have long since been removed.

 

This was certainly a different location for a WW2 event, and I think the prison were more than happy with the exhibition. There was a lot of interested mainly from the prison medical staff.

 

There's a full report to follow, but the pictures below should give a good impression of the event:

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

On the 28th and 29th November 2009 GI44-45 held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Lincolnsfield children centre, Bushey Hertfordshire (England)

 

The Lincolnsfields Children’s Centre is based on the original WW2 site of Bushey Hall-Headquarters of the 8th U.S.A.A.F. Fighter Command [Codename AJAX], from 1942 to 1946, as a World War II non-flying facility in England. It was established at a private golf club and was used as a headquarters facility for the United States Army Air Forces Eighth Air Force in the United Kingdom. It was situated close to its Royal Air Force counterpart at RAF Bentley Priory, near Stanmore. It was also known as USAAF station 341.

During the war the facility was also Headquarters United States Strategic Air Forces (USSTAF) during 1944 and 1945, a re-designation of the Eighth Air Force VIII Bomber Command. It is the direct predecessor of the current-day United States Air Force United States Air Forces in Europe. In the Fifties this site then became an important Cold War period Anti Aircraft establishment.

 

Our thanks go out to the Phil, Chris and all from the First Special Service Force living history group ( http://www.wwiireenacting.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=31060 ) for enabling our AGM to take place at Bushey. We highly recommend Bushey as a site to use, with great hosts; it’s also conveniently located just off the M1 and M25 motorways.

 

The site was such that we had the use of wartime buildings and to hold our meeting and take advantage of all that the site offers.

 

Despite the rain, GI44-45 had the opportunity to take a few pictures inside the Gusville saloon “somewhere in Europe” and outside. In addition to discussing much in the AGM, we had the chance to socialise, watch some classic DVD’s, participate in a little knowledge check of WW2 (well done Murph!!), and travel into town where we received a warm welcome from the locals. We also had the chance to meet up with our newest member Private Dan O’Dwyer, and thank goodness (for me) as Dan is from down South of England, so I can actually understand what he says, unlike some of our other members, who tend to get a bit “mardy”.

 

Great to have you on board Dan, right kit, great attitude and we look forward to meeting up at our next event!

 

So with the AGM behind us, and our last event of 2009, I am looking forward to what we have planned for 2010! It looks to be a good one.

 

A sample of what the group got up to.....

 

The Gusville saloon “somewhere in Europe”

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“On patrol”

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Private O’Dwyer gives a lost GI directions to the front..

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Well done fellas!!! Glad to see y'all keeping the US GI memories alive in the Mother Country. On the flip side-several of my good friends portray British Paras during WWII here. WHEN, I finally make it over there I will be sure to look you up.

Many thanks,

Fielding (my given name) aka Capa

p.s. how about working on a Southern American accent and I can help you with that...

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Well done fellas!!! Glad to see y'all keeping the US GI memories alive in the Mother Country. On the flip side-several of my good friends portray British Paras during WWII here. WHEN, I finally make it over there I will be sure to look you up.

Many thanks,

Fielding (my given name) aka Capa

p.s. how about working on a Southern American accent and I can help you with that...

 

 

Hmmmmm, no offence to my American brothers, but my GT GT Grand Dad would turn in his grave. He served with Co F 111th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Army of the Cumberland back in 1864. Headed down to Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga. He woudnt like me doing a US southern accent! (although I'm a southerner in England)

 

By the way, thanks for the comments. All feedback welcome. We aim to do our best to recreate the impression of the WW2 GI.

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Now if we could crack doing an American accent, we'd have everything covered!

 

What accent?............................. ;)

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Latest from our member Ben Major

 

OK Chaps,

 

We went down to collect the C-47 on Sunday, and here a few quick shots of it as it is at present. As soon as I have some more to report, I will do!

 

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Close up of the fuselage section on the flatbed prepared for transport and stropping down.

 

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Hooked up to the Land Rover ready for the journey home.

 

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Rudder and Stabliser Control Room section.

 

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Looking up towards the rear of the fuselage. Note the original markings and stencils on the rear bulkhead.

 

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Jump Signal mounting brace. Also at the right of the bracket are the four Lift The Dot fasteners for the Aeronautic First-Aid Kit.

 

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Looking in the jump door. The horizontal ribs are remnants from the plane's time with civil airlines.

 

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Rudder and aileron pulley mechanisms made from fibreboard.

 

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Original ceiling light with control switch in Rudder & Aileron Control Room.

 

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This is probably the first time a C-47 has been reversed down the M23!

 

Here's how the entire aircraft looked when she flew with the Belgian Air Force:

 

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Here's the brief history that I have been able to research (and the parts which are pertinent). I am in the process of writing to McDonald Douglas in the hope that they'll have an archive, since I now have its original USAAF Serial Number (43-49240):

 

- Built in 1943 and delivered to USAAF on 11 January 1944

- Transferred to Belgian Air Force 11 October 1946

- December 1952: Temporarily put to disposal of Avimil/Force Publique and based at Ndolo, Congo.

- 10 July 1960: hit in the tail by bullets fired by rebels during landing at Kamina: Pilot Lt.Col. Kreps

- Sold as scrap in April 1979

- Until it was bought in 1986 by a restaurateur in Gitz, the plane's fuselage was used as a pig shed by then owner in Vladslo, West Flanders (Belgium).

- In 2000, it was used for filming a crash scene for Channel 4 series 'Sword of Honour' as FL586/AI (filming at Pinewood)

 

Total registered flight time: 8395.07 hours

 

The guy from whom I purchased the fuselage section has the original jump doors that were taken off the plane, so I might be getting them too! If I don't get it restored back to troop carrying condition, it'd make a nice mobile cinema!

 

Cheers,

Ben.

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It seems like only a couple of weeks have gone by since I wrote the end of year report for the group on 23 December 2008. It’s hard to believe it’s actually been nearly a year.

Looking back on the year, we seemed to have packed in so much in so little time. I think that this year we have participated in so many events, more than any other year. Some were pre-planned and others we decided to do at the last minute. I think experience the group has gained allows us to choose which events we like to support again and again, enabling us to better plan for our impressions. For 2010 we have a full planned diary, but I have no doubt that we’ll be seen at other events , yet to be arranged.

2009 saw us a recruit a number of new full paid up members, and own GI44-45 forum has seen a massive increase in forum members and visits from across the world. Visits not just from the United Kingdom, but interest globally, from a diverse range of countries like Brazil, Ukraine and Australia to name but a few.

In the last month alone, we have had 1,602 visits, from 252 absolutely unique visitors. Nearly 50 percent of these visits have been direct traffic and nearly 50 percent have been due to referring sites.

Although a smaller group in comparison with others (we have about 15 members), this has had no effect on the quality of what we do, or can offer to those that want to see a realistic impression of the WW2 GI.

In fact the thing that I like about being part of GI44-45 is that we are not unit specific; 3 years have given us expert darning skills, in that we are happy to rebadge to suit an impression!! 2009, saw us recreate the 101st Airborne and 82nd Airborne Divisions, the 1st, 3rd and 94th, Infantry Divisions to name but a few.

I believe that this can be attractive to those that do not wish to solely recreate one impression. Because we aspire to paying homage to the Citizen soldier of WW2 , the average GI Joe. Our aims are simple-

1. To organise and attend various WW2 re-enactment events.

2. To engage in high quality Living history.

3. To educate the Public.

4. To keep alive the memory of all those who made sacrifices during WW2. to organize and attend various WW2 reenactments, engage in high quality living history, educate the public

Whilst also expanding in numbers, we have also expanded on our range of Kit. 2009 saw the group add a Jeep, tents, a blank-firing 60mm mortar, Field Kitchen and a C47 fuselage (!!) to our stock of kit, all of which will no doubt be utilised in 2010.

Testimony to our reputation is that now we no longer always have to ask to attend an event; 2009 saw us being approached by Organisations, Town councils and living history groups to participate in events. I hope that this may long continue , especially working with other groups, which I always enjoy.

 

So what did 2009 see us do? Tab on any of the images or visit our GI44-45 forum to see more photos

 

In February, we walked in the footsteps of the 82nd Airborne in Belgium

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March saw us at Chiltern Open Air Museum (COAM)

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April saw us at Lincolnsfield Childrens centre , Bushey, Herts

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May saw the group divided, with members displaying both at Gunpowder Mills with FSSF as 3rd Infantry and East Kirkby as 82nd Airborne

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In May we displayed at the Bunker Bash

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In June as with many other living historians we made our way to Normandy..

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June also Saw us attending Trowbridge in Wiltshire as part of the Armed forces weekend celebrations.

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In July members attended Beltring and In August we attended Peak Rail, with our other small pice of kit-the Bofors gun!!

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Also in August some of made our way to Rougham airfield, Suffolk..

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In September. The victory show...

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And last Major Public show of the year, Skegness

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October and our Tactical at Fort Amherst, Chatham-always enjoyable

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November and a Unique chance to display at a prison!!

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Also in November we attended Malvern to sell all our surplus kit, ready for the 2010 season!!!

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Finally, at the end of November we were back at Bushey, Herts for our AGM and a Little photo shoot

The Gusville saloon “somewhere in Europe”

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So thats it. The 2009 season draws to a close for us, with one small visit planned for the end of December , I’m now looking forward to our 2010 events.

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Hmmmmm, no offence to my American brothers, but my GT GT Grand Dad would turn in his grave. He served with Co F 111th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Army of the Cumberland back in 1864. Headed down to Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga. He woudnt like me doing a US southern accent! (although I'm a southerner in England)

 

By the way, thanks for the comments. All feedback welcome. We aim to do our best to recreate the impression of the WW2 GI.

Hah! Okay. By the way, I grew up in Chattanooga, on Signal Mountain. The last place I lived there was on Missionary Ridge near where Douglas MacArthur's grandfather led the Union charge up the side. If you ever make it there, Chickamauga National Park is impressive.

Cheers,

Fielding

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Great pictures guys. Look forward to catching you at the UK shows this year

 

 

Yep- we should be doing bunker bash. Multi-period in May 2010.

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Hah! Okay. By the way, I grew up in Chattanooga, on Signal Mountain. The last place I lived there was on Missionary Ridge near where Douglas MacArthur's grandfather led the Union charge up the side. If you ever make it there, Chickamauga National Park is impressive.

Cheers,

Fielding

 

 

I have a long term plan, having retraced the footsteps of the 82nd AB in Belgium etc, I would like to retrace the footsteps of my GT GT Grandfather as he headed down with the 111th Penn Volunteers, to Chattanooga in 1864 via Nashville.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay folks........Feeling down? The holidays all too much? Feeling bloated, tired, at a loose end? lacking a certain vava-voom? Then you need to visit the GI44-45 forum, where the Sun never sets and there are no winter blues. Its free to join, and you can engage in light hearted chat, learn a thing or two and meet each and every one dazzling member of our little band of GI's!!!

 

What are you waiting for? Visit now!!! http://a-i-m.forumotion.co.uk/index.htm

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Yeah Johnny...no winter blues here......wait till you are walking around Lierneux or Bihan or Fraiture next weekend.....walking off a few xmas pounds......Following the foootsteps of the "Thunderbolts"......:-)

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

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