The Annual Reunions, held each year since 1947, are an event that is looked forward to. The meeting of new Association members, old friends, the camaraderie, the tours and all the good times are relished until the next year rolls around .
As this Review is being written we have already completed 44 Annual Reunions and are looking forward to the 45th Annual Reunion to be held in Huntsville, Alabama.
This chapter is dedicated to the memories of all the reunions of the past.
A complete listing of the locations for all the reunions is included at the end of this Chapter.
If you have not attended one of the reunions, try your best to come to the next one. You will go home feeling warm and content. You will look forward to the next year, when you can once again get together with old friends.... CUB Review editor 1991.
On to Indianapolis
The First Annual 106th Infantry Division Association Reunion ‑ Indianapolis, Indiana 1947
Low Cost, High Powered Convention All Set
The Simpsons “Angel” the Convention
Memorial Services to get full coverage – Wire and Radio
40,000 Vets being Circularized
The Board of Directors is still shaking its collective head with amazement at the turn of events for the First Annual Reunion for the 106th Vets. A good, typical reunion had been planned, when along came the Simpsons to make it everything anyone could dream of. Indianapolis, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,
July 14th, 15th and 16th
For over a year, quiet questioning had been going on among the members as to the time and place of the First Reunion, and it was almost unanimous for Indianapolis, both for central location and for the fact that a large part of the Division's training was there. Summer was agreed upon so that the G.I.s in school and the G.I.s taking their vacation would have the best opportunity of getting out. The dates automatically set themselves, because every other week is taken by another convention in Indianapolis.
Free Billeting For Those Desiring it
Having in mind that the average vet of the 106th is just getting started in business or is still in school on 65 or 90 dollars a month, and consequently pretty well short of cash, the Simpsons have gone to great lengths to provide free billeting for all who desire it. Married couples will be placed as guests in some of the finest homes in Indianapolis. Registration will take place Monday morning at the War Memorial. WARNING: Billeting will be only for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. If you arrive Sunday, or plan to stay after Wednesday, you're on your own! For bachelors, barracks style quarters are arranged in the splendid local State Armory (a sad note to all of us, but Atterbury has been closed). Twenty‑four hour guards will be provided so everything will be safe. Of course, for those who wish to be on their own, there are the hotels of Indianapolis, and the Spink Arms and the Antlers are particularly recommended as being close to the War Memorial. Then there's always the Claypool, the Lincoln and the Washington. If you plan to go to a hotel, however, you had better make your arrangements now, as Indianapolis is jammed.
Much Business Must Be Covered
Since this is the first meeting of the Association a tremendous amount of work must be covered. The constitution and by‑laws must be approved. You have already received proposed amendments, but you may wish to make others have them ready and typed. Officers must be elected. The future of the Memorial Scholarship Fund must be settled‑obviously with less than 800 dollars in cash on hand the original idea of an annual scholarship is out of the question, and President Price has a proposal of annual grants to be made out of income that must be acted on.
The important piece of business is the establishment of an Auxiliary. A large number of Gold Star wives, mothers and fathers have written in asking for the establishment of such an Auxiliary and they should have it.
Local chapters should be started. The proposed amendments to the constitution provide for them. They can be either by regions, Division Regiments or any other convenient method for vets to get together. Initial steps should be taken at the convention. Already a petition has been presented for the establishment of the Hoosier Golden Lions, and plans are under way for the vets of Janesville, Wisconsin, to establish another local post.
Full Social Program Planned
Monday night there is to be a Buffet Supper 'and get‑together. One of the things this convention must do is to bring together the many units of the Division. For example, the G.I. of the 422 of Fort Jackson should be brought together with the G.I. of the 422 at Atterbury, the Bulge and Camp Alan W. Jones. Here's an opportunity to get started on new friendships. Tuesday luncheon is another community get‑together and it is hoped that the five generals of the Division will each speak for 15 minutes to summarize their part of the command, so that the same separated Gis can get the whole history in a nutshell.
Tuesday afternoon is the big event. It includes a 65 mile trip to the most beautiful park in Indiana, the Shades, a huge, privately owned park including wooded hills, deep ravines where ancient fossil tracks may still be found, an enormous recreation hall where dancing, square and modern, may take place, and a picnic style dinner will be served.
At the luncheon on Wednesday it is planned that the various units will sit together and hear a good speaker. Colonel Baker, Chief of Staff of the Division from activation to deactivation, has been approached to tell the story of post‑war Europe.
The finale of the convention will be the dinner dance (dress optional ) at the Southern Mansion, a dining and dancing spot on the outskirts of Indianapolis, where the temperature is always 10 degrees cooler than in the city. There will be a name orchestra, tableside entertainment and a general all‑around good time with an excellent meal.
The convention will be centered at the magnificent World War I and II Memorial on the Plaza in Indianapolis. (Pictures are shown elsewhere in the CUB.) The Memorial Services will take place Tuesday morning at 1115 promptly and will receive coverage by press and radio. This Memorial Service is completely in the hands of the people of Indianapolis who feel grateful for what the 106th did.
A complete program for the ladies is mapped out. It includes such things as teas, fashion shows, shopping tours, etc.
The entire card and roster system of the Division Association with all 40,000 names arranged alphabetically and geographically will be there so everybody can look up that long lost buddy. A full time attendant will be in charge. Special prices have been arranged at some of the finest restaurants and drinking places, barber shops and pressing shops.
The newly created ORDER OF THE GOLDEN LION will be presented to the members and it will be awarded to five people. About a hundred maps which the War Department presented to the Association will be available for distribution‑first come, first serve ! Since these are former Government property they cannot be sold, but a little highway robbery in a good cause will be perpetrated, in that anybody who gets one will be asked to “chuck a buck” into the Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Letter to 40,000
One last mailing has been sent to everyone of the 40,000 names on record with the Association. As it costs $1500 for such a mailing, this is the last contact the Association will ever have with those who have as yet evinced no interest. In the future the Association will work only with those who are members.
As nearly as we can see from here, this is going to be the greatest convention of its kind ever staged. To miss it would be to pass up one of the opportunities of a lifetime. Get your application in by July first with $5 for each reservation. Time is too short to get involved and the Association is too short handed to do more than take care of bare essentials. We'll be seeing you in Indianapolis.
The Perfect Convention
500 golden Lions Capture Heart of lndianapolis without firing a shot ‑ the papers say.
Price re‑elected President: Perry, Vice‑President: McCathran, Secretary‑Treasurer: Board of Directors expanded to twenty‑one.
Comedian Joe E. Brown and Radio Commentator Cedric Foster headline attractions.
Constitution and By‑laws revised.
Cedric Foster, the Framptons and the Simpsons awarded the Order of the Golden Lion.
Once in a blue moon an event which everyone has been working and striving for clicks perfectly, leaving only a purring satisfaction after it's over. Such was the First Reunion of the Golden Lions. The Simpsons, Flo and Rooe, had everything ready, down to the last sign. Indianapolis was genuinely happy to welcome back home in Indiana the Golden Lions, even the weather cooperated. There was rain, but just as every outdoor event was about to take place the sun broke forth. Monday Cubs began to drift in on Sunday but the big registration was Monday. The line wound clear across the great corridor of the War Memorial and many low groans were heard about the chow lines and the Bag Lunch Division, but everyone was in a holiday mood. The chow lines were unlike the usual ones, however, in that there was a fair sprinkling of women.
Signing up for membership came first, then registration for the convention and assignment of quarters. Next a desk selling copies of the new book on the Battle of the Bulge “Dark December”, and the final stop in the line was the Red Cross “Missing Buddy Desk.” Opening Session in the Magnificent 600 Seat Auditorium.
The auditorium was filled to capacity for the opening session with a spill‑over to the balcony. Twenty‑eight huge baskets filled with flowers, gifts from friends and patriotic organizations surrounded the rostrum with every hue of the rainbow. On the rostrum was the presiding officer, Brigadier General Elmer W. Sherwood of the Indiana State Guard, one of the leading statesmen of the middle west, who welcomed the Golden Lions with an old fashioned Hoosiers “Howdy Folks!” In rapid succession he introduced Mary Beth Underwood, “Miss 106th”, sister of Don Underwood of the 424th‑(also present), then Honorable George Denny, Mayor of Indianapolis, recently installed following the untimely death of former mayor, Major General Robert H. Tyndall, extended a hearty welcome as did General Howard Maxwell, Adjutant General of the State of Indiana. Major Penley, who had opened the session with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, now led the Reunion in the Golden Lion Song, the words of which were written by Mrs. Carol Simpson and which is sung to the tune of Song of the Vagabonds:
Men from the East and Westward,
Men from the North and Southward,
Golden Lions are we all.
Men of flame and sorrow,
Now we cheer tomorrow, Golden Lions are we all.
Onward, Onward all of us as one,
Forward, Forward our freedom must go on.
Liberty and Justice,
Know that you can trust us,
Golden Lions are we all.
Kenneth Perry, President of the Hoosier Golden Lions, next welcomed the convention, followed by a representative of the VFW, giving an address and a representative of the State American Legion. General Sherwood introduced the Legion representative as an artilleryman which brought loud applause from General McMahon, only to have him say he was really an infantryman ‑ Silence from General McMahon! Henry F. Strickland, ex‑Governor of Indiana, gave the most stirring speech of the day saying “We shall never forget your sacrifice and valor.” Honorable Ben H. Watt, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction and leading candidate for Governor also welcomed the Golden Lions.
Flowers were presented with short talks of sincere greeting by the American War Mothers, Mothers of World War II and commercial concerns such as the Pendell Florists.
President Price responded on behalf of the Association with expressions of deepest thanks and gratitude to the people of Indianapolis. He then opened the reunion officially and gave his report as president. He gave a resume of the business to be covered in the three days of the convention and the working of the organization as it has been planned for the future. He said that the Board of Directors elected at Lucky Strike in a hurry, had done very well these past two years, and said that the turning over to the Association of the unit and sundry funds had permitted the establishment of a strong foundation for an Association, particularly in the building up of a roster of over 42,000 men. He said that the CUB was without question the finest of the Division Association Publications. The Memorial Scholarship Fund was way behind expectation and that plans had to be made for establishing it on a sound basis. He announced the formation of the Hoosier Golden Lions, first chapter to be established.
Secretary Livesey gave a resume of the work; of the Association for the past two years. He called attention to the financial situation, number of members and the general lines along which the Association was moving. He expressed thanks to President Price and the Board of Directors and also to the Honorary Vice‑presidents, particularly General McMahon, who had remained in steady correspondence with hardly a week passing that he had not sent in a new member. He also expressed thanks to the hard working Assistant Secretary “Marge the Marine”, Mrs. Rathbone. He suggested that the Association might be described as weak but convalescing, saying he felt that we were over the hump.
The current membership of the Association is about 1700, but that 2500 is needed for a comfortable working budget. The CUB at $3500 a year, an Assistant Secretary at $2000 with a margin for other expenses. He also said that he thought that it was vitally necessary that local chapters be established and that the work be split up. That it had come to the point where more than two or three men to do the work were absolutely necessary.
At this point amendments to the constitution and by‑laws were taken up and all those previously submitted were approved. The Amendments to the Constitution and By‑laws will be forwarded to members separately.
A nominating committee was selected to hand in a slate of officers Wednesday morning. Secretary‑Treasurer Livesey was made chairman.
The Meeting adjourned at 0530 to meet at the Roberts Park Methodist Church for an old fashioned church supper.
The good ladies of the church, who had kept a canteen open all during the war, had lost none of their skill in dishing up good old Indiana baked ham. The crowd was big and the chow line long, but relaxing on the church lawn was perfect after a hot, hard day. Gradually the party broke up to renew old acquaintances or get some shut eye. Some went to the night clubs, some went to look up a gal named “Myrtle.”
The highlight of the whole convention was the solemn, magnificent tribute to our war dead. The awe‑inspiring Shrine Room of the World War Memorial was filled to every nook and cranny with over 2000 people. Flights of war planes droned overhead, the Indiana Newsboy Band played the Star Spangled Banner softly in the distance. The invocation was given by Rabbi Greenfield from Indianapolis, the eulogy by the president of “the local” Ministers Association. Colorful uniforms of Indiana State Troopers, Marines, WACs and the Air Force dotted the room. National and State Brass, and a group of 106ers from their wheelchairs and their salutes with steel hooks instead of arms and hands brought lumps to the throats of many. The Culver Military Academy color guard bearing the National colors, a Gold‑Star flag, the Division Standard and Culver Regimental Flag dropped the Division Flag and the Gold Star flag to receive wreaths of evergreen from General Jones and movie star Joe E. Brown. The congregation then proceeded through the Aisle of Valor lined with Boy Scouts to the north end of the Memorial Plaza where the wreaths were removed from the flags and placed on the tomb of the unknown soldier from Indiana. Also placed there were baskets of flowers by Indiana war mothers and by Miss 106th for the Division. In the distance came the soul stirring strains of Taps played by the bugler who had blown the call to arms at Pearl Harbor and at Iwo Jima. At the conclusion of the ceremonies there was hardly a dry eye.
Three circus tents had been erected in the Memorial Plaza in the form of a “U” for the luncheons Tuesday and Wednesday with buffet style lunches being served. On Tuesday the fare was Indiana creamed chicken and string beans. At the speakers table were Generals Jones, Stroh, Perrin and McMahon of the 106th, General Sherwood, General Maxwell, Honorable Ben H. Watt, Major Henley of the Indiana War Memorial Commission, President Price, Cedric Foster the radio commentator, Joe E. Brown, movie star, and Mayor Denny of Indianapolis.
Brigadier General Sherwood on behalf of Governor Gates, who was at a conference of Governors in Utah, presented the Indiana State Medals and honorary citizenship to Generals Jones, Stroh, Perrin and McMahon, President Price and Secretary Livesey. The Companion Class (bronze) of the Order of the Golden Lion was presented by President Price to Governor Ralph E. Gates, in absentia, Major General Tyndall, in memoriam, Mayor George Denny, Honorable Ben H. Watt, General Howard Maxwell, Major Frank Henley, General Elmer Sherwood and Joe E. Brown. The Generals of the Division then each gave a report of the Division's activities during the time of his command, in chronological order, General Jones, General Perrin, General Stroh (who included General Woolfley's command in his absence ) and General McMahon covering Division Artillery. For nearly two hours the audience sat in rapt attention, listening to the first complete story of the Division and the “big picture.”
There was a short recess and everyone prepared to mount busses for the 65 mile trip to the Shades for a picnic supper. A motor cavalcade, escorted with screaming sirens, by two motorcycles, a state trooper car and State Superintendent of Police Colonel Rossow in his own siren equipped car, with passengers Joe E. Brown, Miss 106th, and General and Mrs. Jones. Following were eight huge brand new, interstate busses and 51 cars belonging to members. On the way to the Shades the cavalcade took time out to make a complete circuit of the two and one‑half mile Indianapolis Memorial Speedway, hitting at times 75 miles per hour. The trek then continued to the Shades, a great natural private park, with deep ravines and a confluence of three rivers. The great dining hall was filled with a happy throng, and while we hit the inevitable chow line, it was worth it for the famous steak with brown gravy.
Sid Gunter, guitar playing hill‑billy, who had entertained so many boys in the Stalag was introduced by Pete Frampton, who was the master of Ceremonies for the evening. The spontaneous form of entertainment made for a hilarious evening. Sid played for us and also had a beautiful gal who used to play for us at Atterbury playing with him. He called on Joe E. Brown, who came out and obliged with his famous baseball act. The Generals of the Division all got out and sang a rendition of “Old Soldiers Never Die” proving conclusively that they were better tacticians than singers. Cedric Foster and General Perrin went on and on like Tennyson's brook singing the verses of the Yale “Whiffenpoof Song.” A dance orchestra was provided but everyone felt like going back to the city early.
At the business meeting in the morning a new Board of Directors was elected.
Aspinwall, Francis, Rome, New York;
Bailly, Philip E., Red Bank, New Jersey;
Brumaghin, David C., Parsmus, New Jersey;
Cessna, Gerald H., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
de St. Aubin, Robt., Oak Park, Illinois;
Frampton, Duward B. Jr., Pittsburgh, Penn.;
Hagman, Ben J., Weatherford, Texas;
Hall, John L., Port Alleghany, Pennsylvania
Harrold, Vincent A., Boston 34, Mass.;
Hatch, H. M. (Jim), Minneapolis, Minnesota;
McCathran, Arthur, Riverdale, Maryland;
McCollum, Vollie, Cornersville, Tenn.;
Morrison, R. B., Overland, Missouri;
Perrin, Herbert T., Gambier, Ohio;
Perry, Kenneth IV, Indianapolis, Indiana;
Price, David S., Albany, New York;
Robasse, Charles N. Jr., Chicago, Illinois;
Schnizlein; J. Glenn. Downers Grove, Ill.;
Stewart; James, Huntington Woods, Mich.;
Stout, Robert P., Pelham 65, New York;
Utter, Oakley, New Jersey;
Walker, Alan W., Macomb, Illinois.
A community luncheon with cold cuts and potato salad was served after which the men were honored with the presence of the radio commentator Cedric Foster who was presented at this time with the Commander Class of the Order of the Golden Lion and who replied with one of the most stirring talks ever heard by those present, on the obligations of a free democracy. The Golden Lion was presented to Mr. Foster by Mrs. Alan W. (Alys) Jones, mother of a son (Capt. Alan W. Jones, Jr.) captured in the Bulge, and wife of a man (General Jones) stricken in the Bulge. The Division flag was at this time presented to Major Henley by President Price. Major Henley accepted it on behalf of the War Memorial Commission and said that it would be preserved in the Memorial Room with other cherished standards and colors. All business having been finished expeditiously, there was no session Wednesday afternoon. The members attended the open house at the American Legion hall or started preparing for the final event of the convention, the banquet at the Southern Mansion.
The Final Banquet
A cool white building, an outdoor dance floor and outdoor tables, soft blue lights, an excellent orchestra and beautiful women‑what more could be asked for a final affair. Everyone relaxed, the work done, the first convention a success. Indiana fried chicken was heaped on every plate.
The highlight of the evening was the awarding of the Commander Class of the Order of the Golden Lion to the Framptons and the Simpsons. Mr. and Mrs. Frampton received the Golden Lion from their son Pete a POW of the 422 Cannon Company. Mr. and Mrs. Simpson received the Golden Lion from their dear friend ‑ General Jones. Later in the evening Al Harding, on behalf of the Hoosier Golden Lions, presented the Simpsons with a beautiful bronze memorial plaque with a resolution of thanks to them.
Shortly after midnight the party began to drift away in driblets and much as the Division was laid on the shelf at Camp Shanks, without ceremony, but with a nostalgic happiness and contentment, the First Reunion of the Golden Lions passed into history.
Highlights and Sidelights
To try to cover all of the events of this happy, strenuous, exciting three days is impossible. Some things remain bright in the memory of this reporter.
The genuinely friendly welcome by all of Indianapolis newspapers, the Star, Times and News cooperated magnificently with daily stories, often on the front page. The stores of Indianapolis ran advertisements in the papers welcoming the Golden Lions and gave over many windows to displays of welcome. The tradespeople all cooperated with low prices for flowers, barbers, pressing, etc.
It was amusing to note the expression on Major Henley's face, custodian of the $15,000,000 War Memorial. The first day he looked obviously worried and harassed about what these wild G.I.'s would do to his beautiful. War Memorial. Each day the look became less worried and on the last day he issued a friendly, sincere invitation on behalf of the War Memorial to return next year. It was the best behaved convention seen in a long time. Certainly there was none of the silliness that civilians usually associate with veterans conventions. There were, probably several factors‑first, men of this war are not the boys of World War I. They had been through too much, seen too much, and were faced with too many problems to act like high school freshmen. Second, the large number of wives, mothers and sweethearts present had a stabilizing influence. Third, the majority of the men attending had been PW's. It was not an occasion for hilarity, but one for reminiscing and thoughtfulness. This was expressed in the earnest debate in every one of the business sessions on basic problems of the Association and our national life.
Probably the center of interest of the attendees was the bulletin board on which were put the names and addresses and units of all men in attendance. They collected around this board the whole three days, looking up old friends who were attending the convention.
The 40 & 8 held open house for members and was well attended.
Ken Perry, new vice‑president 5' 4" and Glenn Schnizlein, new Sgt‑at‑Arms, 5' 20" when working side by side presented one of the incongruities of the occasion.
The weather, while behaving amiably, couldn't resist one mean trick, and the first night blew over all the banquet tents. But, Ken Perry and his Hoosier Golden Lions worked like beavers to get things set up again.
Cedric Foster, who from his photograph looks like a slender, small, scholarly sort, turned out to be about 6' 3", a hell of a swell fellow, and a raconteur par excellence. Sorry but we can't repeat in this family magazine some of his best stories.
Colonel “Curly” Williams, Signal Corp, kept insisting he, had to get out to his “Aunt Mamie's” Turned out there actually was an Aunt Mamie. He can be forgiven a lot because of his beautiful charming wife.
At the banquet listening to General Herb Perrin, Cedric Foster, Mike Belzer and Curly Williams sing “Bell Bottom Trousers.” L. S. Ayers, who employ Miss 106th, as a model, gave her three days of fun and her choice of any clothes she wished—Tuesday she appeared in a red sweater—WOW!
Just about every section of the country was represented, there were men from Portland, Main and Portland, Oregon, Minnesota and Texas and all points in between. John Mason came all the way from the Philippines. He is scheduled for Yale in the fall, but came two months in advance to make sure that he didn't miss the convention.
One poor chap, Norwood Frye and his buddy, from Glastonbury, Connecticut, really had it tough. He was stuck for three days en route with cracked cylinders.
Wire after wire was received from boys who couldn't be present.
Fred Farris, of Roanoke, Virginia, brought along the original Golden Lion which hung over the entrance to DHQ at Fort Jackson, weather. worn and covered with Tennessee mud. He presented it to the Division Association as a cherished memento to be displayed at every convention.
Several of the members of the Board of Directors made quiet checks of all those present to find out what the opinion was of the Association and the convention. They reported unanimously that the feeling was good‑ranging from quietly satisfied to high enthusiasm and a wide spread resolution to go back and sell the Association to all members of the Division. Only one chap said he didn't like the Association and didn't like the convention ‑ but he couldn't give any good reasons—must have been something he et!
You can always lay a bet that at every football game there will be some mongrel dog that will trot from one end of the field to the other. Surprisingly enough there weren't any dogs, but there was a little bare‑footed, tow‑headed, kid in coveralls who persisted in going up and down in front of the speakers during the two luncheons.
A woman at the Reunion
by Jane Livesey
Especially for you folks who were not able to attend the convention, I am detailed to write a report of the Women's Program and the formation of the Auxiliary of the 106th Division Association.
The reunion itself was such a wonderful dizzy whirl of activity it is to be hoped that I can report at least semi‑accurately on all the things in which we participated. Certainly Indianapolis and her citizens outdid even their usual Hoosier hospitality to make this such an event that we shall never forget their generosity and cordiality.
Monday morning, July thirteenth, many old friendships were renewed among the wives and mothers and many cemented which were only exchanges of letters and information during our “Dark December” days. It was wonderful to see then and we missed so much the good friends who couldn't come.
Tuesday, the ladies were entertained at a luncheon at the Antlers Hotel‑the luncheon presided over by our charming Mrs. Alan W. Jones. She introduced the honored guests and the speaker for the afternoon, Mrs. Snyder ‑ a palmist. Mrs. Snyder held all of us spellbound as few speakers we have ever listened to have been able to do. She had read the palms of 8,200 service men during three years in a canteen in Indianapolis, many of them our boys. Her stories of the different men were fascinating ‑ truly we couldn't hear enough.
On Wednesday afternoon, the ladies were given a tea by the War Mothers of America ‑ at the tea we were entertained by a group of “War Mothers” who, more to cheer themselves than others at first, had formed a “Gay Nineties” Revue during the war‑ They were so amusing and appealing that they played at many of the camps and hospitals and are still doing so. As one of their members said, “It's awfully corny, but it's fun,” and so it was.
Following this, H. P. Wasson & Co., presented a style show giving us a preview of fashions for the coming fall. The clothes were very lovely ‑ some we liked, some we did not, but we all agreed that the group of models certainly spoke well for Indiana beauties.
The person we have to thank for all these special events was Mrs. W. R. Simpson, who with her husband had made the whole convention such a memorable one.
There were so many people who gave of their time and energy that I wish I could mention them all, but I have space for only two ‑ Mrs. Yarling, President of the War Mothers, and Mrs. Breedlove, President of the University Heights Chapter of the War Mothers of America. There are many others we are indebted to, but not knowing their names I can only say “Thank you so much."
Now to the Auxiliary‑
Monday morning, July 13th, the Steering committee together with other ladies whom we invited to sit in with us, started the large task of somehow forming and adopting a Constitution “ and By‑Laws, electing an Executive Committee and Board of Directors ‑ all before the close of the reunion.
The Steering Committee consisted of Mrs. David Price, Chairman, Albany, New York, Mrs. Herbert Livesey Jr., Secretary, Mamaroneck, New York, Mrs. D. B. Frampton Jr., Pittsburgh, Mrs. Howard Maurer, Springfield, III. and Mrs. Wm. Lyle Mowlds of Dover, Delaware.
Through Monday and Tuesday members of the Committee tried to talk to as many relatives and friends present as possible to find out their ideas and desires. On Wednesday morning a meeting of all interested was held, to discuss and adopt the Constitution and elect the officers and directors.
It was decided that the membership should include all relatives and friends of our veterans. The membership dues were set at $2 for a single membership, $3 for a membership including the Cub.
Various projects in which the Auxiliary might interest itself were considered. One considered as a good beginning was for a Gold Star Mother “to adopt” a Golden Lion still in the hospital to see that he had the things he needed, that he got the CUB and other things of interest to him.
Since the requests for the formation of the Auxiliary had come to the Secretary mostly from parents of our boys who had been killed in action or who were Prisoners of War, we strove to have a good representation on both the Executive Board and the Board of Directors of those present.
To many of the people who will be listed in the following, this will be the first they have heard of being elected to these offices since many were not present but had indicated interest in such an organization previously. They will be notified later and asked to serve.
Mrs. D.B. Frampton, Sr., President
Mrs. W.S. Davis, Vice‑President
Mrs. Howard Maurer
Mrs. Helen Dennis
Mrs. Earl Hopbell, Secretary
Mrs. Alan Jones
Mrs. Herbert Perrin
Mrs. Donald Stroh
Mrs. R.W. Simpson
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mrs. Kenneth Perry
Mrs. David Woodson
Mr. Mark Cohen
Mrs. Ben Hagman
Mrs. John Beals
Mrs. Edna Anchorstar
Mrs. Caroline Sprenkle
Mr. H.W. Thomas
Mrs. Edna Carow
Mrs. D.B. Frampton, Jr.
Mrs. David Brumaghin
Mrs. Clarke Sedam
Mrs. W.L. Mowlds
Mrs. William Minor
Mrs. David Price
Mrs. Robert Lamb
The Constitution was set up to include a five person Executive Board which would elect its own officers‑President, Vice President and Secretary. (No Treasurer was considered necessary since all membership dues and other funds would be sent to the 106th Association which would in turn return to the officers enough for their expenses for mailings, etc. )
The Board of Directors is to be a twenty‑person Board, to represent the various sections of the country, to help on convention planning and to advise the Executive Board as to interests and opinions.
The officers elected by the Executive Committee are Mrs. D. B. Frampton Sr., Schenley Apartments, Pittsburgh, Mrs. W. S. Davis of Indianapolis, Vice President, Mrs. Earl Hopbell of Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, Secretary.
Many of you have known of Mrs. Frampton ‑ to many of you she was a helping hand during the “Bulge” and with her husband, she was the moving spirit of the Agony Grapevine.
We know that with the organizing ability she possesses, plus her charm, she will do a wonderful job as President and we feel most fortunate that we could persuade her to accept nomination to the Executive Committee.
We now have over forty paid memberships in the Association with more coming in every day. If you are interested, please send your membership in to Mr. Arthur McCathran the new Secretary‑Treasurer, and if you want to help us make this a truly good organization write Mrs. Frampton; she'll be delighted to hear from you.
General Cota's Speech to the 106th Reunion – 1958
(This speech was given to the 106th Infantry Division reunion, July 26, 1958 (Philadelphia (King of Prussia), by General Norman D. Cota, commander of the 28th Division during the Battle of the Bulge... editor 1991)
General Jones, General McMahon, Veterans of the 106th Infantry Division, wives, families and guests:
Mrs. Cota and myself are most happy to be here with you today, as you participate in your 12th Annual Reunion program, This is my first opportunity to speak to the veterans of the 106th Division. I have, as you know been very close to the 106th Division. Especially was this true during the early days of December, 1944. In fact, the 112th Infantry Regiment of the 28th Infantry Division which I commanded, was attached to your Division for a period at a time you well remember, and I do too. So my good wife and I feel as though we were one of you. We thank you for asking us to join with you at lunch today.
Since arriving here I assume, like all good veterans, you have been renewing friendships made during the time you served together, and have been recalling the events (good and bad) that you went through together. You have just had your Memorial Service, and paid honor to those that played, trained, and fought with you, but are no longer with us. That is as it should be.
I am going to take just a few minutes to talk about that battle called “The Battle of the Bulge.” You know about that battle pretty well – don't you. I am sure you do.
Like you, I have fought the Battle of the Bulge many times since the battle actually took place. I have read many books, and many articles about the battle. I have listened to many speeches about it, and a have been called upon to write many letters in regard to it. Sometimes I get real fed up and real mad about it. Nevertheless, I am proud of the part the 106th and 28th Division ‑ Yes, the part the VIII Corps – played in the Battle of the Bulge. I am proud of the achievements our divisions made in this battle. We are, all proud of what we did aren't we? Why shouldn't we be.
As time goes on and the military history department of the Army continues to research and prepare historical documents on the Ardennes Campaign, more and more the students of military history are realizing the job done by the VIII Corps in the Battle of the Bulge.
They are finding out:
1. The German Army (Fifth Panzer Army) making the main effort of the Battle of the Bulge (head against the VIII Corps) was commanded by a general who had made a mark as an armored specialist and had achieved a big reputation for energetic leadership and personal bravery. His subordinate Corps commanders were specially selected, and his staff was probably the best German staff on the western front. His troops were specially selected and equipped.
2. The German commander was fairly optimistic. He personally rated four of his armored divisions as good attack formations. He hoped to win a quick penetration and get rolling. He expected that the tactics of pre‑dawn infiltration would pay off and that his assault detachments would have reached the Crestline (Skyline Drive) before noon on D‑day. He hoped that the debouchment into the bridgehead would commence during the early afternoon. He expected that St. Vith and Wiltz would be reached the first day.
3. Two things were necessary to the success of the Fifth Panzer Army, namely: there must not be any slackening to an infantry pace by frontal attacks against strongly defended American positions, and the flanks must be disregarded.
In short, success or failure depended on maintaining a time table based on speed and maneuver.
You were there and know how the American defensive positions were defended: the wide fronts occupied by regiments and battalions, the few reserves available.
You know the time it took the German Fifth Army to take Wiltz ‑ 4 days. You know about the holding of St. Vith. In short, a whole series of monkey wrenches were thrown into the well oiled machinery of the German attack. The American infantry had made excellent use of the ground and had held their positions refusing to buckle under weight of numbers until the time table of the German Fifth Panzer Army was thrown entirely out of gear.
ln the last analysis, the losses inflicted on the enemy may have equaled those sustained by the Americans ‑ certainly the Germans paid dearly‑ but the final measure of success and failure was in the terms of hours and minutes won by the VIII Corps (especially the 28th and 106th Divisions and lost to the enemy).
Yes, we have a right to be proud. We are, aren't we? Now, what enabled the American soldier to perform this feat of arms under the extremely heavy odds against success?
Wasn't it because “Our Way of Life develops men superior to any other.” I believe it was. They just decided that “what was worth fighting for was worth dying for.” They had the will to win, to battle for every foot of ground, for every minute of time so that reserves could be brought to the decisive points of the battlefield and definitely stop the Fifth Panzer Army, and finally expel it altogether.
I wonder if we still possess those qualities and capabilities. Wars can't be won by pushing buttons, nor can we buy security in a package.
Yes, the 106th infantry Division was “fine” and “great” on the field of battle. Are we still “fine” and “great” on the battlefield of the cold war? Are we doing our part? To insist that our army retain the capabilities our divisions had; think about it.
20th Annual Reunion ‑ Indianapolis
21‑24 July 1966
Twenty years ago the new 106th Infantry Division Association, organized at Karlsruhe, Germany, in August, 1945 made plans to hold their first Reunion. Extracts from the announcement published on June 7, 1947 read as follows:
“Its all set‑ the first Reunion of the Golden Lions. As you wanted, it's to be held in Indianapolis, July 14, 15, 16 . . .”
Then followed the program planned for the convention. The announcement closed with the following significant paragraph:
“GET THIS STRAIGHT‑it costs $1,500 to send this letter to the 40,000 men of record, Vets of the 106th. As a consequence, this is the last you will ever receive. All correspondence in the future will be exclusively with those who answer this letter. You must act now or never . . .
“As it stands now, we have no way of knowing whether 200 or 2,000 will show up . . . We realize this letter is abrupt, definite and final, but there is no other way of handling it. ACT NOW OR FOREVER AFTER HOLD YOUR PEACE! This is the opportunity of a lifetime ‑ don't fumble it!”
Well, thousands did fumble it, because only something over 900 veterans of the Division came to Indianapolis for the first Reunion. Fortunately, this number contained the nucleus of men and wives who, when added to at succeeding Reunions, became the hard core of the Association. It is this hard core with their devotion of time, talent and money that has kept the Association alive and healthy for 20 years.
It is estimated that this group totals about 200 veterans, their wives and children. Tom Bickford, Div. Hq. Co. and his devoted wife Flo, from East Orange, N. J., are the only ones who have attended every reunion. This year the Association tried to honor him for this devotion by nominating him for Vice President, but like General William Tecumseh Sherman when they tried to nominate him for President of the United States, Tom was equally emphatic in declining the honor. Tom and Flo are two of the finest members.
The 20th Reunion got underway at the Continental Hotel, North Meridian St., Indianapolis on Thursday, July 21. A few members arrived that morning, including the Association President, Colonel Joseph Matthews, Ph.D., 422nd Inf. and his wife Anne, from Raleigh, N. C. When this correspondent rolled up in front of the Continental at 1 p.m., he had the honor of being greeted by President Matthews and Russell Enlow, D 423, Postmaster at Taswell, Ind., and chairman of the Reunion Committee. Members continued to arrive during the afternoon. Among them was Mrs. John (Carol) Beals, who drove in from Iowa City where she is with the Extension Division of the University of Iowa. John and Carol were faithful members for many years until John passed away in January, 1966. Members are happy that Carol elected to continue her close ties with the Association.
H. M. (Jim) Hatch, Div. Hq., his wife Helen, and Kathy, flew in from Minneapolis. When he found there was no swimming pool in the Continental, he went scouting, aided and abetted, no doubt, by teenage daughter Kathy. He found one in the Essex Hotel, a block away and moved over.
There were 15 children, mostly teen‑agers at the convention. Jim made arrangements at the Essex for them to swim in the pool. Thereafter it was the beachhead, for the duration, for the children. After about the first 5 years of Reunions, members started bringing their children and efforts are made at each Reunion to provide for their entertainment. From year to year at the annual get‑together, members have observed these children grow from grammar school to high school age and enter college. One of these is Tex Matthews, son of the Association president, who flew in from North Carolina State College. Another is Kay Loveless, daughter of John (Hq. 422) and Kay Loveless of Baltimore, who was married during the year and arrived with her husband. The ladies got together on a wedding present and at the banquet on Saturday evening, Marge DeHeer, COMGL, presented them with a silver cake dish.
For the past several years General Al and Alys Jones have been bringing three grandsons to the Reunions. This year they were down to one, because the other two (sons of Col. Alan Jones, Jr., 423) are old enough to work. Incidentally, their father joined us at Camp Atterbury and attended the banquet on Saturday night. Now he is in Korea commanding an infantry brigade.
At 8 p.m. Thursday evening about forty to sixty “early birds” gathered for talk and conviviality.
At 9:45 a.m. Friday, July 22, the Board of Directors held a short meeting in order to be able to board the buses for a two‑hour tour of the city, including the Speedway (the famous brickyard) and the Allison Division plant of General Motors Corporation.
More members arrived during the morning and the dining room was crowded for the luncheon at 12:30 p.m. Additional tables had to be set up. President Matthews and Reunion chairman Russ Enlow outlined the activities for afternoon and evening. President Matthews asked how many were attending their first Reunion and about 20 hands were raised.
At 6:45 p.m. members gathered for the cocktail hour followed by dinner at 7: 30 p.m. After dinner Reunion chairman Russ Enlow introduced Hon. Richard L. Roudebus, Representative in Congress from the 6th District, Indiana, who gave an interesting talk that was well received by the group. Members remained in the dining room for a social evening which lasted till midnight.
The highlight on Friday night was the presentation of The Order of the Golden Lion, Commander Class, to John T. Loveless, Jr., Hq. 422, and the Order of the Golden Lion, Companion Class, to Mrs. John T. (Kay) Loveless, Jr. The presentation was made in a very impressive ceremony by President Matthews. The Citations for these awards appear elsewhere in this issue of the CUB.
World War Memorial Plaza occupies five city blocks in the center of Indianapolis. Shrine Building, the main edifice in this plaza, has an auditorium and rooms for patriotic meetings. On the south of the Shrine a flight of steps leads past a statute of “Pro Patria,” one of the largest bronze castings ever made, to the entrance of the memorial hall which honors the American flag. It was in this appropriate setting that the Memorial service for our departed comrades was held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 23.
As he does annually, our own Association Chaplain, John T. Loveless, Jr,, Hq. 422 COGL, conducted a simple, moving and devout service. The Color Guard was provided by Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind., outside Indianapolis.
At this point it should be noted that there was a counter‑attraction in Indianapolis on that Saturday. It was announced only a week earlier that President Johnson would be in Indianapolis to deliver an address on the Sesquicentennial anniversary of the state. He was scheduled to speak at 12 noon at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, two blocks south of our hotel on Meridian Street. A crowd was already gathering there when our group loaded into buses (some in private cars), and departed at 11 a.m., via a circuitous route to avoid the crowds, on the nostalgic journey back to Camp Atterbury. We drove down on Indiana Route 37, now a four‑lane road. Upon arrival at Camp we were greeted by Colonel Harry F. Kinsell, TC, USA, Camp Commander, and his staff and were conducted to the old 106th Division area.
When the buses halted and the people dismounted, some artillerymen recognized that they were on the road between the old 590th and 591st Field Artillery Battalion areas. In the 591st area one barracks had the sign MEN and another WOMEN; later some hilarious stories were told about the reactions of the ladies to the barracks latrines, which some of them were visiting for the first time. The buildings are not changed; they are the same as when we left them in October 1944, to go overseas.
Mess was served in one of the old mess halls of the 591st F.A. Bn. The Camp Commander had no troops available to serve us Army chow, but our efficient Reunion chairman, Russ Enlow, and his committee had arranged for the ladies of the Methodist Church in a nearby town to serve a buffet lunch. It was excellent, and it is regretted that the name of the church and the town was not taken down. The menu consisted of barbecued chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, bread and butter, iced tea and coffee.
After mess the group reloaded the buses and the private cars and drove to the airstrip where some of the troops were giving exhibitions of parachuting from helicopters. From there the column proceeded through each of the old regimental areas. A stop was made in each area for veterans of the regiment to revisit his barracks and take pictures. If copies of only half the pictures taken on that trip are sent to our Editor, Dick DeHeer, this issue of the CUB would be huge. Upon the return to the Hotel Continental, the men assembled at 4 p.m. for the business meeting. A report on this meeting will be found elsewhere in this CUB.
The banquet was held at 7:30 p.m., preceded by a cocktail hour with President Matthews presiding. He introduced each of the members and their wives attending a Reunion for the first time and there were about thirty.
President Matthews then presented the new officers who had been elected at the business meeting in the afternoon.
They are: President‑Louis P. Rossi, H424, North Bergen, N. J.
Vice‑President John Shalhoub, G‑424, Detroit, Michigan
Treasurer‑Sherod. Collins, Jr., Sv. 423,Atlanta, Georgia
President‑Elect Rossi announced that Sherod Collins had agreed to continue as Adjutant and that Dick DeHeer COGL, also agreed to continue as Editor of the CUB.
Vice‑President Shalhoub was also introduced and invited everybody to Detroit in July 20‑23, 1967.
After the banquet, dancing and conviviality was enjoyed until midnight.
Sunday morning, July 24, a farewell breakfast had been scheduled from 9 to 10:30 a.m. However, so many wished to get away early that the hour was advanced. It was served buffet style and was very enjoyable. The group broke up, vowing to reassemble at Detroit on or about the same dates in July, 1967.
106th European Reunion – 1969
by Douglas Coffey
The 106th Returns to St. Vith
After much planning, hoping and scraping together of the money to return to St. Vith, those hearty souls arrived in dribs and drabs at Kennedy Airport. Doug Coffey had arranged a cocktail party to get‑together so little by little, with name tags given out, each one had the chance to renew old faces and say hello to the new ones. The sad stories of how long some had been in the air to get to Kennedy were amusing but sad in this day of the airplane and airport problems. The Controller slowdown caused our plane to delay departure but then it gave us more time to get better acquainted for the two or three weeks we were going to be together. Coffey was his usual nervous self, bustling here and there, making sure this one checked in, the time of plane departure, did everyone get enough to drink, were they satisfied with their bags, pick up their tip packs, etc. Our picture was taken for official records and finally we took off.
The flight was just as smooth as could be and before we knew it we touched down in Iceland, Keflavik Airport in Reykjavik. Some persons began a shopping spree that was to seem never to end until touchdown in Kennedy some 21 days later. Climbed aboard again and reached Luxembourg, Findel Airport. Our pass through Customs was very cursory and we made our way to our home away from home; two wonderful Europa‑buses driven by Manfred and Gunther. The first thing they were to show us were refrigerators aboard stocked with beer and soda. By the end of the trip we were to consume 1,320 cans of refreshment. Some of our people who were leaving us for a time picked up their rental cars and then we were on our way to St. Vith. It was a very picturesque ride to St. Vith where we arrived quite late in the evening. The Mayor, Mr. Pip, was there to greet us and each group went to its respective hotel and had a grand dinner. After dinner there was the usual 106th libation time and thence to bed.
Next morning the Mayor was given the large Golden Lion Flag which draped the ship bringing our boys back from Europe. He placed it in the flag stand outside the headquarters Hotel to fly for all to see while in St. Vith. The parade to the Memorial was to take place at 10:30 A.M. after the Vin d'Honneur given by the Mayor. The shutter bugs were kept busy taking photos of our GI's of the 106th Signal Company, from Prüm, Germany, who volunteered to come to St. Vith to honor the 106th. The Belgian soldiers were smart as a tack with their uniforms and white gloves. Our Division Flag, donated by the Jones was carried proudly by these same men bearing the 106th title. At the Vin d'Honneur the Mayor made a wonderful speech of welcome to the 106th and made a presentation to Doug Coffey of the Town seal laminated in wood. The Mayor of Bastogne also attended as guest of the 106th. The procession then got under way, led by the band from Prüm, Germany. From this person's view, every citizen of St. Vith turned out for the Ceremony in front of our Memorial. They were there to pay honor to the 106th. After being welcomed by Coffey in front of our new Lectern which was donated by Alan Jones before his death, Tom Herrmann, our erstwhile interpreter, took over the Master of Ceremony chore. Mr. William Marsh, Second Secretary of our Embassy in Brussels representing Ambassador John Eisenhower made a few remarks. John Loveless gave the principal address and the Dechant Brauer, who has been to St. Vith on almost all occasions gave the prayers.
The Alan W. Jones Memorial wreath was placed by Joe Matthews and the 106th wreath by Vaden Lackey. Mayor Pip placed a wreath in behalf of the Town of St. Vith. At the placing of each wreath the Bugler played last post. The Ceremony was most impressive. After the Ceremony all those present who desired were asked to sign our Memory Book. At this time the members of the 106th and their wives had the opportunity to look over our Memorial and realize what they had been told before, you have to see it to believe it.
Everyone returned to the Pip‑Margraff where the 106th put on the luncheon. There were 126 persons invited and it was quite crowded. Doug Coffey made presentations of Certificates of Appreciation in behalf of the Association to those persons entitled. He also read a speech by General Baron von Manteuffel, our enemy at the time of the Bulge.
The General was to deliver it in person but due to some break down in communications he was not able to make it. The speech was well received and gave due praise to the 106th and in a subsequent letter to Coffey he said he meant every word he said even though some historians seem to play down the role of the 106th. Coming from the enemy who was on the spot and the historians who were not there, who do you believe?
After the luncheon we made our way on our Buses over much of the area the 106th participated in during the Bulge. Between the afternoon and the full day next day we were able to go into the small towns we were billeted in, visiting in the homes of the German people who were gracious enough to let us enter and inspect and compare how it was then and now. Joe Matthews was pleased as well as John Loveless and many others who inspected their former homes. Who will forget Doc Bullard and Margaret's actions on being invited into the home Doc stayed in and took care of his own wounded as well as the German wounded and who in his own right was a Hero, refusing to leave the German wounded when the outfit pulled out. The small cellar where he hid the men from the shelling, almost impossible to believe.
The visit to Meyerode to see the grave of Erich Fisher Wood who did so much to harass the German soldiers; one of the most poignant stories of the 106th and the War and written up by most historians and completely omitted by the latest story written about the Bulge. The visit to Schlausenbach which became a password the rest of the trip. Our bag lunches, keeping with the reputation of the 106th being the “Bag Lunch Division.” Eating it at the side of the road and enjoying every bit of it. So much better than our piece of cheese between two pieces of ham and no bread. More food than two people could eat. The visit to Waimes to repay a courtesy to Alys Jones by visiting Mrs. Cavanaugh and spending our money to help her economy and sign her book for her son who corresponds with Alys and has quite a lot of memorabilia of the Battle.
Our visit to the, Malmedy Massacre monument and the right of comparing with our Monument. Then on to the actual spot where the Massacre occurred. Our sentimental visit with the 85 year old women who has been honored by General Eisenhower and the British Government for hiding Americans and Britains from the Germans at the risk of her life and feeling upset as she had just had a fall and couldn't get around as well as she should. She managed very well, spoke very good English as well as German and French. Each piece in her home was an antique dealers delight.
Our guide on most of this nostalgic trip was Kurt Fignoul, official Historian of St. Vith, who has written a new book about the Battle. Unfortunately it is in German and no one has volunteered to get a copy and translate it. There are many photos in the book never before published.
That evening we had a farewell party for those leaving us for their own destination and for those who just came in to see us for the ceremonies at St. Vith. Colonel Welton, back to Germany, The Rossis to Germany to visit Linda's family, the Les Borsteins, from West Orange back to their tour of Europe, etc. Some of our people were to remain in St. Vith and rejoin us at a later date.
I almost forget one of the main events in St. Vith. The Town gave an open house dance for all persons. We had a ball dancing with our own group and the local populace. The music was grand and when Tom Herrmann got every one on the floor for a Polonaise the place was in an uproar. From then on it was community dancing, at its best. We all went home tired but happy.
Next morning bright and bushy tailed we gathered to say farewell to St. Vith.
Doug Coffey had to go to the bank with the Mayor to pay the bills. It was comical how he was followed by all the Hotel owners who came to get their account paid. There was a little trouble in the bank as money that had been sent by Coffey had arrived but the credit had not been made. You should have seen him sweat. After many phone calls to higher headquarters the matter was resolved; all payments made and off we went with the fondest memories of many a day.
After our usual “Pit” stop for relief, which is a story in itself the experiences of our group with the “foot prints” and other unusual Johns we arrived at our Military Cemetery at Nieuville en Condroz. The magnificent approach to this Memorial is breathtaking. A list of all 106ers who were buried here was made available and many persons went off looking for a buddy's grave here and there. The Bas relief murals on the inside walls of the Monument were something to see. The whole Battle of the Bulge was outlined so that you could see every movement by each and every unit involved. Too bad it was so large and detailed that photos could not show it the way it should.
I should point out here that I neglected to relate the visit the 106th paid to Bastogne and the Mardasson monument. Actually it was disappointing as the Division emblem still shows 100th Division, instead of the 106th. Coffey was his usual furious self. He and Tom Herrmann took off after the Mayor as he had promised Coffey on two occasions to have it fixed. Upon finding the Mayor he made his apologies and said that arrangements had been made to fix it for the 25th Anniversary, September 25th. He softened Coffey's wrath by presenting him a Medal which had been struck for the Anniversary and the first one given out for the occasion. It spoiled it though for people taking pictures showing the 106th Div. with our Golden Lion Emblem. Our street signs have not been placed yet.
On our way to Eindhoven, Holland for Lunch, Jim Wells spotted many windmills and water towers plus all the other scenery on the way. Our luncheon stop at the Hotel de la Cocagna was worth waiting for. It was a wonderful spread in nice surroundings, with air conditioning which is not found in too many places. We ate everything in sight and left our mark on their Johns.
After a nice trip through the Dutch countryside we found our way to the Casa 400 Hotel, Amsterdam. It was mass confusion. there were too many Americans and hundreds checking in and checking out. The Lift (for you peasants, that's Elevator) was impossible to obtain. Many of us walked four flights one way or another. The Hotel was clean and neat but reminded us of our girl's College dormitories. We had all the facilities. Breakfast was something to behold. A complete Buffet with meat and cheese for breakfast?
We covered Amsterdam fairly thoroughly and had a very pleasant moonlight on the canals. To see the myriad of sights on the bridges and the buildings was a real sight to behold. Some fellows spent their time straining their necks to see the Gals at Fisherman's walk, but no takers. We covered the Rijks Museum and the Night Watch. Toured the strictly commercial towns of Marken and Volendam. Quite a disappointment for many. The ice cream was good though.
Visited a cheese farm and after sampling the cheese many persons sent packages home. The farmer was very amusing. Florian Frank said be would starve if he put out as little cheese as this Farm did. I think he said he puts out 15,000 pounds per day? Or is it a week? We also noted and took many photos of the beautiful flower gardens and arrangements throughout our tour. Each flower bed was prettier than the last. We went to Schevingen, the Atlantic City of Holland. Had lunch on the Beach and took in the sun. After this sojourn we journeyed to the Town of Delft to buy pottery. We had to climb spiral stairs to reach the factory workers. It, was amazing to see that, all the work was done by hand and the skill in which these workers painted the plates and vases, etc. was admirable. While the women bought the men lounged along the canal and watched the traffic go by.
Our trip to Amstelveen, where we had dinner in a converted windmill called “De Dikkert” was never forgotten by the group. The dinner was served in the grand European manner from Soup to Nuts and Beaujolais wine to wash it down. By far the best meal and evening we had the whole trip. We were interviewed and photographed for Dutch papers. When it was discovered that we had two birthdays, we celebrated Fred Chase's and Kay Loveless'. The Manager then presented them with a gift setting of Delft service.
Reluctantly, we left Holland to take the Ferry to England. Our trip took six hours to cross the channel to Harwich, England. One bus bearing most of the 15 dayers went on to Ostend, Belgium where they had lunched then crossed on Ferry to Dover, England, having another lunch on board the boat. The group from the Hook had their lunch aboard the Ferry.
When we arrived in England we lost our driver for a while and shook up the Customs inspectors but finally all got on our bus but for the first, half hour of driving our driver and us almost went crazy with the driving on the wrong side of the street. It seemed every car or truck was bent on running us down. Our driver, Gunther could only throw up his hands and say “Vas is los, let me get back to Germany.” Our trip toward London was pleasant until we reached the outskirts of London and then everyone we asked about directions sent us this way and that, we were beside ourselves. We finally stopped across from a garage for directions and you should have seen 45 people looking for a place to go. Some men nonchalantly went by the side of the road, one smoking his cigar and the other with hand, on hips. The girls also had experiences which I will not relate.
Tired and hungry we arrived at the Hotel Eden only to find that they had broken our group up into three hotels. Three demerits for someone. The Coffey's had to run to catch a train to the West of England to take their girls to see the little town their Mother grew up in and visit her former home. It was a wonderful side trip. A band turned out and a costume parade. Pleasant memories of the past and the girls thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially the sleeper back and forth from London with adjoining rooms and breakfast in bed.
The rest of the group was put in charge of Jim Wells who saw to it that a tour of London was made and an evening out at the Palladium which had a show that pleased even the most critical. The Coffeys got back just in time Sunday morning to join Wells and the others for a trip to the English countryside. Visited Churchill's home of Bladon. Made a stop for box lunch at Blenheim Castle grounds, visited Windsor Castle, Runnymede where the Magna Carta was signed and memorial to J.F. Kennedy. The weather was ideal and unusual for England. Had a nice ride along the Thames River and saw many boats and sculling crews.
Our next step took us to Dover for the Ferry to Boulogne, France. Uneventful short trip across the Channel taking photos of the famous White cliffs of Dover. Arrived at Boulogne and the restaurant was only a hundred yards away but it seemed we covered five miles to get to it. A very enjoyable meal, especially when those who wanted it, got ice water. This was one thing that created a sensation everywhere we roamed. Most people had to have their ice water and over in Europe they just don't deal in too many ice cubes. Water is for animals and washing, not for humans.
On to Paris where we stayed in the Moderna Palace Hotel. In the middle of busy Place de la Republique. We toured Paris as most of the tourists do, in a hurry, trying to see everything. The Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysee, the Louvre, Place de la Concorde. Stopped in Notre Dame Cathedral and all were enthralled with the magnificent beauty of it and its history and how such an edifice could have seen build without modern know how. I think they knew more then than we do now. A very impressive sight. We took in the show at the Folies Bergere and this is indescribable. You have to see it at least once. As it was Carol Beals birthday (as it is every convention). Doug Coffey and Bill Alexander walked and walked trying to find a bake shop who would bake a cake. Found one and got it back in time for dinner and the dinner manager supplied the one large candle. Carol was very pleased and everyone had a sample of her cake.
Left Paris for Dijon and had lunch in charming second floor restaurant. Driver almost got pinched for blocking a driveway but after a few words with three Gendarmes all okay. On to Geneva, gem of Switzerland. Here our group was purposely split into two hotels as the 15 day group was changed to give them more of Switzerland and I don't think they regretted it. They had a lovely hotel, quite new and had their meals served on a “Boat in the Lake.”
The other group was in the Bristol Hotel another fine hotel. We were quite close to all the activity and the shopping. The flower clocks and other flower arrangements were beautiful. There are not enough adjectives to describe Switzerland and the flowers and homes. Many of our group wished they could have stayed much longer in Geneva. A few people like the Coffeys, the Wells and Franks and Gilders got caught in a nightclub and paid $2.50 for a beer and I think that killed them. The gang had a tour of Geneva and a visit to Bucherer's, one of the best Watch companies in Switzerland. Before they were through they had bought $5,000 worth of watches!
On to Berne at the Bumplitz for luncheon. The real Heidi was our waitress and she was deformed in the upper extremity and everyone wanted to get into the act of having his picture with Heidi. She took everything good naturedly and probably looked upon us as crazy Americans. Good meal as usual and one of our group Bob Howell met with his former guide in wartime to have dessert, with the Howell family. When we all finally departed after shooting off fireworks, etc. we bade a tearful farewell to Howell's 80 year friend. He waved until the train was out of sight. It seems of all the Americans that used to write to him, only Bob still writes.
A very touching scene to describe the trip to Zurich and on to Innsbruck has to be left to poets and artists. No one can describe it properly nor can post cards do the Swiss and Austrian Alps justice. You have to see it to believe it and when you do see it, you don't believe it's true, you just have to be dreaming. The mountains, the valley, the flowers, the homes, the streams, the people. Oh ! what memories!
In Zurich the 15 dayers stayed in another lovely hotel, the See and were taken care of. They were given lunches to eat on the train the next day to Luxembourg. The others stayed at the Hotel Florida. As we were close to the beach we all went there to see the fireworks and the bonfires that were lighted in honor of their 4th of July. Independence day is August lst in Switzerland. The children walked around with colored lanterns lit up inside with candles. Our girls, including Maydean bought electric lights to hang around their necks. Did the color green mean anything, Maydean?? Are you still lit up? Next day after a shopping spree, we all gathered at the railroad station to say goodbye to the 15 day group. They took off for Luxembourg and stopped in the Kons Hotel for dinner and freshen up before their plane left for New York. I understand they were a tired bunch after waiting for their plane.
The remaining 54 souls toured Zurich, seeing all the sights. The Wells, Coffeys and Bill Alexander took in a night club but beer was less expensive. Most wonderful show ever seen. When they asked for requests and Jim asked for “Dixie” and they played it, the night was a success.
Some of the hearty souls took a cable car ride into the blue. Our driver, after the trip, said never again, he'll stick to buses. You can't go to Switzerland without taking a cable car ride.
The next leg of our trip was over the Tyrol. As we approached the Lichtenstein border a woman was herding some cows along the road. Our driver took the outside speaker and made the sound of a Bull. Well ! You should see those cows go wild, dashing away from the woman and getting in between the cars and buses. Good thing we got away before we lost our life.
We reached our destination for lunch in Feldkirch, Austria. Again, a Coffey surprise, an ancient Castle to have lunch. You should have seen the oh's and ah's. A wonderful spot for lunch. The cameras just clicked and clicked. I regret one thing about this trip. I did not buy Kodak stock before we left for with all the cameras going and the cost of developing, not only our group but the many we saw on the way the stock just has to rise. Speaking of cameras a certain party thought he had left his behind in Garmisch‑Partenkirchen and we were all set to go back behind the border to redeem it when it was discovered tucked away on the bus. Was he relieved and embarrassed. All is well that ends well.
Innsbruck was the next stop on our whirlwind tour of Europe. We stayed in the Alpen Motel with pool and golf course. The usual shopping spree took place. We toured the whole area and while some docile persons took in the panorama the hearty ones took a Funicular up the Mountain. Upon reaching this point even the heartier ones took a cable car more than a mile to the top of the peak. The view was breathless. When you are above the clouds and on dry land, what can you say? When the cloud was blown by you could then see again. Lost few customers on the way down but after a while they caught another car and rejoined us.
That evening we all went out to the Hotel Maria Therese and saw a typical Night Club show with Yodelers, Austrian costumes and songs. The entertainment was superb and another highlight of our trip.
The next morning we were up and at it again taking in all the sights, the hairpin turns, the fast flowing streams, etc. We arrived next at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich where our friend Mr. Hitler got his start. As you walked through the great hall with hundreds of persons drinking huge liters of beer, the smell and the brass band playing, you could easily visualize how he got his start. You could just hear him haranguing the audience and pounding a beer mug on the table and the martial music stirring up the breasts of the Nazis.
We went out on the street to see decorated horses pulling carts loaded with flowers and vegetables. Bill Alexander and others picked up some hot radishes and with our beer, did that stir up the stomach. We ate our lunch on the terrace overlooking the beer garden and had an enjoyable meal and even better beer. A few of our members managed to liberate a giant beer mug. No names given to protect the innocent.
Our, trip up the Romantic Road towards Wurzburg was interesting but just as it got quite romantic we had to take off on the auto‑bahn to make time. We did travel completely around a walled Town. Very unusual and very quaint. Sorry not more time was available to stop and spend a few hours there. In Wurzburg we all stayed in the Hotel Excelsior, a lovely Hotel. We did manage to swipe a French tricolor from the roof. Wurzburg had a very interesting Palace. The next day the shopping spree was on and those who wanted to go went to Bad Orb to revisit the Prison Camp. It was a lovely ride somewhat like Ardennes country. We went to the Railroad station where we disembarked 25 years ago and ran all over the station taking photos of the box cars, the guys who were there at that time. Picked up post cards to send to fellow sufferers who didn't make the trip.
We then worked our way up the hill to the actual Prison Camp site. It is strange but Bad Orb was used as a Children's village prior to World War I, then as a German barracks during the War, reverted back to Children's village and then was used as a Prisoner of War camp during World War II and now has once again been made a Children's village. So the site of the Prison Camp was at least kept intact so that the fellows who had been there could see how things were when they were there 25 years ago. It was quite a nostalgic visit and stories came out that I am sure have never been told before. The wives were quite impressed. We then had our bag lunches just outside of the village. A bee chased Gunther all around the bus, we watered the flowers and enjoyed a great lunch hour. Our driver, Gunther then took us to his home town, Frankfurt where we saw ancient churches and went into the Hall of the Emperors which dated back to the year 678. We flew back to Wurzburg by Autobahn to join those who, though left behind went to the ancient Town of Rothenburg on the Tauber River. They said it was a wonderful afternoon. That evening was spent in sidewalk cafe's with a lot of animated conservation going on. Next morning on the road to Heidelberg, the University City.
As with most people the University is very disappointing. It does not have the famous glamour you are given to expect. We did visit the ancient Castle on the Hill which is a beautiful old Castle and the view from the Portica is breathtaking. We had our lunch in the famous or in‑famous Perkeo depending on how you look at it. Tom Herrmann had quite a problem getting served at all and then to change the lunch from that to be served took masterful language on the part of your Leader and Gunther. Mrs. Coffey also had a problem to change from Sauerkraut which she can't stand. All worked out well in the end.
On our route from Heidelberg to Luxembourg we came upon some cows. Jim Wells tried his moo and they didn't budge but when Gunther mooed the Cows took off running lickety split for the bus. Two gas station attendants had to cut them off and save them for the woman who was frantic. We re‑named Gunther, Ferdinand the Bull. He got quite a kick out of it but I kept thinking of the danger caused by trampling cows. I guess if the attendants hadn't stopped them they would still be chasing us.
Arrived at, Kons Hotel, Luxembourg. A magnificent hotel all agreed. The dinner was served in the grand manner and was topped off with Champagne as this was our last meeting together. Next morning we were up bright and early to go to the Airport and home. The plane was only delayed for 20 minutes while they tried to make a seat for Don Armington. Finally when a mechanic fixed his seat we were on the way. Being scattered a bit on the plane we crowded the aisles back and forth reminiscing and saying good bye to those we may not see for a while. We landed on time at Kennedy and were sped through the Customs much to our surprise. Again, final farewells and the long trek to our homes.
This is not, the complete story of the glorious return of the 106th to Europe but without notes it is the best I could do to give all a gist of the trip. Left out was visit to Ettal Church. One of the most magnificent on the trip; the trip to Bleialf, Germany and other places. Leave that to someone else to tell.
I would like to say that never have I enjoyed a group's company as much as this group. Contrary to what you might hear or think I would be pleased to take each and every one of you on a trip tomorrow. You were really grand. You tolerated my mistakes and temperament. Your cooperation made life easy. I would also like to pay tribute to Jim Wells who was of immeasurable help to me and our driver. His commentary and light humor kept our bus quite amused. And to Charlie Schoch who got stuck with so many of my details and performed well. His responsibility for taking the group to Ostend and feeding them and then the train to Luxembourg and out to the plane. Words can't say enough to thank these two. I sincerely hope you all had as good a time as me and my family‑ I'm looking forward to Hershey, Penna. to see some of those who were on the trip and then next year in Davenport, Iowa where we will officially be for the 1970 Convention. I hope many of you will come and bring your pictures so we can all have a good time reminiscing.
We covered 2,850 miles by bus and added to the plane trip we covered 10,000 miles. Most perfect weather, never used a raincoat, no one was hurt nor did any illness plague us, nor were any cross words exchanged by anyone except in one's own family. Thank God for looking on us so favorably.
German General's Message to the 106th
German General Hasso von Manteuffel had been scheduled to speak at the St. Vith Reunion. He was unable to come. This speech, that he had prepared for the occasion was sent to Douglas S. Coffey, the organizer for that Reunion at St. Vith. See other remarks by General von Manteuffel in the “BOOKS” chapter... (editor ‑ 1991)
I feel obliged to you for the invitation, it is a great Honor for me, but also a pleasure, because this meeting can help to an acquaintance and an understanding that we have in our times; the same mission on the same side of the hill! For maintaining and for defending Peace and Freedom with everyone within a so called “Free World!”
With your permission I wish to say and to bring up two questions; they are two things of the past for which we are assembled here at St. Vith. Whereas Bastogne had an honorable place in American Military history, St. Vith is hardly mentioned! The heroic defense in this area around St. Vith has suffered depreciation and a strange denigration at the hand of the popular media! The Battle of the Bulge was not fought only solely in Bastogne or by the admirable coming into action of Patton's Third Army. Here around St. Vith all elements of tragedy, of heroism and self‑sacrifice which go to make up human experience at its most acute phase when it is under strain and stress of War! As the one, who from the other side of the hill can estimate the value and the influence of the actions on the entire events of those crucial days in December 1944, Bastogne was within the scope of my Army, the 5th Panzer Army, and my area of command too.
I made and I make clear in the United States, in Belgium, in Germany etc. that the actions around St. Vith exerted a great influence on the issue and result of the German intentions and purposes and that in manifold regard; briefly, the schedule of the right wing of my Army, a whole Army Corps was delayed by your defense around St. Vith. In spite of the ill‑fated elements of your Division in the Schnee Eifel, you could hold up this Corps, 66 Army Corps, five days longer than our time table allowed and you forced a detour of the attacking forces. So much more as my right neighbor, the 6th Panzer Army, had no success in its attack.
The after effect caused me to put into action one of my best reserve units, the Fuhrer‑Escort Brigade. This unit was intended and destined for another application and therefore this Brigade was missing later at another very important place! This unit and other parts of the attacking Corps could have gone to the aid of the 6th Panzer Army, on my right flank, and probably again opened a hole for the on rushing Panzers when the 6th Panzer Army's attack to the north bogged down in the first few days of our offensive by the brave soldiers of your left neighbors!
All things considered; the flanks of my army grew weaker as its spearheads penetrated into the American lines; and now I had to dispatch troops from my spearheads to reinforce those long flanks!
Under these circumstances the energy and the momentum of the attack in this area was diminished; decisively! That is the great importance of the honorable and brave defense of St. Vith by parts of your Division, and by the gallant attitude of the men of the CCB 7th Armored Division under General Bruce Clarke. Important too, regarding the influence for the other Corps of my Army, especially in the middle sector of the attacking forces.
In this respect, the sections around St. Vith are, in my opinion, and from the German side, equivalent to the defense of Bastogne!
But this alone won't do to remember at this meeting, and I wish to say, and I have said quite the same all over and all the time; after the surrounding of the Schnee Eifel the Germans (and myself too) supposed that the way to St. Vith, the important crossroad, was free! But it changed and this fact certified my experiences in a long time in practical Military service in the front‑line, in Peace, and in war times: Battles are won in the Hearts of the men! Not only by the combination of fire and movement and the working together, the team work is decisive! As it was shown around St. Vith! St. Vith and Bastogne are fundamental examples of that! The fact, that this area round St. Vith was obstinately and successfully defended, was the result! And that proved and demonstrated that the brave men of the 106th Division, joined by the gallant men of CCB 7th Armored Division under General Bruce Clarke. In this connection I am contradictory and I am in flagrant contradiction to some records, some magazines, public opinion, etc. They think to blame the units which went out of their positions in the Schnee Eifel, in the last analysis for their surrender. I say to you, Veterans of the 106th Division, in order to tell the truth, that happened to ourselves the same fate or analogous to that and the like in Russia! Such judgment, I mentioned, demonstrates, in my opinion, a lack of comprehension for that which happened in reality in those days of December 1944 in the Schnee Eifel!
The attack of the Germans on both sides of the Schnee Eifel outflanked these units, parts of this “green Division”, that means inexperienced soldiers without combat experience in that “rest camp” as the departing Veterans had quipped. These units were encircled! While they marched and fought through the terrible terrain in winter time, fire came from left and fire came from the right side of their positions and from the rear too! These units suffered heavily. Further, they did not know what was happening on their flanks and in the rear; the sources of communication and of information to the rear were destroyed. These units were surprised without their own guilt, by the excellent regulations for the deception of their real intentions by the Germans. The Cavalry on their flank made no attempt to put up a fight and drew back too! The visiting patrols were shot or captured. The ammunition was gone and they had only a few rounds left per gun for their machine guns; no help or assistance came by the Artillery, no supplies came in, most of the men had not a drop of water or a bite of food all day! These units were overwhelmed in the real sense of the word, by powerful German forces and in superiority in numbers and arms, with great intensity; the Germans fired into their massed ranks with every cannon they had, a rain of steel, no tank destroyers were available, some confusion and temporarily some panic spread out and so on and so on.
That the blood, the dirt, the cruel weather in winter time, with deep snow and with fog, cold and confusion, that was what happened in those cruel days in the Schnee Eifel. After all I agree with my Chief of staff, General Wagener, who said, with reason, “Possession of the ground or capture of ground does not guaranty Victory. Loss of ground does not mean defeat. Withdrawal is not a disgrace, but a method of fighting!”
We experienced quite the same in Russia as I mentioned. The decisive element is the fact that the individuals and parts of your Division, they were not engaged in this undeserved disastrous situation and once they recovered from the first shock, gallant men and small combat units, Engineers, etc. were to hold fast to whatever they could and as hard as possible; they did not weaken, they broke into small groups they formed improvised perimeter defense even though they did not know what was happening on their flanks and in the rear; their unbreakable will to fight, thus indestructible “esprit de corps” as well as the unshakable confidence they had in the military leadership.
Those surviving elements of the 106th Division joined by the very brave men of CCB fell back to the crossroad of St. Vith and stayed and fought till they were wounded or captured! They mastered the situation, they threw back the Germans by these small groups, units, etc. The German attack in this area came to a halt for two days, it deployed “a war of the small men‑soldiers” until General Bruce Clarke came to organize and to coordinate the defense in this area east of St. Vith under unified command and control!
Chester Wilmot wrote and I agree, “Faith and pride made them reluctant to execute any withdrawal, every yard the Germans were allowed to gain, was a reflection on American honor.” Later on we met with the 106th Division on the vital crossroads of Baraque de Fraiture where they fought too!
Honor to whom Honor is due, to those brave men of all ranks and of various service grades in those days. My unlimited regard as a front line soldier for these soldiers in their self‑sacrifice, stubborn and heroic defense around St. Vith. Thus this action made a valuable contribution to sealing off the breakthrough area both to north and to the south within the Battle of the Bulge!
The official U.S. Military History of this Battle acknowledges this vital role that St. Vith played, in spite of the most tragic fate of some parts of the 106th Division. Together, my very deep respect and high esteem for those soldiers who have had settled the battle round St. Vith to your own advantage by the outstanding bravery, in spite of the pass over loss of this town! Remember, please, what I say from General Wagener!
I bow to all those soldiers, I dare say you are allowed, in my opinion, to be proud of your participation in the Battle of the Bulge!
My condolences and my sympathy applies to the sacrifices and pains of the inhabitants who were pressed in the war events!
I hope the fate may be favorable to us for being spared from that we all suffered; that is my wish for all of you!
I thank you, gentlemen, veterans!
Hasso von Manteuffel
8919 Diessen Ammersee
Maria Hilf‑Strasse 7
Federated Republic of Germany
Chapel – Valley Forge Military Academy
General Jones, for the members of 106th Infantry Division Association, Inc. and all others who have joined us here today, I thank you for the opportunity to hold our Memorial Service in this beautiful Chapel and especially for your assistance in planning with us and your participation in the Commemoration. To all those others from the Academy, we also extend our thanks. We, all of us, do appreciate it.
I need not tell you, my comrades, our families or our friends, why we are here. A service such as this has become traditional at our Annual Reunions when we spare a little time during the business affairs and the hours of fellowship to remember those of our comrades who have passed to the great beyond.
May I say in passing that those who were here in 1958 during Philadelphia Reunion will recall a smaller Chapel. Since then, the Chancel has been greatly extended, the East and West Transepts and the Narthex have been added. Thus has a beautiful Chapel been made even more attractive.
Yesterday afternoon we visited a part of our country steeped in history. We saw, some perhaps for the first time, that place where men of vision, patriots all, nearly 200 years ago, took the fateful step of breaking allegiance to the Mother Country by making a Declaration of Independence.
Could you not feel within you emotions difficult to describe or explain as you thought of those distant days, the events that took place then and the men who helped in those days of our country's birth?
Many of those men, we know, not too many years later, gave their very lives fighting to uphold their faith in the cause of freedom.
Almost within the hour, many of you joined a pilgrimage to Valley Forge. There you saw the place, hallowed in our history, where young men and old, rich men and poor, suffered cold and hunger and privations seldom experienced in any war. Yet by sheer perseverance, encouraged by their leaders, they retained their will to continue in the cause for which they fought so gallantly. Patriots all, we owe to them a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid by us. But, we do revere their memory.
So in the years which followed, in times of peril to our nation, in times of crises, there have arisen men of vision and courage to lead and men of valor to follow until the day when the mission, whatever it may have been, was completed successfully and with honor. We do revere their memory.
As always, the answer to that call entails sacrifice on the part of all those who answer. For some the sacrifice is great, for others it is small. No man can know in advance what will result from his answer.
Despite what our experiences have been, for those here present our sacrifice was small.
For those who gave their lives in serving our country, the sacrifice was great.
Today, we would remember those of our comrades who made the great sacrifice and those who, though they did not give their lives on the field of battle, have since left this world.
We pray that their memory and their deeds will remain with us until we, in turn, answer the highest call. We pray that these memories will be an inspiration to each of us.
While remembering our comrades, we also must remember that while we have life and breath, our service continues whether it be in war or in peace, to serve our fellowman, our country and our Creator to the extent that we are able and permitted to do so.
As the great King Solomon said in one of his Proverbs: “The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.”
(The above address was presented by our Chaplain John Loveless)
25th Annual Reunion King of Prussia, Pa. 1971
For us, the Coffeys, we are fortunate in having dear friends close by from the 106th so that we can from time to time get together and swap memories.
We started for the convention by my picking up our suitcases, then stopping by at Tom and Flo Bickford's to pick up their suitcases and of course, as is the custom, when Tom and Flo greet you, you must have a little liquid refreshment. Especially so on a hot day. We had to wait until Isabel finished work before we could proceed. Of course Tom works with Isabel and she had to work a full day while Tom's boss let him go home early to help Flo pack. That's where I made the first mistake of the Convention. Flo said we aught to take a little refreshment for Isabel and I and Tom put our foots in it by saying she doesn't imbibe. Did I catch hell over that.
We picked her up nonetheless and just as soon as we reached the Jersey Turnpike the “Accident warning ahead” sign went up. We lost an hour waiting and crawling like a turtle to the scene of the accident which appeared to be a large tractor trailer which had gone over the embankment. Just as soon as we passed the scene traffic speeded up and felt I would be in Valley Forge soon when the girls indicated they were starved so we had to stop and feed their faces. No further incidents until arrival at Holiday Inn, our home for the next few days.
One of the nicest things about 106th Conventions is the first opening of the door to the Hotel or Motel and being greeted by one of your buddies from the Association or his charming wife or both. I think our group, as well as all, who came to the warmup Thursday night will agree it was quite a crowd.
I noted immediately, there were strange faces. This together with old faces makes for a better convention. It didn't take long to get together and join in the fun. As usual we filled our stomachs on the goodies (wasn't that cheese delicious?) and made our bodies full on the liquid refreshment also available from our hard working Convention committee. John and Shorty (for those of you who are not as familiar with the Gallaghers as I am, Shorty is short for Stella), tried on two occasions to close the registration so they too, could enjoy the evening but our 106ers who kept coming in, insisted on paying. This is unusual in the 106th because in most cases people try to get what they can without paying.
Then, who is always one of the first to greet you with the widest smile and most gracious manner; Leo McMahon (General) of course. And always close by his side is his most charming and ever faithful Wilda. Didn't she look extra glamorous this Convention. I don't know whether she keeps the General young or he keeps her young. Wish I knew the secret. Then there were those persons who had gone to Europe in 1969 ever ready to swap pictures and experiences. If you look closely around you, you will see more Battle of the Bulge than 44‑45 and I don't mean size. You'll see a few more grey hairs and then you will see the lack of hair on certain people.
Poor Clay Rarick, he expected about 35 people to get together and have a few beers and when 95 people arrived he did a double take and had to reorder more refreshments. Our group closed the place.
Next day, regimented as we are, we went on tour of Historic Philadelphia and I thing we learned something new. We all thought John Paul Jones was the Father of our Navy but he isn't or wasn't; it is James Barry an Irishman whose statue graces the courtyard. Too bad the smog of Philadelphia is as bad as New York otherwise the view from the Penn Mutual could have been more beautiful. It was a great view nonetheless. Notice our past president, Pete House just couldn't pass up his native out house and had to have his picture taken. He said it was a guard house but you have been to Jacksonville, Florida ‑ Weren't they outhouses you used? Ha! Ha!
As usual it wouldn't be a 106th trip unless we got thoroughly lost or strayed or confused. Nice to see the slums of Philly twice in ten minutes. Reminded us how lucky we were to be able to go back to Holiday Inn.
Did you ever notice at Conventions the same gang likes to check out the uniform of the bartender and the now mini‑skirted waitresses. They don't go to drink (they are not the drinking type) they go to look. Who do I mean? Ever see Dick De Heer, Tom Bickford, Bob Rutt, Clay Rarick. Ladies don't imbibe so I will not refer to those regulars who just want to check on the boys who are checking on the bartenders and waitresses.
The kids they have a ball, though they seem to have graduated from the Elevator stage. Maybe it is no fun to run the elevator up and down in a Motel cause you can't cause as much confusion as you can in a Hotel where there is one Elevator for the whole place. And then that free wheeling conversation on the bus. How do you say “house?” Hoos, Hows? Never heard so many accents in all the years I have been going to Conventions. I thought for a while it was a Navy Ship re‑union with all the Yawls being heard. Then we had those Down East Yankees who Pawk the Kaar. Isn't this what makes America great. I have more trouble with American accents than I do with Foreign languages. Maybe I'll bring an interpreter when we go to Jacksonville, Florida next year.
Really great to see so many new faces and certainly glad they were able to see Walt Bandurak's wonderful pictures of the 69 Convention and trip. Let's keep interested folks, we need more like you to keep coming and taking over the jobs of those of us who are burning out with old ideas. Let's get some new ideas. And how about our third generation family of Loveless' and Kemps. Someday we may run little John for president. Speaking of John and I don't mean THE JOHN but our John Loveless. Wasn't that an impressive Ceremony at the Chapel? Done in only a manner that he could do it and so happy it was so well attended to make it worth the while of the committee and John.
Notice on the tour again, that we got fouled up with the tape to go with our ride. Just think if these things didn't happen at Convention after Convention we wouldn't have anything to talk about. Never seems to dull our spirits nor our good time. No Committee should let it shake them. It is SOP so keep up with the SNAFUS and that will keep us together.
We finally work our way up to the final night of our dinner dance. How lovely our Gals all looked. They looked as though they had just come out of the band box. Best looking bunch of Gals to be found. How about some of the slinking skirts and the Hot Pants covered delicately but just enough to make guys like Tom Bickford curious. Tom, you are supposed to look, not touch.
Also, the men didn't do such a bad job either. Did you wear your sunglasses when you looked at Bob Rutt. That's high style. Man! It was just wonderful seeing Bob after all the problems he has had the past few years. He looked wonderful and took life a little easier and this makes Lucille younger as she doesn't have as much worry.
We welcome our new President and his staff and look forward to a prosperous year and fruitful one for the 106th. You fellows on the Board of Directors, support John Gallagher so that he can keep the CUB coming full force. Without you giving him the news the CUB will slowly fade away. Our President has a charming wife to help him do all the chores he must do as our new leader. Notice she gave away her age when she and Jean Schutte did the Jitterbug. Jitterbug??? And we wonder what kind of language our kids speak??
Then the sadness of goodbyes until we meet again. It is always great though, when we can say Auf Wedersehen and mean it, for we look to the next meeting with wonderful friends and acquaintances. One thought for the future Conventions. It might be wise to schedule an early morning Breakfast for Sunday so that we can all say a proper “So Long”, etc. As it is we have to say it Saturday night to some, some on Sunday morn and some we don't even see. Think about it.
The Rambler (Douglas S. Coffey)
Scenes from the 25th Reunion
(not necessarily in any order)
Lots of new faces at the gathering of the clan.
More people arriving on Thursday than ever
The Artillery outnumbering the Infantry.
Lots of folks looking over the Pennsylvania Dutch country, including the Arthur Loos family who were camped on highway 10 for the duration.
One couple conspicuous by their absence Wha'hoppen?
Another bus getting lost this time on the way back from Philly.
The golf enthusiasts playing a four‑some and a threesome, including one female. Heard she made the fellows hustle.
The Schlessers, Shaws, and Collins riding out to Freedoms Foundation on Thursday and reporting an interesting trip.
Biggest Holiday Inn we nearly ever saw.
Good cooperation from the management.
Extremely smooth proceedings all through the reunion (thanks to that committee) especially with 150 people present.
Bruce Matthews chauffeuring people around. Don't think it wasn't appreciated, Bruce.
The Loveless family present once again.
Our favorite General circulating; and his charming lady too, all but one evening, that is. Did he let you live it down, Wilda?
Tom Bickford and Flo present as always; but somebody said Tom wasn't first one down some mornings. That so, Tom?
Phil Shutte laid up but sending a representative. It was great having Jean with us, Phil.
Jim Maw and Ben Britton ably representing New England.
Dick Bartz retired now and taking it easy.
Henry and Eunice Broth being their usual charming selves.
Van Wyatt showing up from Kentucky in a new Electra 225.
Bob Howell with wife and son being his usual exuberant self; revealing the he formerly lived in the neighborhood.
Carol Beals getting around seeing all her friends and they are her friends.
Dick DeHeer being accused of dying his hair white absolutely no change otherwise. Marge looking definitely younger.
Charlie Richards, after belonging all these years finally showing up with his good wife. Said the reunion got close enough and the kids big enough for them to make it.
Col. Fred Nagle and his lady flying up from Atlanta in their own plane, a welcome addition to our gathering.
Doug Coffey showing up with only one female, his wife . Alas, we miss the twins Doug.
Virgil and Martha Collins showing up at the eleventh hour.; Pete House flying up and wife Joanne driving up. There's a story there however.
Our Medical men Dr. Bullard and Dr. Clarke having a good time and with their families being enjoyed by the others. ; Impressive memorial service at Valley Forge Military Academy with excellent cooperation from the staff at the chapel (and excellent arranging by Gen. McMahon and the committee. ; Clayton Rarick working like a trojan with help from his charming daughter.
Our faithful adjutant, Bob Scranton, carrying on his many duties and doing it in great style and with a smile.
Others of the committee working hard too, including Stella Gallagher and the other ladies.
Lots of friends not mentioned here but WE LOVE YOU TOO.
by Sherod Collins, Treasurer/Historian
Location of Reunions since the Beginning(Location of all Reunions, the Committee or Chairperson or Co‑Chairs.
This list compliments of Sherod Collins, excuses given for any names missed ‑ this was all he could dig up out of the CUBs. Scheduled reunions from 1992 (indicated below with an asterik (“*”) through 1994 are also shown.... CUB Review editor)
1. 1947 Indianapolis, Indiana
Roe and Florence Simpson
2. 1948 Indianapolis, Indiana
Ken Perry, Chas Hackler, Al Harding
3. 1949 Chicago, Illinois
Edward L. Luzzie, Gene Borathyn, Bob Frache, Sig Johnson, Roger May, Ames Wright, Bob Wood
4. 1950 Detroit, Michigan
Robert Kelly, 7 man committee
5. 1951 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Doe Cessna, Walt Bandurak, etal
6. 1952 Baltimore, Maryland
7. 1953 Columbus, Ohio
Robert Pierce, Sr.
8. 1954 Atlantic City, N. J.
Doug Coffey, Tom Bickford,
9. 1955 Detroit, Michigan
10. 1956 Atlantic City, N. J.
11. 1957 Savannah, Georgia
James and Maydean Wells
12. 1958 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
McMahon, Dunbar, Rarick,Gallagher
13. 1959 Chicago, Illinois
Russell Villwock, Larry Walden, Chas Robasse
14. 1960 Savannah, Georgia
15. 1961 Fort Worth, Texas
16. 1962 Annapolis, Maryland
The Loveless' and the Broths
17. 1963 Cleveland, Ohio
18. 1964 East Orange, N. J.
The Coffeys. The Bickfords
19. 1965 Augusta, Georgia
20. 1966 Indianapolis, Indiana
21. 1967 Detroit, Michigan
22. 1968 Columbia, South Carolina
William F. Smith
23. 1969 Saint Vith, Belgium
Douglas S. Coffey
24. 1970 Davenport, Iowa
William R. Holden & Carol Beals
25. 1971 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Clayton Rarick with John Gallagher, Charles Walsh, Frank Maloney
26. 1972 Jacksonville, Florida
Pete and Joanne House
27. 1973 Grand Rapids, Michigan
The James Clarks, Richard Jochems
28. 1974 Frederick, Maryland
Chuck & Cherri Schoch
29. 1975 Atlanta, Georgia
Sherod Collins, Bob Howell, Bill Alexander
30. 1976 Evansville, Indiana
Ken Bradfield, June & Jack Schlesser, Russ Enlow, Van Wyatt
31. 1977 Elyria‑Lorain, Ohio
The John Fritzes & Bob Gilders
32. 1978 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (Cruise)
Doug & Isabel Coffey
33. 1979 Chicago, Illinois
Russ Villwock, Jim Henning, Bill Lucsay
34. 1980 Hot Springs, Arkansas
.C. Baker, Glenn Henson
35. 1981 Gilbertsville, Kentucky
Van Wyatt, Ken Bradfield
36. 1982 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Charles Puskarich, John Howard
37. 1983 Worcester, Massachusetts
Ben Britton, Jim Maw
38. 1984 Savannah, Georgia
Jim Wells, Al Oelschig, Gus Agostini
39. 1985 Morgantown, W. Virgiania
Ted Straub, Walt Bandurak, John Robb
40. 1986 Columbia, South Carolina
Roger Rutland, Howard Terrio
41. 1987 Mobile, Alabama
John Gilliland, Walter Bridges, Joe Massey
42. 1988 Roanoke, Virginia
Ralph & Elizabeth Bowles, Fred Farris
43. 1989 Schaumburg, Illinois
Russ Villwock, Bill Lucsay & wives
44. 1990 Sacramento, California
Mike Thome and committee
45. 1991 Huntsville, Alabama
ohn and Lee Gilliland
46. *1992 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Joseph Maloney, George Vance and wives
47. *1993 Fort Jackson, South Carolina
48. *1994 Rapid City, South Dakota
Herb Hiedepriem, Arthur Van Moorlehem, Robert Calhoon, Arthur LaCroix
|Last Chapter - General Interest|
|Page last revised 12/01/2005|