Click here for slides
Godspeed to our fearless webmaster, Joe Lipsius! * * * Taps reorganized alphabetically following reader requests - mobile friendly * * * 69th Bulletin Archives needs your help! See What's New Below * * * 66th Annual Reunion Details in What's New * * * Updated Video of Elbe Day 2010 under "Featured Videos" & "What's New" * * * * Route Across Europe Map Available Again - See Route Across Europe Map Below * * * New 271st K Co. History under Main Menu . . .

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Webmaster Joe Lipsius is retiring!



Godspeed,
Joe and Anne Lipsius!

Job well done!

Joe Lipsius, Hq 272nd Inf, 69th Infantry DivisionJoe Lipsius, Hq 272nd Inf, Webmaster, 69th Infantry Division
This website is the vision of Joe Lipsius (with the able help of many too numerous to acknowledge here!) Joe tells stories of the 69th's capture of IBM computers in Germany. Fifty years later, computers became web pages, and Joe had the vision to put the 69th's story on the web so that 69er families, friends and historians could learn what they did there to help free the world of tyranny. 403 young 69ers never returned, God rest their souls. With this announcement we have scanned and posted every 69th bulletin we can find. If you have others, please email them to Mike McKibben who will continue to maintain the site, and add Taps entries. Also, please email Joe and Anne your well wishes! Mike will be coordinating this site with Bill Sheavly and the 69th Next Generation Group.
Online Archives of 69th Bulletins & Newsletters Needs Your Help! This website has been developing an online/paperless archives of (hopefully) all of the 69th bulletins and newsletters published since the Association was formed in 1948. This project needs your help! Click here for more.
68th Link-Up Anniversary, April 25, 2013 68th Link-up Commemoration -- The Russian Embassy invites the public to join them to commemorate the Link-up at the grave site of Lt. Robertson at Arlington National Cemetery on April 25, 2013. Click here for more.
65th Annual Reunion 2013

65th Annual Reunion -- Click here for 2012 Norfolk Reunion Photos!
Elbefest 2011
Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1, 2011
The Honorable Andrea Staude, Mayor of Torgau, Germany invites the world to celebrate the 66th Anniversary of the East-West Link-Up on April 25, 1945
Elbefest 2010 Report, Photos & YouTube
New! Mar. 16, 2013: 2010 Elbefest videos added. Click here.
Read from the Russian language newspaper Forum on Elbefest 2010. Included in the Report are numerous German and Russian photos & TV coverage of Elbe Day 2010
See WWII Photos O3 The Story Of  Russian "Roman" Eloyan
April 1945 in Torgau Excerpts from the second English version of a book in German by historian Karl-Heinz Lange were used for this link at first, but a 2005 updated translation from German is now linked here
69th Bulletin Back Issues Online Bulletins thru the years - training, combat, reunion & photos of buddies and you. New Updates May 6, 2012
69th Route Across Europe Map See map and new prices
Historical Data And Information What Happened
69th Infantry Division Next Generation Group formed
WWII Photos Who and Where.
This is Torgau Penal history of Torgau, Germany
Books of Interest Stories of The Fighting 69th Infantry Division in World War II
Battle of the Bulge 69th involvement in The Battle of the Bulge
I Remember Read the latest memories from 69th family, friends and buddies
Armed Forces Museum 272nd Situation Maps presented to the
Armed Forces Museum
Military Service Records Search military records — medical benefits — awards & decorations
69th Burials Overseas Search for date of KIA (killed in action) and burial location overseas
Social Security Benefits Social Security site recommended to help vets apply for disability benefits

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We endeavor in these pages to remember the heroic service of the men of The Fighting 69th Infantry Division during World War II

Prelude

The United States entered the 1940s with Nazi Germany striving to engulf Europe. Wisely, peacetime conscription started in September 1940, with the Selective Training and Service Act. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt watched, a blindfolded Secretary of War Henry C. Stimpson selected the first number in the draft lottery, drawing from a huge container filled with numbers assigned to registered young Americans aged 21 to 36. Some 16,500,000 were registered by October 1940, and the first group of conscripts, called selectees, was called in the next month. By the end of WWII, more than 10 million men had been inducted. Because of this Act, the men of The 69th Infantry Division entered the Army, by draft or voluntary enlistment.

Beginning

Commander Charles L. Bolte

The 69th Infantry Division was originally scheduled for activation before the end of World War I, but Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, halted this. By January 1943 or earlier, the widening WWII and its troop demands brought these plans out again. A large group of infantry and some supporting unit officers were called from the 96th Infantry Division training at Camp Adair, Oregon, to supply the cadre (nucleus) for The 69th Infantry Division, which trained at Camp Shelby, near Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Nickname and Motto

Non-Commissioned Officers were also called. The Division was activated May 15, 1943.

The 69th was originally nicknamed "Bolte´s Bitching Bivouacking Bastards" or General Emil F. Reinhart"The Four B´s" because of the troops´ hatred for the many bivouacs in DeSoto National Forest south of Camp Shelby ordered by its original Division Commander, Charles L. Bolte. General Bolte objected to the "Bitching" and the "Three B´s" became the name.

Just before the 69th departed the USA for Europe, Major General Emil F. Reinhardt took division command. General Reinhardt met Soviet 58th Guards General Rusakov on April 25, 1945.

"The Fighting 69th" became the Division motto after the troops passed their first test of battle with flying colors—going into the front lines on February 11, 1945, Siegfried Line Dragon's Teethand quickly smashing through the vaunted Westwall, dubbed the "Siegfried Line" by American and British troops.

Our Website Goal

This web site strives to tell the wartime story of our great Division—from its formation to its meeting Soviet soldiers at The Elbe River on April 25, 1945 as seasoned veterans—a critical event that hastened the end of the war in Europe two weeks later on May 9, 1945 (Victory in Europe or V-E Day). Generals Reinhardt and RusakovWe will try to record some of the many outstanding feats of our Division and to recognize the thousands who trained in the 69th but were sent out as replacements to other units, including reinforcements to the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.

Further, we want these pages to be a gateway for 69ers to locate and contact "buddies" and obtain service information from the military. Plus, it´s a place where wives, children, grandchildren and friends to learn about the wartime service of their loved ones in the Unit histories, Company Photos and the post-war bulletins now being placed online in a Google-searchable format. Many document need the free Adobe Reader to view.

 

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