A World War 2 Historical Site

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82nd Recon TankABOUT THIS SITE

From Benning to Berlin, Korea, Vietnam and from Texas to Iraq the U.S. Army 2nd Armored "Hell On Wheels" Division helped to protect and defend our great country in times of war and peace. This web site is dedicated to all who served under the division colors from when they were uncased at Ft. Benning on 15 July 1940 until they were cased at Ft. Hood on 15 December 1996.

Co. "A" 82nd Reconnaissance Battalion, from the "Benning to Berlin" era helped to create, assisted in gathering information, and placed photographic materials on this site. As more information and materials are donated from other former division members this site will grow. If you or your organization are interested in participating please contact us at the address below. If you have further questions dealing with content refer to our disclaimer.

Letters from visitors to this site...

(This was from the period when my father was alive, retired, and spent his days researching varied resources for information that would help family members locate information on loved ones who served in the 2nd AD. Sorry to say we do not have the resources at this time to continue these endeavors.)

We will show also on this page a few letters from people whom we have assisted, in finding out information about WW 2 veterans.  

This is a copy of Email forwarded to us. It is a letter of thanks to this site, they were trying to find a friend of their father that was in same unit.

These letters are all authentic written by people that we have helped, they did the work, we just tried to keep them on track. It takes a lot of patience. If you are interested in the military background of a loved one, do not wait, do it now.

Email dated 11 March 1999

Dear Mr. Swonger, Thank you so much for your help in this venture.  I truly appreciate it. It means so much to me to learn something of my grandfather's past-I was never fortunate enough to learn it from him personally since he died when I was too young to appreciate it.  This is a personal mission for me-pretty much the only way I will ever know the man who was my grandfather.  I am very thankful for your kind help in this.  You have come through for me when I was thinking I would never find anyone who could help.  Thanks so much. I will let you know how successful I am with gathering information.  I hope I can give you a favorable report.  Thank you for your time and consideration.  Sincerely, to remain anonymous. initials HW

Email dated 29 April 1998

Mr. Swonger, I don't know if you realize how surprised I was to get your e-mail response to my request on information on Mr. ---------. and a Mr.--------. As I explained, they both had signed a book that my father received during the war. I called and spoke to Mr.---- last night (Wed.) and explained who I was and how I had come to call him. We did agree that he is the (name) in question especially after giving him his address from 40+ years ago in Tenn. He wasn't quite sure he remembered my father but after so many years, and the fact that I did call him after 10pm I wasn't that surprised. I promised to make some photo copies of the book I have that has his signature in it as well as some photographs that I have also ( maybe he is in one of them! ) I would like to make a copy of it for you also. This book includes a reproduction letter from Montgomery and Hodges as well as stories of the great German counter-offensive in Eastern Belgium  (dated 1 February 1945) .     

My father was a very proud man. He never bragged openly about his time in the service. He would when asked tell a story about some of his experiences. They were always interesting and sometimes very intense. He never glorified those times. He once did a small video with my son several years ago for a high school project. It really turned out great with my father standing in front of his wall map showing all battles and all the areas the War Of The Axis took place. Sorry to say we can't find our copy. Hopefully some day it turns up. Maybe you can get a special message out to everyone on the Web Site to do a quick video or tape recording of their War experiences for their families to have and pass down through the family. What a great treasure they would be. Once again thank you very much for your help  and I hope to hear from you again. If you would like a copy of the booklet , give me a mailing address that I can send it to. Thank You very much, signed ------------.                                  

Note: If you have not told your story about WW2 war experiences, at least put it on a cassette and record for your family so that they may know what happened in your life during this time.

Letter from a son of a WW2 Veteran, we found a friend of his father's that served with him in combat and also were able to find his military records and the unit he served in.

Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 00:18:02 -0800

Mr. Swonger,

Thank you again, God bless you, and you don't really know how much this means to me. I only have one picture of my father. I too believe this is the greatest country on the earth. Sincerely and Merry Christmas, signed: JK

Letter from a Pastor

Subject: Death of A Vet

Date: Fri, 26 Dec 1997 23:51:32 -0600

Dear Mr.. Swonger, I'm a pastor in "blank", Texas...just east of (withheld). Tomorrow I will preach the funeral of a (name withheld). I noticed in his obituary that he was a "veteran of World War II, serving with the European African Middle Eastern Theater of Operations as a S/Sgt with the U.S.Army's 2nd Armored Division, better known as "Hell on Wheels." It was very enlightening to visit your web site and gain some information to share in his funeral. I thank you and yours for making that available. Again thank you for the information from the Web-site. God Bless..... Signed (Name Withheld)

Letter From a Niece

Feb 10, 1998

Dear Mr. Swonger:

I made a few changes to the sketch attached.  Everything I changed is underlined.  Feel free to make them, or not.  What you wrote was great, and honoring ( Name withheld )this way is a wonderful tribute to him.  I was really impressed with the information that you added that we were not aware of, as in Kasserine Pass, and Tidworth Barracks. We are assuming it was during D-Day, but are not sure.  Would you know where I might find this info?  Again, thanks for all of your help, for caring, and for keeping all of these men's memories alive. Best wishes, ( Name withheld

5 March 1998: Dear Mr. Swonger:

Once again, I cannot thank you enough for steering me in the right direction, and placing the notice in your bulletin.  Without you, I would not have been able to find out all that I have, and would not have been able to meet the wonderful people that I have met.  Your help has been immeasurable, and honestly, words cannot fully express my appreciation.  You are a very special person to have undertaken this web site and its upkeep, and in letting people know about the 2nd Armored Division.  I cannot even begin to imagine what it was like over there for all of you, and for you to be able to keep the memories alive of all the men of the 2nd Armored Division who gave their life for their country is a very honorable undertaking.  God bless you Mr. Swonger. Best wishes, (name withheld)

Email received May 2001

We urge all veterans of all wars to relate experiences to their family, children, grandchildren, etc. "Tomorrow may be to late" one such letter;   Email received May 2001--Dear Howard:  I saw a story about you on tv, last night I believe. I really am proud to be the daughter of a "now deceased" Army Vet. My father SFC Elmer M. Bailey was in the Army for a good 25 years. I really am so proud of all the WWII Veterans, and others. I want you to know, although I am only one person, I will always remember all of you veterans who gave so much for this great country we live in. I honor you, sir. I am one of those daughters who thought I would gather war stories or info someday from Daddy. Unfortunately, he died on May 25th, 1973. He had a massive heart attack right in front of me. I'll never forget the pain he suffered, nor Mom or my brothers and sister's pain, and mine. He had retired Dec. 31,1963 and had joined Oct.22,1938. I thought he'd live forever, as most kids do think when it comes to their parents. I learned a valuable lesson back then. I am the soul person in the family who is searching for the answers to what I want to know. That is EVERYTHING I can about my dads war days. He was in 813th Tank Destroyer Bn. worked in HEADQUARTERS COMPANY... and he was with the 298th MP CO. and 728th in Ft. Ord, also in Taegu, Korea... 385th in Ft. Meade Md. Dad was one of the OLD GUYS who went in and stayed in. I haven't gave you all the info I know of course. But, I saw you doing a story on TV, and I really admire you. They said you are fighting ______cancer. I will say a special prayer for you and wish for you a real speedy recovery. I really didn't know exactly what to say, but saying nothing doesn't cut it. I want you to know, people read, they listen and they care. I do. I would be so honored to receive some word from you, sir. I can't tell you how you have reached out and touched me with your words and your life. Thank you for being patient throughout this lengthy letter. God Bless You and Your Family... Sincerely, a new friend, signed Dena "Bailey" Houston. NOTE: The writer viewed the interview of me by WNBC New York, shown on May 18, 2001

Carla's father never came home, yet she yearned for the events leading up to his death. 

Carla's Search: "In Memory Of My Dad", A poignant story of the daughter of a World War II member of Co. G, 41st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Division, killed in action 27 November 1944. Carla offers hope for others in their search for the events leading up to the loss of a loved one.

The above is the experiences of two daughters of WW 2 veterans, with different circumstances, both had the will to find out all about their fathers experiences in the service,  each story with a different ending.  Check  Carla's Page    see how she did the research. 

Civilian Conservation Corps ( CCC )

They sacrificed for their family, and their country, they were able to stay the course, in the hard times and then in the good times.   

In 1933, I was nine years old, my father owned a general store. Times were hard, no work, no money.  During this time in1933 to 1942,  we would see young men ( 18 to 25 ) go by in open trucks. They were what we called CCC men, which was  " Civilian Conservation Corps" , it was a newly elected presidents idea, President Roosevelt. They came from economically depressed families from all over the country . They received $30,00 per month, out of this they had to send an allotment home of $25.00, they could keep $5.00 for themselves, they run bills at the store also, but they paid them all. Our school team played ball with them, some of the 3-CCC men dated local girls, later would marry them. .Camps controlled by the army, transported by the army between camps.  We did not know that we may go to war, this was valuable training for the army in the mass movement of troops during WW 2. The CCC helped in flooded disasters and forest fires throughout the United States.  When released from the CCC, most of them enlisted in the military service, They brought with them discipline, and army procedure, marching and etc. Over 5 million ended up in military service, distinguishing themselves in every branch of service. They were involved in the very important job of the early training of recruits for WW 2. The CCC would start in 1933 and disband in 1942.

As of 6 August we have received 814 emails commenting on the CCC. Here is just one email concerning this subject, due to space shortage we will show but a few of them. Shown as written below. 

Quote: I enjoyed reading this article.  Here in Ithaca, NY, we have many  parks in the area  due to the natural beauty.  Lovely gorges carved out by the glaciers house incredible scenery - waterfalls, streams, tide pools, lakes, etc.   The CCC  built hundreds of miles of gorge trails, much
cut out of  the shale rock, they built rock bridges and steps, pavilions, etc.  They were also involved in many other projects in this area, but it's really at the parks and gorges that still show so much of
the work they did.  And. they did excellent work, so many years later the bridges are still functioning and looking beautiful. Signed:  Irene Battisti Scott

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