Latest News Concerning the 70th|
World War II Veteran Receives
France's Highest Decoration
by Tech. Sgt. Mike Andriacco
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
2/16/2012 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
A World War II veteran and local resident received the distinction of the French
Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur, or National Order of the Legion of Honor,
by the consul general of France in Louisiana during a ceremony Feb. 10, at
Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
Mr. William V. Hines was named French Knight in the order of the Legion of Honor
(Chevalier de la légion d'honneur) by a decree signed by Nicolas Sarkozy,
president of the French Republic.
Bill Hines (C/276) on left, and Consul General for France in New Orleans Mr.
The honor, France's highest distinction, was bestowed by Mr. Jean-Claude Brunet,
the consul general of France, based in New Orleans.
"It is a great honor for me to pay a special tribute to an American Soldier and
hero," Brunet said. "More than 60 years ago, [Hines] risked his young life for
the freedom of France and Europe, and for the values he so strongly believed
Brunet spoke about how Hines played a role in freeing the last German-occupied
city in the Alsace region of France. Of the 166 men in Hines's unit in the
campaign to liberate the city of Wingen and capture the objective known as Hill
403, only 28 men were able to walk out under their own power. The rest were
killed or severely wounded in action.
Brunet went on to say Hines would be France's hero forever. He said that
standing there as a representative of a proud and free country in a united and
democratic Europe was thanks to the efforts of Hines and his fellow soldiers.
"The French people will never forget what you and your comrades, some of them
present here today, did to restore our freedom," he said. "You are the hero of a
strong and lasting history of Franco-American friendship."
Hines was then presented the medal and a signed proclamation granting him the
"I accept the Legion of Honor today with great pride," Hines said. "Today brings
back many memories of when I was at the age of 18 and served with the 70th
Infantry Division, C Company, 276th regiment, arriving one day before the Battle
of the Bulge."
He remembered the cold those days, many of which were well below zero degrees,
"I promised myself, if I ever got back to Louisiana, I would never complain
about the cold again," Hines said.
After the ceremony, a small reception was held in Hines's honor and Brunet
proposed a toast.
"Mr. Hines tells me he is no hero," Brunet said. "But to me, he is a hero."
Hines and his wife returned to France three times since then, one of which was
to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of France. After the war, he
continued his dedication to service by working as the director of a nursing
home, fulfilling a vow he made to God.
"Back in the foxhole there in Germany, I had a feeling I wasn't going to make it
home," he recalled. "I asked the Lord, 'If you let me get home, I'll serve you.'
I've tried my best to keep my part of the bargain."
Article courtesy of the Barksdale Air Force Base
Repatching of 70th Unit
In late June a group of about 50 Trailblazers and family members visited Belgium
and France. Below is a picture of the three tour guides! For more pictures
Left to right: Lise Pommois, John Rogers and Diane Kessler.
Brumath train station
Repatching of 70th Unit
On December 11, 2009 RTC-W conducted a patch changing ceremony
at Fort Hunter
Liggett in California.
Son Writes of Journey to Father's Battlefield
John Davis, whose dad Durley Davis served with B/275,
recently wrote an article of his trip to visit the battlefields where his dad
fought. The article was recently printed in the Stars and Stripes. John works
for the State Department and his currently in Germany. To view the article
Monument Committee Chairman Vern Staley of Stayton (R) and Major Gen. Chris
Ingram (L) of the 70th RRC in Fort Lawton, Wash., uncover the monument Tuesday
at the former site of Camp Adair. (Photo: Jesse Skoubo/Democrat-Herald)
Monument Honors Camp Adair Division
Tuesday, May 19
Eleven members of the 70th Infantry Division activated at
Camp Adair in 1943 returned Tuesday afternoon for a re-dedication of a monument
honoring their service in Europe.
The red granite memorial was placed in the E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area northwest
of Albany, near the former camp’s headquarters. Fifty-three people attended the
45-minute ceremony organized by Vern Staley of Stayton, who served with the
The Army donated the monument, which had stood at Fort Lawton, Wash. The fort is
to be closed, so it was decided the best place to move it was to old Camp Adair.
Major Gen. Chris Ingram, a commander from Fort Lawton, attended the
“I could not be more proud to stand amongst you today,” he said. The general
said six members of the 70th Division have been killed in Iraq and Afghhanistan.
Jim Willis of Albany, director of the state Department of Veterans Affairs in
Salem, also spoke. “There are 351,000 veterans in Oregon,” he said. “When you
honor a veteran anywhere, you honor a veteran everywhere.”
Willis’ parents met at a USO function at Camp Adair.
“I’m so proud to see this piece of history preserved for one of the most
courageous divisions in history,” he said.
Former state Rep. Jeff Kropf thanked the veterans for going to war “to keep us
Kropf explained the symbols on the monument, the same the 70th wore on their
uniforms. The 70th was called the Trailblazers. Their shoulder patch was red,
and a white ax head was superimposed on the background. Below the ax is a
replica of Mount Hood, and a green fir tree stands to the side.
Veteran Dale Bowlin of Vancouver, Wash., said the monument was very impressive.
“They did a great job,” he said.
Robert P. Newman of Portland also attended. While at Camp Adair, he was
responsible for “getting all of the soldiers packed off” to Fort Leonard Wood in
Missouri before they went overseas.
In Europe, the division took part in the fight to stop the German winter
offensive in 1944. In mid-January 1945, the soldiers moved south toward
Saarbruecken, where they carried out reconnaissance and combat patrols,
eventually pushing through the Siegfried Line.
(Used with Permission)
17,000 Could Get Purple Heart Under New Policy
(AP) -- Dated Oct. 6, 2008:
An estimated 17,000 deceased U.S. prisoners of war could be awarded Purple
Hearts under a new Pentagon policy announced Monday.
Purple Hearts are awarded to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines wounded by
enemy action. But the awards have been denied in the past to POWs who died in
captivity if it could not be proven they had been wounded or killed by the
The revised policy announced Monday by the Defense Department presumes such
deaths were the result of enemy action unless compelling evidence is presented
to the contrary.
The new policy is retroactive to Dec. 7, 1941, the Defense Department said in
a statement Monday.
Posthumous awards can be made to a family member or other representative of
the deceased service member. Each branch of the military will announce the
process for applying for the awards.
Family members with questions may contact the services: Army, (703) 325-8700;
Navy, (314) 592-1150; Air Force, (800) 616-3775; Marine Corps, (703) 784-9340.
The Pentagon had been asked by Congress to review the old
70th Band Guideon Retirement
On September 7, 2008, Army
Reserve Soldiers from the 70th Regional Readiness Command, Fort
Lawton, Wash., conducted a guideon retirement ceremony for the 70th
Army Band. The retirement ceremony was to honor the lineage and achievements of
the deactivating unit. Read the whole
Fred Dietz Receives Medal Ceremony|
Monday, August 4, Fred Dietz (Hqs/276 I&R) received a medal pinning
ceremony at the Belmont County courthouse in St. Clairsville, Ohio.