From July 8-11, 2008, four members of the 973rd COB took part in a series of training exercises with the Oregon State Police's Mobile Response Team. These photos show a little of what we did in support of the MRT.
The 41st Infantry Division served from 1942-1945 in the Southwest Pacific Area of Operations during World War II. The Oregon National Guard formed the nucleus of the 41st Division when it first went to war and included both the 162nd and 186th Infantry Regiments. These photos tell the story of a few of the division's hard-fought victories during the island-hopping campaigns in New Guinea and the Philippines.
While working with Cadet Smith and the GFAD's he had brought out on the second day of the exercise, I had a chance to role-play an obnoxious photo journalist who got in everyone's way and generally caused much trouble. These photos are some of the shots I took as a firefight unfolded around the outskirts of our make-shift local national village and its marketplace.
The Photos in the album demonstrate some of what we do, and the bond we share, in the 973rd. They were taken at Camp Rilea, Goshen State Police Range, and at Fort Lewis during our operations with 2-162 Infantry.
A 91st Bomb Group Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress on the ground back in England after getting hit by flak over Berlin on June 11, 1944. The German AA shell blew off the Fort's entire right horizontal stabilizer, yet the crew was able to limp home and land--with gear down, a testament to their skill and the incredible ruggedness of the legendary Boeing.
Men of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division await word to jump from their Douglas C-47 Skytrain while en route to the embattled beachhead at Salerno, Italy. Night of September 13, 1943. The 504th's jumped right into the middle of a German armored counter-attack that threatened to push the Allies into the sea. Their sudden arrival helped save the Allied position and ensure the amphibious assault did not fail.
Men of the 17th Airborne Division take cover in an orchard outside their LZ near Wesel, Germany during the morning of Operation Varsity, the last airborne operation in Europe during WWII. March 24, 1945.
Elements of the 17th Airborne had jumped into Southern France during Operation Anvil-Dragoon, then later the division's 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment fought in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. Varsity was the first and only time the entire division conducted an airborne operation. The men secured an airhead on the east bank of the Rhine River, paving the way for Montgomery's army group to leap that last major barrier left between the Allies and the heart of the Third Reich.
Famed combat photographer Robert Capa made the jump with the 17th Airborne that morning, and the series he took, including this one, represent some of the most dramatic combat imagery depicting American troops in action during the War in Europe. Capa had landed on Omaha Beach the previous year, and was later killed in 1954 while covering the French war in Indochina for Life Magazine.
Soldiers of the 169th Infantry Regiment, 43rd Infantry Division stand ready to repel a Japanese counter attack in a Baguio, Luzon graveyard during the 2nd Phillippines Campaign. April 24, 1945.
The 43rd Infantry Division was a New England National Guard unit from Vermont and Connecticut and had served on New Georgia and in New Guinea prior to the invasion of Luzon in January 1945. The 169th hailed from the Hartford area before the division was Federalized in 1940.
This weekend, thanks to Jim Schmorde and Tyson Bumgardner, I had the opportunity to support 2-162's Scout platoon as they conduted their Indoc drill. The Indoc is a three day event designed to test and ultimately select new members of the platoon from a pool of prospective infantrymen.
I was there in an OPFOR capacity along with Pete Salerno's son, Devon, and several of his friends from Monroe, as well as Kyle Trimble and Jason Becker.
Working with these dedicated Soldiers was the best way I could have spent the 10th anniversary of 9/11. In '05, I was in New Orleans for the anniversary while embedded with Bravo Company, 2-162. Last year, I was with 1-168 and TF Brawler in Afghanistan for the anniversary. This year, I was in a machine gun nest in the Cascade Mountains role playing a radical guerrilla group known as the Oregon Revolutionary Corps. It was a tremendous opportunity, and I'm grateful the Scouts thought enough of me to invite me to participate. Some photos of the weekend are below.