The 84th Division's 16,000 men began basic training in January 1943. They entered combat on Nov. 18, 1944, with an attack on Geilenkirchen, Germany, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and crossed the Rhine River on April 1, 1945. Within two weeks, the unit had reached the Elbe River, where it halted its advance and patrolled the banks until the war's end. The men spent 170 days in combat and earned seven distinguished unit citations.
"These guys fought a war," McDonald said. "We won a war in four years, when now the area they're fighting in is no bigger than Texas, and they've been there 10 years, and it's sad. We had a reason to fight. We wanted to be free."
The group held its first stateside reunion in Cincinnati in July 1946, just months after returning home. About 700 showed up.
Last year, only about 100 veterans attended, quite a few of them in wheelchairs. That's when they decided that this year's reunion will be the last one. http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/article_db888e27-5b8b-5e63-9d8c-4f7b5150159e.html -via Fark
(Image credit: David Carson)