Hellcat News, (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 63, No. 12, Ed. 1, August 2010 Page: 3 of 20
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we make sure to ask you more questions about those events.
The Museum (pardon me for putting in a plug for the
Museum) is something the 12th is, and should be, proud of. It
serves to document what you all did and why it is important
in the big scheme of things, with the goal of educating people
so that we don't get in that predicament again. There is a
big project at the Museum to create some dioramas of the
Herrlisheim Gambsheim area, so if you would like to do a
portion of your video interview relating to the January 1945
events in that area, that would really help that effort as well.
Many of you did service in other units after the war. Keeping
the peace like we are now doing in Iraq, that would also be a
good topic we are interested in documenting in the videos.
The Museum has a pretty good start to an endowment fund;
we could help them really start to grow that in the next few
years. So if you know of any benefactors in your local areas
that you think might be inclined to help out the Museum and
its mission, please contact me and we will draft up a letter
asking for their support to continue to educate the public
about the war.
There are lots of things to do in Indianapolis. The Ropkey
Armor Museum, 50 miles northeast of Indy, would be a good
trip for Wednesday if you come early. If you come a week
early you might want to stop by and say thanks to the crew of
the Indianapolis who is meeting the week before us in Indy
for a reunion. The Indianapolis, as you remember, delivered
the atomic bomb to the island of Tinian where it was loaded
on the aircraft called the Enola Gay. On its return voyage it
was hit by torpedoes from an enemy U-boat and most of the
crew was lost. Luckily their delivery of that weapon helped
shorten the war with Japan so most of the 12th that still did
not have enough time in, did not have to go and fight there.
The Indiana state agricultural fair starts on 6 August. Connor
Prairie and the many other museums and attractions will keep
you busy if you want to spend a few more days in the area.
Many thanks to John Critzas for putting together the HCN
each month. Recently he put in a few color pages at Christmas
time and several other occasions which has really livened it
up, especially at the Holiday Seasons. It cost us about $400
to add in color to a few pages for a colorized issue (that's
an additional 25 cents per issue. We are looking for a few
donations to help defray that cost.
As always, if you can send us a donation to help the
association stretch out the HCN, that would be appreciated,
The museum can also use your help as well. There are new
exhibits being constructed. And eventually the museum will
need to enhance its electronic components for the younger
generations to visit the museum virtually. There is government
NEH money we can apply for but we usually have to match
We need some people to step forward and help out with
offices like: treasurer and executive secretary. We also need
some people to help Ed Waszak with the historian job as
Barbara Paul and Helena Betz, daughters of Don Betz
[B/493], have volunteered to co-chair and help run the
Eastern Chapter reunions and I will help out too. If you want
to attend and need a ride, let us know so we can try to arrange
some transportation for you. Don't be bashful, ask for some
transportation assistance and maybe we can get someone to
swing by and pick you up. There is probably someone driving
by your house with extra room in their vehicles.
We are already looking forward to the next reunion in 2011
in Washington, DC; and a 2012 reunion in Abilene, if the
The Council reminds all "that no activity shall be authorized which
would conflict with the annual reunion date."
64th NATIONAL REUNION
Wednesday-Sunday, August 4-8, 2010
Crowne Plaza Indianpolis Airport Barbara Campbell, chair
2501 South High School Road 317-882-1648
Indianpolis, IN 46241 firstname.lastname@example.org
Reservations: 317-244-6861 Room Rate: $85/night (tax not incl.)
Fax: 317-243-1074 You MUST register by July 14, 2010
email@example.com or the $85/night rate may not apply
FREE PARKING also valid 1 week before and 1 week after
membership reaffirms its desire to meet there.
A good book I just ran across was: "Hunting Eichmann. "
The 12th was alluded to but not mentioned by name. It's a
really interesting account of how they tracked him down and
captured him. Take care and hope to see you in Indy. &
56TH AIB (continued from page 1)
riding was hit by an artillery shell and the vehicle was totaled.
From the shock and concussion, Arvel had a hearing problem
and frequent headaches.
After army life, Arvel worked at a sawmill, did some
farming, was in the bulldozer business, and built houses. His
hobby was hunting, so he built a hunting cabin in Montana.
Arvel and his wife, Myrtle, have been married 70 plus years
and both had birthdays in June. They stay in touch with Farris
and Betty Brookman [B] who reside in Oklahoma. Arvel
closed his letter by saying, "God has been so good to us."
Arvel, I feel the very same way.
Now why didn't I think of that: It's a strange and fearful
thing that when you lose weight it will always find you again.
Be true to your teeth or they will be false to you! It would be
prudent, it seems to me, for one to brush up on this admonition
Please return with me in time back to mid or late May 1945.
We were billeted in private homes in the town of Dillingen and
one of our major duties was monitoring a displaced persons'
slave labor lager.
One day while there we learned of a fantastic U.S.O. show
that was being presented in Heidenheim. Several members of
"A" Company's second platoon first rifle squad made plans to
attend. Among the group were Staff Sergeant Troy B. Criss
When the day of the show arrived, our half-track, filled to
capacity, left Dillingen for the trip to Heidenheim. As I recall,
it was a beautiful, sunny day. The site of the show was an
outdoor amphitheater, and upon our arrival every seat was
occupied. Not to be denied, Criss, others, and I climbed to the
roof of the seating area where we were able to look down at
the stage area to see and hear the entire presentation.
The star of the show was none other than Jack Benny who
incidentally played "Love In Bloom" for us on his violin.
Along with him were actress Ingrid Bergman, former Benny
Goodman vocalist Martha Tilton, harmonica virtuoso Larry
Adler, and some other lesser lights. Members of the 12th
Armored Division's Dance Band provided the music for the
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Twelfth Armored Division Association (U.S.). Hellcat News, (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 63, No. 12, Ed. 1, August 2010, newspaper, August 2010; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth410150/m1/3/: accessed April 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum.