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Author Topic: 71st Infantry Division dog tag with sobering history  (Read 1460 times)

Offline bellasilva

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71st Infantry Division dog tag with sobering history
« on: August 16, 2015, 06:47:35 PM »
This is one of my more recent acquisitions and was floored when I discovered the history behind it.

Carl McComb Jr. served as a Field Lineman with the 71st Infantry Division, having been inducted in June 1944.

The 71st arrived in France in February 1945 and saw their first combat in March. From then until May was a dizzying amount of combat for the 71st, moving from place to place and encountering resistance from the crumbling opposition at every turn.

On May 4th, 1945, the 71st was the first division to enter and liberate the concentration camp Gunskirchen Lager in Austria. Well documented on the internet is the all too familiar accounts of the atrocities that were witnessed. One GI came across three family members still living in the camp and was witnessed flying off in a fit of rage. A pamphlet was produced by the Army regarding the liberation called "The Seventy-First came to Gunskirchen Lager", which included pictures of the horrors these men encountered.

Carl McComb survived the war, and served with the 71st on occupation duty until they were sent home and the division inactivated in March 1946.

As a side note regarding the dog tag, the tetanus dates stamped on the tag make it almost surely one of the dog tags he was wearing during these events.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 06:48:26 PM by bellasilva »
Phil

Offline M1Ashooter

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Re: 71st Infantry Division dog tag with sobering history
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2015, 04:46:08 AM »
Thank you for preserving this piece of history.

Offline bellasilva

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Re: 71st Infantry Division dog tag with sobering history
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2015, 10:30:12 AM »
My pleasure! It truly is an honored piece in the collection
Phil

 

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