U.S. Third Army’s 87th Infantry Division, the Golden Acorns

cropped-87thcampaignmap.jpg

 

“Bo” trying to console some of the fellows that the chow he serves “isn’t too bad.”

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

Passing through a small German town enroute to Le Havre & eventually U.S.A.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

Enroute to Le Havre, France from Plauen, Germany we were guided signs of our Division, “Golden Acorn Division.”

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

Just Weeks After VE Day, All Seems Quiet in Germany

 

McCormick, a cook, takes it easy in the German sun.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

 

Harvey & L.B. Kinlow in front of their post office.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945, Germany

 

Chow is nearly ready. All chow hounds “fall in.” Willie & Ferrara prepare.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945, Schleiz, German

 

The main street in our pup tent city. Near Schleiz, Germany.

Bernard McKenzie, June 1945

Awaiting Redeployment

Our field mess hall at Camp Oklahoma City, France. Our 87th Division was the first unit to be processed here in redeployment home & then to the Pacific.

Bernard McKenzie, June 17, 1945, near Reims, France

 

“Bo” orients Doc Snipes on the Pacific War. War in Europe was over, but we were all thinking of the Japs.

Bernard McKenzie, June 17, 1945

 

A soft drinks truck paused briefly to take care of business in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.

Bernard McKenzie, June 17,1945

 

Trier, Germany, on the Moselle River, was also the victim of our bombs.

Bernard McKenzie, June 17, 1945

 

Large cities of Germany were not the only ones who saw the havoc of war. This is the view of a small town outside Cologne.

Bernard McKenzie, June 17, 1945

Camp Oklahoma City, Next Best Place to Being Home

 

Complete & successful destruction of a Nazi Party headquarters building near Cologne, Germany.

Bernard McKenzie, June 19, 1945

 

A view of the picturesque Moselle River near Wasserbillig, Germany. Our regiment had taken Wasserbillig only after a terrific price in human lives last winter.

Bernard McKenzie, June 19, 1945

 

The cathedral was to have been the chief subject near Bonn, Germany, and while hurriedly passing through, the picture was snapped.

Bernard McKenzie, June 19, 1945

 

This photo, which I’d always assumed was of a sign constructed by a home-sick G.I., pointed the directions of American redeployment camps, or repo-depos.┬áThe camps were named after U.S. cities. My dad was at Oklahoma City.

Redeployment centers near Reims, France, were organized & functioning in these U.S. city named camps . Our Division was redeployed at Oklahoma City.

Bernard McKenzie, June 19, 1945

 

These redeployment camps near Reims served as a funnel to prepare millions of American G.I.’s for military operations elsewhere in the world and to send the luckier ones home. The map below shows the location of the various camps around Reims. The first photo shows the long lines for the “Gourmet Restaurant” at Camp Boston. The second photo is of my dad’s camp, Oklahoma City.

The Slow Road Home

I’ve seen this stack of photos stuffed inside a shoebox since I was a young boy. My dad would take the box out to show the photos to close friends in hushed tones. They’ve taken on a mythical quality to me, and I’m so thankful I’ve found this outlet to truly examine them closely for the first time myself, and to share them with anyone who’s interested.

Ruins of Le Havre. Enroute to our boat & then the U.S.A.

Bernard McKenzie, June 26, 1945

 

We had stayed at “Home Run” for 5 days. We were sweating out boarding our ship. Here we are leaving “Home Run”–boarding trucks & enroute to our boat.

Bernard McKenzie, June 26, 1945

 

Enroute to our ship. One small sector of Le Havre that had missed our bombs in the early days of the war.

Bernard McKenzie, June 26, 1945

 

Most of us are loaded on trucks. Approximately two hours later we got on the “Marine Dragon.”

Bernard McKenzie, June 26, 1945