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Avalanche Honors 10th Mountain Division Veterans

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche

DENVER - The Avalanche recognized eight U.S. World War II veterans from the 10th Mountain Division, originally based out of Camp Hale outside of Leadville, Colorado during its game Wednesday against the Calgary Flames.

Veterans in attendance included PFC Bob Carlson; Corporal John Carroll; Corporal Joe Fennessey; Corporal Dick Kaufman; PFC Bill Kehres; WO Dick Over; Corporal Frank Romano; PFC Leslie Whitmore.

The division was activated on July 15, 1943 at Camp Hale, Colorado as the 10th Light Division (Alpine). It was renamed the 10th Mountain Division on November 6, 1944. Elements of the division began arriving in Italy in late December 1944, and after a brief training period entered combat, January 8, 1945, near Cutigliano and Orsigna in Italy. The division was responsible for defensive operations, countering German resistance within the Italian mountains. After the German surrender in Italy, May 2, 1945, the division went on security duty, receiving the surrender of various German units and screening the areas of occupation.

The division was deactivated on November 30, 1945. However, it was reactivated on July 1, 1948, after being redesignated as the 10th Infantry Division. Ten years later, on June 14, 1958, it was deactivated.

Wednesday's appearance was co-sponsored by The Greatest Generations Foundation ( whose mission is to provide funding so that veterans can return to their battlefields. This Colorado-based, non-profit organization has sponsored trips to the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C and has trips to Europe and locations in the Pacific planned for this upcoming spring and summer. To date, they have received over 10,000 applications from veterans wanting to return to their battlefields.

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