T h e "O Z A R K S"


We, at World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words, are beginning a new section which we will be devoting to the men who served in the 102d Infantry Division during World War II.

This division was nicknamed the "Ozarks".




We all recognize our OZARK Patch but we do not all remember the significance of the design. We thought it might be a good idea to refresh the minds of all OZARKS on the meaning of this design. The 102nd Inf. Div. was originally activated as a Reserve Division in 1921 and existed on paper thru the 20s and 30s until it was reactivated in 1942 into the Division we knew. After WWII it became for awhile the top Reserve Division of the Army Reserve in personnel and equipment, located in the St. Louis area. In 1965 it died a McNamara death and later became the 102nd US Army Reserve Command with headquarters in the St. Louis area, which statit holds today, commanded by Brig. Gen. JAMES O. FREESE USAR, with Command Sgt. Maj. GORDON WALKER USAR.

The meaning of the OZARK Insignia is as follows: From the Indian bowsmen who were found by the French explorers in the hills and mountains of Arkansas and Missouri came the Division name and insignia. The French 'Terre Aux Arcs', 'Land of the Bows' became OZARK in American folklore. The arc in the insignia represents a bow superimposed on a circular target, together symbolizing marksmanship. Z completes the design making O-Z&emdash;ARC for OZARK. Gold is for valour on a background of Blue for distinction. MARKSMANSHIP, VALOUR, DISTINCTION were and still are the OZARK ideals.

(From Ozark Notes, Vol. 23, No. 2. 1971-1972, pp. 3)


The division which fought in Belgium, Holland and Germany during the war consisted of the following units:



405th Infantry Regiment

"Up Front"

406th Infantry Regiment

"To the Front"

407th Infantry Regiment

"Aux Arcs"

379th F. A. Battalion

"Pro Aris Et Focis"

380th F. A. Battalion

"Alert and Prepared"

381st F. A. Battalion

"Forward Without Fear"

927th F. A. Battalion

"Fortis Sub Forte"

327th Medical Battalion

102d Reconnaissance Troop

"Esto Vigilans"

327th Engineer Combat Battalion

802d Ordnance Company

102d Signal Company

Hq. & Hq. Company

102d Quartermaster Company

Through special arrangements with the 102d Division, we have been given permission to place stories on the following series of pages written by former members of the above units who were attached to the 102d Division.

Already, you have see and read a number of stories from but ONE company, Co. F., 405th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Those Damn Doggies in F, which are currently in place in another section of this web site.


Those stories contain experiences from former Co. F. members such as My Time with the 407th by Edward L. Souder and Gene Greenburg's World War II Diary and Jim Hansen Remembers and the Oral History Tapes of Jim Brophy to mention but a few.

Each story in the Co. F. section is a tale of men at war and the moving experiences of men in combat. If one were to study the stories, one would see that by comparing certain events in some of the stories against a telling of some of the same events as related by another soldier, one can obtain an overall picture of things as it appeared to the men in this unit.

It is also interesting to note that even though two individuals experienced almost the same experience, their recollections were quite different.

Below, we will now be adding stories from other units of the "Ozark" Division. Each story should prove as interesting as the other stories thus far related on these web pages.

Check back often, for we plan to add these stories as quickly as time permits.

We would also welcome any ADDITIONAL stories from former members of the units that made up the 102d Division. We are always looking for new and exciting material.

So, without further commentary, here are stories from men of the 102d "Ozark" Division...



Heroes: the Army

Kitchen Histories Project:

102d "Ozark" Division

A Special Tribute to the Men of:

102nd Division

European Theater of Operations


Kitchen Histories of the 102d Division:

These stories were sent to the various unit historians during the period of time around 1978 - 1980 when the 102d Division began asking its members to write up their World War II experiences in order for the division to collect and maintain a historical record of the men who had served with the 102d Division in the European theater of operations.

The stories were then compiled, organized and edited by the various unit historians and forwarded to the 102d Division historian.

The stories were then routinely picked to appear in the 102d Infantry Division newsletter, the "Ozark Notes", which was printed and distributed to members of the Division Association about 3 to 4 times a year.

Each edition of the "Ozark Notes" carried a number of the men's submitted stories. Below, is a collection of some of the stories that appeared in the various editions of the "Ozark Notes".

They do not appear in any order or sequence.


We, at World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words cannot thank the men of the 102d Infantry Division enough for what they were compelled to do and for saving their experiences for future generations to marvel at. When asked about some of the men who served in the war about their being a "hero" the response was almost always NO -- for each person that I have talked to in the long period of story collecting, will say that they were only doing a job that had to be done.

In their eyes, yes, they may not be a hero, but in the eyes of the succeeding generations, starting with the children of America's Greatest Generation -- a resounding YES, these men were ALL a HERO to us.

Thank You!

the web master




Crossing the Roer River -- Image Series

The Allies Drive for the Rhine

On March 12, 1945, LIFE magazine ran an article on the crossing of the Roer River. This article was by LIFE photographer, Geroge Silk who took some dramatic photographs of just one small part of the crossing. If you wish to read this article and see the haunting images, click on the link below.This article offers an insight into what the men of Co. F experienced.

Crossing the Roer

Images courtesy of Edward L. Souder.


In Honor of the men who served in the
102d Infantry Division,
We are proud to present to you their stories:

and Adding More All the Time!


102d Infantry Division

the Kitchen History Stories:


IMAGE of 102nd Infantry Division


102d Infantry Division


IMAGE of 102nd Infantry Division

In Honor of the men who served in the
102d Infantry Division,

60th Anniversary
the Roer River Crossing

image of NEWAdded on 16 February 2005.

Crossing the Roer River: Personal Accounts


"...The Jerrys had the place zeroed in and big artillery shells started dropping around us. A big one fell about 50 yards in front of me and I could hear screaming and moaning of the wounded. Another fell much closer and it seemed everyone was hit. All around us medics, engineers, and infantrymen lay dead or wounded. Galloway was beside me when he was hit in the hip and the foot..."

IMAGE of 102nd Infantry Division


In Honor of the men who served in the
102d Infantry Division,
Messages and Inquiries
from former OZARKS and Friends

image of NEWAdded on 19 January 2005.

102nd Division Messages/Inquiries: Click Here


IMAGE of 102nd Infantry Division

4 April 2004


"A Brief History of the 102d Infantry Division, U. S. Army,
compiled by Wilson R. Reed, Brig. Gen. US Army (retired)

image of NEWAdded on 2 December 2003.

"...The Ozark plan for the crossing was to attack with two Regimental Command troops abreast. Col. William's 405th on the right, would cross at Flossdorf and Ruhrdorf: Col Dwyer's 407th would cross on an extremely narrow front at Linnich; Col. Hurless' 406th was initially the Division Reserve. Once the Division Bridgehead was established, the Ozarks were to expand it to the XIIIth Corps Bridgehead and be prepared to attack to the North. This was the plan..."

IMAGE of 102nd Infantry Division

3 June 2007


405th Infantry regiment

405th Regiment Stories: Click Here

Now 100 Stories in This Section.

IMAGE of 102nd Infantry Division

30 June 2005


406th Infantry regiment

406th Regiment Stories: Click Here

Now 22 Stories in This Section.

IMAGE of 102nd Infantry Division

20 April 2007


407th Infantry regiment

407th Regiment Stories: Click Here

Now 50 Stories in This Section.

IMAGE of 102nd Infantry Division

30 June 2005


Other 102d Division Units

Other 102d Stories: Click Here

Now 37 Stories in This Section.



Interested in some background information?
Check out the related links below...

image of NEWMen of the Ozarks

United States Army, 102nd Infantry Division

102nd Infantry Division

History of the 102nd Infantry Division

Attack on Linnich, Flossdorf, Rurdorf - 29 Nov -- 4 Dec 1944

Gardelegen War Crime

image of NEWGardelegen: April 13, 1945:
Massacre at the Isenschnibbe Barn

American Battle Monuments Commission: WWII Honor Roll

National World War II Memorial



Information was generously provided to World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words by the sources listed below and at the end of each story. The subjects of these essays are all members of the 102d Infantry Division. Our sincerest THANKS for allowing us to share their stories!

The stories are re-printed here on World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words with the kind permission of the 102d Infantry Division Association, Ms. Hope Emerich, Historian. Our sincerest THANKS for the 102d Infantry Division Association allowing us to share some of their stories.

Original Story submitted on 5 May 2003.
Began adding stories to website on 1 July 2003.
Latest Story Additions made on 4 April 2004.
More Stories added on 29 March 2005.


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Survey Form

image of NEWSeptember 5, 2002.

Would YOU be interested in adding YOUR story --
or a loved-one's story? We have made it very
easy for you to do so.

By clicking on the link below, you will be sent
to our "Veterans Survey Form" page where a survey form
has been set up to conveniently record your story.

It is fast -- convenient and easy to fill out --
Just fill in the blanks!

We would love to tell your story on
World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words.

WW II Stories: Veterans Survey Form



Do You Have a Story to Tell?

Contact me, Joe Richard and I can help.

If You Would Like to E-mail us, Click on the Image Below:

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World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words
All Rights Reserved


Updated on 3 January 2012...1633:05 CST




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