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It is with much sadness that we must announce the passing of Homer Vaughn Wagnon Jr., our website’s founder and caretaker.
Rest in peace, Vaughn. You will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.

Feel free to leave thoughts or memories of Vaughn in our Guest Book.

Homer Vaughn Wagnon Jr.
12/27/1923 – 11/29/2017
“B” Co., 407th Inf., EIB, CIB, PHM, BSM w/cluster for valor, GCM, WWII VM and EOM for Germany

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This is your website! Its purpose is to distribute your thoughts, ideas and memories to the 102nd Infantry Division Association’s members and friends through words, pictures and quotations that you find appropriate. Members, associate members, and relatives are encouraged to participate and join in this activity with enthusiasm, humor and honesty.
Here, all honor the contributions of those who won the victory in World War Two.

Ozarks History

The 102nd Infantry Division arrived at Cherbourg, France, 23 September 1944, and, after a short period of training near Valognes, moved to the German-Netherlands border. On 26 October, elements attached to other divisions entered combat and on 3 November the Division assumed responsibility for the sector from the Wurm River to Waurichen. A realinement of sectors and the return of elements placed the 102d in full control of its units for the first time, 24 November 1944, as it prepared for an attack to the Roer. The attack jumped off, 29 November, and carried the Division to the river through Welz, Flossdorf, and Linnich. After a period of aggressive patrolling along the Roer, 4-19 December, the Division took over the XIII Corps sector from the Wurm River, north of the village of Wurm, to Barmen on the south, and trained for river crossing. On 23 February 1945, the 102d attacked across the Roer, advanced toward Lovenich, bypassed Munchen-Gladbach, took Krefeld, 3 March, and reached the Rhine. During March the Division was on the defensive along the Rhine, its sector extending from Homburg south to Dusseldorf. Crossing the river in April, the Division attacked in the Wesergebirge, meeting stiff opposition. Wilsede and Hessisch-Oldendorf fell, 12 April 1945, and the 102d pushed on to the Elbe, meeting little resistance. Breitenfeld fell, 15 April, and the Division outposted the Elbe River, 48 miles from Berlin, its advance halted on orders. It patrolled and maintained defensive positions until the end of hostilities in Europe, then moved to Gotha for occupational duty.


Deactivation

Veterans, relatives and friends of the Ozarks 102ID; during our last reunion in St. Louis the membership voted to end our activity as the “102nd Infantry Division Association” during our next reunion in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 24 – 30, 2008. All Ozark memorabilia was sent to the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, PA. Moneys in our accounts will go to the 102nd Division Scholarship Fund.

Reactivation

Attention: The 102nd Division had a change in command on February 3, 2013. It is now an integral part of the U.S. Army at Fort Leonard Wood, MO in “Ozark” country serving as part of the 80th Training Command. Along with the 102nd Division will be the 94th Division at Fort Lee, VA and the 100th Division at Fort Knox, KY, with these three divisions comprising the 80th Training Command.
Like the Phoenix, the “Ozark” division, with its famous shoulder patch, has risen proudly again from the ashes of World War Two!

Taps

Information on Ozarks who have passed can be found on our Taps and associated pages. As noted on those pages, this information is not comprehensive. Please see the explanation on the main Taps page.

102 ID Group

We invite you to join the 102nd ID Yahoo! Group. You must have a Yahoo! account (which is free) and the group is moderated. The group contains lots of great Ozark stories and photos and is good way to communicate with Ozark families, relatives and friends.

Military Research

We get quite a few requests from site visitors for information on a specific soldier who served in the 102nd Infantry Division. Every effort is made to at least acknowledge the request but as thousands of Ozarks served overseas during the war, it is an almost insurmountable task to find more than cursory information on so many of these individuals.
Golden Arrow Military Research was created and is maintained by Geoff Gentilini, may be just what you are looking for. Mr. Gentilini is a military historian who does paid research on a variety of military subjects, including what he refers to as “tracing the steps” of a WWII veteran.

In Memoriam

Vaughn Wagnon

Leon Sidney Skeen

General Wilson R. Reed


Margraten Wreath Photos


Paul Rentz has a Flickr site to share photos from the 102nd

Please pass along this information to anyone that has photos to share from the group

The site is in honor of his father, Clifford Rentz, who passed away November 7, 2008


Before You Go

Dr. Sam Bierstock, 58, and John Melnick, 54, of Pompano Beach have written a song: the mournful “Before You Go” does more than salute those who fought in WWII. It encourages people to go out of their way to thank the aging warriors before they die. “If we had lost that particular war, our whole way of life would have been shot,” says Bierstock, who plays harmonica. “Every ethnic minority would be dead. And the soldiers are now dying at the rate of about 2,000 every day. I thought we needed to thank them.” The song is striking a chord. Within four days of Bierstock placing it on the Web, the song and accompanying photo essay have bounced around nine countries, producing tears and heartfelt thanks from veterans, their sons and daughters and grandchildren. Bierstock and Melnick thought about shipping it off to a professional singer, but because time was running out for so many veterans, they decided it was best to release it quickly, for free, on the Web. They hope every veteran in America gets a chance to hear it.


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