dilemma of the 87th Inf Div

This (the first two letters) were provided to me by James Hennessey, member of the 87th Inf Div. Other letters are provided after to show what was trying to be accomplished by the men this unit.



87th Vets:


If we have to beg for an award due us, for our service in Belgium in WW2. As for me I say they can stuff it, it hurts me to say this, but I am a proud 87th Vet. I know what we done in the War in Belgium, that is good enough for me.


Thanks to all of you 87th vets for your efforts in this matter.


I Remain Stalwart And Strong

Jim H--E-345


Stay Well -Enjoying Your Freedom-Thank A Veteran




Inasmuch as our great Belgian friend Gilbert Stevenot reports that the Belgian Army files cannot be reopened at such a late date, this closes the long and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to correct a clerical error made in 1945 by the US War Department.


It was not a lack of trying that failed us--it was a bureaucratic matter, and the bureaucracy failed. Now it'll be up to individual consciences to decide whether to buy the fouragerre from some on-line or neighborhood store, or do without it.


In terms of clear entitlement, there is not a single history in either English or French that excludes the vital and valorous 87th Div role in the BoB. Additionally, we have biographies written by two of our top generals, Patton and Middleton, to establish our entitlement. Extraordinarily, even a German general, Gen. Remer, paid high tribute to our role.


In a way, the recent U.S. Defense Department letter is welcome because it states explicitly that the 87th Div. is listed in its rolls as having participated in the BoB. The problem was that the US Defense Dept., because of a clerical error, didn't communicate that in 1945 to the Belgian King, or the Belgian Defense Dept.


I now know what I'm going to do about the fouragerre, but I leave it up to

all the other 87th Div survivors to decide for themselves.




----- Original Message -----


Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2005 4:32 AM

Subject: RE: War Dept list



Dear Mitch,


After receiving your different messages concerning the Belgian Fourragère, I was in touch once more with the Armed Forces Defense Staff and they seem to be well informed because the last letter they have in their records was their answer to you, and the letter you had sent to the King.They give me the same reply. Those files have been closed since September 1, 1952 and will never reopened again. You know I have been working hard to respond to that wish and the more than hundred letters,that I have received at the time, from high ranking wheels,generals, colonel, and even a former Secretary of the army, whose name was Resort, if I can trust my memory.I still have a part of those listings somewhere among my records an d all the letters.. If you absolutly need the list you let me know and I will send them by post as soon as I c an put my hand on them..


I include a copy of the letter they have sent to you in May 20 97, after your request to the King.


I would like to help and understand this lack of recognition, but as you know after the war many units have been deactivated; of the 16 Armored Divisionsthey remained only three.Those divisions or units, which received the Croix de guerrre or the Belgian Fourragère through reports of your ownarmy staffs, who knew of their deeds, because only the american army had the records of the fights engaged in our country. With true friendship.


From: "Mitch Kaidy"

To: "Gilbert Stevenot"

Subject: War Dept list

Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 09:35:51 -0400


Do you still have the copy of the US War Dept list of units that omitted the 87th Div? I know you sent it to me, but don't know where it is.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

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