The 10th Mountain Division on Mount Rainier

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Meiyong
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The 10th Mountain Division on Mount Rainier

Post by Meiyong » April 5th, 2017, 12:10 pm

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My grandfather (or Farfar, as my family called him) was in the 87th Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division from 1941 until early 1943. The 10th Mountain Division were soldiers on skis, and they trained on Mount Rainier. Farfar was also interested in photography, and he took his camera with him everywhere he went.

This last Christmas my father gave me a large envelope of pictures that my grandfather had taken leading up to and during WWII, including several from his time on Mount Rainier. I’m working on organizing all of the pictures so I can have them professionally scanned and archived. In the meantime I’ve been using the Photo Scan app on my phone to share them. It works really well sometimes, and not so great other times. It’s good enough for the purposes of this blog.

I’ve tried to put the photos in chronological order, most have captions written on the back, which I’ve shared as the photo captions here.

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Rollin (Red) Straight and my grandfather shoveling snow February, 1940

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The flank of the mountain after a storm. March, 1942

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Fogg taking pictures of the intermediate slalom race. March, 1942

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Azevedo coming through the “elbow” in the beginner’s slalom. March, 1942

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Ice falls of Cowlitz glacier between Mt Rainier and Little Tahoma from the saddle. May 1942

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Top of Rainier from Sugarloaf. Elevation of mountain 14,408′, my elevation here about 8,500′. Note Nisqually icefall in the center of the picture. May, 1942.

Here’s a great picture of my grandfather:
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Above Reflection Lake at base of Pinnacle (right) and Castle (left). May 1942

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GIs sliding off “Saddle” onto Paradise glacier. Tatoosh Range in background. Battalion hike, Mount Rainier. May 1942.

Here’s my grandfather again, on the left:
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Pvt. James Lill, U of O and I eating dinner (and cooking too – note the gas stove between and behind us) in bed at 8,000′ on an overnight hike. Mount Rainier, May, 1942.

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The shield Joe Miller painted for my car. Joe was formerly an animator for Walt Disney. July, 1942.

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Walt Stelter and George Nordgaard at Olympic Peninsula. September, 1942

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September, 1942

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Where flowers and glaciers meet.

Sometime in late 1942/early 1943 before the 10th Mountain Division deployed to Europe my grandfather did something to get promoted from enlisted to an officer and was transferred to another unit.

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walrus
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Re: The 10th Mountain Division on Mount Rainier

Post by walrus » April 5th, 2017, 6:56 pm

So was my grandfather! If you ever come across any pictures of Ken Winters, I would be most interested.

I'm not sure the years, exactly, but family lore has it that:

There was a Von Trapp
They were training to go over the Alps if Normandy failed

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Meiyong
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Re: The 10th Mountain Division on Mount Rainier

Post by Meiyong » April 6th, 2017, 7:12 am

walrus wrote:So was my grandfather! If you ever come across any pictures of Ken Winters, I would be most interested.
That's awesome! I'll let you know if I find any pictures of him, but so far these are the only ones from his time in the 10th Mountain Division. After OCS my grandfather ended up in the 3rd Army under Patton. No family stories about the battle (he refused to talk about it), but I'd like to think he met some of the guys from E Company after Bastogne.

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Waffle Stomper
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Re: The 10th Mountain Division on Mount Rainier

Post by Waffle Stomper » April 9th, 2017, 8:38 am

What a treasure. Thank you for sharing a piece of history with us.
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

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walrus
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Re: The 10th Mountain Division on Mount Rainier

Post by walrus » April 9th, 2017, 6:32 pm

I don't know much, as our lives barely overlapped, but Ken was wounded in France end ended up in Japan. He brought back a samurai-style sword that my grandmother used for mole control. She'd see the ground start to move, grab the sword, run outside and stab it into the ground. Never caught a mole, but always felt better...

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