Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A very rewarding experience

It's been a busy month since I last posted. On April 17, I gave a couple of tours at the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation. One of those tours was special as it included a veteran of the WW II German Panzer Division Grossdeutschland. Fritz Thiel served as a Panther tank crew member and as part of the tour, he had the chance to climb into the Foundation's Panther Ausf. A.  This was his first time in a Panther since 1945.
Also at the museum that day was one of our regulars, U.S. 4th Armored Division veteran Tom Sator.  Tom served in the ETO as a Sherman crew member from December 1944 through May 1945.  During the War, he had 2 Shermans shot out from under him but survived without any physical wounds.
Above, Tom speaks to the tour group about his wartime experiences.
Fritz and Tom had never met each other prior to their April 17 visit to the Foundation.  The greeted each other like long lost friends. They talked at great length about their experiences and found out that they were both in the Battle of the Bulge at the same time. Witnessing this meeting of former adversaries who are now friends was one of the great things I've ever seen and I will never forget it.

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