Title: James Alward Van Fleet collection
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00096226/00031
 Material Information
Title: James Alward Van Fleet collection
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Copyright Date: 1946
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00096226
Volume ID: VID00031
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Special and Area Studies Collections
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

ld ..

.J I


S. ..

as we see it ...

This is the Eighth Infantry . a pictorial recording of Army
life in our section of the universe.... But these aren't the photo-
graphs you've seen before in newspapers and magazines and

This is the way Army life looks to us.

Who are we?

We are the men who carry the guns and fight the battles and
march unnoticed in the Big Parade. We are the men who take
orders from Lieutenants and Captains and Majors and Lieutenant
Colonels and Colonels and Brigadier Generals and Major Gen-
erals and Lieutenant Generals and Generals. We are the men
from the stock-yards and the stock-markets, from the farms and
the factories, from the cattle-ranches and the counters, who
enlisted, or were enlisted, for the defense of that way of life we
term "American."

We are the soldiers. And this is the Army life as we see it.

r Aim

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I . ..

A . ~- -


the colonel and his regiment

"James A. Van Fleet, Commanding" is the way he signs official documents. The "com-

manding" tells you he is the Colonel .. the man who bears the full responsibility for

what the 8th Infantry-and every man in it-does from day to day.

Colonel Van Fleet came to the 8th July 21, 1941, at which time he assumed command

of a regiment steeped in 103 years of tradition. It didn't take him long to win the respect

and admiration and affection of every one of us. From the way he talked, from the things

he did, even the lowest basic private could sense that here was a man and a soldier who

understood his men, and his job.

We might tell you more about our Colonel Van Fleet . that he is rated one of the

"coming" commanders . that he played football at West

Point . that he learned about men and how to treat them

from coaching football at the University of Florida.

But that's not very important.

What is important is that we are proud of our Colonel

because, in the time that he has been with us, he has given

us every reason to be proud of him.

You can't say moie than that, can you?

The history of the 8th Infantry is a great one-a story of 103 years of devoted
service to Country. To tell it all in detail would take more space than we have
in this little presentation. But we can let our Regimental Insignia tell of itself.
For it is a graphic record of the 8th's glorious past.

The Battlements: On August 20th, 1847, the American forces engaged in the
Mexican War undertook the storming of one of the most formidable fortresses
in the theatre of operations-Churubusco. The assault was a spectacular, but
costly one, climaxed by the planting of the American Colors on the battle-
ments by Captain Bomford, assisted by Lieutenants Longstreet, Picket and
Snelling. And so we wear the Battlement. For those gallant officers planted
the Colors of their Regiment and ours-the 8th Infantry.

The 1st Flower: We wear the Rose of New York on our insignia to remind
us of the state in which the 8th Infantry was born. The date? July 5, 1838.
The place? Troy, New York. The "father" of the 8th? Col. Wm. Worth.

The 2nd Flower: The Temple Flower of Cuba on our insignia tells a story of
hardship and sacrifice unequalled by any other organization which partici-
pated in the Spanish-American War. But no matter what the odds, or the
cost, the 8th then, as today, carried forward the fight and never swerved
from the accomplishment of the mission assigned.

The 3rd Flower: The Philippine Insurrection is not a celebrated campaign
in the annals of history. Yet it represents a glorious page in the story of the
8th, telling of unexcelled devotion to duty. Hence the Hispida Flower of
the Philippines on our insignia.

The Tomahawk and Arrow: Much has been written about the pioneers who
braved the rigors of the frontier to extend our American heritage ever west-
ward. But when writing of that, let us not forget the American soldiers on
frontier duty-those intrepid little bands of men who willingly made the
Supreme Sacrifice that our Country might grow in peace. Along the route
of the Union Pacific Railroad, in Florida against the elusive Seminoles,
through the Southwest in pursuit of the fierce Apaches and their wily leader
Geronimo, the banner of the 8th was always to the fore. And it is with par-
ticular pride we wear the Tomahawk and Arrow to remind us of the great
service this Regiment did its country in making final, lasting peace with the
Red Man.

The Broken Claw: The Prussian Eagle was ascendant in 1914. But by 1918,
it lay broken in the dust of history. Then came- the delicate task of recon-
structing a world shattered by 5 years of war. For the Army of Occupation,
GHQ wanted only picked troops. And, as ever before when there was a job
to do, the 8th was among those chosen. Hence the broken claw of the Prussian
Eagle on our insignia.

The Motto: On the insignia which we all so proudly wear, our Regimental
motto does not appear. But it has been graven in the heart of every officer
and man in the 8th since' our origin. The motto: Patriae Fidelitas; the
meaning: Loyalty to Country; the realization in fact: our 103 years of
devoted service . the readiness of every one of us to ever serve again.


lae~~, f Ilt
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"nice place you boys live in"

That is what most people say when they see the picture in

the upper left. Well-basically, it is a nice place. But how do

you think it got that way? We don't have maids or orderlies

or servants. And floors and windows and stairs have to be

scrubbed . beds have to be aired and made up. Who, do

you think, does it? ... US.



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you better get up i4


Much has been written about the glories of a soldier's career. But when that bugle

blows at 5:45 a.m., it's not off to glory the soldier marches, but off to "'detail"-

those little tasks which must be done so that the Army can function. There are

calesthenics in the early dawning to keep men like Joe-he's the lad in the center

right-in good condition . there are roadways and sidewalks to be swept . .

grounds to be "policed" . grass has to be cut .. potato. need manicuring . .

new shipments of guns to be cleaned and assembled . .

"Aiwright sojer! y'want us to bring ya breakfast in bed!"



The hour- I .,pend wilh
thee. dear gun.
Are cans of oil and rags
to me.
And scores I e cleaned
but again begun.
O throbbing pains of
roldider !

Each pivcc apart.
,ea:h part a piece.
A-s o'er each crew I
gently hover.
At last I'm thru-O
seet release.
Cood God! I have
a -pring left ouer!



Army cooking and Army food
is strange and wonderful. From
wholly recognizable and ordi-
nary items like meat and beans
and potatoes, mess sergeants
concoct wholly u nrecogniiizable
dishes. The wonder of it ki that .
the stuff is good! But Ihough"i
everyone has heard about the
backbone of the Army mess-
the ill-starred KP-how nianv
have ever investigated the pri-
vate life of that unhapI)p crea-
ture? Actually, the KP has a
soft job. Outside of peeling a
few hundred pounds of spudt
and onions, and slicing bread.
and setting tables and askingg
dishes and pots and pans and
scrubbing stoves and tabletops,
he has nothing to do lut hang
around the kitchen all daN. eat-
ing the best of exerythliing. But
lest you get the idea that we are
poking fun at the KP, we
hasten to assure you that we
respect him no end. Matter of
fact we love the guy.

Without him we'd have to eat
out of mess-kits!

IrK. ^

Hands are important in the Army.
But nowhere in the Army more im-
portant than in the 4th Division, of which
thlie 8th Infantry is a part. For it is the skill of
lireless-, ensitive hand- which complete- the
hundreds of different jobs \\% niuIt do daily Hand- that can operate a gun, or
drive a half-track, or drain a crank-case or put up an anti-tank barrier ith equal
facility. Hands that can operate radios, -trring phone ,ire-. or la, out a time
table for a motorized column 50 mile- long. Andd ret it i- not ju-t hands that do
the job, bhut hands bal)ckEd hN tllhe intelligenci. initiative and w, illingne-s charac-
teristic of the Amierican ohlicr.

It may be that the hand that rock- the cradle rule, the world. But the hands
shoran here are thlie one-m that keep the cradiler north rocking.


*1 IN

maneuvers .

It's a strange and mysteriously foreboding word to the average recruit. He hears

the old-timers talk of maneuvers. He sees his officers planning for maneuvers.

He reads lengthy statements in the newspapers about maneuvers.

And he wonders. And sometimes worries.

But at long last, as it must to all men in the Service, maneuvers come to our

recruit. And, too, comes his first shattering of ideals. For the first phase of

maneuvers starts weeks before he ever gets out into the field. It is the phase of

preparation. Excess material must be stored. Uniforms must be put into shape

-and then squeezed out of shape in a barracks bag. Shoes need fixing. Equip-

ment repaired and cleaned. Loading and unloading trucks practiced.

Finally the "all-out" full-field inspection. Thousands of men stand before indi-

vidual piles of belongings, each pile arranged exactly alike according to Army

Regulations. Officers, commissioned and non-commissioned I hundreds of them,

so it seems to our recruit I file by in order of rank, each one casting a critical

eye on what he has and how he has it.

And so off to maneuvers. Riding by day, sleeping in the open

by night, seeing sections of the country that heretofore were

just spots on the map. Learning to be comfortable wilh the

ground as a mattress and a stray

And finaili the thrill %ou ? le en yajiling.

Drock. A cold gra pil, dlowmp morning. Tto

corporal pokes his head into your pup-tent. "'Hit the ground,

soldier, the war's on!"
soldier, the war's on !"






ride 'em soldier!

We don't mean a horse. Not even the bouncing bantam battle buggies. It's the

Sick Book we have in mind. For "riding the sick book" is a skill which seems

to come naturally to every new recruit as soon as he dons his first uniform. The

general idea is to try to convince the medical officer that you are not fit for

duty ... sitting in the sun is all you can do. Then the medico suggests that maybe

what you really need is a 211-mile:- hik-e. In the- end Nou compromise . on the

20-mile hike.

But Army Medical Srenice i-n't all a gue--ing gamne Ibetecn -oldier and -urgeun.

The Government imne-t. quit,. a -uni in Ir.iining a soldier. Thi- invme-rnent is

protected by the ino-1 tilp-lo-dal pr, lnr,' -ni edli me -el-up to be had jnriv-here.

Every possible mea-ure to

keep the bo- lit is taken.

And should a %,ilv, perin e--
cape the drag-net set for it,

nothing is spared to bring a

man back to perfect health.

After all, a sick soldier isn't

much use to himself, the Ser-

vice or his country.


6 1







Somebody once said somlelhing about all work
and no [ilan making Jack a dull o\1 We Cdon't
kno, Jack per-onally. Neither dioe- anyone else
around here. But e'ernone tries hi- bhet to keep
Jack from becoming dull. For an evening's relaxa-
lion, there is a dayroom a--ignedl each company
i here the bo\ can play ping-pong. billiard-.
checkers. read-or sit and li-ten to the radio. If
that doe-n't take the "pressure" onf. there i- the
grand 4lh Division Senric, Club. a large. cream-
colored building lou-ing a library., music room,



restaurant and recreation hall where weekly,
soldiers "cut rugs" with charming misses from the
near-by towns. And as a final note. we have the
famous 8th Infantry shows, acted, written and
produced for the most part by talent right in our
own ranks, and staged at our Hollywood Bowl,
the amphitheatre we built and decorated our-

That should be enough to keep a man occupied.
But if you're still not satisfied. the sergeant can
always find something for you to do ...

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4 .

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hollywood bowl ..

We mentioned our famous "Hollywood Bowl" on the preceding page. But no mere

mention can do justice to those historic boards. lovingly hammered together by the

boys of the 8th themselves. From odds-and-ends. scrap lumber, old frames. Holly-

wood Bowl was built. And inspired by their own creation, the men ,ho Vworked

over-time and on their own time to create the amphitheatre soared to entert.iininent

heights in a series of short plays, skits and comedy sequences. Even during maneu-

vers, the show went on, with a "Hollywood Bowl Jr."

being built right in the woods. Some of the original '

"Bowlers" are gone now, back in civilian life. But'

neither we, nor they, will ever forget what it has meant

to us, and what we hope it will continue to mean. f .,a i



loss- 4W
/ir ljmm "" ,. .


September 1st 1941 marked a great revolution in the 8th Infantry, and perhaps in the entire

United States Army. For September 1st was the birth date of PMD-Provisional Motorized


The powers that be in Washington have been observing the smashing successes scored by the

German forces against countries that still relied on the old type of slow-moving lightly armed

Infantry. More than observing, they were learning.

And they decided upon the great experiment.

"Let us," they said, "take one of our better Divisions and equip it along lines of the panzer units.

Let us train it in full panzer tactics. And let us test it against our own forces to see whether the

panzer theory will work even against the American soldier."

And so the 4th Division was chosen. First Division in the Service to be fully motorized, the

4th now had the distinction of being the first PMD-provisional motorized division. And with

the change in policy, new weapons came to each of the components of the 4th Division . the

8th Infantry was assigned armored cars . field artillery . anti-aircraft guns . Thompson

sub-machine guns . tanks. Men who were accustomed to riding in the back of trucks were

taught how to drive big half-track armor-plated personnel carriers, how to operate their new

weapons. Officers were advised on this new theory of warfare.

And when November maneuvers came around, the 4th Division had taken shape as one of the

most powerful striking forces in the Army. Not fully prepared, and not fully supplied with

their new arms, the men of the 4th Division were launched into the North Carolina maneuver

area. Fighting from their armored personnel carriers, and fighting on foot, the 4th Division

I -Z --~-~- -

K ;4~~*--..;~-

ranged the entire width and breadth of the zone of action-invariably against overwhelming


And when the smoke and sound and fury of the simulated war had cleared, the results of PMD

were handed in. What Washington will decide about PMD . what modifications or changes

will have to be made in the present organization is not yet known. But one thing the men of the

4th Division do know: they are ready to meet any aggressor's threat-and meet it on an even

footing and on his own terms.



"if i wuz the general . ."

"Now don't get me wrong, soldier. They ain't nothing wrong with this man's army. See?
It's just mikzing a little something. You know, what they call the woman's touch. Heck. All
you see around here are men. But don't get me wrong, soldier. They're a swell bunch of
boys. See? Bul t ho wants to look at nothing but mugs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? 1
ain't complaining though. See? But if they wuz to make me the general, and ask me,
here's kind of an idea of what I mean.... Now what would be better than cute little
wailresse- in the mess-hall . or something sweet n' tender to make you feel better after
a hard da\' ,,ork .. or maybe co-educational squads. And say! What's wrong with some
good-looking NCO's in this Army?

"See what I ,ni'.in ." '

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'alle ge an Wered
e arsor. All that
have, all that ;,e 'let hope

to have, ae

the task o Pniied to

hae i""ng the

ues. upon

Li.ke er

Likeon e organiza.
tion in it he r th

Infantry I
n t hanged over
night lonr a re
or "' : i a ry'ure

teew and select .
1 tgPn her, but
a unitI,.E,
angr willing
fight or

to array on t e glorious
tradition, I orio
o1'0 service to

laid don n.

'a"1 1 forerathe
.Ier naot be soon.

.i he easy. But
ier oY we nustand l

hat e. u and w
SO help Us God!



autographs .

Copy & Supervision: 2ND LIEUT. M. A.ELLIOTT.

Photography: SGT. H. P. ARMUS

Layout & Art Work: PFC. S. RESNICK

Thanks also to the 161st Signal Photo Co. for
their splendid cooperation. .. The girls who
posed for us for the "General" sequence . .
and to all the other people who helped to
make this book a reality.

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