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Memories of Patriotic Service and Special Deliveries

July 2, 2009

WorldWarIIDropTank2.jpg blog

As the United States is preparing to celebrate its 233rd birthday, I’m reminded of all the great reasons that make this country great.  Baseball, Apple Pie and Cracker Jacks come to mind, but also all the men and women who have served and are serving our country at the local, state and national level.

I’m also reminded of a great event that took place a little less than a year ago in Austin, Texas. The Texas Military Forces Museum needed a special delivery of some historical World War II artifacts.

It began in October 1944 and would become one of the most famous stories to emerge from World War Two. Deep in the Vosges Mountains of Eastern France, American soldiers had launched a campaign to punch through German lines. During the fighting, 270 soldiers of the 141st Infantry (the Alamo Regiment) of the 36th Division were cut off and surrounded by a much larger German force. The trapped Texans became known as the “Lost Battalion”. Military aircraft had to fly special missions to drop food, ammo and medical equipment to them. The supplies – loaded into special tanks attached to the belly of each plane – meant the difference between life and death.

More than sixty years later, two of these famous drop tanks were recently unveiled at the Texas Military Forces Museum in Austin thanks to FedEx. Working with the museum, FedEx donated the logistics necessary to bring the drop tanks to Texas and educate future generations about the war and the famous battalion.

FedEx Express Ramp Transport Driver, Dennis Butler, a Vietnam veteran, proudly made the delivery. In addition, Glenn Villoz, a FedEx Express Ramp Transport Driver, a Texas Military Museum volunteer and member of the living history detachment received the tanks dressed in a World War II replica uniform.

After many unsuccessful tries the tanks were finally dropped on the American position to sustain the “Lost Battalion” until Japanese-American troops broke through and relieved them.

For more information on the Texas Military Museum and the “Lost Battalion” visit: http://www.texasmilitaryforcesmuseum.org

We have talked about this event before, but I still feel the emotion and pride of all those servicemen and FedEx team members involved in this historic move and wanted to share with you again.

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