The History of the Legendary 10th Mountain Division, The Men Who Started USA’s Ski Industry

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10th Mountain Division training in California.
10th Mountain Division training in California.

I bet you didn’t know that 10th Mountain Division veterans started at least 62 ski areas in the USA. 10th Mountain Division vets even started Vail and Aspen.

“After the war, ex-soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division fired-up America’s modern ski industry. They published ski magazines, opened ski schools, and established ski areas, including Vail, Aspen, Sugarbush, Whiteface Mountain and others. At least 62 ski resorts have been founded, managed, or employed head ski instructors that were 10th Mountain Division veterans.” –

10th Mountain Division in action in WWII
10th Mountain Division in action in WWII

The 10th Mountain Division. That name is legendary in the ski & snowboard industry, but not many know much about these guys. I’ve looked into this group and have been blown away by what they did during the war and what they did for skiing in the USA. In light of recognizing Veterans Day today, I’d like to share some basic information about the legendary 10th Mountain Division and what they did for us in war and in peace.

The 10th Mountain Division trained in various places from 1943-1944, including their base at Camp Hale (9,200 ft near Leadville) in Colorado and at Cooper ski area.   Mountaineering experts Jim & Lou Whittaker (the first American to summit Everest & founder of Rainier Mountaineering Inc., respectively) were hired to train these men in Camp Hale and on Mount Rainier, WA. The 10th trained hard to live, sleep, climb, ski, and fight on snow in the harshest conditions. During maneuvers, the 10th would lay down their skis on the snow, throw their double sleeping bags on top of that and call it good for the night. This training created some of America’s strongest soldiers, and they were called on to prove it.

10th Mountain Division training at Mt. Rainier, WA
10th Mountain Division training at Mt. Rainier, WA

In late 1944 the 10th was shipped to Italy, fought courageously against the Nazis in many battles, and saw 114 days of combat.

After World War II, many 10th Mountain Division warriors returned to the USA and continued skiing. 10th Mountain Division veterans started much of the US ski industry. It’s valid to say that the USA’s ski industry would never have become widespread without these warriors.


The 10th Mountain Division still fights on today. The 10th has been involved in both the Afghanistan & Iraq wars since 2001, and they’re still out there.

Every time I see that 10th Mountain Division sign on highway 89 in Lake Tahoe, I think of these guys and what they did for our country and for skiing. Thank you to the 10th and all of America’s warriors.

10th Mountain Division training at Camp Hale, CO
10th Mountain Division training at Camp Hale, CO

The 10th Mountain Division in WWII:

– Arrived in Italy on January 6th, 1945 & immediately entered combat

– Fought in the roughest terrain of Italy during WWII

– Saw combat in  Cutigliano, Battle of Monte Castello, Monte Della Torraccia-Mount Belvedere,  Canolle,  Mongiorgio, Torbole and Nago.

– 992 killed in action

– 4,154 wounded in action

– 114 days of combat

– 1  Medal of Honor (John D. Magrath)

Modern 10th Mountain Division troops.
Modern 10th Mountain Division troops.

– 3 Distinguished Service Crosses

– 1 Distinguished Service Meda

– 449 Silver Star Medals

– 7 Legion of Merit Medals

– 15 Soldier’s Medals

– 7,729 Bronze Star

– The division was awarded two campaign streamers

(movie trailer of the history of the 10th mountain division called “fire on the mountain”)

 The goal was clear: defeat the Nazis who were entrenched high in the snowy mountains of Italy. Drawing together an elite group of champion skiers, mountain climbers and European mountaineers, the U.S. Army created the 10th Mountain Division, America’s only mountain and winter warfare fighting unit. From the intensive training atop the Colorado Rockies to the spectacular night climb of Italy’s Riva Ridge – where the 10th scored their biggest victory against Hitler’s troops – Fire on the Mountain tells the thrilling story of these rugged, courageous men in all their glory. – Fire on the Mountain Movie


by Wikipedia

The 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) is a light infantry division in the United States Army based at Fort Drum, New York. The division is a subordinate unit of the XVIII Airborne Corps. Originally constituted as a unique mountain warfare unit, the division was the only unit of its size in the US Army to specialize in fighting in mountainous and arctic conditions, thus earning the division the “MOUNTAIN” tab. Today, the division retains its “mountain” designation for historical purposes and is organized as a light infantry division.

10th Mountain Division
10th Mountain Division

Initially activated as the 10th Light Division (Alpine) in 1943, the division was redesignated the 10th Mountain Division in 1944 and fought in Italy’s mountains in some of the roughest terrain in the country. The division was deactivated, reactivated, and redesigned after the war as the 10th Infantry Division in 1948. The division first acted as a training division and, in 1954, was converted to a full combat division and sent to Germany before being deactivated again in 1958.

Reactivated again in 1985, the division was designated the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) to historically tie it to the World War II division and better describe its modern disposition. Since its reactivation, the division and/or elements of the division have been deployed numerous times. The division has participated in Operation Desert Storm(Saudi Arabia), Hurricane Andrew disaster relief (Homestead, Florida), Operation Restore Hope and Operation Continue Hope (Somalia), Operation Uphold Democracy (Haiti), Operation Joint Forge (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Operation Joint Guardian (Kosovo), and several deployments as part of the Multinational Force and Observers (Sinai Peninsula). Since 2001, the division and its four combat brigades have seen over 20 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, respectively.

10th Mountain Division
10th Mountain Division

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133 thoughts on “The History of the Legendary 10th Mountain Division, The Men Who Started USA’s Ski Industry

  1. My dad ralph kever was in 87-c he was injured at camp hale(caught a tree branch under the snow & it separated his knee) when I was born in April of 1945 I was named after 2 of his close buddies Vernon Stone & Charles Hutchinson. I have several pictures of them at Camp Hale. Would love to hear from any descendants

  2. Came across this working on a project for my grandpa, one of the great men who was part of this legend, David Bruce Clark.
    He trained at Camp Hale, 10th Mtn. Division, Bronze Star, and taught skiing at many ski resorts across the country. I’m going to see him for Veteran’s Day this year and can’t wait to read him this and all the comments- my guess is he knows a lot of the folks mentioned here. He is sharp as a tack and remembers details such as dates and times. He only recenently started telling stories of the war, and tears up many of the times in both good and bad memories. Side note, he’s also the oldest person to solo-circumnavigate the world, three sunk boats and successful fourth go-round. He is an adventurer and true character.

    For Veterans Day, Nov. 11th, I am hoping to have him sign a vintage ski poster of each of the places where he worked, that we will frame and attach a story to of his work there.

    1. Near Bend, OR (Mt Bachelor or Meissner Ski Area)

    2. Greek Peak NY

    3. San Francisco Peaks, AZ (Snowbowl?)

    4. Crested Butte, CO

    5. Blewett Pass, WA (Summit East? White Pass? Blewett Pass?)

    6. Perner, Co (Arapahoe Basin? Eldora Mountain? Beaver Creek?)

    7. Badger Pass, CA

    8. Mt. Hood, OR (Meadows?)

    9. Sprout Springs, OR

    10. Sugar Bowl, CA

    11. Brian Head, UT

    12. Alta, UT

    13. Sun y, ID
    14. Bogus Basin, ID

    15. Silverton, CO (mining, not ski resort)

  3. My father Lura Alvin Patterson was from Waco, Georgia & served in 10th Mountain Division in Italy & received a bronze star. He said they were never allowed to know the temperature, officers were afraid they would have mutiny if they knew just how cold it really was. He was a machine gunner.

  4. Hello,

    I have just published my history webpage on Ski Lift Engineer, Earnest Constam, and the 10th Mountain Division, the inventor who patented the first ski lift. PLEASE consider placing my link on your website AND forward a link to your members by Email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…,_Ernest_Constam,_and_the_10th_Mountain_Division

    In addition to some rare vintage ski lift pictures the webpage contains a great “PET PICK” in the form of a video clip of a dog chasing Army recruits riding the TBar ski lift that would make a great social media link to send out to your followers…..Outdoor people are crazy about skiing & dogs, so I am sure your followers will love it !!!!

    Thanks for your support !!!

    Michael Gibbons
    Golden, Co. U.S.A.

  5. Following a random internet search last night I found your entry here regarding your father, Victor Charlton Pendar-Hughes, although I didn’t recognise his I did recognise the name of pal, Heckie McIver – he was my father who passed away in 2007.

    He told us a few things about his wartime experiences, he fought at El Alamein, Sicily, Anzio, Monte Casino etc. We too have a copy of the Commendation from George P Hays of which my father was very proud. He was also quite annoyed, to put it mildly, that following a risky survey where they were under constant fire that some bravery awards were given and handed out by drawing names out of a hat especially as one of the awards went to an officer who hadn’t been present and another went to someone in the cook house! I suspect the person he was under fire with that day was your father. I’m sure I have a picture somewhere of his jeep with a hole made by an 88mm shell.

    If you had any pictures of your father around that time it would be interesting to see one to see if I have any of him too, there are a few photos but few of them have any details.

    Best regards

    H. Ramsay McIver

  6. My grandfather Dominic P Montano was 86th HQ 2 in Italy and have been searching for years for more info on the HQ 2 fellas. I have everything the Denver library has, but its not much. Id live to hear and or see anything related to this division and its movements and activities during the Italian campaign. Thank you. God bless

  7. Thanks for the heads up Steven. I will be contacting the Denver Public Library seeking more info and offering some too. My father Bob Howe has long since pasted, and the way the story goes, made the Olympic team to compete in 1952, but much of the team was drafted for training in Camp McNair Japan to fight in the Army’s E-company – Korean war. Have some cools pics. Jill Kenmont was also on the team, obviously being a woman stayed behind.

  8. My uncle, 1stLt. Frank J. Mersky was with the 10th Mountain Division’s 86th Regiment at the Battle of Lake Garda in late April 1945. He moved from L to M company, I believe, and he and his men took refuge in Tunnel 5 (I think) when the Germans were shelling the tunnels on April 25th, They hit the tunnel square and many men were killed or inured, including my uncle, who was as I understand it, MIA for at least two days. I have been trying to research his story for now two years, including a visit to NARA but have been unable to find any After-action reports or Injury reports that would give details of Frank’s experiences and injuries and subsequent treatments. I cannot find any photos of him during this time, either. The only photo I have is the traditional regimental photo at Hale in 1943 where I can see him in the middle of the row of officers in front of the men of the 86th. The best I have been able to find is one former sergeant’s comment that he “was a nice, young officer.” But admittedly the sergeant didn’t know the lieutenant that well. Frank came home to Boston with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star, for which I cannot find any accompanying certificate for either medal. The Denver Library has been helpful in finding administrative forms noting Frank’s climb from private in May 1942 to 1st Lt in December 1944 but that’s all. The trail quickly goes cold. I would really like to start writing his story for our family, especially his two daughters. Frank died in 1992.

    I have collected several books, and web articles on the 10th in Italy, which are fine as far as they go, but Frank is never mentioned even in passing, or in an index as a member of the unit.

    My father was in the Navy during the war, but never told me anything about Frank’s experiences, perhaps to spare my grandparents any anguish.

    Can anyone help me?

  9. The Denver Public Library is the custodian of the 10th Mt. collection of history, memorabilia, records and photos.

  10. According to regimental history, Dole was 2nd replacement to his position and appeared that he specialized in night patrols to gather prisoners for intelligence. My father, Sam Hall, was originally assigned to Easy Co/85th before being transferred to the engineers.

  11. You need to send copies of those 10th Mt photos to the Denver Public Library which is custodian for the 10th Mt historical collection

  12. my dad was in the 86th 2 nd battalion headquarters co . also t-5 leo carl edwards … i have many pictures small world

  13. When I met the monument dedicated to the X div. I was astonished seeing haw many young men died to liberate my home Country. I don’t remember exactly where I saw it. May be on the Indipendence pass?

  14. Thank you. That is correct. He was not in Colorado. I think he was in the very first ski group, and stayed in the northeast. He never referred to himself as 10th mountain division.

  15. Can anyone help me find information on Luiz Lee Freitas, who was in the Alpine group? He said it wasn’t 10th mountain division yet and they called them ski patrol. He never went to Colorado to train, and served in Italy. He was shot, so should have a purple heart. What he told me before he passed in 2019: born in New Bedford, MA Sept 26, 1920; Mass NG ski patrol, Service Number 312 05 329, he joined service September 23, 1942 in Boston. I am trying to locate his rank and any service awards so I can have them engraved on his crypt. Thank you (


  17. Here is the unit history for the 85th Mountain Infantry Regiment. It indicates that your Great Grandfather was in Easy Company, 2nd Battalion and was killed at SERRE D’AIANO on 04/15/1945.

    On 4/15/1945, Easy Co. was engaged in a terrific fight at Castel d’Aiano. You can read about it in the Unit History, which is organized by date.

    Of interest is that Senator Bob Dole, Company I of Third Battalion, 85th Mountain Infantry Regiment was wounded during this same battle on 04/14/1945.

    1. Thank You. That’s an interesting connection. I probably wouldn’t have caught that on my own. That Spooner family is the same Colonial American family of Spooner. Bathsheba Ruggles, wife of Joshua Spooner, was the first woman executed in the United States. He’s a distant cousin on my dad’s side, and she’s a distant cousin on my mom’s side through the Payne family. Grandchild if the first Knight Templar. That family on my mom’s side also goes back to the Middleton family that is Kate’s grandparents. Clyde’s wife is a grandchild of Chief Cornstalk by marriage to Catherine Vanderpool through John See. Her mother was a See. I have the family trees well mapped out. Lots of Royalty in old times. My mom’s side also goes back to Chief Gasseset. I took a DNA, does show Native in me. My middle name, Ray, comes from Chief Cornstalk. As my dad’s middle name is Ray and my grandma’s middle name is Rae. That is his daughter. I can list a ton of people of interest in my family tree. Some guy named Husse that was executed for trying to take over the English Government as a grandfather and French Kings on my mom’s side. English and German Royalty on the Spooner side. Back to the Mayflower and things. I got back to Emperor Augustus on one part. 74th Great Grandfather way back on Charlemagne.

  18. Anyone know about Clyde Sherman Spooner? U.S. Army 85th Mountain Infantry, 10th Mounted Division. He was killed in action on April 15th 1945 in Bologna, Italy at 19 years old. That’s all I can really find on him, and I can find like no information on that day. He’s my great grandfather. I know before he went, the story is my great grandma was mad at him for running around and not wanting anything to do with my grandma as a baby. She got ahold of her army buddies and got him drafted. Then he got shipped out and died shortly after. People were always mad at her about it, but no one could do anything. That’s why my grandma never really knew that side of the family. My grandma had a brother that was his brother’s son. It was kind of a weird deal if you ask me. They are all passed away at this point. Two of my grandma’s brothers were also in the army. One got a whole motorcycle sent home piece by piece from Germany, they weren’t happy about it, but they let him keep it and couldn’t do anything about it. He bragged about that constantly, and he had a different dad than the other two. It’s kind of funny. They called that great uncle Kilroy. My other great grandpa, Leslie Harold Matters was in WWII also. Not quite sure where he was at, but I believe he was in Great Britain at one point. He bunked with some Turkish Soldier, and the guy would disappear at night and come back with a string full of Japanese ears in the morning. That’s how the Turkish confirmed deaths. It pissed my great grandpa off. I probably shouldn’t tell you the end of that story. I’ll let you guess on that one. He was proud of himself. He died in a train accident in his car. Got stuck on the tracks in Iowa. Any information on Clyde or Leslie is appreciated.

  19. My Dad, Victor Charlton Pendar-Hughes, served in 178th Medium Artillery RA. After the breakout from the Anzio beachhead his unit was seconded to the 10th US Mountain Div. As a forward observer he and his pal Heckie McIver were at the sharp end in their trusty Jeep spotting targets for the regiment’s 25 pounders, across the Po valley and along Lake Garda until the Germans surrendered. He told me of the incredible bravely of the Division’s fighting men, never wavering in the face of determined German resistance and what a miracle it was that he and Heckie survived!

    It’s a struggle to find any mention of my Dad’s regiment in the standard histories of the war in Italy. After Dad passed away I found an incredible typed *Commendation from Maj General George P Hays to Lt Col Hugh S Freeth describing the ‘outstanding performance’ of the 178th Lowland Medium Regt’s contribution to the campaign, so I felt moved to try to redress this by posting this missing bit of the war’s jigsaw here.
    *A copy is available upon request via email.

  20. My father T/Sgt Paul Perreault was wounded in action on February 19, 1945. His legs were shattered with a mortar or 88. He said the care he got on a medical ship that brought him home saved his legs and nursed him back to health. He always talked about that ship and the care he received. Does anyone know what ship brought the wounded of the 10th home in feb/March 1945. Thanks

  21. Hello all, my father Harold W Fetrow fought with the 10th Mountain Div company H 85th Reg. He received many medals and outfit presidential citations. He passed away in 1989 with a piece of German 88 metal still embedded in his forehead. He was a machine gunner. He never spoke of his experiences in the war. My mother was never even privy to his wartime experiences. As a child I can remember finding all his medals with my older brotherEd. We never knew what happened to them. The war definitely changed those young men who went in as innocent boys and came out as changed men, aging 20 years in a matter of two years of continuous battleground horror. I do have 2 wartime artifacts that my mother said he confiscated from Mussolini’s summer home on Lake Garda. They are brass porch lights that adorned his back porch on the lake. They now are on our potting shed in our garden. We all loved and adored our father but ww2 radically changed him. God Bless all the veterans who have served our country because we who never did can never know how much these men and women sacrificed. Dad Rest In Peace, you really were “The Man”

  22. My uncle Kenneth England was a Captain in the 10th Mountain Division 85th Company M. He was killed on April 14, 1945 from wounds he suffered from a land mine. I am trying to find out any information i can on him. He had an athletic field named after him in Italy.

  23. I have an army rucksack that I think was used only by the 10th Division. It was made in 1942. There is a soldier’s name and 8 digit number stenciled on it. I would like to find the soldier, or his family, and send the rucksack to them. Does anyone know how I would go about finding his information? thank you.

  24. Hey, So I was using this site as a source for my History Day Project. However In my efforts to use the imagery I’m afraid I might not be able to because the photographer is not credited under the image. Do you know where I may be able to find the name?

  25. I was told my Uncle Bob Holland was in the 10th Mountain Division in WWII. I also know that he was in the battle of the bulge and was cut off for 8 days behind enemy lines with several other men and survived by taking supplies from the German troops. Since I have never seen any information stating that the 10th was located in the area where the battle of the bulge took place. I have read the the 10th was operating on the southern front. How then, is it possible that they had some units in Belgium, or maybe it is possible that they were there to scout suspected German build ups in the forest there. Do you have any information on this matter?

  26. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s I worked with William “Bill Hoffstetter, Psychologist, and he would sometimes tell us about the time he was in the 10th Mt. Division. He was among those brave souls who skied into Itally to fight in WWII.

  27. I believe Doma A Watson served in the 10th Mountain Division in Italy during WWII. Does anyone remember him?

  28. Researching Sgt. Daniel H. Feldman, who was with a 155 mm Artillery Unit, fought at Anzio and the push up the Italian peninsula. Died in Italy in 1945, buried at Nutumo , US Military Cemetery in Rome. Danny was a Skier on My Hood via his native Portland. Any photos of him or his ” long Tom” artillery unit, or resources to research deeply appreciated. His family are close life long friends.

  29. My dad, Leonard F Cerkas, (Manitowoc, WI), served in the US Army, 10th Mountain Division, 85th Infantry, from 1943-1945. He fought in Italy and earned several commendations, including 3 Purple Hearts, Silver Star, 3 Bronze Stars, Campaign Ribbon, and the Distinguished Service Cross. He was very reluctant to speak about his service experience, and upon his release, was diagnosed with what we now call PTSD. He came back a different man than when he entered the Army. The only 3 things he ever mentioned of his service to me (his youngest son) were; “No man should ever have to see the things I saw and experienced”, “the real heroes are the men that never came back”, and, “I will take those memories with me to my grave”. I believe he was the sole survivor of his unit. He passed away on Jan 4, 1989, at age 74. Sadly, my family first learned of his commendations after his death, when we inquired about his service with the US Army. He had apparently discarded his commendations. As immediate family, we were able to obtain a replacement set of his honors. I humbly and proudly possess and protect his commendations, along with the US Flag from his coffin. God bless all our military veterans.

    1. What an incredible story. God bless your Dad. Your family should be proud and honored. As Americans, we are so blessed that Leonard risked his life, going through hell, for our freedom.
      I too am proud of my Dad, Alfred H. Peel, a 10th Mountaineer who trained at Hale and served from 43 to 45. You and I are lucky to be here.

  30. Our father grow up near Camp Hale in Coalmont Colorado on a ranch. His brother and sister ski to school and everywhere He trained there and then went to Aleution then on to Italy. He was a cook and when need he would drive a mule team, No one else know how. Oley Kohlman wrote Uphill with the Ski Troops and knew dad from Colorado. I have a winter coat/sleeping bag that Paul Petzoldt designed for his Teton school

  31. Your very nice article failed to mention that the modern 10th Mountain Division has three soldiers who were awarded the Medal of Honor. These are:
    SSGT Travis Atkins – 3/27/2019 (Posthumous)
    CPT William D. Swenson – 2013
    SGT Jared C. Monti – September, 2009 (Posthumous)

    Here’s a link to the names:

    Please post a revision to recognize these soldiers, two of who made the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow soldiers and our nation.

  32. My great Uncle Mervin Buoy was with the 10th Mountain Division and was KIA in Italy on Feb. 21, 1945. Thank you for the article, the 10th Mountain Division and the units soldiers should be remembered forever.

  33. My father, Sgt Samuel G. Hall, was a ski instructor and combat engineer who trained at Camp Hale with the 10th. He was sent to OCS by his commanders and was unable to rejoin the 10th in Italy. He and John French and their wives founded Tenney Mt. in Plymouth NH, installing a 6000ft double chair lift, the longest of its kind in NH at the time.

  34. My Dad 85E came home and never fully recovered from PTSD either….. My heart is with you. He earned a Silver Star and a Purple Heart.

  35. my dad taught skiing in Leadville,col. Mel Oskey was his name. later he was in Italy. I ask him about the war but he wouldn’t say anything.It wasn’t until I served in viet nam and came home. There just somethings you lock away. R.I.P. POP

  36. My friend, Charlie Sanders wrote a detailed, historical book about The 10th Mountain, titled “The Boys of Winter” about 8 – 10 yrs ago. I think an uncle of his was in the 10th and fought in Italy. He was the inspiration for Charlie to research and write the book. Lots of detail – I think some of you who are asking Qs and wondering will get some answers from his book. Charlie and wife and son are avid and expert skiers. I’m pretty sure they have skied on all seven continents.

  37. My wife’s father, Eddie Jokela, was one of the first 25 who trained others to ski, shoot, and survive extreme cold. He was a natural in all categories, raised by Finnish immigrant grandparents, dairy farmers, in the deep woods of northern Minnesota. He spoke Finn before English, hunted and ice skated regularly from a young age. In his teen years, he lived with his brother in a cabin without electricity, between both pairs of Finnish grandparents. Eddie was the youngest 1st Sergeant in the 87th. He was one of 19 drafted to the baseball team, playing with Enos Slaughter. At Camp Hale, he and another cowboy were in charge of 500 mules & horses. He played the accordian on the streets of Italy and learned to speak Italian; he loved the people and their culture. He recalled his troops skiing into an enemy camp at night in northern Italy. Coffee on the table was still hot. They trailed tracks to a small village where they heard Mussolini was captured that morning just before their arrival. Eddie grew very somber recalling the Riva Ridge battle and the morphine shots he provided for injured & dying comrades. He ran across a mine field to save others, lost alot of his hearing, was wounded and hospitalized as the war ended. He received several bronze stars, other ribbons, badges, medals and a purple heart. At a reunion years later, fellow soldiers said they wouldn’t have survived some ordeals w/out their “Sergeant Jo.” General Hays told Eddie’s children, “Your father was one hell of a soldier.” Of course, Eddie ensured the love of skiing in all six of his children. He was a ski instructor at nearby resorts in later years. He also raised beef cattle and quarter horses, and became a legendary pioneer in the auction industry.

  38. Paul Petzoldt didn’t found a ski area but he did start NOLS (national outdoor leadership school) some years later. He was hired to teach the division how to dress, camp, navigate, rescue and live outside in the mountains. He was a key ‘brain trust’ to their success.

    1. Did not know this. For those not familiar with the name, Paul Petzoldt was a fixture in the Tetons–He established a lot of new routes climbing in that area, often with minimal equipment he made himself. He is exactly the type of person who would know what training the troops needed.

  39. My grandfather PFC Amos J. Michael from Comfort W.V. , fought with the 85th Mt., in WW-2 in Italy.He had a handicapped son, but went to war anyway.Upon arrival at the train station with his family at Charleston WV for departure to boot camp,there was a great calmness among all the men present when they seen Amos and his son George saying farewell.A captain came up to my grandmother Ruby and told her to get on the train with George that they can ride with Amos as far as she was allowed if he got in trouble,so be it.They made it to Kentucky and my g-grandfather Rev. Elias Michael picked them up.Amos was wounded but came home .I thank god for him.

  40. My Dad, Donald E. Goodman, born in 1905 in Arizona, was in the 10th and trained at Camp Hale. I thought he would have been one of the oldest because he said he was too old to be drafted when enlisted. However, he didn’t ship out with his division because of either pneumonia, or because he was called home when his father died. I can figure it out if someone can tell me when the division shipped out. He carved a figurine on skis with pack that looks very much like the image on the front of the movie.

  41. My Dad (Bill Charles) was C-86 Staff Sgt. Trained in Camp Hale, He Fought at Riva Ridge and Mt Belvedere. I have a photo of the troops in Camp Hale and a really old “YANK” magazine from when they broke the Germans back. My Dad came home to Upstate NY and became early Ski Patrol member, I have letter from Minot Dole to him. My Dad was a NE Ski Patrol Section Chief for a long time, he also helped start our local Mt (Royal Mt) He taught so many people how to ski!! He was an awesome skier too. I am so thankful he taught me how to ski, I thank him (in heaven) every day I ski. It’s awesome that there are monuments and photos at so many Ski areas and in hotels all honoring these great men. I was lucky to go to a 10th Reunion at Keystone in the 90’s we went to Cooper Mt for a Statue unveiling. Really nice reading the tributes on here! Never Forget!! What a great bunch of Hero’s they were!

  42. My Grandfather Edgar Dennin was with the 90th in K Co he was from upstate NY and enlisted in 1941 from what we know he was in the Philippines before he was transferred to the 10th Mountain at Camp Hale. I am trying to research his service and have a request in through the National Archives for his records. If anyone knows anything or has anything relevant please let me know. I grew up across town from my Grandfather and saw him often though he seldom spoke about his time in the Army he taught all of his kids and grandkids to ski and volunteered as a fireman for over 30 years after he returned from the Army.

  43. My botany professor at the College of Forestry in Syracuse, NY (now called Environmental Science and Forestry) in the mid 60s was a member of the 10th Mountain Div. and fought in Italy in WW2. It wasn’t until after his death that we learned he was wounded and lost a lung. He could out hike students 20 years younger climbing in NY’s Adirondack mountains. He never lost his love of the mountains and was a member of the 46ers, a group that had climbed all 46 of the Adirondack High Peaks. He advocated for their protection during all of his long career. He was quite a guy and much beloved by his students and in my mind, a hero.

  44. My Dad was in the 10th mountain in the early 50s. He was a great climber and only recently had to stop (he’s 86, sharp as a tack, 6’6” and in better shape than most 30 year olds.) Any idea where I may be able to find some photos? He always talks about his time in the 10th mountain.

  45. My father, Carl Nordhagen, was in the 99th infantry and trained at Camp Hale. He was a part of a unit of Norwegian speaking troops who’s primary mission was to drop into the mountains of Norway and take out the heavy water plant the Germans had erected. Before they were sent on this mission allied planes were able to take out this plant with newly developed “skip” bombs. Their unit was then deployed to Normandy (as I understand it) on D+5. They fought in several battles including the Battle of the Bulge. My father always said lots of their troops started most of the ski hills etc after the war. However, I don’t see any mention of this unit in the history of Camp Hale, only the 10th mountain division. Why?

  46. My old-man was STAFF SERGEANT GLENN D SIKES, HG Co. 2nd Battalion, 86th Mountain Regt…
    he was one of the first group selected for this training (they were eventually named the 87th Inf Regiment), they were initially sent to Mount Ranier, then to Camp Hale. The 87th was sent to the nearly unopposed invasion of Alleutions. He was transferred to the 86th to assist in the mountain training as he was the oldest non-com in the group; of course, the troops called him Pops. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and 2 Bronze Stars; he was designated as HQ Co’s recipient, based on combat merit, of a 5 day R&R in the Austrian Alps just weeks after the armistice, but these soldiers were called back immediately to deal with Broz Tito’s Yugoslav Partisans.

    1. Depending on the years your father was at Camp Hale he probably knew mine, as my father was a Staff Sergeant in the 86th and 87th instructing skiing and mountaineering at Camp Hale. Primarily skiing though. He too was sent to Kiska Island in the Aleutians. Japs had left, but it was still rather ugly for the troops. A little foggy and some jumpy guys Canadian troops. Did you, by chance, go to the reunion in the mid 60’s I believe, at Vale since there wasn’t much left at Camp Hale where guests could stay? lol Being a youngster, it was quite fun and an education.

      1. My late husband, Ernest L. “Tap” Tapley was at Camp Hale, part of the Mountain Training Group (MTG) then on to the Alleutians.

        Does anyone have any photos and or remember him ?

        Thanks, Anita Stalter Tapley

        1. Hi Ms. Stalter,
          My Dad, Alfred (Al) H. Peel trained at Camp Hale and was sent to the Aleutians. I have some cool photos and equipment. He was my best friend.
          John H. Peel

        2. I will ALWAYS remember him. He was a remarkable man with native insights and skills that must have been a huge asset to the Tenth soldiers. I am sorry, but I don’t have any pictures. Still, that man will be emblazoned on my mind and heart forever.

      2. Hi Mr. Hampton,
        Your Dad most likely knew mine. Alfred (Al) H. Peel trained at Hale and was sent to the Aleutians. I have a number of cool photos as well as equipment. Because of my Dad’s skiing background, my sister and I inherited his love for skiing and we moved to Tahoe in 1971 & 1972. I still live here on the East Shore. I remain proud of his service.
        John H. Peel

    2. Depending on the years there may be a chance that our father knew each other. My Father was a Staff Sargeant in the 86th at Camp Hale 43-44 maybe 42-44. He instructed primarily skiing and some mountaineering to many of the troop heading to Italy. He too was sent to the Aleutians landing on Kiska Island. The Japs had deserted the island 2 weeks earlier but US casualties still soared to over 300 mostly due to friendly fire. Some nervous Canadian troops fired on US troops in the very dense fog. Also, many died from disease and frostbite/cold-related problems. Bobby did you by chance go to the reunion in the mid 60’s or around there at Vale? It was fun and quite the education.

      1. My uncle, Jake Tabaracci, was one of those killed on Kiska. I was born well after this but always heard the stories.

  47. wasnt john dewey a big shot in the 10th he is on the first page in my grandfathers warbook, his name was carl spillers

  48. My father in law, John Dewey from Wisconsin fought in WW II in the 10th Mountain. Did anyone know him?

    1. You can find out more about his service by contacting Ms. Keli Schmid at the Denver Public Library. The 10th Mountain Division Resource Center, a Library partnership, has a database of everyone who ever served in the WWII 10th.

  49. By the end of the 1930s, expansionist policies of Germany, the Soviet Union, and Japan had forced the United States to prepare, secretly, to fight a global war. Then, on November 30, 1939, the USSR invaded Finland with a force of a million men supported by tanks, aircraft, and naval forces. The vastly outnumbered Finnish army fought back valiantly. Soldiers in white camouflage uniforms and mounted on skis contributed much to early victories over the invading Soviets. These ski troops moved swiftly and quietly through forests deep in snow where Soviet troops—unprepared for winter warfare—could not follow. They ambushed Soviet convoys, cut Soviet supply lines, and destroyed several Soviet divisions before surrendering in mid-March 1940. By then, millions of Americans had seen ski troops in action on the big screen. Many began to wonder if the U.S. Army was prepared to fight a winter war in the mountains. Some suggested that the United States train its own ski troops.

  50. My great uncle, Dave Curtis, was a squad leader in Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 86th Mountain Regiment, 10th mountain Division during WWII. He trained at Camp Hale and fought in Italy.

    He won the Soldier’s Medal in Italy for clearing a path through a mine field so that wounded soldiers could be evacuated. I learned all this after he had passed. I wish I had gotten a chance to know him better.

  51. My dad, Ronold Farr, was at Camp Hale. He went to the mountains in Italy to fight. He watched in horror as his General was bombed to pieces in a hut they were in. He loved that man better than a father. These men were true brothers. They had to be in order to survive this type of impossible combat. Germ warfare wasn’t allowed, yet their water was poisoned with Hepatitis to take quite a few of these fine men down…my dad caught it and was shipped to recover in a hospital. He didn’t die. He came home and never really recovered from the PTSD of seeing his dear friends killed. He did manage to build a ski slope in the area of Moose Pond, Bridgeton, ME with a man who footed the cost. That slope was there for decades. Cancer took him in his late 50’s, two years after my first son was born. He is gone, but he is not forgotten, nor are his wonderful comrades in arms and on skis!

    1. I live in Maine and have skied on the mountain you dad and his backer started. My nephew worked at Pleasant Mountain for several years and there began his career as an EMT and fireman. Thanks for your legacy!

    2. My Dad was in the 10th Mtn Div, 87th fighting in Italy. He came home safe, but never forgot the horrors of war. He turned skiing into his career. He managed Mont Ripley ski area in the U.P. of Michigan for over 30 years. He was also MTU ski coach and had 2 skiers go to the olympics. He loved skiing. He passed in 96.

      1. Yes, Jill I did know your father he helped me learn to ski at Mount Ripley and later hired me to work for him. I am at Vail, Co this week and saw a monument to the 10th Mtn. I did remember your father. A few years later, I served in the USAF, as a SERE Instuctor. Went through a winter training class on snowshoes, heavy packs, and extreme cold in WA state. I ENJOYED TALKING TO YOUR FATHER VERY MUCH DIRING MY TIME AT MT. RIPLEY. DOUG T.

    3. I have done some extensive research on the Tenth Mountain Division and have never seen anything about the hepatitis poising of the water. Do you have any more information about this? Where was he when it happened. It sounds like your dad saw some horrifying action. My heart hurts for all of the BROTHERS who fought for us.

        1. My dad was also c-86 at camp hale and went on to build Okemo ski area along with some other small ones and worked in the ski business until he died.

  52. In November 1939, during the Soviet Union’s invasion of Finland, Russian efforts were frustrated following the destruction of two armored divisions by Finnish soldiers on skis.[4] The conflict caught global attention as the outnumbered and outgunned Finnish soldiers were able to use the difficult local terrain to their advantage,[5] severely hampering the Soviet attacks and embarrassing their military.[6] Upon seeing the effectiveness of these troops, Charles Minot Dole, the president of the National Ski Patrol, began to lobby the War Department of the need for a similar unit of troops in the United States Army, trained for fighting in winter and mountain warfare. (Wikipedia)

    1. the history of the Finns defending their country is inspiring. Against horrible odds. They out-skied the Germans, I think. If you visit Leadville, CO, you can learn a lot about this era.

      1. I had a reunion with 5 guys from our Green Beret medic class 68-2 in Leadville last July. I drove through Leadville to get to a private residence that was southwest of Leadville. I was assigned to the 10th Special Forces Grp. at Ft. Devens,Mass in 1968. We were trained in skiing, mountain climbing, and glacier climbing in Alaska and Stowe/Killington. I wish I had the time to visit Leadville it loo’ed like an interesting town. Hope to get back there someday.

        1. I was in C Company at Devens in 68-69. ODA35. I live in Southern Colorado now. I’ve been to Ft Harrison where the Black Devil’s Brigade trained but not to Leadville.

  53. The 10th Mountain Division Light Infantry has two Medal of Honor recipients. You left that out of your list on the Modern 10th list.

    1. Mac Jackson: The 10th Mountain Division only had one Medal of Honor recipient in WWII. That was John D. Magrath. I attended the John D. Magrath Elementary School in Norwalk, CT (his birth town, and mine) as the first class to go all the way from Kindergarten to 6th grade after the school was constructed and dedicated. Since WWII three 10th Mountain Division soldiers have earned the Medal of Honor. SFC Jared C. Monti (17 SEP 2009; Afghanistan) –; CPT William D. Swenson (15 OCT 2013; Afghanistan) –; and SSG Travis W. Atkins (27 MAR 2019; Iraq) –

    2. The 10th Mountain Division only had one Medal of Honor recipient in WWII. That was John D. Magrath. I attended the John D. Magrath Elementary School in Norwalk, CT (his birth town, and mine) as the first class to go all the way from Kindergarten to 6th grade after the school was constructed and dedicated. Since WWII three 10th Mountain Division soldiers have earned the Medal of Honor. SFC Jared C. Monti (17 SEP 2009; Afghanistan) –; CPT William D. Swenson (15 OCT 2013; Afghanistan) –; and SSG Travis W. Atkins (27 MAR 2019; Iraq) –

    1. My Dad was in C-85 also camp Hale, Mt Belvedere and Riva Ridge. The skiers returned to their homes near Donner Summit and Lake Tahoe to open many ski areas. Notably the segment of Highway 89 in California near Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows was named for the 10th Mountain Division by my Dad, Ted Lewis along with Tahoe City friends Pete Vanni and Bill Bechdolt. A 4th gentleman was involved and I am sad to say I did not know him or his name. We hope someone will know him.

      1. My Dad Mac MacKenzie) was also in C-85; after the war he and three of his 10th buddies were the first ski school at Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire. Later he became the president of the New England chapter of the Association, and after that was national president for seven years. His final Climb to Glory was December 24, 2017.

        1. I remember your dad. My dad was Clifford MacQueen, 87K from MA. I grew up attending the 10th NE Chapter and national reunions. I live in TX now and still attend reunions when I can.

          1. My dad was part of the
            10th mountain division
            Having served in Italy
            WW11. I was told of a
            Monument or plaque
            In New Hampshire
            With names of 10 th
            Mountain division .
            Do u know where
            It is . Unsuccessful

          1. I just send you a Friend Request – if you respond I share the photos with you.

        2. Hi Jim,
          My Dad was Bill Linscott, and we also attended 10th Mt. Chapter weekends in Conway and also at KeyStone in Colorado. I remember your Dad.. He got mad at me one time he got mad at me because instead of taking the bus to a ceremony I skied to it.. he was looking for me because I was supposed to be on the bus! We went to a lot of ski weekends and had some great times listening to the stories of the guys on Riva Ridge and Mt. Belvedere, Poe Valley etc..

        3. I believe that my father, William Kohn III was a friend of his, along with Bob Lewis and Wendell Cheney.

          1. Did your father live in Eureka, PA? If he did I have one of the Hinson 1942 packs that he may have given to my father who lived nearby. My father spent a bunch of time with Bill as a kid and remembers Bill shooting his 1911 .45 pistol and M1 Carbine in the neighborhood once in a while. My father said he and his friend really admired Bill and enjoyed his 10th Mountain stories, so my father either had Bill get him a pack like his or he got one from surplus so he could have a pack just like Bills. Also, apparently, my fathers friend shot out Bill’s garage window as a kid with his BB gun on accident and Bill taught him how to fix the window and had him do the work.

      2. My Uncle, Dave Curtis, was in the 86th Mountain Infantry Regiment and served under Bill Bechdolt in 2nd Battalion, HQ Company.

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