Hard to believe I've only just found this (very well-executed!) site. I am the great-grandson and namesake of Edward H. Brooks, Commander of the 2nd Armored Division from March to September of 1944. I'm an American expat who has been living in eastern Austria since 2018, and am planning my first trip to Normandy in the spring of 2023 to see some of the places and people liberated from Nazi tyranny by the 2AD. To this end, and in preparation for a YouTube channel live-stream on which I will be a guest in December, I have stepped up my research into the Division, during which I found this site. I've made it my life's avocation to preserve, document, and curate the mementos and experiences of General Brooks, and find great meaning in the stories of the men who lived and died under his command... particularly those of the 2nd Armored Division. I just wanted to say how wonderful it has been to find this site, and to offer the use of any photos or information I may have at hand. Unfortunately, I've not found any diary that he may have kept during the war, and many of his papers were donated to the Norwich University library many decades ago. Warmest regards, Edward "Ted" Kempster
Book is almost ready for release. An empowering soliders epic experience in 7 battle campaigns to the final end of WWII. Great for generations to come to understand the courageous, humorous and spiritual side of war. Will keep you posted on release date and how to order.
I would like to add to my comments from about two years ago. I recently read the entire Unit History section for the first time. Again, I cannot thank the research team enough for their astonishing level of detail. A superb capture of the 17th and the critical role that it played during WW2 towards preserving freedom and restoring order.
Hi Guys I am totally blown away by the work you have put in to honour the 17th. We are a small group from the UK who proudly wear the 17th insignia at re-enactments around the UK and it is great to see such a fantastic website to honour all who served. Thank you so much Bob Chapman
I have a 1942 WC51 Dodge, it’s marked as 17th Armoured, I have just come home from Normandy from the DDay celebrations. I’m looking for a garrison cap badge, “ We pave the way”, does anyone have one to sell please?
I am very pleased to have discovered this website and the existence of a European re-enactment group dedicated to the 17th Armored Engineer Battalion. My father, James Aloysius Steltenpohl, served with the 17thAE during WWII. It is incredible for me to have found a group of people who are remembering and honoring the military service of my father and the men and women he served with. Thank you. I look forward to sharing some photos and other memorabilia that we have and also to learn more of my father's life from your research.
PS to previous entry just submitted. Since the British RNs who volunteered for the first Red Cross Landing in Normandy in 1944 are never interviewed s were the American Naval nurses, I wish to name my aunt, Lucy Stringer, 1906-1998. RN, BRC. I do not even know if the BRC were given any rank although they wore army khaki!!!!
I have returned again and again to see the images and read the stories of the brave and fabulous American engineers responsible for the constructing the Spellen pontoon bridge over the Rhine: the first complete and in a timespan that makes it the nineteenth-century wonders of the world. Having crossed into Normandy a few months after D-Day, my aunt, a Great Ormond Street stained children's nurse, crossed on that bridge after work in Normandy, Belgium and Holland to be one of the Red Cross Nurses who liberated Belsen. A member of her group, driving a 15 CWT, was one of the people who slid off the main track and held up traffic that spring on their way to the "Horror Camp."
Great tribute to the 17th Battalion who "PAVED THE WAY" to lead the way to 7 successful battle campaigns! My dad lived the war everyday after he came home and began the 2nd Armored Division's Reunion Club that met yearly hosted by a solider of the division in their state every Labor Day weekend. But not only that, but my dad also wrote a descriptive book from trainings at Ft Benning to Coming back to America. Chapters of Battles in every detail. The book will be released soon. And you can order at the website: pattonshandofgod.com For our grandkids and all that need to know how it really was in raw gripping stories for history to remember...
I have returned to read and study this website over and over again. It is so hard to find information about the 17th Armored Engineers during World War II. My father-in-law, Clyde C. Loyd, was a member of this group, but he died before I married his son. I am working hard to gather information to share with his grandchildren. Of course the fire at the National Archives has not helped nor has the pandemic this past year. I need to find out which company he was assigned to and when. I do know he changed companies with the death of a Lt in a different company. I know he was in ROTC at LSU when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He was not allowed to finish that semester. Teachers had to give grades based upon the work up to that point. He would return to LSU after the war to complete his senior year. Then he remained in the Army Reserves rising to the rank of Lt. Col.
Originating from the small village of Rimburg, situated on the Dutch-German borderline where the American offensive took place in October 2-4 1944 whereby the famous Siegfried line was breached, and being an historian, one simply MUST be interested in the huge effort the US troops made. Only recently it came to my knowledge how much effort was put in the preparations because the leadership anticipated very fierce defense from the German troops, and they simply wanted to prevent experiences as the first defense line that they had to breach during D-Day, the Atlantic Wall. The role of each and every US unit that engaged in this operation deserves a lot of respect not only for the preparation but also for the continued effort during these days. I regret to this day, that while being a youngster and already interested in our huge local history, I never took the time to try and get first-hand memories. It is difficult to admit that this now is to late, and digitized archives and efforts like the 17th Armored Engineer Battalion re-enactment group bring us in hindsight this glorious history and the heroes that lived that history. We must be thankful to these young people who make the effort to share this worthwhile history with us !
I appreciated this great site and got appropriate help through "Contact", thanks guys ! I had a special interest : belonging until recently (I moved...) to a great association in France that struggles to preserve WWII heavy vehicles, I had them to buy a Brockway C666 that slept outdoors in a scrpyard for over 50 years. I started restauration. Big undertaking ! Then I had to move but others continue the task (www.univem-paris.com). I was very glad to browse in 17th Engineers site. Thanks again, guys, great job of memory... Pierre, from France
Dear Martjin, I'm a historian and author of General Lesley J. McNair: Unsung Architect of the US Army. I'm currently working on a biography of General William Simpson, and an operational history of his Ninth US Army's campaigns in NW Europe. Given the limited access to archives caused by the pandemic, sites like this one are an invaluable resource. The photos and unit histories will be a great help in my ongoing research. Keep up the great work and happy new year! Regards, Mark Calhoun
It is fantastic that I can read of the historic endeavours of my fellow 17th brothers.thank you for your diligent work I know I'll enjoy it God Bless you all God Bless our troops F17ENGR2AD 78-80 Ft Hood Tx.FRG
Dear Martijn and 17th-engineers.nl, on behalf of Baker Company, a Danish ww2 reenactment group, I would like to thank you for this website. Baker Company is an entirely private enterprise which aims to preserve, restore and present US military vehicles from ww2. We focus on the 2nd Armored Division, and we initially aimed to put together a collection of vehicles to present elements of the 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. However, as our collection developed over the years, we reached the conclusion that we were actually much closer to being able to represent (parts of) the 17th Armored Engineer Battalion - and then we discovered your website, which has been a treasure trove of information, and is still extremely helpful in guiding us through this change og course we have embarked on. We gain much from simply browsing through your pages, and we have given you honorary mention om our own webpage. It is amazing to find other enthusiasts with the same focus, who have done much of the necessary research, and who provide inspiration through such a level of dedication and insight. We have no ambition to attempt to equal what you have set up om your webpage, rather we will focus our efforts on that which is at the core of our work: The vehicles employed by the engineers. We already have a diverse collection, from the generic jeep to the rather more unique Ward LaFrance and even a very rare example of the D7 caterpillar tractor, and with lots of other vehicles and materiel in between. We hope, we might be able to join forces one day, and that we might be able to provide something through our efforts that you might also find helpful and interesting. Again, thank you for this website, and for sharing an interest in the 17th Engineers. Regards, Tomas Kepler, Baker Company (www.bakercompany.dk).
I want to thank Martijn and all the people who have worked on the 17th Armored Engineers website. I was concerned that my father, PFC Edd Hiett, known as Tex to his war buddies, experiences would be lost to history until I was fortunate to be contacted by Martijn on social media after I posted a few of his pictures and stories. His knowledge of the 17th has helped me put things into historical content and it has been an honor contributing my father's stories, letters home and photos to this website. It was such a pleasure to read through all his letters home to my mother and I feel I have discovered more about both of them than I ever knew. What a treat to gain insight into my parents lives when they were only 18 to 21 years old. Though he didn't speak much about his wartime experiences I learned of them in bits and pieces from him and my mother through the years. The research and archives available on this website has shown me so much more about the dangers and sacrifices of his and all his fellow soldier's service. Thanks again and keep up the great work!
This page has been so helpful in tracking down the whereabouts and activities of my great uncle’s unit in WWII. The wonderful photos and amount of information available about the 17th Engineers has helped me immensely. Thanks!!
I can't thank the 17th AEB research and historical reenactment group enough! Thank you for encouraging me to dig deeper into my late great-grandfather TEC5 Frank Keith's WWII and occupation service and for personally helping me to decipher his service timeline with the limited clues he left behind. Martijn and his team, have turned history, archives, photos, personal stories, and web design into an art form. Creating a unique, informative, and deeply touching memorial to these great men who answered the call of their country and literally saved the world from darkness. The continued dedication and research assures that the struggles of these brave Americans is not lost to the sands of time and that they are given the respect and honor they deserve on a web platform that reaches the entire world. Thank you for sharing my great-grandfather's story and keeping his memory and sacrifice alive. Respectfully, Mr. Sandy Keith
A big hello to all of you re-enactors. I can't tell you how much this means to me and I'm sure all of the other families of the soldiers that you honor on this website. You ALL should be proud of what you do as you gather to honor the men of 17th Armored Division. As the son of Gordon Ketchpaw I am deeply touched by the wonderful work that you have done on his section of your web site. Some time ago you asked for any information about my Father. I was so very pleased that you not only used photos from his time in the 17th Engineers but also the information I supplied for his life before and after the War. Continue on with your work , your effort is remarkable and you also should be very proud of this site. Great thanks
This site is only possible through the dedicated and tireless work of Martijn, Moos, and countless other contributors. It is forever etched into the cyber world to withstand the test of time. Without it, the heroic deeds of the 17th Armored Battalion would slowly fade away. Thank you for keeping their collective stories alive. Bob Pelletier New Hampshire USA