82nd Airborne Poster
We have had many requests for copies and info about this WWII poster. It was apparently used as a recruiting poster during the 1970's.
High-quality reproductions are available through: firstname.lastname@example.org , Wilson Boots and Chutes Military Collectibles
Or you can print a nearly full-size copy from this: 82nd_poster.pdf or 82nd_poster.gif
Or this smaller version will fit on an 8 1/2 x 11 page: 82nd_poster_50pct.gif (right-click, then "Print Target")
The text reads:
Dec. 23, 1944 - "Battle of the Bulge" - An entire U.S. armored division was retreating from the Germans in the Ardennes forest when a sergeant in a tank destroyer spotted an American digging a foxhole. The GI, PFC Martin, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, looked up and asked, "Are you looking for a safe place?" "Yeah" answered the tanker. "Well, buddy," he drawled, "just pull your vehicle behind me...
I'm the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going."
"The poster is a photograph of a dirty, scrappy, tough paratrooper, PFC Vernon Haught, of the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, marching in the dead of that cold, snowy winter with a rucksack on his back. Going to reinforce the retreating American forces in Belgium. His expression leaves no doubt about his determination. He is moving out to go toe-to-toe with the enemy in Belgium. As you look at the poster, it strikes you that nowhere in this photograph do you see a parachute. And you and I both know there doesn't have to be one -- you simply know from the look: he's Airborne.
Under the photo is a quote from PFC Martin, also of the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, who during the battle asked a retreating tank destroyer commander, "Are you looking for a safe place?" When the tank commander answered yes, PFC Martin replied, "Well buddy just pull that vehicle behind me -- I am the 82d Airborne and this is as far as the bastards are going." Imagine, an Airborne PFC telling a guy in a tank to follow him."
--General Henry H. Shelton
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Remarks at the 60th Anniversary of the Airborne
Fort Benning, Georgia, April 13, 2000
One more version:
Late on the night of December 23rd, Sergeant John Banister of the 14th Cavalry Group found himself meandering through the village of Provedroux, southwest of Vielsalm. He'd been separated from his unit during the wild retreat of the first days and joined up with Task Force Jones, defending the southern side of the Fortified Goose Egg. Now they were in retreat again. The Germans were closing in on the village from three sides. American vehicles were pulling out, and Banister was once again separated from his new unit, with no ride out.
A tank destroyer rolled by; somebody waved
him aboard and Banister eagerly climbed on. They roared out of the burning town.
Somebody told Banister that he was riding with Lieutenant Bill Rogers. "Who's
he?" Banister wanted to know. "Will Rogers' son," came the answer. It was a hell
of a way to meet a celebrity.
An hour later they reached the main highway running west from Vielsalm. There they found a lone soldier digging a foxhole. Armed with bazooka and rifle, unshaven and filthy, he went about his business with a stoic nonchalance. They pulled up to him and stopped. He didn't seem to care about the refugees. "If yer lookin for a safe place," he said, "just pull that vehicle behind me. I'm the 82nd Airborne. This is as far as the bastards are going."
The men on the tank destroyer hesitated. After the constant retreats of the last week, they didn't have much fight left in them. But the paratrooper's determination was infectious. "You heard the man," declared Rogers. "Let's set up for business!" Twenty minutes later, two truckloads of GIs joined their little roadblock. All through the night, men trickled in, and their defenses grew stronger.
Around that single paratrooper was formed the nucleus of a major strongpoint.
-- from: Anecdotes from the Battle of the Bulge