Military Historical and Reenactment Association Tommy & Yankee z.s.
Pilsen, Czech Republic
The idea of creating the online database of members of the 2nd Infantry Division (U.S. Army) came up from heads of members from the Military Historical and Reenactment Association Tommy & Yankee z.s during the 2016.
Military Historical and Reenactment Association Tommy & Yankee z.s., having the seat in Pilsen, the Czech Republic is non-politic, non-profit, interest association engaged mainly in the military history of the World War II with the focus on the Western allied units. The Association origin may already be dated back to 2007, when its team started to be gradually shaped in order to found an officially registered association by the authorities in 2009. At the moment the Association has twenty-two active members, mainly men but even women as well.
The activities of our Association have been since its founding diverse and with a broad range. Within reenactment our members primarily devote themselves to the WWII US Army in the last years. The men most often portray the members of the 2nd „Indianhead” Infantry Division (other units alternatively, but mostly infantry divisions). The women in our Association portray the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC/WAC) or the Army Nurse Corps (ANC). Some interests and activities of our members are extended to the Czechoslovakian military units, British army or the civil reenactment of the 30´s or 40´s.
Our Association takes part or organizes public battle reconstructions and period life demonstrations. Our aim is to show the public how the life and conditions of the allied soldiers looked like within one of the most furious war conflicts the mankind has ever experienced in its history. One of the main activities our Association organizes belongs without doubt the large project PILSEN 1945. It has already become a traditional and very important part of the annual Pilsen Liberation Festival commemorating the liberation of our hometown from the Nazi tyranny in May 1945.
Further we devote ourselves to our own vast research and study of the mentioned period, including for example the search of unknown historical sources in archive institutions.
In pursuance of these activities we hold interactive lectures for the students of the elementary schools, high schools and universities. Our lectures are focused for example on period outfits, weaponry, equipment and historical facts. We also hold special exhibitions presenting military artifacts which our members own.
We cannot leave out the organization or participation at different commemorative events during various military anniversaries.
Last but not least we closely cooperate with other military historical organizations and institutions even behind our border. To our important home partners belongs for example the Association of the Czechoslovak Legionnaires. From the foreign ones, let´s mention the veteran 2nd Infantry Division Association. On a regular basis, our Association is in contact and cooperates on different projects with a number of WWII and modern military veterans and their families. Three American WWII veterans are even honorary members of our Association.
To the biggest currently arranged projects belongs the project „Men of the 2nd Infantry Division“, whose main aim is to establish a vast database of the members who served in this famous American infantry division in the years 1940–1945. It will not be just the database but mainly a community where names and stories of those men will be spread and kept forever as a reminder to the public. One of the big reasons behind our decision was a quite high number of Czech compatriots in this division who served in both world wars.
We are the last generation that has the honor of listening to the stories of WWII veterans in person. Next generations after us will not have this opportunity and their only source of information will be our own knowledge, memoirs and stories that veterans shared with us. It is upon us how much we will be able to pass on to future generations so they will not have to experience these horrible events again.