News: 90th Tough ‘Ombres honors past heroes
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Scott Turner
CAMP PIKE, Ark. - If you know a little history of World Wars I and II, and the extreme sacrifices of those who fought oppression and tyranny, you’ll find that the 90th Infantry Division was one of the most decorated units to be called to duty.
They spent 318th days in combat suffering more that 18,000 battlefield casualties. The efforts of the Tough ‘Ombres were recognized with numerous awards and distinctions including 72 Distinguished Service Crosses, 14 Legions of Merit, 1,459 Silver Stars and 5,705 Bronze Stars.
The 90th Infantry Division was selected to land on Utah Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944, in Normandy, France and was an elite group to liberate a continent from Nazi tyranny.
As part of the D-Day 70th anniversary commemoration, the 90th Sustainment Brigade held a wreath laying ceremony at the Utah Beach Memorial replica monument, Britt Army Reserve Center, Camp Pike, Arkansas.
“Today we honor and remember the service and sacrifice that they [90th Division] displayed to liberate Europe of Nazi tyranny,” said Lt. Col. Robert J. Markiewicz, 90th Sustainment Brigade deputy commander.
The 90th Infantry Division holds the record for the most days in combat of any American division in WWII without being relieved. They stayed to the very end, and paid high prices in terms of loss of life and was reformed three separate times.
During WWI, Soldiers were drafted and many of them came from Texas/Oklahoma and formed into one division. As replacements came in, they came from all over the U.S. and ceased to be a Texas/Oklahoma division and therefore during WWII changed their name to Tough ‘Ombres, or tough fighters.
As skilled warriors, the 90th is one of the most historical divisions in the U.S. Army - a class of Americans who have sworn to uphold the freedoms of this country, said Chaplain (Col.-R) Jack Ryan, 2nd Vice President, 90th Division Association.
The scarlet T-O on the shoulder patch reflects the blood of the Touch ‘Ombres that they spilt and gave up for the freedom of other people, he said.
“I’ve worn a lot of shoulder patches in my 30 year career,” said Ryan, “but the Tough ‘Ombres patch is probably the most unique, because of its long and glorious history of being one of the best divisions in the Army. It’s one that stood stalwart and fought all the way to the end.”
“They gave their all to serve the United States and they were faithful and honorable in everything they did. I believe 90th Infantry Division is among Americas finest, and the 90th Sustainment Brigade bears this heritage and the forbearers are really heroes,” said Ryan.
Today, to carry on the legacy, the 90th Sustainment Brigade proudly wears the T-O patch to carry on the long and glorious history of those who came before - Tough ‘Ombres.