The exhibition reminds of the role of the 16th Armored Division in Pilsen
The exhibition, Men of General Pierce, being a part of the Liberation Festival Program, reminds the 16th Armored Division, one of the youngest American divisions. 75 years ago, in July 1943, the unit was founded in Camp Chaffee, Arkansas. In February 1945, it landed in the port of Le Havre to engage in fighting in the Western Europe against Nazi Germany.
The exhibition having 21 panels will be dedicated to the period of the end of the war in Plzeň, the uprising against the occupiers on May 5, 1945, the battles of the American troops in the Czech border area and the advance of the American divisions to the interior of Bohemia, starting May 5, 1945. “ Of course we will focus on the arrival of the 16th US Armored Division in Pilsen on May 6, 1945, fighting in the streets of the city and will mention the establishment of peace or the transition from war to peace, „adds one of the curators of the exhibition Ivan Rollinger from the Patton Memorial Pilsen.
16th Armored Division veterans, who have visited Pilsen since the 1990’s until now, will be shown on the panels as well.
The American 97th Infantry Division will be presented as wll. This year marks its 100th anniversary since its foundation and 75 years since its activation in February 1943 at Camp Swift, Texas. „This unit fought in the pre-Munich Bohemia area after April 20, 1945, and on May 6 in the morning opened the way to Pilsen to General Pierce’s men,“ says Rollinger.
In October 1945, the 16th Armored Division was demobilized. It had a single campaign and three days of combat records. „For Pilsen, it was just the men of General Pierce, who liberated them and brought them a long-awaited peace. Although the division was in battle for only a few tens of hours, it lost 5 members. Another 28 of them suffered injuries, „notes Ivan Rollinger.
The vernissage of the exhibition, prepared by the Patton Memorial Pilsen Museum, by curators Milan Jisa and Ivan Rollinger, with the professional cooperation of Karel Foud, will take place on Thursday May the 3rd at 2 PM.