The 65th Infantry Division was a specially created division of the US Army in World War II. Nicknamed "the battle axe" from the Halberd that graces the blue shoulder patch, the 65th Infantry Division was activated in August 16, 1943 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and de-activated August 31, 1945. Although many of the 65th soldiers came home to the USA, some went on to serve in other WWII units.
Please note: The 65th Infantry Division should not be confused with the 65th Infantry Regiment (from Puerto Rico) who served in the South Pacific.
The Association was formed not long after the veterans returned from the war, to continue friendships that the men of the 65th had begun. Reunions occurred throughout the United States and included spouses and occasionally family.
Photo on left: 2021 Camp Shelby, MS Reunion
After they returned from WWII, veterans of the 65th wanted to maintain the close relationships they had developed with their comrades-in-arms and to honor the memories of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. They formed the 65th Division Association and began holding annual reunions in 1951.
For more than 55 years, reunions were only open to the vets. In 2010, due to the health and age of veterans caused membership in the association to decline, the 65th Veterans (along with their children, grandchildren and other family) decided that the legacy of the division hinged on passing membership and leadership to the following generations.
After two years spent organizing, at the Branson, MO reunion, it was voted to form a sub-group of the association called the 65th Division Legacy Group to include blood relatives and those legally related to the veterans. The goal of the sub-group was to eventually pass the leadership and responsibilities of running the association to the younger generations.
Legacy membership has grown every year since and, as of 2016, Legacy members serve in all of the division executive board positions. We're thrilled with the way the Legacy has grown, but feel that we could have so many more members. The challenge...getting out the message to those who are eligible!
So, once you've realized that you're qualified to be a Legacy Group Member, and complete your membership form then we invite you to attend one of our annual reunions. We guarantee it will only take one reunion and you'll be hooked on the friendships, fun and shared memories...just like the veterans we represent and honor!
Each year we explore different locales, we create friendships and have a great time. We guarantee one reunion is all it will take...you'll be hooked. The reunions are lots of fun, exploring history and visiting with friends who quickly become 65th family filled with 65th Veterans and their families.
This publication is the Association version of the newsletter of the same name that was published during wartime.
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