Who are we?
The 99th Infantry Division, nicknamed "Battle Babies" and compromised of the 393rd, 394th, 395th Infantry Regiments and supporting units, spent approximately 151 days in combat during World War Two. Unbeknownst to its commanding general at the time, Maj. Gen. Walter E. Lauer, the division would play a strategic role in the war and would gain the honor of having the most decorated platoon of the US army during World War Two.
After the war, the Division founded its own Association and for many years the veterans and their families got united at the many conventions that were held. Due to the dwindling attendance over the years, the decision was made to hold the final convention in 2011.
As part of a project of interviewing 99th Infantry Division veterans and collecting their stories to continue the legacy of the 99th Infantry Division, the website was created by Eric Bijtelaar who, in his free time, research, collects and share the story and object of the 99th Infantry Division at various occasions.
It is important to understand and learn from our history to prevent history from repeating itself. Our goal is to provide a basic timeline of the young men from both armies. Teenagers thrust onto the frontlines of battle. Our traveling exhibit also details the perspectives of the local population, and those who stayed home, waiting for news from their loved ones. If we don’t preserve our history, younger generations will not learn the importance of the sacrifices that were made for us to live in a better society today. The collection consists of many objects ranging from photos, letters, uniforms, relics from the battlefield, stories and "liberated" items as the veterans used to call them. The collection will be placed in a dedicated museum, which hopefully, will be near the frontlines of the 99th. Objects donated are being preservered, catalogued and shared online and during the traveling exhibits. more information about this initiative please contact us by using the contact button at the top left of the page.
Learn more about the our documentary project and how you can help us. From my Hometown to the Battlefield is the name of a documentary about the men of the 99th Infantry Division.