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2019 Parade Marshall


May 2019

Russell Herman Sines joined the 80th Division in 1942 in the 317 Infantry. This division during World War I and World War II, was nicknamed the “Blue Ridge Division”, it was initially composed of draftees from the mid-Atlantic states of Virginia, West Virginia


Russell Herman Sines joined the 80th Division in 1942 in

the 317 Infantry. This division during World War I and World War

II, was nicknamed the “Blue Ridge Division”, it was initially composed

of draftees from the mid-Atlantic states of Virginia, West

Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland . Twenty three years later, on

July 15, 1942, the 80th Division was again ordered into active service.

Major General Joseph Dorch Patch, the Division Commander,

issued General Order No. 1 to reactivate the 80th Division. Russell

was trained at Camp Phillips, near Salina, Kansas and in the California-

Arizona Desert Training Center (known today as Fort Irwin).

The 80th Division set sail aboard the SS Queen Mary on July 4, 1944, landing a few days

later on July 7 at Greenock, Firth of Clyde, Scotland. They proceeded south to Northwick, England

via trains for additional training. Training included learning how to waterproof equipment for the upcoming

channel crossing. The Division crossed the English Channel in LSTs and Liberty Ships landing

in Normandy on Utah Beach shortly after noon on August 2, 1944, D-Day + 57 and assembled near

St. Jores, France. A few days later on August 8, 1944, the 80th was initiated into battle when it took

over the LeMans bridgehead in the XX Corps area. The Division then attacked Argentan, taking it

on the 20th of August, and creating the Falaise Pocket. The U.S. Third Army, under the command of

General George S. Patton liberated Argentan after eight days of violent combat against the German

9th Panzer Division and the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich.

After mopping up in the area, the 80th took part in the Third Army dash across France,

cutting through Saint – Mihiel, Chalons, and Commercy, in pursuit of the retreating Germans until

stopped by the lack of gasoline and other supplies at the river Seille.It was during this time, September

4th between Chalons and the Seille River that the 317th regiment had to cross Moselle River

to Pont A Mousson toward the west wall of the Germans line where they encounter heavy resistance

and casualties. It was at this time when Russell was hit by shrapnel in his calf and ankle. He was

taken to a Red Cross tent for treatment and then on a hospital in Paris. He received a purple heart

for his wounds. After the battle at Mousson the 317th Regiment infantry arrived at the Seille River

November 8th, 1944.

When the Germans began their Ardennes Offensive, Russell had rejoined 317 Regiment, 80th

Division from his injury as it moved north to Luxembourg slamming into the German lines Southeast

of Bastogne where heavy fighting continued unto the spring. While in Bastogne, Russell ran into his

brother, Junior Sines on the street who was member of the 82nd Airborne Division.

In April, the 80th Division, 317th infantry had captured Kassel, Erfurt, Weimar, Jena and

Gera. It was during this time on April 10th Sargent Russell Sines received a bronze medal for bravery

while fighting between Kassel and the drive on to Erfurt. On April 11th while at Erfurt Russell

was offered by his commander 30 days of Rest and Relaxation back in the States. It was at this time

he received instructions to report at Breckenridge, Kentucky as commanding officer for the Military

Police.

The 317th Regiment proceeded on to Regensburg at the end of the month. It has been alleged

that the last shot fired on the western front was in Czechoslovakia by the 80th, the last of

General Patton’s divisions still in action. By V-E Day the 80th Division had amassed 289 days of

combat and had captured more than 200,000 enemy soldiers.

This being the 75th anniversary of D-Day, it would be nice if the VFW and veterans of West

Virginia recognize and honor a fellow native who saw a lot of action in a war that preserved our

freedoms here in the United States. Russell Herman Sines represents as Tom Brokow said “Our

Greatest Generation”.

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