Battle for the Hurtgen Forest, a World War II reenactment with five simulated battles, 70 reenactors and vintage vehicles and equipment, will be held at Lyon’s Farm, 7935 Rt. 71 in Yorkville, on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5-6.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6.
The public is invited to activities and meet costumed reenactors in U.S. and German camps.
Cosponsors are the 2nd Infantry Division Reenacted and Kendall County Historical Society.
The schedule is:
- 10 a.m. U.S., German camps open
- 10:45 a.m. Weapons demonstration
- 11:30 a.m. Battle of Schmidt Germany
- 12:30 p.m. Veterans’ panel at reception hall
- 1:30 p.m. Battle of Kall River Trail
- 3 p.m. Polish Frontier invasion battle
- 4 p.m. Camps close
- 10 a.m. Camps open
- 11 a.m. Battle of Kall River Trail
- 1 p.m. Weapons demonstration
- 2 p.m. Battle of Schmidt Germany
- 3 p.m. Camps close
Admission for the event is $6 for adults and $3 for children to age 16.
Reenactors Matt Milligan of Yorkville and Bill Thurston of Oswego are coordinating the event.
Milligan said, “We have received help from Lyon's Farm and from our national organization, the Living History Reenactment Association.”
Hurtgen Battle Background
According to Milligan, the battle of the Hurtgen Forest was a Sept. 19 - Dec. 16,1944 U.S. Army offensive to keep German troops from reinforcing the battle for Aachen, known as the Battle of the Bulge.
A second U.S. objective was to cross the Rur River and establish a jumping off point to cross the Rhine River into the heart of Germany.
Hurtgen offensive operations were cancelled when the Battle of the Bulge started in December. U.S. forces suffered about 33,000 casualties while German casualties were about 28,000.
Battle simulations planned are the Battle of the Kall River Trail, Battle of Schmidt Germany and the 1939 Polish frontier invasion.
The Polish invasion battle will occur Saturday evening only while the Kall and Schmidt conflicts are set for both Saturday and Sunday.
Area veterans invited to reflect on their experiences include Richard Williams, North Aurora, a Navy veteran; Donald O'Reilly, Aurora (Milligan’s grandfather), a former military policeman with the Army Air Corps in England; Angelo Di Liberti, St. Charles, Army veteran; Delmar Gerth, Aurora, Army vet who served in France; and George Retzloff, Aurora, Army vet who won a Silver Star and purple heart for service in the Pacific theater.
Equipment will include four weapons carriers, two Jeeps, a cannon, and a 1941 Chevrolet civilian car. If the weather cooperates, a Grasshopper recon plane will fly over Saturday battles.
“There is a strong possibility for some German motorcycles, a staff car or two, troop truck, and a German half-track to be displayed,” Milligan added.
Antique cars scheduled to be displayed both days include a 1940 Buick, 1941 Chevrolet and a 1940 Olds Series 60. Local car clubs invited are the Early Ford V-8 Club, Nash Car Club and Hudson Car Club.
Sponsors are Firearms Safety Academy, Fox Valley Veterans Breakfast Club, RKA Gun Gallery, White Photography and Videography, PM Music Center, Creative Play Country School, Heartland Bank, The Voice Newspaper, Air Classics Inc. Museum of Aviation, Star European Imports, Leland Town and Country Association, O'Neill Glass & Mirror, INC, Divas Delights, Country Kitchen Restaurant, Kenny Corn, Fox Valley Embroidery, Fox Valley Computer Repair, Just in Time, Richard C. Claahsen Attorney at Law, Derek Eastman State Farm Agent, Coffman Truck Sales, Artistic Edge Photography, Carstar, Chicago Trivia Guys, Kendall Printing, Hetts Auto Sales and Colosimo Law Office.
Provided by Al Benson