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Patton's Troubleshooters Today


The men and families of the 80th Division and the 702nd Tank Battalion Red Devils have a good friend in England.  Ken Pugh is a British citizen who collects and restores World War Two vehicles.  Ken uses his collection for the good of the public at large, to educate and enlighten them about the war.  That in itself is a noble deed, and deserves high praise.  What he does is a lot of hard work and much expense.  Ken's wife runs The Second World War Experience Centre.  That too deserves high praise.  I have long been a fan of that historical effort!


What I have to share with you today, is Ken's latest work from the heart.  Knowing what great deeds were done by Patton's Troubleshooters in World War Two, Ken has decided to adopt the 80th Division and Red Devils by painting his vehicles to resemble those used by the 80th and it's units during the war.  The plan is to use this as an enhancement to Ken's efforts to educate the public, and preserve the memory of what these brave young men did for all of us, just six decades ago.  I think Ken will honor the men who sacrificed so much, in a truly wonderful way.


Ken has a Sherman tank.  He chose the B Company, 3rd Platoon tank, "This Is It!' to model his tank off of.  "This Is It!" was the tank commanded by my own Uncle, Staff Sergeant Frank L. "Pappy" Ream, Platoon Sergeant of 3rd Platoon.  Pappy Ream was KIA near Pompey, France, and his death is what originally motivated me to begin this history project.  The original "This Is It!" artwork was created by Jack "Bucky" Weaver, Gunner of the tank.  Bucky painted artwork on many of the B Company tanks while the battalion was still in England.  Despite losing some fingers from the tank hatch slamming shut on him, Bucky went on to be a famous commercial artist after the war.  I am personally very honored to call Bucky Weaver one of my dearest friends.


Ken Pugh knew that this year's 2008 Red Devil Reunion would be the last, and wanted to show the remaining veterans an example of what he plans to do to honor them.  So, he rushed to paint Bucky Weaver's "This Is It!" artwork on his own tank, and shot the following photos in time for the last reunion.  Bucky Weaver was delighted and honored by Ken's efforts, as I am sure others will be as well.  I thank Ken for his acts of nobility, and applaud his work!


Ken Pugh








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