Text Box: Officers Robert Bjorgum, Herbert Melin, Charles Stube, Edward Olson, Chester Moen and Dan Rystad at Perham Downs.

On the 24th August 1943, the 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) left Camp Hale by train heading for Camp Shanks in New York.  They received new uniforms as well as vaccinations.  On the 5th September they left from Hoboken, New York onboard the S/S MEXICO, a small 6,000 dwt cargo ship as a part of a transatlantic convoy.  They voyage took 10 days, and the S/S MEXICO arrived in Scotland.  Upon arrival, the Battalion was met by Scottish Red Cross who served them fresh coffee and doughnuts before they boarded the train to travel south to England.

England—Preparations for the Invasion

The 99th was initially transferred to Perham Dows Camp, located between the towns of Andower and Salisbury.  Training started immediately.  First regular infantry training, long marches, survival training, weaponry, obstacle courses and everything else that could be thrown on an elite unit.  This included daily 20 mile hikes in the Dartmoor forest for 15 days with full gear.  Weapon training included operation and maintenance of both .30 and .50 caliber machine guns.

In the middle of January 1944, the 99th Battalion was transferred to Wales, where the battalion was quartered in Nissen huts on the property which surrounded the old, romantic, Glenusk Castle. The officers and clerical staff lived in the castle itself. The nearest town was Crickhowell, and the picturesque town, Abergavenny was nearby. The first view of Glenusk Park was not very encouraging. The mud was 20 - 30 cm (8-12inches) deep, and the previous occupants had been ordinary sheep, so the first night was not the best. But after a couple of days spent with rolled up shirt sleeves, buckets, hammer and nails, and lots of goodwill, you couldn't recognize the huts. The 99th probably experienced its happiest time in the British Isles, here in Glenusk Park, Wales.  During this time, members of the Battalion often went to London on leave.

End of April 1944, it became clear that an invasion of the European continent was eminent as the Battalion was transferred to Lodlow Bivouac Area.  Here they were quartered in 8 men tents and the rumors were that an invasion was to follow very shortly.  On the 6th June 1944, the message was received that the invasion was underway. 

Text Box: The castle, a little nicer than the Nissen huts.  There was a fireplace in every room,  The castle was torn down shortly after the war, due to the high costs of repair, and the owner built “a three or four bedroom rambler", according to Lester Carlson, Lieutenant, Hq Co. Motor Officer.  Photo courtesy of Hadley Jenson
Text Box: On left, soldiers of the 99th while in Wales.  Joseph Hoffland of HQ Company on right of photo.
Below, Hadley Jenson and his best buddy Bernhard Lindelof on leave in England, 1943 
Text Box: Hadley Jenson from the Motorpool in front of the vehicle garage.  Notice the Caution sign on back of  the Jeep which became mandatory for US Army vehicles in England.  “CAUTION:  NO SIGNAL - LEFT HAND DRIVE”
Text Box: As the invasion grew closer, huge stockpiles of vehicles were placed at various locations on the English countryside.  On left a wide variety of brand new U.S. made vehicles are lined up.  Closest is a Willy’s MB Jeep which only carries the  blue drab factory markings.
Below photo taken by  Hadley Jenson at an airbase shows a squadron of  RAF Halifax night bombers used in raids over Germany.
Text Box: Above, Sargeants and Corporals of Headquarters Company, Tidworth England, September 1943. (The men all appear to have at least two stripes.) Photo Courtesy of Hadley Jenson (third from left, back row) .
Below, The First Platoon, Company "C", Glenusk Park, Wales, 1944. Photo courtesy of John Rystad.
Text Box: Landscape photo from Wales in the area the 99th Infantry Battalion was stationed.
Text Box: Some of the HQ Company guys at camp in Wales.
Text Box: Bjarne Kvingedal (HQ) photographed in England. Photo: Roy Carlson
Text Box: Roy Carlson behind the wheel in his newly issued Willy’s MB jeep which later was named “Hootin Annie”  For more information about this jeep, please click here.  Photo:  Roy Carlson
Text Box: Wilfred Jacobsen ( C ).  Photo:  Wilfred Jacobsen