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This is not collectible.
Please drop this item in rural OR Premium Member Only caches. Do not place it in an urban cache or abandon it at a caching event. Transport the bug in the original plastic bag for as long as the bag lasts; the bag keeps the trackable clean and prevents tangling with other items. Otherwise, take the travel bug anywhere you wish. No permission is needed to leave the U.S.
Photos in the travel bug logs are appreciated. I will be re-post them here, where they can be seen by other cachers.
Replica Shoulder Patch. This travel bug is one of several made to recognize the US Army Divisions that fought in Normandy and elsewhere in France in 1944. In the summer of 2012 the travel bug owner visited Normandy beaches, towns, museums and the American cemetery above Omaha Beach.
The 80th Infantry Division saw action in World War I and World War II. The unit was nicknamed the "Blue Ridge Division" because it was initially comprised of draftees from the mid-atlantic states of Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The unit's distinctive insignia was adopted in 1918 and consists of three blue mountain peaks representing the Blue Ridge Mountains in Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The Division also adopted the Latin Motto, "Vis Montium" or "Strength of the Mountains."
The 80th did not come ashore in France until August 1944, but was destined to become the "work horse" of General Patton's 3rd Army and to play a key role in the famed 3rd Army breakthrough at Avranches. The Division then attacked Argentan, creating the Falaise Pocket. After mopping up in the area, the 80th took part in the Third Army dash across France, cutting through Saint-Mihiel, Châlons, and Commercy in pursuit of the retreating Germans until stopped by the lack of gasoline and other supplies at the river Seille.
From 25 September to 7 November, the division maintained an aggressive defense of positions west of the Seille, and prepared for the Third Army sweep into the industrially vital Saar Basin. The 80th advanced through Delme Ridge, Faulquemont, and St. Avold to within 5 miles of Saarbrücken, when it was relieved by the 6th Armored Division in December 1944.
After 10 days rest, the division returned to combat, moving southeast to take part in an attack on the Siegfried Line at Zweibrücken when the Germans launched their winter offensive in the Ardennes. The 80th was moved northward to Luxembourg and was hurled against the German salient, fighting at Luxembourg and Bastogne. By Christmas Day, men of the 80th were side-by-side with the tanks of the 4th Armored Division, battering forward through murderous opposition to help the besieged 101st Airborne Division in Bastogne. Over frozen, snow-covered terrain, the attack gained nine bitter miles despite constant machine gun and mortar fire. The next day, the gap between the rescuers and the besieged was narrowed to 4000 yards. On 28 December, the 80th broke through, bringing relief to the 101st before driving the enemy across the Sure to Dahl and Goesdorf.
The Division fought through Germany until the end. 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. General Patton issued his cease-fire order at 0800 on 8 May 1945. By V-E day, the 80th Division had amassed 289 days of combat and had captured more than 200,000 enemy soldiers.