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George R. Senner - World War II Diary, 10th Mountain Division
This diary includes brief entries from January 1, 1945 through the end of the war. George was in the 85th Regiment's I&R (Intelligence and Reconnaissance) troop. A few notes:

1945, Jan 4
Sailed out of Norfolk, Virginia on the U.S.S. West Point. Docked at Naples, Italy on January 13.
1945, Jan 19
Set up observation post above Limestre. On January 23, George was issued ski gear. He did a little skiing on the slopes behind the O.P., but he didn't use skis on duty, it seems. Moved to forward observation post on front lines above Spigana on January 28. Occupied forward O.P. until February 6.
1945, Feb 16
After a week back in Limestre, moved to Lizzano and set up new O.P. overlooking the slopes of Mt Belvedere. On February 19, joined attack on Mt Belvedere with other 85th Regiment I&R scouts. Moved to Mt della Torraccia on February 21 to support the men there. Heavy shelling. On February 24, George marked his 21st birthday. "Never thought I'd make this one," he wrote. Returned to Lizzano on February 25 to interview German POWs.
1945, Mar 3
Moved to new O.P. at Madonna di Brassa overlooking Castel d'Aiano. During an encounter with a German patrol, George's closest friend Virgil was hit by fire from a burp gun. He later died.
1945, Mar 11
Slept in old stone barn near Madonna di Brasa with friend Andy Hennig, who was a Sun Valley ski instructor before entering the mountain troops. On March 18, George attended the memorial service for men recently killed, including his friend Virgil.
1945, Apr 14
Assigned special task with two other men to blow up German observation post atop Hill 913 above Castel d'Aiano. Pinned down by sniper fire just below the top--crawled back down after dusk. All three men later received the Bronze Star for this undertaking.
1945, Apr 22
Marched out of the Apennines into the Po Valley. Reached Lake Garda on April 28. Germans surrendered in Italy on May 2.
1945, Summer-Fall
Later entries describe activities in the weeks after the war ended, including a few climbs made in the Alps. With Andy Hennig and two others, George made the first post-war ascent of the Grossglockner in Austria. He also participated in a division ski race on Mt Mangart near the Yugoslavia border. During the winter of 1945-46, George got a ski patrol job with the National Park Service at Paradise on Mt Rainier. He broke one of his pairs of German skis, acquired during the war, on the trail from Paradise to Longmire that winter.
At the end of the folder containing George Senner's diary is a profile written after his death in December 2003 by long-time friend Dee Molenaar.

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Last Updated: Thu Oct 12 18:19:33 PDT 2006