3rd Squadron, 2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment displays one of its Stryker combat vehicles at the Pilsen Liberation Festival 2009.

On May 6, 2010 it will be 65 years since the end of WWII came to the city of Pilsen in what is now the Czech Republic. American soldiers from the 2d Cavalry Group, Third Army, under the command of General George S. Patton, were the first to reach south-western Bohemia and they decisively participated in the liberation of Pilsen itself, early on the morning of the 6th.

Despite being the 65th anniversary, this will only be the 20th year the city has been able to celebrate. Pilsen was freed from Communist rule in 1989 and has since then educated their citizens on the circumstances of their liberation, which were kept from them during Communist rule. Thus, it will be a landmark year for two reasons.

Since 1990, the city of Pilsen (also the home of the famous Czech beer Pilsner Urquell) has organized the annual “Liberation Festival” taking place in May, which has become a local tradition, and has been attended by many American and Allied veterans. This year 3d Squadron, 2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment will again support the Festival in full force, with a display of vehicles and equipment representative of the Regiment today. The display will include Strykers as well as an M777 Howitzer from the Squadron’s Artillery Battery. The main event will consist of displays of historical and modern day weapons systems as well as a parade of classic WWII era military vehicles, many of which are kept in working condition by the Pilsen Military Car Club. Displays of historical camps, equipment, and weapons will be held from 1 – 6 May, with the festival culminating on 6 May with a memorial ceremony and a fireworks display.

LTC Bryan Denny, Commander of 3d Squadron and a veteran of the Festival stated “this is a great way for our Troopers to connect with the history of their Regiment and participate in a celebration that honors the American Soldier. This event is even more unique because it happens not in the US but in the Czech Republic, so it is a great way for our soldiers to meet the Czech people.”

3d Squadron participated in last year’s celebration and it was a great success. The people of Pilsen are always more than overjoyed to have US Army members, Veterans and Active Duty alike, as their guests.

3d Squadron and the 2d Cavalry Regiment encourage attendance from interested readers. For more information please refer to the official website: http://www.liberationfestival.com. Come join us for fellowship in a festival of remembrance and celebration.


Convoy of Liberty
Vehicles of the Military Car Club Pilsen participate in the Convoy of Liberty at the Pilsen Liberation Festival, Pilsen, Czech Republic, 2009.


Stryker
A Wolfpack Stryker from 3rd Squadron, 2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment participates in the 2009 Convoy of Liberty at the Pilsen Liberation Festival.


Pilsen Liberation Festival
Closing ceremonies at the 2009 Pilsen Liberation Festival, Pilsen, Czech Republic.

3 comments

  1. Pete Ward

    My mother, Isabel (Pierce) Ward, 86 yrs. old, is the daughter of Brig. General John L. Pierce, the commander of the 16th Armored Division when it liberated Pilsen. I am taking her to attend this year’s celebration in Pilsen. If anyone knows of any veterans from the 16th, or events she should attend, please contact us at Leeenamarie@aol.com.

    Thank you!

  2. George Thompson

    Please tell Mrs Ward to E Mail Karolins Kourova. This lady is at the Mayor’s office and she is in charge of all Veterans activatites during the Celebration. She will be more than glad to hear from her. Seversl old Sixteeners and I will be there.
    Write to

    kourovak@plzen.eu

    George Thompson. Past President, Sixteenth Adrmored Division Assn.

    • This isn’t Trooper George Thompson from the U.S. Constabulary Association, is it?

      Thank you for posting this information. I have forwarded it to the e-mail address left by Mr. Ward.

      Dave Gettman
      2d Cavalry Association
      History Center Editor

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