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‘Iron Men of Metz’ will hold reunion here

In a first for the Lawton Fort Sill community, the 95th Division Legacy Association will have its 70th reunion of “The Iron Men of Metz” here Thursday through Sunday.

The 95th Infantry Division was formed in 1942. It trained all over the United States prior to going into France in 1944. The Germans nicknamed its soldiers “The Iron Men of Metz” after units of the 95th fought a fierce battle, captured the German commander and liberated the people of Metz, France, on Nov. 22, 1944.

As part of Gen. George S. Patton’s 3rd Army in World War II, the 95th fought many battles in northern France, the Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe from September 1944 through April 1945.

Choosing Lawton Fort Sill

Terry Earnest, a member of the 95th Infantry Division Foundation, cited two key factors in choosing Lawton Fort Sill for this year’s reunion: One, the 95th Infantry Division Memorial is located at Fort Sill, and two, the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce provided $2,500 to help offset costs.

“We’ve been very pleased with both the hotel and the Chamber of Commerce support we’ve gotten,” Earnest said.

Before the 2005 round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), 95th Division (Institutional Training) was headquartered in the Maj. Gen. Harry L. Twaddle U.S. Army Reserve Center in Oklahoma City. Part of the BRAC recommendations included construction of the $45 million Fort Sill Armed Forces Reserve Center, Building 3955 Cannoneer Road, and upon its completion 95th Division headquarters relocated here.

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