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Earl Clark, Malcolm MacKenzie and H. Newcomb Eldredge oral history

Identifier: C MSS OH202

Scope and Contents

Interview conducted by Martha Teichner, CBS network commentator, and daughter of Pepi Teichner, a 10th Mountain Division ski instructor: how the idea of a mountain infantry unit was sold to, and approved by, Gen. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff by Minnie Dole, the National Director of the Ski Patrol; experimental unit was created in 1941, before the Pearl Harbor attack; most of the ski instructors were first generation Americans and their heritage was German, Italian, and Austrian, but there was never any question about their loyalty to the United States; training consisted of physical conditioning; maneuvers and bivouacking in 30 degree temperatures; during non-winter seasons, they followed normal Infantry training, and mountain climbing; combat experiences and how, despite heavy causalities, every mission was accomplished; and never lost a foot of ground to German counter-attacks; military significance of their mission was the Alpines Mountains were the last major German line of defense outside of Germany was maintained; it was critical that the key mountain positions of the Germans be taken before the combined British/American armies could launch the massive attacks that helped end the war; discussion of their individual combat experiences: Clark and Eldredge were both wounded in action; why the 10th has maintained their identity as an organization, while other combat units have not; probably because they (skiers, cowboys, and mule skinners) trained together for over two years before they went into combat. Also discussed was the influence that the 10th Mountain Division veterans have had on the U.S. ski industry.


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Language of Materials

Material is in English unless otherwise noted.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the author of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Earl E. Clark was born July 3, 1919 in south Londonderry, N.H., and was educated at the Universities of Chicago and Denver. He enlisted in the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment in March 1942 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in that year. Clark served with the 10th until it was deactivated in November 1945. He continued his Army career, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. On December 7, 1979, Clark was inducted into the United States Army's Infantry Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Ga. He was one of the founders of the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division and served seven years as its president. In 2001 Clark was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame. He has been extremely active in community affairs and served for many years as a vice president of the Denver Chamber of Commerce. Earl Clark died in Littleton, Colo. on December 28, 2014. -- Malcolm "Mac" MacKenzie was born in Ma. in 1925. He had completed three years of high school, was single and working as a retail clerk when he enlisted in the Army at Manchester' N.H. MacKenzie joined the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale, Colo. in 1943. He later served at Camp Swift, Tex. and in Italy. MacKenzie was assigned to several different companies in the 85th and 86th Infantry Regiments. During combat operations in Italy, he was wounded in action near Castel d'Aiano on April 14, 1945. MacKenzie was very active in the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division and served as the organization's second president. -- H. Newcomb Eldredge was born August 4, 1924 in Baltimore, Md. He enlisted in the Army on November 12, 1943. Eldredge joined the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale, Colo. and was assigned to Company L of the 85th Mountain Infantry Regement. He also served at Camp Swift, Tex. and in Italy. During combat in Italy, Eldredge was wounded and was awarded two Bronze Star medals. He left the Army on March 14, 1946, but returned to active duty during the Korean War. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and served in the intelligence branch.


1 Audiocassettes

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Linking Entry Complexity Note

Forms part of the 10th Mountain Division Resource Center Collection.

Finding Aid for the Earl Clark, Malcolm MacKenzie and H. Newcomb Eldredge oral history
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Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States