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Vern Cram


Cram, Vernon

Rank, Company, Regiment

PFC        B             86TH

Birth date/Death Date


Vermont Location




Importance of Vermont

"My being born and brought up in Vermont certainly played a   role and was actually the complete reason I joined the 10th. Skiing was my one   passion and my brother Wendy was already in the 87th. There was no problem. I   put in for it- along with three letter of recommendation before I was called   up."

"My earliest memories of skiing go back to the late   twenties (1928-29). When I was about 4 or 5 years old I had little skis with   one hole for a toe strap. We perfected this by using a canning jar or a piece   of car tire tube to hold the heel and boot on the ski. We used tree limbs for   poles until they came out with bamboo types. When 'Gilbert Ski Tow' opened in   Woodstock, VT in 1934 we spent weekends skiing there until 'Suicide Six' and   'Pico' opened. My brother Wendy and I used to ski race all over New England.   He won more than I and became a member of the 1940 Olympic Team. War came so   they were never held."

First skiing experience

I was born and brought up in Bridgewater, VT, and before ski   lifts, we use to "climb" in order to come down. We built ramps over   stone walls and fences so we could go from the top of Hudson Mtn. In   Bridgewater and ski non-stop to my back porch. There were a lot of maple   sugar woods with roads and open places and a little bushwacking to get to the   bottom. Then we'd stop at Bump's grocery store and then do it all over again.   We also ski jumps in the village."



Competitive Skiing

Woodstock High School won the Vermont State Interscholastic High   School Championship three years in a row. (1940-41-42). Raced all over New   England 1938-1943 with brother Wendy.

What was your experience in the 10th like?

Inducted 6/43 (Camp Evans, MA); Trained at Camp Hale, CO, and   Camp Swift, TX. Combat in Italy; wounded; discharged O'Reilly Hospital, MO   2/46. Also in VT National Guard 1942.

"My experience in the 10th was where my life changes   forever. It was tough, demanding, regimented, organized, mind and body   building training that made a man of you fast. That would be even faster when   in combat in Italy.

One of the most unforgettable periods in the 10th was the 'D'   series. Some of this training exercise, about 3 weeks or so long, was as   taxing on us as was actual fighting in Italy. I wrote a day by day diary of   this. I would say the main difference was 'D' series we used blanks instrad   of 'live' ammo. I was involved in the taking of Riva Ridge. The end of the   war was at Sassamolare, Italy when I was wounded twice and left my squad   or…they left me on the side of the hill 3/4/45. Glenn finished off the war   o.k."

"I joined the 10th Mountain Division because it was the   only outfit in the army that had skiing in it. (my one big 'love') My brother   Wendy joined in 1941 and was one of the original cadre in the Mtn. Training   Group and original 87th regiment. As soon as I graduated from high school in   June 1943, I went to Fort Devens, Mass. And was in Camp Hale in July going   through recruit school.

Here I would like to tell of an unusual time and through the war   in Italy.
  Glenn Woods, Jr. and I grew up together, skied a lot together…although he was   a non-competitive skier. We went to Woodstcok High School and graduated in   1943. Previously we spent a year and a half in the Vermont State Guard. We   were inducted together. Our serial numbers were two apart as a friend of ours   was in line between us. We went to Fort Devens. They saw that we were or had   been trained in the VT State Guard. Drill sergeants were in short supply so   they put Glenn and I in charge of drilling recruits. Guess we felt pretty   important. A group of us were sent to Camp Hale in a few days where I would   say 'life began anew'. Glenn and I were never separated from the 1st day in   the army until I was wounded in Italy. We were in the same squad and he fixed   me when I was wounded. We went to UVM together after the war (class of 1950).   He went back in the service, having been in ROTC at UVM. Separation now   occurred in our lives but were always in contact. He married while in the   service and was discharged after many years in the service. I also married.   We got together in VT when possible as he lived in his grandparents house in   Bridgewater next to his old home. We both had wonderful families. The Lord   chose to separate us in 11/18/2000. My memories are secure."

Why did you join the 10th?

I taught skiing in the 10th in winter of '43.

Ski Patrol

National Ski Patrol, Maple Valley, VT. (10 years)

Ski School

Hogback Mtn, Vermont; Own ski school Keene, NH, Springfield, VT

Ski Industry


Vermont Ski Area Connection


Role of Skiing in your Life


Other information

"I still ski at areas in NE, Suicide Six and Okemo. NC I   ski at Sugar Mtn and Snowshoe, WV."

The Museum has in its collection the scrapbooks made by the   Cram's mother.

Photograph information

 Vern and brother Wendy

Information submitted by

Vern Cram