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Bob Traynor


Traynor, Robert

Rank, Company, Regiment

S/SGT    G             85TH INF

Birth date/Death Date


Vermont Location



BS, WIA 4/14/45

Importance of Vermont

"After the war, while living in New Jersey we bought a   small piece of land in Vermont so we could come up weekends for skiing in the   winter and swimming and hiking in the summer. After a few years we sold our   house and moved to Vermont lock, stock, and barrel."

First skiing experience

"My earliest memory of skiing is as a child of ten or   twelve using wooden skis of the type made in the nineteen thirties with toe   straps and no ski boots. You would just put your winter boots or shoes in the   toe straps and go straight down the hill until you either fell down or   stopped. Then climb up the hill and try it again unless it was someone else's   turn."



Competitive Skiing


What was your experience in the 10th like?

"I would say that my experience with the 10th Mountain   Division was a very good one and one that helped to shape my life after the   war. At times the training was very tough. We endured extreme cold temperatures   when testing cold weather equipment and clothing but at age eighteen,   nineteen and twenty and in good physical condition we ate it up. Those that   couldn’t take it were soon shipped out. We also enjoyed the good times like   weekend passes to Denver, hiking in the Rockies in the summer, and skiing   that Rocky Mountain powder in the winter. We also knew we were being trained   for our eventual part in bringing WWII to a successful conclusion."

Why did you join the 10th?

"When we graduated from high school in 1942 which was   shortly after Pearl Harbor the only decision we had to make was what branch   of the service we wanted to be a part of. For me the navy was out because my   father was in the navy in WWI and he often spoke of the very poor quality of   the food that they had to endure while on board ship and out to sea. Then,   before I was due to be drafted I read a book published by the National Ski   Patrol. The author was Minnie Dole and I think the name of the book was   "The Ski Troops" or something like that. I remember the book said   the food that the ski troopers had was very good and plentiful. I liked the   outdoors, snow and mountains and after reading about the good food I made my   mind to join the ski troops. It was not called the 10th Mountain Division at   the time. The book said you had to have three letters of recommendation   testifying to your skiis as a skier, mountaineer, woodsman, or outdoorsman. I   requested and received letters from my old Scout Master, Parish Priest, and   local PostMaster who I worked for at the time. I thought I would not be   accepted because I did not have the required experience but after a short   wait I received my letter of acceptance and I was on my way to Colorado on   the train. In those days most of our cross country travel was by train. This   was the first time in the history of the armed services that a civilian   organization was used for recruiting purposes. I was assigned to Company 'D'   of the 86th Mountain Infantry Regiment and later when the 85th Mountain   Infantry Regiment was formed I was assigned to Company 'G' where I became a   Staff Sergeant and rifle squad leader."

Ski Patrol

Mt. Snow, Vt. "After moving to Vermont in 1967 I became   certified in first aid, and then applied for membership on the Mount Snow Ski   Patrol taking down injured skiers and enjoying the benefits of free skiing   and cutting the lift line. During this time my wife and children also got   involved with Mount Snow, my wife working in the ski shop and our four   children were part of the ski racing program."

Ski School


Ski Industry


Vermont Ski Area Connection


Role of Skiing in your Life


Other information


Photograph information


Information submitted by

Bob Traynor