Fort Hood, Texas
...The Great Place
Patton’s ‘Hell on Wheels’ back at Fort Hood
Editors Note: The 2nd Armored Division returned to Fort Hood in the 90’s. This article is reprinted from the Killeen Daily Herald Dec. 3, 1992.
The famous "Hell on Wheels" 2nd Armored Division returned to Fort Hood Wednesday and Gov. Ann Richards proclaimed Wednesday as "2nd Armored Division Day" in the state of Texas in a reactivation ceremony in front of the 2nd AD headquarters building.
"Hell on Wheels may have been born at Fort Benning Ga., but it came home to Texas and here is where it belongs," Richards said. "We are terrifically proud of your contribution to our national security and grateful for your contribution to the Texas economy. So, Major General Jared L. Bates, the division commander, it is my pleasure to welcome you and your family to Texas and welcome the 2nd Armored Division back home."
During the traditional reviewing of the troops, Lt. Gen. H.G. "Pete" Taylor, reviewing officer and commander of III Corps and Fort Hood, and Bates, the host commander, rode in an M-8 Halftrack and were joined by former Sgt. Randall Steady, a World War II veteran who drove the same type of vehicle when he chauffeured former Gen. George Marshall, general of the Army, at the Potsdam Conference in Germany in 1945.
"If you bring your eyes around from all those signs of welcome around Fort Hood to this parade field, they are immediately drawn to why we are here today," Bates said. "The colors - these make majestic symbols of a fighting unit's history, and the all-inspiring feats of bravery and sacrifice that they represent."
"There's a special interest surrounding these colors, not famous, not heroes but just soldiers - thousands of them who have followed these colors on training grounds and battlegrounds if the world for the past 50 years. Ordinary Americans, who answer the call to arms and in so doing became the soul of this very extraordinary outfit we call the 2nd Armored Division. This image is part of the 'Hell On Wheels' legacy, and we are proud to carry that legacy forward."