Photo of the Muster on the Elbe celebration, commemorating Texas A&M's annual day for remembrance of fellow Aggies. The tradition officially began on April 21, 1922. This muster was held on April 29th, near the Elbe river and the city of Wittenberg, Germany, just prior to the end of WWII. Seen in the photo are Maj. Durward B. Varner (Center) speaking, who organized the event. 9th Army Commander Lt. Gen. William H. Simpson on left, XIII Corps Commander Maj. Gen Alvan C. Gillem on right and 102nd Infantry Commander, Maj. Gen Frank A. Keating on the far left. Note the tank destroyer emblem on Maj. Varner's lapel. Photo courtesy of the Durward B. Varner family.
Lt. Gen. William H. Simpson, Commmander of the 9th Army speaking to the assembly. Maj. Gen Alvan C. Gillem of the XIII Corps is on the right and the 102nd Infantry Commander, Maj. Gen Frank A. Keating is on the far left. Photo courtesy of the Durward B. Varner family.
102nd Infantry Commander, Maj. Gen Frank A. Keating directly behind microphone, making a comment. Note the XIII Corps insignia (red triangle over a four leaf clover) on the left arm of both Maj. Gen. Gillem and Maj. Varner. Photo courtesy of the Durward B. Varner family.
Comments by one of the attendees. Photo courtesy of the Durward B. Varner family.
A show of unity within the group. Looks like it was in conjunction with a song. Photo courtesy of the Durward B. Varner family.
Maj. Gen Frank A. Keating, Commander of the 102nd Infantry was one of the invited guests and can be seen in a number of the photos.
Texas Aggies, Muster on the Elbe program. Dated April 21-27, 1945. Tag-line reads "Held in the Western Outskirts of Berlin". I spoke to Cpt. Frank M. Poole (Texas A&M Class of 1940) who told me the Muster was held on the 29th near Wittenberg, Germany. His unit was there on the Elbe till approximately VE day when they withdrew to Magdeburg, a distance of about 84 miles.
Short description of the Aggie Muster tradition.
Some larger-than-life information about the great state of Texas.
Order of events for the Muster including list of names of the Muster Committee. Maj. D.B. Varner was the Committee Chairman.
More Texas information.
A map of the U.S. as seen from the eyes of an Aggie. Note that at the time, Texas A&M was the largest military school in America with 11,000 living graduates and 6500 in active service.
Of all the Generals and officers in attendence, only two soldiers were listed as honored guests. One was of course, the top General in the area, Lt. Gen "Texas Bill" Simpson. The other was my dad, Sgt. Robert Haldeman. My father never told us about this honor. I found the program buried deep in the pocket of his leather Tank Destroyer satchel, which was tucked away with his other WWII keepsakes.
Listing of guests, including six Maj. Generals, seven ladies and representatives from the Soviet Union, United Kingdon, France and Holland.
Back cover identifying the printing date of April 3, 1945 by the 669th Engr.