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Harry S. Vela Photo Collection

In the summer of 2007, Terry Burroughs, a visitor of my old "Lost Images Of World War II" website contacted me after recognizing photos in Grandpa's collection pertaining to the Luftwaffe Boneyard near Brunnthal, Germany. It turns out that Terry's father, Corporal Hal D. Burroughs served with Battery B of the 580th Anti-Aircraft Automatic Weapons Battalion (AAA AW) and was stationed in that general area of Bavaria. In Hal's photo collection was a photo (that was given to him by a friend he could not remember) that was uncannily similar to one in Grandpa's collection showing part of the Luftwaffe salvage yard.

Terry had been doing quite a lot of research about his Dad's service and had also been in contact with PFC Harry Vela who served with Battery D of the same battalion during war time and with the 489th AAA AW Battalion during occupation duty. Vela was actually billeted near the Brunnthal Luftwaffe boneyard site and he had shared some photos with Terry to aid in his historical research. They have graciously allowed some of these photos to be featured on this page.

The 580th AAA AW Battalion which crossed into Germany in the first week of March 1945, was protecting the Bridge at Remagen when it collapsed while under repair on March 17, 1945. The battalion participated in the AA support of several bridges on the Rhine, Weser and Elbe Rivers during the war and was at various times under the command of the First, Third, and Ninth Army commands. The 580th had the distinction of being one of the few units to cross the Elbe River into the Russian Sector while attached to the 82nd Airborne Division. From Aachen in March of 1944, the 580th made its way through Germany to the north -- all the way to the Baltic Sea, before eventully being ordered to move south into Bavaria where it carried out its post war occupation duties around Nuremberg, Regensburg, and Munich.

Thanks, Terry, for sharing your interest and expertise in World War II history and your Dad's service, and most of all, thanks to Hal and Harry for your service and sacrifices!