Keystone in Paris, 75 years ago today
Here we see American troops of the 28th Infantry “Keystone” Division march down the Champs Elysees, Paris, in the hastily planned “Victory” Parade through the City of Lights, 29 August 1944.
Formed largely from Pennsylvania National Guard units, the 28th was called into federal service on 17 February 1941 then spent two years training stateside before they went overseas on 8 October 1943. Landing at Normandy on 22 July 1944, the division was thrown into Operation Cobra around Saint-Lô and stopped off in Paris soon after.
The below silent film from the National Archives shows the unit in fine form, complete with Shermans, M10 Wolverine tank destroyers, M8 Greyhound armored cars, heavy and light artillery, and tons of jeeps, trailed by French on bicycles to the delight of the crowd.
The 28th would go on to fight in the Hürtgen Forest, at the Battle of the Bulge, in the Colmar Pocket and against the Siegfreid Line, spending 196 days of combat and suffering more than 2,300 KIA.
Still, their boots and tracks echo along Paris streets today.
The city has been celebrating with a 75th-anniversary parade, ceremony, and events.