Milford J. Boylstein - I-Co - 318th Infantry Regiment - 80th Infantry Division
In July 2016, we were contacted by Randy J. Boylstein, son of Milford J. Boylstein (I/318).
He found our article on the I/318 signed Swastika Flag, which had his fathers name on it!
We're thrilled that Randy shared some pics of Milford and others of I/318!
Above: Sgt. Milford J. Boylstein - Item Company - 318th Infantry Regiment - 80th Infantry Division,
posing next to the sign reading 'Co-I - 318'. Further more the sign reads: 'WP Plat' which indicates
'Weapons Platoon'. Milfords Machine Gun Squad (or 'Section') was part of I/318 Weapons Platoon:
exactly what was written on the captured Swastika Flag! For us this is THE ultimate picture giving
provenance to all our research on this specific signed 'souvenir' WWII nazi swastika flag (so far!)
The WWII US Army IRTC Booklet 'I am a Doughboy' gives a perfect breakdown of the typical Infantry Regiment
Weapons Platoon, and more specific (in our case): the (light) Machine-Gun Squad, as shown in the image above.
This booklet was handed out to GI's who had completed Basic Infantry Training at the various Camps across
the US such as: Camp Blanding, Camp Croft, Camp Fannin, Camp Hood, Camp Roberts, Camp Robinson,
Camp Wheeler, Camp Wolters and Fort McClellan. The 64-page booklet is broken down into chapters all
starting out by saying: 'I am a member of...' - Rifle Company - Heavy Weapons Co. - Cannon Co. -
Antitank Co. - Headquarters Co. - The Service Co. - plus a seperate section on Field Training.
The copy above is from the personal collection of Sergeant Milford J. Boylstein (I/318)
Group photo of some of the men of I/318 Weapons Platoon, most likely Milford Boylstein's Machine-Gun Squad!
Standing, left, we've identified Armor E. 'Slim' Main, from Oregon. Randy told us how his father remembered
'Slim' as always having 'items stuffed in his pockets and/or hanging from his belt'. In this case there are tools
on his belt, specific to .30 cal MG maintenance (helping to remove misfired cartridges from the .30 cal).
The spoils of war: Sergeant Milford J. Boylstein on a 'liberated' Wehrmacht (Heer) BMW R-12 Motorcycle.
His buddy Slim Main seemed to be the 'owner' of the bike, according to text on the back side of the picture.
War souvenirs, brought back by Sergeant Milford J. Boylstein: Above a German SA Sturmabteilung dagger, below a Luftwaffe dagger.
The Sturmabteilung dagger has the inscription: 'Alles für Deutschland' on the blade, which translate into 'Everything for Germany'.
The Shadow Box of I/318 Sergeant Milford J. Boylstein: top row, left to right: Sergeant Stripes - 80th Infantry Division
Patch above the Combat Infantry Badge and picture of Milford. Below left to right: Bronze Star Medal, Medal of Good
Conduct, American Defense Medal, European Theater of Operations Medal with three stars, The WWII Victory Medal
and the Occupational Duty Medal (for Germany/Austria). Below that: Marksman Badge and Ruptured Duck lapel pin.
Original WWII pictures & documents from the Milford J. Boylstein collection:
Pre World War Two:
A young Milford Boylstein.
Pictures at the 318th Infantry Regiment - I-Company - Weapons Platoon Sign:
Above: The I/318 Company Band? Having doubts about that. Maybe a staged photo-op, since the accordion has changed hands in the picture below.
European Theater of Operations:
Milford in Austria: easy ID since the writing on the back of this picture reads: 'Just Me, Austria'
Above: a scenic picture likely taken in Germany/Austria (somewhere between April and September '45).
Or is it a bit more than a scenic pic? There could be a large group of soldiers, at the right, in this shot.
Could it be a field drill, sporting event, or gathering. I think there are some posts set up in the field.
After V.E. Day (Victory in Europe):
Somewhere on a former German Army Base, where Milford and some of the men of I/318 were on fire fighting duty, after V.E. Day.
Print on the back of some of the 'Velox' developed pics says: 'Sonthofen'. It is an easy match with: 'Burg Sonthofen', a former Nazi
Party training base, located in the most southerly town of Germany, in the Oberallgäu region of the Bavarian Alps. Period pictures
show typical arched structures, where Milford and his men were posing for the pics posted above. Burg Sonthofen, and a few more
'Ordensburgen' were built in 'gigantomanen' (megalomaniac) style, with giant towers and walls, parade grounds and bunking for
(tens of) thousands of future elite troops to be. The US Army founded the US Constabulary school at Burg Sonthofen, in early 1947.
Today it is named the Generaloberst-Beck-Kaserne. Now provenance of temporary use of the Burg by 318th Inf. Reg. in documents!
Looks like the same location: the vicinity of Burg Sonthofen. Milford and a buddy with a small Dodge Weapon Carrier behind them.
Winter. Snow and packs outside, ready to be loaded in the trucks.
Ebensee and Flossenbürg Concentration Camp Sites:
The 80th Infantry Division is credited with entering Buchenwald concentration camp, just a day after is was liberated by the 6th Armored
Division, on the 12th of April 1945. In Austria, the 80th Infantry Division liberated 'Ebensee' which was a subcamp of Camp Mauthausen.
Ebensee was a labor camp, supplying prisoners to work on secret mountain-side tunnels and underground factories for rocket production.
In the collection of pictures from Milford Boylstein, a set of pictures also shows the 80th Division visited Flossenbürg Concentration Camp.
Two pictures, taken by Milford Boylstein, perfectly overlap to show a broader view of the Flossenbürg Camp area, a guard tower in far right.
Back Home or in the former ETO after VE/VJ Day (winter of 1945):
These pics seem to be taken in the ETO, after VJ day. A positive ID on the church will be a break trough!
Below: pics taken in another season. Fall 1945 or early spring 1946
Above: Milford, with his helmet in a rakish angle, taking it easy.
Above: other season (no snow - trees with foliage). After VE Day (1945), or spring/summer 1946.
Paperwork related to the Boylstein Family:
V-Mail. Sent by a J. (Jimmie?) A. Sanders?
Special thanks to Randy J. Boylstein, son of Milford J. Boylstein