"Friends of Willie & Joe" is a living history group that mostly depicts the regular "dog face" infantryman of WWII, usually as members of Bill Mauldin's 45th Division but also as various other units including the 101st and 82nd
Airborne. We participate in parades, air shows and military vechicle meets in the Washington and Oregon area and such veteran related events as the reunions of local Battle of the
Bulge survivors. To date one of our most notable engagements was to serve as
the honor guard during the dedication of the Washington State WWII Memorial
at the state capitol. Our group has also created impressions of US infantrymen
depicting every conlfict from the Spanish American War all the way to
Desert Storm for official functions at local military bases.
The group leader and founder is Stephen Gay of Shelton Washington, who met Mr. Mauldin through his father, a WWII vet and noted newspaper editor.
Photos from the Bremerton Armed Forces Day Parade, May 19th 2001, Bremerton, Washington
Several members of our unit have been featured in a recent painting by noted Seattle militaria artist,
James Dietz. Below is the work by Dietz depicting the Glider Riders of 325/82nd Airborne entitled "Enter Fighting". This painting is not yet available to the public.
45th Division Web Site Bill Mauldin's original unit.