The 10th Mountain Division, a full division of the United States Army, specializing in mountain and winter warfare, trained at Camp Hale, Colorado, during World War II.
Experienced in skiing, mountaineering and cold-weather survival as well as military tactics, the soldiers fought enemy forces in the Italian Campaign of 1945. Dubbed the "ski troops" by the press, the 10th Mountain Division remains the only military division recruited by a civilian organization, the National Ski Patrol. Many 10th Mountain veterans contributed greatly to the development of the recreational ski industry in the United States and to the growth of related fields such as outdoor equipment development, recreation and nature conservation.
In 1987, the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division, consisting of alumni of the World War II division, designated the Denver Public Library Western History Department and the Colorado Historical Society as joint repositories of their historical materials. Among the contributions to the 10th Mountain Division Resource Center are personal correspondence, photographs, orders, diaries, maps and scrapbooks. Also included are artifacts such as skis, boots, uniforms, climbing equipment and other three-dimensional items. Hundreds of donors have made contributions to this collection, which is heavily used for research and exhibit purposes. Historians, collectors, writers, film producers, genealogists, students, 10th members and their families are some of the people who use the resource center.
Correspondence, journals, memoirs and other items unique to individual soldiers and/or units such as artillery, medical, signal corps, and quartermaster are of great importance to the collection. Contact us for more information.
An exhibit of material from the archival collection has been installed in the 10th Mountain Division Room on the 5th level of the Central Denver Public Library. The exhibit is comprised of framed items including original magazines, newspapers, maps, photographs, letters, military documents and decorations and posters. There is also a unique bronze sculpture depicting 10th climbers and skiers in action.
More than 700 images from the 10th Mountain Division photographic collection are accessible in the Library's Digital Image Catalog.
In 1998 a small group of volunteers set out to establish a database of information about every man who served with the WWII 10th Mountain Division. Four years and $40,000 later, they had gathered and combed through records from the National Archives in St. Louis and the 10th Mountain Division Resource Center in Denver. The result is a database of 32,213 records of men who served with the “Mountain Troops” from 1941-1945. While the entire database is not available online, you can use this simple form to search for a veteran by last name and find the Regiment or Battalion with which he served.
Search by Last Name
The Resource Center archival collection is available via the Library's catalog. Materials are not available to be checked out. Photocopying of items is allowed. Reproduction of photographs in the collection is also available for a fee.
The Tenth Mountain Division Foundation provides financial support to the 10th Mountain Division Resource Center. The Foundation was established in 1960 as successor to the 10th Mountain Division War Memorial Foundation.
The 10th Mountain Division Resource Center also works closely with the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division, established in 1949. Learn more about the National Association and the Foundation.
Skitroops in whites with rifles, Ft. Lewis, Washington .
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Updated: June 25, 2013