The Project launched in 2006 when producer Lew Adams met, and began to record 30th Infantry Division veterans and their stories from WWII.
What makes the film uniquely different are the many 'layers' of stories, that begin before WWII and continue today, the National Guard status of the Division, it's outstanding service record and why it received so little recognition.
Research reveals - the Old Hickory Division was not regular Army but National Guard troops called to duty to shore-up the invasion at Normandy.
Made-up mostly of young farm boys from North and South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, they were rushed to war to reinforce the invasion at Normandy. However, with minimal training and no combat experience, they would fight in some of the most crucial battles of the European Theatre.
These 'citizens soldiers' would spearhead the break-out at St. Lo; defeat Hitler's best SS Panzer Divisions in one of the largest German offensives at Mortain; fight in the Battle of the Bulge and the Siegfried Line; and finally stop at Magdeberg, Germany, where they met the Russian Army.
At wars end, Eisenhower asked his staff to evaluate the numerous divisions that participated in the war.
The 30th Infantry Division was selected number one and recommended for the Presidential Unit Citation.
This can be seen in the LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION BY: COLONEL S.L.A. MARSHALL, GSC.
Although recommended at the highest level, this commendation was denied these men for more than 60 years! Yet another little known 'layer' of our story.
Lesser known are the many monuments, memorials and ceremonies honoring these soldiers. Although there are more than 100,000 American soldiers buried throughout Europe, 25,000 gravesites have been adopted by a European family. They have never forgotten 'the Americans' who restored their freedom and continue to honor them today. This 'layer' of the story is very up-lifting and little-known in America.
Heroes of Old Hickory is perhaps the last unknown story of WWII.