The 104th Infantry Division was activated on September 15, 1942 as the United States Army expanded for World War II. The division trained extensively in the northwest United States through the summer of 1944, earning the nickname “Timberwolves”. They trained for combat in Europe and were one of the first Army units trained specifically for night fighting. They arrived in France for combat service in early September, 1944.
Joe Eugene Mann was born on July 8, 1922 in Reardan, Washington. He was a high school graduate, and had completed a year of college when he was drafted into the United States Army a little more than one month after his 20th birthday on August 31, 1942.
Merely serving his country in wartime wasn’t enough for him: he volunteered for airborne training.