Bob Hilleque & Pierre SchunckOriginal size 2102 × 2773 px
In September 1984, a number of former members of the Old Hickory division visited Europe and also came to Valkenburg. Report by the Limburgs Dagblad on 09/21/1984:
They left this morning. Direction Schiphol and then the States. Back home. Seventeen days after they started in America on a – what was then called – visit to forty years of liberated Maastricht and South Limburg. A visit, however, that grew into an impressive, moving and sometimes gripping pilgrimage. Or, as EDWARD CIUCEVICH from Savannah in Georgia put it: “A journey that opened old wounds, strengthened existing friendships and forged new ones. Unforgettable! I am grateful to have been part of it”. Part of it. In the Netherlands, in France, in Belgium. Also in West Germany. But above all in Limburg. They left this morning.
Tired, full of impressions. A bit sad and a bit happy. One of them, BUSTER SIMMONS from Burlington, North Carolina, with a frivolité in his luggage. Gift from MARIA “IEKE” SONNENSCHEIN from Heerlen for Bessie-May, Buster’s wife. Another one, EDWARD MELNAR from Ventura in California, with gingerbread cake purchased at Bon Goût in Maastricht. Just some little things. Before leaving, they (again) said goodbye to many Limburgers. Such as EARL DEARBORN from Plymouth, to THEO DOLS from Heerlen. The Yank and the Limburger fought together at the time. Remained friends. Just as their wives, MARION and GEERTJE, are now. Such as ROBERT HILLEQUE from Franklin Park, Illinois, to PIERRE SCHUNCK from Schaesberg. Forty years ago, on September 14, 44, Pierre Schunck led an Old Hickory punch (in some open jeeps with machine guns) along the Daelhemmerweg street from Sibbe to the Grendelplein square, through the Grendelpoort gate, into the Muntstraat and deeper into Valkenburg. Guide Schunck was on the hood of the first jeep. Behind him some Yanks. One of them: Robert Hilleque. Pierre Schunck saw him again a few days ago at Hotel Voncken in Valkenburg. Photographer Theo Gijzen later immortalized them on the market of Kerkrade in front of the miner’s statue “d’r Joep”. Memories, (re)encounters, emotions, stories…
Paintings celebrating the Old Hickory
Letter from Bob & Marie Hilleqe
Happy Birthday from Marie & Bob