During World War II, the US Army saw what Finnish soldiers did to the Russians and decided mountain troops were needed. The Tenth Mountain Division was formed and it trained for mountain warfare at Camp Hale, at what is now Ski Cooper (not to be confused with nearby Copper Mountain) near Leadville, Colorado.
The Tenth Mountain Division fought successfully in the Italian Alps, destroying five elite German divisions. John D. Magrath, a 19-year-old in the division, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The division was deactivated after the war, but later reactivated and is active today.
After the war, veterans of the Tenth Mountain Division were responsible for a large part of recent Colorado and Southwestern history, as they got heavily involved in the new ski industry, developing ski hills and lifts, running ski lodges, and improving ski equipment. – not to mention co-founding Nike! The Vail and Aspen resorts, among many others in Colorado, were established by 10th Mountain Division veterans, along with Sandia Peak and Taos Ski Valley’s ski school in New Mexico. Winter Park and the Ski Train, as well as the Eskimo Ski Shop, existed in large part thanks to Frank Bulkley, who was creating a Colorado ski industry even before his time with the 10th Mountain Division.
Look for this t-shirt at the Snowflakes gift shop at Ski Cooper, as well as at the gift shops of the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum, Pueblo Weisbrod Air Museum, West Point Museum, and Historyonashirt on Etsy.