Veteran, 99, honored for leading band during WWII

CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. (AP) — A 99-year-old veteran who led an Army division's band during World War II is being honored at an event being held at the New York National Guard's main training facility.

Herman Giersch (geersh) of Wawa, Pennsylvania, will join other former commanders of the 42nd Infantry Division band for Saturday night's reunion at the Camp Smith Training Site in Westchester County.

Giersch was the leader of the Rainbow Division's band from 1942 until 1946. The band followed the division's combat troops as they fought their way across Europe from southern France to Austria.

After the war Giersch returned to his job as a music teacher at Lower Merion High School outside Philadelphia, where he spent 46 years teaching music.

The Rainbow Division band is based at Camp Smith and performs concerts across New York state.