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Exhibit commemorating WWII 'Operation Torch' on display at Camp Williams

Posted at 9:57 PM, Sep 07, 2023

CAMP WILLIAMS, Utah — The Utah National Guard along with the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces are hosting a unique commemorative exhibit at Camp Williams this week.

The exhibit commemorates Operation Torch, which is considered one of the most innovative and daring operations during the early part of World War II.

"It shed light on the importance of the operation to which was a turning point during World War II," said Col. Adil Fichtali, a member of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces. "It illustrated also the role played by Morocco alongside all the allies was supporting the allied effort and liberating some occupied European countries."

The operation took place between November 8 and November 16, 1942.

"Operation Torch was a seminal pivot point in World War II where the allies were able to establish the European North Africa Theater and they did it through an amphibious landing in Morocco in Casablanca, 30,000 U.S and British troops," said Brig. Gen. Joseph Green, Utah Army National Guard Commander. "What it did was allow them to do a proof of concept of an amphibious landing that would later be used in Operation Overlord, or D-Day."

A unique collection of artifacts and interpretive panels, brought from Morocco for this week only are on display in the exhibit.

"This exhibit shed light on the historical relation between Royal Armed Forces and the Utah National Guard, dating back to 1777," said Col, Fichtali.

It is accompanied by a small display, commemorating the 20-year anniversary of the Utah National Guard and Royal Moroccan Armed Forces partnership through the Department of Defense's State Partnership Program.

"Morocco was actually the first country in the world to recognize the United States of America as an independent country and our peace treaty with them is our oldest peace treaty with any foreign nation," said Brig. Gen. Green.

For both Brig. Gen. Green and Col. Fichtali, they say this shows the strong and continued bond between Morocco and the United States.

"We learn from them, and they learn from us, We help train their emergency domestic emergency response forces and, and it's just a great partnership," said Brig. Gen. Green.

The exhibit will also be open on Friday at the Scott B. Lundell Readiness Center.