Photo courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
Jose (Joe) Delfino Espinosa was born May 14, 1926 in Durango, Colorado, the oldest son of Fermin and Grace Espinosa. He turned 18 in May 1944, and joined the army in September of that year at Fort Logan, Colorado. After basic training, he was stationed in Germany with the Field Artillery. As part of the 34th Field Artillery Battalion Espinosa served as a guard in the “Krakow Treasure Run” as he described it, returning art treasures to Poland in April 1946. Espinosa is featured on the far right of the famous photo showing Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine in front of the train upon its arrival in Cracow. He served in the Field Artillery until 1948, when he became a Postal Supervisor. Espinosa loved Germany, serving four tours, totaling more than thirteen years. He served a little over a year in Korea as well. He married Eleanor Chavez in 1956 and they had two daughters and a son (born in Nuremberg). He remained in the army until his death in December 1967. His daughter served in the U.S. Army, one grandson served in the U.S Navy and one grandson is currently serving in the Air Force. Espinosa was a dedicated soldier with a very strong work ethic. He enjoyed going for drives around Europe and the US with his family, as well as playing chess and card games, and visiting his family in Utah and Colorado.