DENVER (CBSC4) — Saturday is a rare chance to see a vintage Army tank in downtown Denver. It’s here to commemorate an important anniversary – 74 years to the day since Maurice Rose of Denver died in Germany in World War II.

Major General Rose was the highest ranking American to die in action during the war in Europe.

Major General Maurice Rose (credit: CBS)

Riding in the tank will be 95-year-old Clarence Smoyer, one of Rose’s soldiers, who is famous as the “Hero of Cologne” for his actions as a tank gunner.

He fired the shots from the tank that helped disable German tanks and win the battle for Cologne at the iconic Cologne Cathedral.

Clarence Smoyer (credit: Adam Makos)

Broomfield author Adam Makos has written a best selling book about Smoyer’s journey that also solves the mystery of how Rose was killed.

“He was a general who always wanted to lead from the front and it cost him his life,” Makos told CBS4, “so we want to remember him on this day. Union station is the perfect venue. When a lot of our soldiers went off to war, soldiers said good bye to their loved ones, maybe for the last time, (including) guys like General Rose who never came home. That’s hallowed ground in Denver and the perfect place to remember.”

Major General Maurice Rose (credit: CBS)

Rare but detailed film footage of the Cologne battle was captured by combat photographer Jim Bates of Colorado Springs and broadcast in newsreels back home in the United States.

Makos organized the tribute to Rose in Denver, and he and Smoyer will sign copies of the book  “Spearhead” after the event at the Tattered Cover in Union Station.

(credit: CBS)

Makos and Smoyer will be donating a memorial painting of the Spearhead Division by Scottish artist Gareth Hector to be hung at Denver’s Union Station.