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1944 ship crossings

Discussion in '☆☆ New Recruits ☆☆' started by BC_2009, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. BC_2009

    BC_2009 New Member

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    This is a request of information regarding my grandfather's return to the US in 1944. His information...

    Name: William R Bragg
    ASN: 38473019
    Bomb Group: 467th BG
    Squadron: 791st BS
    Crew: Mikkelsen Crew (Crew #84)
    Rackheath Airfield (Station 145): Norwich, England

    The following dates are from a document entitled Enlisted Record and Report of Separation:
    Date of departure: 9 Sept 1944
    Date of arrival: 17 Sept 1944

    I am having difficulty finding the name of the ship that would have transported himself and others back to the US. I have been on a few sites including, World War II Troop Ship Crossings, and I have not been able to find a troop crossing or boat that correlates with these dates. Of note, I am making an assumption that may not be correct. I'm assuming that he would have returned by boat. I guess it's possible he may flown back, but from what I have read this seems unlikely.

    Any help/information/guidance is appreciated.

    Thank you.
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Have you checked with the Air Force Historical Section to see what the official dates of movement for that unit were?
     
  3. BC_2009

    BC_2009 New Member

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    No I haven't. Is this who you are referring to Welcome

    I have gotten copies of microfilms for the 467th BG and 791st BS from them, but I did not ask them specifically about troop movements.

    Thanks
     
  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I find that working from both ends helps me met me in the middle.
     
  5. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The problem is he probably traveled as an individual. The 791st BS was at Rackheath, England until 12 June 1945 when it transferred to Sioux Falls AAFld, South Dakota where it was scheduled to transition to B-29 as a Very Heavy Bombardment Squadron. If your grandfather returned to the U.S. earlier it was probably as end-of-tour. He would have returned as part of a casual detachment or attached to another unit.
     
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  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The RMS Queen Elizabeth arrived at NYC on the 17th, but her departure date from Clyde is given as the 11th.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    An eight day crossing would mean a troopship or regular liner, not one of the speed queens, I think.
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If you look through:
    https://history.army.mil/documents/WWII/wwii_Troopships.pdf
    you might find something but it's an image pdf so search wouldn't work real well unless you ran it through some character recognition software. Might be a copy on Hyperwar though.
    This site looks like it works well for voyages to Europe but not so well on the returns. Some clues might be in there though:
    1944 Troop Ship Crossings - July to December
    This page isn't coming up for me for some reason but might be worth checking out:
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjQ78_A5bfcAhWD3VMKHesQCkIQFghAMAQ&url=http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/merchant-shipping-movement-cards-1939-1945/&usg=AOvVaw1wK8TWlGUaXlP7d9mS7FM8
    This page may also be of some use if the ship he traveled in was in a convoy but it will take some digging.
    Convoy Index Page - warsailors.com
    *** edit for ***
    Looks like ON 252 left on the 7th of September and ON 253 on the 13 so probably not an ON convoy but see this page for ships in that convoy:
    ON Convoys - warsailors.com
    Doesn't look like any of the ONS convoys would work. Same for the UC convoys.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
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  9. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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  10. BC_2009

    BC_2009 New Member

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    I appreciate all of the input. I have some further updates. After doing some more digging, the microfilms on the 791st BS indicate that the Mikkelesen Crew all finished their tour in the same month. I went back to look at a diary from a fellow crew member, and it seems that they traveled on the SS Mariposa. After reading through this section of the diary it makes sense as to why there is little information regarding this end-of-tour crossing.

    September 9, 1944:
    "Shipped out of a station to get on a boat for New York. I am now on a train headed for Liverpool. Arrived, Liverpool, 1400 and got on ship at 1600. The ship is “The Mariposa.” We are the only Americans aboard. The rest are German Prisoners. We cast off at 1630. Good-bye, England."

    September 10, 1944:
    "Got up at 0500 and went to the rear of the ship to see the sun come up. It was nice. There are two destroyers on each side of our ship. We are going to cross alone. No Convoy."

    September 16, 1944:
    "Got up at 0630. Should land today. Still don’t know if it’s Boston or New York. Landed at 1820. Boston. We sleep on the ship and get off tomorrow, A.M."

    Just a couple of follow-up questions...

    1) Was it common for airmen/troops to return home with POW's?
    2) Is it at all possible to find ship manifests or passenger lists associated with this crossing? My searches have come up negative.

    Thank you
     
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  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Nothing on Hyperwar. If you have Adobe you can download the pdf and make it searchable, run OCR on it.
     
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  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Troopships carried them when needed. The SS Mariposa carried 534 POWs and over 900 returning US soldiers on th run you are talking about. Her next return trip she carried 1281 POWs and 395 returning troops.

    Sorry, but I have not seen any passenger manifests.
     
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