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326th Airborne Engineers/101st Airborne in Normandy

Discussion in 'What Granddad did in the War' started by Ryan McGrantham, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Ryan McGrantham

    Ryan McGrantham New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm doing some research on a grand-uncle who was in Company C of the 326th Airborne Engineers in WW2. I have the Renedezvous with Destiny book and am in in the process of reading it and have also checked a few things out online.

    From what I can gather, as was the customary practice with forming Regimental Combat Teams, different companies and/or platoons of the Divisions's engineer regiment were attached to different infantry regiments/battalions.

    Company C was definitely part of the "parachute echelon" during Normandy (as opposed to glider or sea landings). All I can seem to find is that "part" of Company C was attached to the 501st infantry, "part" was attached to the 502nd infantry and "part" to the 506th infantry during the parachute landings.

    What I am REALLY trying to figure out is which part of Company C was attached to each of those RCTs. I believe Company C had three platoons, so it would make sense if one platoon was attached to each of the RCTs. But I can't seem to find this information anywhere.

    My grand-uncle was in Platoon 2.

    Anyone have any info on this?


    Best regards,


    Ryan
     
  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    The Morning Reports for Company C might be of some help. It's not a sure thing though. As with many official reports, the amount of information is very dependent on who created them. However, the purpose of MRs is to keep track of the personnel for the Company. Since that includes transfers and attachments, it is at least possible that individuals will be listed though the platoon designations may not be included.
     
  3. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    The official Historical Reports and/or Reports After Action for the 326th might be of help. These documents often include information about assignments of their organic units down to the platoon level. NARA should have them. Failing this the same reports for the three regiments might be of help. An unofficial unit history of the 326th, if there is one, might also be helpful.
     
  4. EKB

    EKB Member

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    Col. Bob Sink assigned C/326 to Lt. Col. Bob Wolverton's 3/506 PIR because he was concerned about enemy use of the bridges at Brévands. This group took off from Exeter as Serial 16; with 45 aircraft led by Lt. Col. Frank Krebs of 440 TCG. The bridges were to be rigged with explosives in case they needed to be destroyed. Unfortunately Wolverton’s command team and his communications platoon were effectively wiped out, and so regiment was out of contact with 3/506 and assumed the worst. The bridges were attacked by the air force for the same reason.

    Engineers tended to be scattered because of low supply and high demand. Therefore a morning report might not indicate the exact whereabouts of a soldier.

    At least two men from C/326 were attached to the RHQ/506 demolitions platoon (Stick 21) which carried members of the famous "Filthy 13". Sgt. Jake McNiece said the engineers were last minute additions to his plane. Film footage shows that Jake painted their faces native American style, using still wet paint from invasion stripes put on the C-47 transports. One of the engineers was S/Sgt. Mariano Ferra. The other engineer was a corporal or T/5 but I don't know his name. All three of them appear in the image below, where Sgt. Ferra appears to have explosive material stuck to the front of his helmet.
    McNiece and Ferra HI-RES  copy.jpg Crisp image Ferra:McNiece copy.jpg S:Sgt Mariano S Ferra C:326 AirEngBn (2) copy 2.jpg 326 AEB:Fllthy 13 copy 2.jpg Unknown C:326 ENG copy.jpg Filthy 13 photo copy.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
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  5. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    That's some tough looking hombres there. Never seen these before, some similar but not these in particular. Also I've never seen painted-on chevrons like these either. I knew that the Marine Corps did that, but not the Army before now.
     
  6. EKB

    EKB Member

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    Stencil or makeshift painted chevrons were common in the 101st before they switched to the M43 battle dress. Stencil markings on the helmets were gradually reduced in size to make them less conspicuous for snipers. It looks like Tom Lonergan subdued his screaming eagle patch (third photo, far left).
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
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  7. Demolition Man

    Demolition Man recruit

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    That would be the theory, but in facts it was all different, especially in the 101st AB Division which wasn't working like the 82nd AB division in terms of RCTs. Sometimes a company, a platoon or even just a squad of the 326th AEB was assigned to another unit at divisonal, regimental or battalion level for engineer work and it changed with every new daily task.

    For D Day, the only attached unit to the 502nd PIR was the 377th PFAB. C/326 AEB HQ and 2nd platoons were attached to 2nd Bn / 501st PIR ( 441st TCG taking off from Merryfield to Drop zone D, objective : Bridges on the N13 causeway ) while 1st and 3rd platoons were attached to 3rd Bn / 506th PIR ( 440th TCG taking off from Exeter to drop zone D, objective : bridges on the Canal of Carentan, near Brévands ).


    If he was 2nd platoon / C Co / 326th AEB, he was then attached to 2nd Bn / 501st PIR. What was your grand uncle's name ? I may share any information I have on him whenever I've got some.

    Bob Sink was not in command of the division and could not assign another unit to his regiment. This could only be done at SHAEF, army, corps or divisional level. As stated above, only 1st and 3rd platoons of C/326 AEB were attached to 3rd Bn / 506th PIR for D Day.

    Regards,

    Franck
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  8. James C Cox Jr

    James C Cox Jr New Member

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    Hi Ryan
    What was the name of your uncle in 326 company C. My father was 1st Sgt before getting battlefield commision. I have some pics. May be he is in one of them
    Jim Cox Jr
     
  9. Glynn O Davis

    Glynn O Davis New Member

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    I am also on the same hunt for my uncle SGT Frank William Lawson , 326th Co c.
     

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