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37th Infantry Division, 129th Infantry 1943-1945

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by Polishmafia, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. arwalcker

    arwalcker Member

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    Yes I would be interested in the titles of the books that you had mentioned. Maybe I am just asking for too much. Its a shame that we cant know everything that happened back then unless we were there. On the other hand Im sure these veterans would never want us to experence the horrors of war that they did. My father who is a Vietnam Veteran doesn't talk about his time in Vietnam. I ask him questions about his time there but he never has much to say about it. As much as I would like to know about his time there I respect if he doesnt want to share it. I just wish that our veteran's stories never go unheard. After all that they gave their story deserves to be told so we never forget the sacrifices that so many made.
     
  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    The more easily available is Memoirs of a Groundpounder by Col. Jacob Close. I could not find the other book that I was thinking of, but you probably wouldn't be able to find it anyway. I would keep an eye open on the popular auction site (can you say "be" in pig-Latin?) for the regimental history, The 129th in World War II by the Regimental Staff. Usually it will be $100 or more, but occasionally one will show up for less. I would also recommend some non-129th personal accounts of war in the Pacific to get an idea of what they were up against. Two examples off the top of my head are Eugene Sledge's "With the Old Breed" and WWII Forum's own Sterling Mace's "Battlefield Pacific". Both are excellent personal accounts of the harsh reality of war in the Pacific from two Marines.

    If you are interested in the veterans own stories, I would again suggest the VHP I linked to in my last post. It's a great way to preserve the memory of these great men as well as their memories of the War.
     
  3. arwalcker

    arwalcker Member

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    Thanks Tommy for the info!
     
  4. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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  5. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Great find, E. You'd think with the technological advances we have, we wouldn't have to rely so much on serendipity to find great stuff like this. :rolleyes:
     
  6. arwalcker

    arwalcker Member

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    I was just wondering. Im not 100% sure if my great uncle was a squad leader of a machine gun squad or not. But if he was what type of weapon would he have carried and what would have been his role in his squad?
     
  7. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Page 120 (pdf page) of the FM-15, Heavy Weapons Company, Rifle Regiment describes the Heavy MG Section and Squads.

    Note the Weapons Carrier is a jeep or Truck, 1/4 Ton, General Purpose. The Chauffeur is the driver or operator (the borrowing of French for military terms found its limit).

    Remember a Squad Leader will have served in many of the MG crew positions, in particular Gunner, before becoming the SL.

    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/PDFs/FM7-15.PDF


    For a more personal view of machine gunners in the Pacific read this guy's memoir. Biak strikes me as a more bitter battle than the early part of the Luzon operation.

    WWII Scrapbook | The Life and Times of G.I. Joel

    As far as personal weapon at least a .45cal Pistol and depending on his preferences he could have carried a carbine, Thompson or possibly a Garand. Officially he would have carried the carbine, but if the others were available he may have switched.
     
  8. lairdwilcox

    lairdwilcox recruit

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    One of the more complete books on the trip from San Francisco where he boarded the U.S.S. Cape Meares on 9 February 1945 for the long journey to Finschaven and then Hollandia, both U.S. occupied ports in New Guenea, and from there to Tacloban on Leyte Island in the Philippines. which they reached on 10 March. On April 1 he was on his way from there to Manila Harbor, down the nets, into landing craft for trucks to take them to the depot for repacement troops where he was subsequently inducted into the 6th Infantry Division. This division fought alongside the 32nd and 37th in the battles of Northern Luzon, including Baguio and up through the Cagayan Valley.

    The title of this book is Boy Soldier: Coming of Age During World War II by Russell E. Logan. I bought mine on Amazon.com and there are some used copies available. In addition to telling of his own experiences he is a good writer and fills in a lot of context regarding where he is, what has happened there and so on. It's a tood military history book for tht period. I highly recommend it. Laird Wilcox
     
  9. JHVtwelve

    JHVtwelve New Member

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    I am looking for information about John H Venters. He was a member of company E at Bougainville and was promoted after that to squad leader/mortars. I am looking for anyone that may have any info about him or literature in general about the 129th that may have information on him.
     
  10. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    JHVtwelve, welcome to the Forum. It's nice to have another relative of an E/129th WWII veteran on the Forum. I hope you will make a formal introduction in our new members section so the other Forum members can welcome you as well.

    I checked the roster which is in the 129th Regimental history and found your uncle listed as "Venters, John H., Pfc, Co E" with a home address in Barefield, Ill.

    I can tell you from personal experience (my great uncle was also in Co. E), that it is very rare that individuals are mentioned in unit histories or unit narratives in terms of describing something they specifically did. It is much more likely that they will be mentioned in rosters, morning reports, or general orders in which they were promoted or received a medal or citation.

    I encourage you to contact the 37th Division Association that has been mentioned earlier in this thread as well as other threads related to the 129th and the 37th Division. They are active and put out a regular newsletter. You may try submitting your contact request.
     
  11. Knettie

    Knettie New Member

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    Hello,
    I just came across my grandfathers military compensation papers via ancestry.com. To give perspective, I was 14 when my grandfather died. I knew he carried a flame thrower in WW2 "on the islands". That was the extent of my info. He refused to discuss any part of his time there. His discharge papers listed him with the 129th and 147th Infantries. I did find some info on them but am confused as to how they were combined and broken down. I also have his photos from when he was on the island or where ever. None of them have info written on them. I would appreciate any assistance in finding out more specifics. His name is Norman Haugan.
     
  12. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Both of those regiments served in the Pacific. The 129th Infantry was part of the 33rd Infantry Division, then detached, Here is the Distinguished Unit pin
    [​IMG]

    The 147th was originally part of the 37th Division, but when the army reorganized, it was left aside. Throughout its history, it was attached to various units. It fought on Iwo Jima. You can read more here http://lesterstaube.com/147Infantry.html

    If you have photos you can upload (I would suggest an image hosting site like Photobucket ot ImageShack) it would be of great assistance.

    It would also be helpful to read through this thread. There is a wealth of information here.
     
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  13. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Knettie,

    Here is the scan of the roster page I mentioned in my PM.


    View attachment 21315


    Pvt Norman Haugen is listed as a member of Company F. Without more information, it's hard to know when he was in the 147th. It would be helpful if you could post a scan of his discharge. That would allow us to see the information in context and help you understand what it means.

    I recommend that you start your own topic here to post his discharge. I also encourage you to post the photos in the same thread. We may be able to shed some light on them as well. If there are too many, pick out some about which you have questions or that seem interesting. Any that show unit insignia, unique terrain, buildings or signs, may have clues that will help us help you.
     

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  14. Knettie

    Knettie New Member

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    Photo notes: Besides my grandfather (Norman Haugen, who is front row, right) I do not know names of other soldiers. No notes written on photo.
     

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  15. Knettie

    Knettie New Member

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    My grandfather, Norman Haugen is the first in back row from L to R. Please feel free to tag other soldiers.
     

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  16. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    It's interesting to see them in the camo-pattern uniforms. Photos of the 129th I've seen usually show them in the OD greens. At least I assume they are green, since the photos were B&W. :camo:


    I am guessing that photo was taken on Bougainville with Empress Augusta Bay in the background. Probably sometime after the Second Battle of Bougainville. The flags they are holding would have been taken off of dead Japanese soldiers.
     
  17. joshmiller

    joshmiller New Member

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    Hello.

    I am very pleased to see this thread. I have read it in full, and have many new ideas on how to research this Division. Thank you very much to those who have contributed.

    My Grandfather Private James Gregory Barr served as a Cook (among other things) with the 129th IR, 37th Division, company A. I am attaching here a tiny copy of his Discharge papers.

    He Went through training at Mineral Wells TX in early 1943, and was assigned to the division and served through 1945.

    I am fortunate to have a record of Letters that he wrote back home to his wife and daughter during the war. I have just finished "digitizing" them, and am now interested in overlaying that content with information about his division.

    I would really like to get my hands on the book mentioned previously, and found it for $90 here on amazon. Before I purchase the book, I want to get an idea of what it contains. I am looking for general information about what the division did (battles, tasks,accomplishments, etc.). Is this book not available electronically? (i.e. PDF Form, or some other electronic form?) If not, I will most likely go through the process of digitizing the copy that I purchase, so that I can pass it along to the rest of my family. It would seem to me as though this type of material should be made available to all through the Library of Congress or some other Government sponsored medium...

    I am just getting started, so apart from this thread I am interested in any ideas that this group has about how to best organize this information.

    I also have some photographs of soldiers and natives, that I would be happy to share. I believe the content on some of his letters would be of use to others as well. (For example, he comments about objectives that the 37th division were not given credit for by the newspapers at the time).

    I am excited to continue my research, and thank you in advance.

    Josh Miller
     

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  18. Natman

    Natman Member

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    Welcome to the forum, Josh. I can't vouch for the book but if another member indicates it's worth getting, try this method. Go to this link: http://www.worldcat.org/title/129th-infantry-in-world-war-ii/oclc/6148327
    and copy the pertinent book data, i.e.; title, publisher, date of pub., etc. Take that info to your local library, they will look the book up and can get a copy sent to them which you can then check out. Since it's a government publication, you can scan everything. I've done this several times and it works great.

    I've been fortunate to get good condition copies and scanning did no damage to the book. Hopefully you will have the same luck. If you somehow get a poor condition copy, I would ask the library to try another source. You don't want to ruin an old book.

    Steve
     
  19. joshmiller

    joshmiller New Member

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    Thanks for the advice to look on worldcat Natman. Unfortunately the closest library to me with a copy of the book is 700 miles away. I will keep looking to see if I can pick a copy up from other sources.

    Meanwhile, I have taken some time to create a Google map with the information provided on the first page of this thread (Thanks Slipdigit).
     
  20. Natman

    Natman Member

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    Josh,
    Go to your local library, they will get the book from the distant library. It's called "inter-library loan" or something similar. That's the beauty of it; even if you live in a small town, you have access to materials from large/distant libraries. Some of those military type colleges/institutions probably won't loan books but the regular universities/colleges will.
     
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