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397th AAA - R0bert McHenry

Discussion in 'Those Who Served' started by Boss_Lady, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Boss_Lady

    Boss_Lady New Member

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    Hi there - I'm looking for information on the 397th Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion - specifically about this soldier, Private First Class Robert McHenry from PA. All I have is his discharge paperwork but would love to find muster records, diaries, pictures or maps or anything else that could tell me about his time in Europe. It looks like his group was apart of the 29th infantry - did they all stay together? For example, if I track the 29th Infantry's movements during the war, is it safe to say the smaller 397th was with them?
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Patron  

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    If you can post his discharge papers it will be easier to answer your questions.
     
  3. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The 397th AAA AW Battalion Semi-Mobile was not attached to the 29th ID. It was part of the 16th AA Group of the 49th AA Brigade, which was attached to the V Corps for NEPTUNE. The battalion was actually configured as a Provisional AA MG battalion for the invasion, with two batteries manning 36 .50 Caliber M2 AA MG, which were intended to provide immediate AA support to the 16th and 116th RCT in the landings. After the invasion it reverted to its standard role protecting fixed rear area positions such as bridges, airfields, depots, and the like.
     
  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Patron  

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    The battalion was credited with the following campaigns:
    Ardennes-Alsace
    Ground Combat, EAME Theater
    Normandy
    Northern France
    Rhineland

    It was designated a Special Proving Machine-gun Battalion during the assault on Normandy..
     
  5. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Lou, you may have been confused by the abbreviation "Prov" which was for Provisional not Proving. The 397th provided the manpower to man the .50 Cal M2 AA MG assigned to the assault for initial AA defense of the OMAHA beachhead. Interestingly, the rationale appears to have been to mimic the British and Commonwealth Brigade Defence Platoon, which manned 20mm Polston AA guns. Essentially, a landing craft serial of 18 LCVP/LCA was planned based on the cookie-cutter landing plan and so the U.S. Army ginned up an organization to fit it. Oddly enough, I cannot find that a similar organization was at UTAH. The battalion formed two provisional batteries to man the machine guns while the rest of the unit was assigned to man the guns mounted on the Phoenix and blockships of Mulberry A.

    The plan placed six LCVP with six guns on FOX GREEN, six more on EASY RED, two on EASY GREEN, one on DOG RED, two on DOG WHITE, and one on DOG GREEN at H+30.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Patron  

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    Glad you corrected me Rich, but Stanton has "Proving". Maybe they meant "Provisional". I just copied what I saw.
     
  7. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, its one of Stanton's boo bbos.
     

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