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531st Field Artillery Battalion

Discussion in '☆☆ New Recruits ☆☆' started by ken martin, Mar 21, 2024.

  1. ken martin

    ken martin New Member

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    Hello. I'm Ken Martin (Jr.) from northeast Oklahoma.

    I'm researching my dad's units. He began in Coast Artillery -- basic training at Camp McQuaide. Radar school at Fort Monroe. 16th Coast Artillery Regiment, Radar Section on Oahu -- though on paper assigned to the 55th Coast Artillery Regt (155mm GPF). Then XXIV Corps Artillery, 420th Field Artillery Group, 531st Field Artillery Battalion (155mm M1 "Long Toms"), Headquarters Battery. Saw action at Saipan, Leyte, and Okinawa.

    I have most of the after action reports for his battalion, group, and corps artillery.

    I am interested in recommendations for researchers at St Louis and Carlisle to assist with obtaining documents and publications.

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  2. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The Morris Swett Digital Collection is the online repository of the Field Artillery School.. You will be able to find most of the FA publications there. CONTENTdm

    Hyperwar also has a good collection of Field Manuals. HyperWar: U.S. Army Field Manuals

    If you are looking for Battery Morning Reports, Geoff Gentilini at Golden Arrow will be able to help you. His work is thorough, quick, and fairly priced. Contact Us ⋆ Golden Arrow Research

    For higher command level's that the 531st were assigned to, go to the Ike Skelton Research Library. CONTENTdm

    The 55th Coast Artillery was a two-battalion regiment of mobile 155mm M1917 GPF Guns, organized in Hawaii on 22 May 1943.

    After that, it gets complicated. On or about 31 May 1944:
    HQ & HQ Battery, 225th Field Artillery Group was organized as HQ & HQ Battery, XXIV Corps Artillery (Provisional).
    HQ & HQ Battery, 1st Battalion, 55th Coast Artillery Regiment was organized as the HQ & HQ Battery, 225th Field Artillery Group (Provisional).
    HQ & HQ Battery, 55th Coast Artillery Regiment was organized as the HQ & HQ Battery, 1st Provisional Gun Group.
    HQ & HQ Battery, 2nd Battalion, 55th Coast Artillery Regiment and Battery B, C, and D, 55th Coast Artillery was organized as the 1st Provisional Gun Battalion.
    The remaining bits of the 55th Coast Artillery - Battery A, E, F, and Service, remained on Hawaii. They may eventually have formed the 55th Coast Artillery Battalion there, which was activated 13 August 1944, but the records I have are not clear on that. If you have the Regimental AAR it may say for sure.

    The rest of the 1st Provisional Gun Group was the 32d Coast Artillery Battalion, which was reinforced with the 717th Coast Artillery Battery (Separate). They were all assigned as part of the XXIV Corps Artillery for Operation FORAGER, which was the invasion of Saipan.

    On 27 June 1944 after arriving on Saipan:
    The 1st Provisional Gun Battalion was redesignated the 531st Field Artillery Battalion with Battery D, 55th CA redesignated Battery A..
    The 32d CA Battalion (+) was redesignated the 532d FA Battalion,.
    The HQ & HQ Battery, 225th FA Group (Provisional) was redesignated as the 419th FA Group.
    The HQ & HQ Battery, 1st Provisional Gun Group was redesignated as the 420th FA Group.
    The HQ & HQ Battery, XXIV Corps Artillery (Provisional) was redesignated the HQ & HQ Battery, XXIV Corps Artillery.
    Simultaneously, the 55th Coast Artillery Regiment, 32d Coast Artillery Battalion, and 717th Coast Artillery Battery were inactivated.
     
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  3. ken martin

    ken martin New Member

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    Thank you Richard. This is extremely helpful.

    I will definitely try Golden Arrow. My immediate aim is to get my dad's Classification Ledger (SSS Form 102). He registered for the draft, of course, but we believe he was classified 2-A – Registrant deferred because of civilian occupation (except agriculture). He worked for the Muskogee Iron Works -- a military contractor. I was told he "enlisted" but his serial number begins with a "3". I'm guessing he got his 2-A classification changed and was immediately inducted.

    The coast artillery organizations on Oahu were in flux throughout the time my dad was there, primarily due to manpower shortages, with personnel being shifted between the 16th CA and 55th CA regiments. He arrived Sept. 30, 1943, and was assigned on paper to the 55th CA Regt (TD) but was attached to the 16th CA Regt (fixed emplacements) Radar Section until the 55th began field artillery training in April '44. Most of the coast artillery remaining on Oahu was ultimately converted to anti-aircraft artillery since by then there was virtually no risk of invasion.

    While I didn't find anything specific to the 531st FA Bn in the Morris Swett Digital Collection, I found two AARs of battalions attached to XXIV Corps Artillery that provided much insight to problems and conditions in the Marianas and Leyte that were also experienced by the 531st., e.g. embarked in deep water causing damage to many vehicles and radios that weren't waterproofed.

    I have most, if not all, of the AARs for the battalion, group, and corps artillery and divisional AARs when they were attached to divarty -- Some from Fold3.com and some from Ike Skelton Library.
     
  4. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    When did he enter service? That can tell us whether he was drafted or enlisted. As of 5 December 1942, there was no "enlistment" in the Army, men were either drafted or "volunteered for induction", which amounted to the same thing.

    Yes, the Hawaiian Coast Defense Command was in flux throughout the war, but do not think that most were converted to antiaircraft artillery.

    The 15th and 16th were the two prewar CA Harbor Defense regiments. They were joined by the 57th CA in January 1942. The 55th was the wartime 155mm Truck Drive (TD) mobile regiment, which was organized to take over the expanded prewar 155mm M1917 GPF batteries on Oahu. The 15th and 55th eventually left, but the 16th remained in Hawaii, being redesignated as the 16th CA Group on 13 August 1944. The 57th was inactivated in May 1944. They reorganized as the 53d, 54th, 55th, 56th, 57th, 58th, all Harbor Defense, and the 176th, 177th, 178th, 179th, and 180th - all 155mm TD - CA Battalion, some of which continued to man defenses of Hawaii and others of which were sent to garrison various islands. They were joined by the 32d, 33d, and 38th CA Battalion (originally the 47th CA Regiment) in February 1944, which were also 155mm TD battalions. They remained CA gun units throughout.

    The AA component of the Hawaiian CA defenses originally was the 64th, 97th, 98th, and 251st CA (AA), later joined by the 93d (May 1942), 95th (Jan 1942), 96th (Mar 1942). and 369th (Jun 1942), which were all eventually reorganized as separate AAA Group headquarters, AAA Gun battalions, and AAA AW battalions.
     
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  5. ken martin

    ken martin New Member

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    Date of induction was 4 Mar 43. Are you saying anyone inducted after Dec 5, 1942 had a serial number beginning with "3"? So if he hadn't been called up but "volunteered for induction" his serial number would still begin with a "3" -- 38467174.

    Thanks for the correction on the coast artillery. I had only briefly read about them after May '44 and apparently misunderstood.
     
  6. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Yep.
     
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