Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

6638th Engineer Mine Clearing Company

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by kerrd5, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,383
    Likes Received:
    493
    I had never heard of this unit until I transcribed a 45th ID General Orders today:

    It is identified as the 6638th Engineer Mine Clearance Company in the GO.

    The following men of the 6638th were awarded the Bronze Star "for meritorious service in direct support of combat operations on 23 October 1944 near Brouvelieures, France," per General Orders 286, HQ, 45th Infantry Division, dated 2 December 1944:

    Kay I. Fenstermacher
    Chester C. Thomas
    Floyd A Biddix, Jr.
    Kenneth E. Abeln
    Edward W. Wielkopolan

    Brouvelieures is a few miles NE of Epinal.


    Dave
     
    Otto and TD-Tommy776 like this.
  2. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,782
    Likes Received:
    649
    Dave, from my draft manuscript of For Purpose of Service Test.

    The North African (later Mediterranean) Theater of Operations organized the 6617th Engineer Mine Clearance Company (Provisional) on 21 August 1943 for operations in Italy, initially equipped with 12 American-produced Scorpions (the early model of flail-type mine clearing tanks). In early 1943, U.S. Army Ordnance built an American version of the Scorpion design with auxiliary motor and boom-mounted flail. It was tested at Aberdeen fitted to a Medium Tank M4A4. Ordnance accepted it as the limited procurement Mine Exploder T3. Thirty conversions were completed by Pressed Steel Car Company in April 1943, followed by a second order of 11 in July 1943. Combat experience with the 6617th Mine Clearing Company during the Anzio breakout in Italy during May and June 1944 demonstrated the many defects of the design. 0The 6617th Mine Field Clearance Company (Provisional) landed in Southern France with the Seventh U.S. Army, equipped with a mix of Crabs, Mine Clearers T1E1, Mine Clearers T1E3, and tank dozers. The ETOUSA redesignated it as the 6638th Mine Field Clearance Company on 1 November 1944.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
    kerrd5, WILD DUKW and Otto like this.
  3. Otto

    Otto Gearing up. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    9,377
    Likes Received:
    1,560
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    @kerrd5 Thanks for posting tidbits like this as you find them. Putting them online feeds them into the google monster, which means that people doing research on this unit or on these men will undoubtedly be able to find this info.

    @RichTO90 Thanks for expanding on this.

    It's small, potent threads like this that people will stumble across in a year or three and add their own contributions. It's the reason I never remove or archive threads, and why I'm obsessive about rescuing data from defunct forums.
     
    TD-Tommy776, kerrd5 and WILD DUKW like this.
  4. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,383
    Likes Received:
    493
    Thanks for the great info, Richard.

    Otto, I indeed posted it here so that folks may discover the 6638th.


    Dave
     
  5. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    30
    The 6617th on the Seventh Army D Day Troop List, S. France.

    7th Army D Day Troop List.JPG
     
  6. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,383
    Likes Received:
    493
    Sgt. Thomas Ferguson, 6638th Engineer Mine Clearance Company, awarded the Purple Heart for wounds
    received in France, 29 October 1944, per General Orders 264, HQ, 45th Infantry Division, dated 12 November 1944
    (Image 9108, 27 September 2008).

    Another member of the 6638th I found today while transcribing my General Orders of the 45th ID.


    Dave
     
  7. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,543
    Likes Received:
    2,169
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Wow! I never heard of this unit, either (not surprising as there are many units I don't know of). You never know what kind of information you'll find here. Thanks Dave, Richard, and Bob for filling it out a bit.
     

Share This Page