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68 US Army Soldiers from the 79th Infantry Division still listed as missing

Discussion in '☆☆ New Recruits ☆☆' started by Trish, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Trish

    Trish New Member

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    I came across a website called Sons Of Liberty Museum. It says that 68 servicemen are still listed as missing. My relative PFC Herman Hall of the 315th Infantry Regiment 79th Infantry Division is listed. 4 men went missing in that unit on the same day. They are
    PFC Herman Hall...PFC Clifford Judah...PFC Robert D Wallace....PFC Edward Wiggins. There were several soldiers who went missing within days in January 1945 in France. 68 total from July 1944 - These 68 men are from the 313th 314th and 315th Infantry Regiments of the 79th Infantry Division. Anyone looking for these regiments should look over the website listed above .org

    Also listed under the Missing In Action Section are soldiers missing from ww1 ww2 korean war , vietnam and the cold war from every military branch...Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines etc etc
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  2. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    The 79th fought in only four campaigns but lost a whopping 15,200 in killed and wounded in 248 days of combat. On Jan 8th, 1945 the 79th met a German counterattack as the Germans were attempting to establish a bridgehead west of the Rhine at Gambsheim. The 315th Infantry Regiment stopped two German divisions at Hatten after a furious 11 day fight. PFC Hall was probably killed (?) during this combat.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  3. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    There is a US organisation that seeks to find and identify the missing. In some cases the body may have never been found : the body was lost at sea, hidden in dense undergrowth, marshes deserts - or simply blown to tiny pieces or burned to ash. In others the body is one of the unidentified Americans buried in a cemetery The ABMC exhume unidentified dead for DNA testing when historic or archaeological evidence emerges that connects that unknown body with a missing man. It is done discretely and without raising hopes or expectations. There are more ABMC markers than buried bodies.
     
  4. Trish

    Trish New Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I did not know that
     
  5. Trish

    Trish New Member

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    That is what I read somewhere that he went missing during the battle at hatten and rittershofen. So sad these soldiers never made it home. All soldiers in all wars. I hope that they may eventually be located and identified. I read in the news of a soldier recently identified through dna that the germans had shot him in the head then took his body and buried it somewhere else with a grave marker saying the exact day he was killed and here lies an American soldier. It was written in German . He was actually killed like 4 or 5 days before the army listed date as it was assumed that was the day he died and went missing from his fox hole. There are probably a lot of soldiers that the german army took after they were killed. I don't know why they would take their bodies after they killed them.
     
  6. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    I hate it when people re-write history in a way that glorifys a single unit.

    According to Clarke's "Riviera to the Rhine" published by the US Army Center of Military History....

    Only the 3d and 2nd Bns./315th were involved in the Battle of Hatten - Rittershoffen, and they came in only after two battalions of the 242nd Infantry were routed. They were, for most of the battle, under the control of the 14th AD. (reinforced). All three Combat Commands of the division were there too. Artillery support was enormous. At times all of VI Corps artillery provided devastating fire support.

    They were fighting against the reinforced German XXXIX Panzer Corps under Gen. Becker. The corps was built around the 21st Panzer and 25th Panzer Grenadier Divisions. At Hitler's orders the latter received additional armor and reinforcements prior to the battle, and was stronger than it had been for many months. When Becker was transferred to the Eastern Front, the corps was re-designated as an Infantry Corps. German reinforcements were added during the fighting including the 20th Regiment, 7th Parachute Division, and along with additional tanks and tank destroyers ordered in by Army Group G's commander.

    The two bns. of the 315th fought exceedingly well. Each earned a PUC. However, the one in Hatten was completely cut off and surrounded until CCR fought its way into the town on 13 January -- saving the battalion from certain destruction. Note two units of the 14th AD were awarded the PUC.

    So, telling someone "The 315th Infantry Regiment stopped two German divisions at Hatten after a furious 11 day fight" is poppycock. You have eliminated 15 or 16 thousand men who fought at Hatten and Rittershoffen.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  7. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    Trish,

    Both sides removed bodies of the enemy from the battlefield, if they retained control of the area, for burial. It was standard operation procedure.
     
  8. Trish

    Trish New Member

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    I didn't know that either. So much I do not know. I appreciate the information
     
  9. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    It's a bit more complicated than that. During NORDWIND, the battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen began on 7 January and lasted through roughly 20 January. After hard fighting clearing the American outpost line on 7-8 January, on 9 January, the 25. Panzergrenadier Division began the direct attack on Hatten, attacking east to west from the woods just to the east. At this time the 2d and 3d Battalions, 315th Infantry, were under command of the 79th ID, but the 1st Bn, 315th Inf was attached to the 45th ID (4-16 January, along with the 314th Inf (1-14 January), and 1st and 3d Bn, 313th Inf (1-14 January). The 2d Bn, 313th Inf remained under 79th ID control as well. Attached to the 79th ID was the 274th Infantry (70th ID, 1-13 January), which was part of TF Herren (the infantry component of the newly arrived 70th ID and CCA, 14th AD, comprised of the 48th TkBn, 68th AIB, 500th AFAB, c, 94th Cav Rcn Sqn, C, 125th AEB (all 6-12 January), and B, 47th TkBn (5-14 January).

    The 315th Inf (-1st Bn) was attached to the 14th AD on 13 January and was joined by its 1st Bn on 17 January and remained under 14th AD command until 21 January.
     
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  10. Trish

    Trish New Member

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    Does Bn mean battalion? Did the infantry regiments have companies or battalions? I do not really know anything about it. I am not sure which company or battalion my relative was in. It is never listed anywhere. Thanks for the information. It is good to learn these things. Both of my grandpas were in the army ww2. an uncle was in the air force in the 60;s. a great uncle was in the air force for half of his life it seemed. My other uncle served 5 years in the army and Vietnam. Another uncle was in the marines. Ancestors in the civil war and revolutionary war. Yet I know nothing about the military
     
  11. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    It is more complicated. That is why I cited "Riviera to the Rhine," perhaps the best published source on the subject of Nordwind and the Battle of H-R. Have you read it?

    TF Herren had nothing to do with the Battle of H-R.

    Technically the Battle of H-R lasted until the early morning hours of 21 January when the last American units began to withdraw from the two towns.

    You left out the 242nd was part of TF Linden under the overall command of the 79th ID. The green, poorly trained troops of the 242nd (I can't remember which battalion of the 242nd was in Hatten) were routed out of Hatten If memory serves correctly, the 2nd and 3rd Bns./315th did not arrive in H-R to help restore the MLR until 9 January.

    "Between 10 and 20 January General Smith's 14th Armored Division, which assumed operation control of assorted infantry units of the 242nd and 315th Infantry above the Hagenau forest and was supported by most of its own artillery plus that of the 79th Division, fought a sustained action with Decker's panzers. The German commanders, in turn, reinforced the attacking troops on the night of 13-14 January with the 20th Parachute Regiment (7th Parachute Division), and on the 16th with the 104th Infantry Regiment (47th Volksgrenadier Division), thereby steadily raising the stakes of the contest." -- "Riviera to the Rhine." p. 519.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  12. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    Trish,

    Wow, your family has a wonderful history of military service. :)

    Yes, Bn. is an abbreviation for battalion. Battalions had four companies. Regiments consisted of three battalions. Infantry divisions had three regiments.
     
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  13. Trish

    Trish New Member

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    No, I haven't read it but am going to now. I did not even know my relative but was just saddened when I learned of him and how his parents and wife must have felt. That is why I am trying to find out what happened to him. I am going to get dna submitted from a family member that helps identify soldiers so if they ever do find him he can be identified. I saw recently on find a grave that his wife passed away in 2001. I have no idea if anyone else in the family has searched him or not. His wife was like 25 when he enlisted and died in her 80's. She never re married. They had no children that I know of. I think a lot of us take for granted what the servicemen and women sacrificed for our country and I am going to try and learn all I can about these wars. Thanks for tips on the book
     
  14. Trish

    Trish New Member

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  15. Trish

    Trish New Member

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    Thanks. Some of them are listed in a book called Caudills Army. Why do websites not list the battalion or company, just the regiment and division? I figured when my relative went missing back in 1945 that his hometown of perry ky would have a newspaper article or something but I cant find anything. Sadly my grandpa suffered from mental illness after he came back from the war, actually it is known as ptsd..I think I got that right. He had flash backs and things. I am sure many many soldiers do. I did find one photo online of my ancestor Pvt Joseph Hall who was in CO 1 13 Ky Cav. He was married to Polly Combs.
     
  16. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, my shorthand was probably confusing. Yes, Bn is battalion, Inf is Infantry. An infantry regiment was organized with:

    Regt Hq & Hq Co - Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Company (command personnel and other specialists, including an Intelligence and Reconnaissance (I&R) Platoon
    Regt Svc Co - Service Company (supply trucks and personnel)
    Regt Cn Co - Cannon Company (short-barreled 105mm towed M3 Howitzers)
    Rget AT Co - Antitank Company (57mm towed antitank guns)
    1st Bn - Hq & Hq Co, A, B, C, and D Co (the Hq & Hq Co included Ammunition and Pioneer (A&P) Platoon and an Antitank Platoon with three 57mm AT guns)
    2nd Bn - Hq & Hq Co, E, F, G, and H Co
    3d Bn - Hq & Hq Co, I, K, L, and M Co

    D, H, and M company were the "Heavy Weapons" companies armed with 81mm mortars and .30 caliber "heavy" (i.e., water-cooled) machine guns. The other lettered companies (by long tradition there was no 'J' Company, although in emergencies normally non-combat personnel in a unit were sometimes formed as an ad hoc J Company) were "Rifle" companies where the heaviest weapons were 60mm mortars and .30 caliber "light" (i.e., air-cooled) machine guns.

    To find out what battalion.company your relative was in would require quite a bit of digging into all of the company morning reports, which means about 19 different organizations, to find which one he was assigned to.
     
  17. Natman

    Natman Member

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  18. Trish

    Trish New Member

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    Thank you both. This forum is very helpful with a lot of useful information. How did the military know who was missing in action and who was a pow? Did they do some kind of daily row count of soldiers? I will go to the link . Thanks again. Also, would a veterans medical VA records be with his personell file when requesting their records?
     
  19. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    Yes, a Morning Report was produced every morning at the company level that recorded the basic information about why officers and men who were absent from duty during the previous 24 hours. KIA, MIA, WIA, etc. Also, if a man was off attending a course or what have you.

    RichT090 seems to be an expert on this. He wrote about Morning Reports at the end of post #16 above. He can probably give you more information next time he drops by.

    On a related subject, I managed to dig out my copy of "Cross of Lorraine: A Combat History of the 79th Infantry Division, June 1942 - December 1945." It is out of print, but Ebay is a great place to look if you want a copy. Anyway, I found your relative's name in the division roster. Sadly, the roster does not list men by unit or MIA. And he is not listed as KIA. This latter bit of information is almost certainly because his body was never recovered. I also checked the lists of men who earned awards, but his name is not there. Wish I could have helped more.
     
  20. Trish

    Trish New Member

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    Thanks so much. I have never seen him on a roaster. At the AMBU ( I think its called ) it says he got the bronze star and purple heart with oak leaf cluster. Maybe they were sent to his wife and parents. His dad is the nephew of my gg grandpa. Unfortunately I don't think my dads dna would help in any dna identification because his male line is not the same as my dads because my gg grandpas sister had 2 boys out of wedlock so the hall dna comes from the mother. I really wanted to be able to help in that process but I guess we cant. I think it would have to come from a female. I have not seen anyone else on any site that has searched for him.
     

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