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792nd AAA AW information

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by Powelltc1, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. Powelltc1

    Powelltc1 New Member

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    Hello! This is my first post on the forum, and I really appreciate in advance any help that the community here can give me. I am just getting into WWII history, and am trying to learn more about my grandpa’s unit, but I can’t find much.

    He was assigned to the HQ battery of the 792nd AAA AW. He was in charge of running telephone wire as a field, lineman. I know he was in Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe.

    I am trying to find out any unit history I can. Were they assigned to the First Army? What wave did they land in Normandy and what beach? I can’t figure out what his chain of command would have been, What their path through Europe was, what weapon would he have carried, etc. My grandpa was in my eyes the best man I have ever known, and I am trying to learn more about what he did in the war as he couldn’t remember many of the details.

    Thanks again for any help you can provide my family and I!

    Jeremy
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  3. Powelltc1

    Powelltc1 New Member

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  4. Powelltc1

    Powelltc1 New Member

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    The first link, “Air Defense Artillery” has unit histories and looks awesome, but does not go numerically past the 562nd. I am having trouble finding much on the 792nd. Through a lot of research yesterday, here is what I think is true:

    Part of the Fifth Corps
    First Army from June 6, 1944- May 8, 1945
    Ninth Air Defense Command

    I got this from Army newsletters put out during the war. Not sure if someone knows if this is accurate or not. I also believe he carried the .30 carbine based on a diary entry from another field lineman (641).
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Your best shot for someone actually knowing the details is Rich. Hopefully he'll be along before too long.
     
  6. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Dammit LWD! I'm a researcher, not a miracle worker! :D

    Okay, the 792d Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion Automatic-Weapons (Semi-Mobile), AKA the 792d AAA AW Bn (SM), was organized 20 April 1943 at Camp Stewart (now Fort Stewart), Georgia. On completion of training, it departed the Boston Port of Embarkation on 27 February 1944 and arrived in England on 11 March 1944 (the slowness of the passage indicates they went on a standard convoy and not on one of the Queen's like my Dad's 537th AAA AW Bn (Mbl). I suspect it was convoy UT9, sailing from New York on 27 February and arriving on 9 March 1944 (the arrival date of 11 March is likely when they unloaded).

    Anyway, it was not assigned to First Army or V Corps that I can tell. It first arrived in Normandy on 15 July 1944. It is unclear what its assignment was, but in mid-August it was assigned to the IX Air Defense Command and remained with it to the end of the war.

    Some resources to go through are:

    Antiaircraft Command and Center. Army Ground Forces study no. 26. :: World War II Operational Documents
    Air defense review (issues 5-9). :: World War II Operational Documents
    IX Air Defense Command, historical and statistical summary, 1 January 1944 -1 June 1945. :: World War II Operational Documents
    Anti aircraft artillery notes. :: World War II Operational Documents
    Anti aircraft artillery notes. :: World War II Operational Documents
     
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  7. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Finally got through to convoyweb again. Okay, UT9 arrived in the Firth of Clyde on 9 March 1944. It consisted of 32 ships, 16 of which were troop ships:

    Britannic
    Colombie
    Cristobal
    Elizabeth C Stanton
    Excelsior
    Exchequer
    Explorer
    Florence Nightingale
    George S Simonds
    George Washington
    Lyon
    Samaria
    Seatrain Lakehurst
    Seatrain Texas
    Susan B Anthony
    Uruguay

    Its probably possible to find which of those departed Boston to join the convoy off New York Harbor, but convoyweb is very erratic right now.
     
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  8. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, well Stanton says they went out of Boston, but the AGF study says they went out of New York. I would go with the AGF study, which corresponds to the departure of UT9 from there on 27 February.
     
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  9. Powelltc1

    Powelltc1 New Member

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    Rich- You are a miracle worker! This is great stuff and I really appreciate it. I hope I can help return the favor a little bit. The link below is to the Anti-Aircraft Journal, January-February 1949. Page six on the left shows the units assigned to First Army and lists the 792nd...among many others. Am I reading that right?

    Anti-Aircraft Journal - Feb 1949 | Anti Aircraft Warfare | Operation Overlord
     
  10. Powelltc1

    Powelltc1 New Member

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    I know he was part on the landing force at Normandy as well, as it is in the few personnel documents I have.
     
  11. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Yep. I suspect that when it first arrived on the continent the 792d was assigned to First Army, until it was assigned to IX AD Command in August. Elements were also assigned to other duties at different times. For example, A Battery was attached to the ETO Ground Forces Replacement Command for a period and other elements were attached to Third Army, I believe during the Bulge, but have not tracked down the exact dates.
     
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  12. Powelltc1

    Powelltc1 New Member

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    This is awesome Rich, thanks. I know from his personnel records he was in ground combat in Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe.
     
  13. Powelltc1

    Powelltc1 New Member

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    Maybe your dad and my grandpa ran into each other over there.
     
  14. Powelltc1

    Powelltc1 New Member

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    Hey Rich- those guys in AAA AW were usually issued .30 carbines, correct?
     
  15. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Possible, but I doubt it. Dad's 537th AAA AW Bn (Mbl) organized at Camp Hulen, Texas in July 1942. He was transferred to them in the fall of 1943 from his first assignment after he was commissioned, which was with a AAA Gun battalion, at Camp Davis, North Carolina. As I said, they also crossed to England in February 1944, but on the Queen Mary. In England they were assigned to Third Army, but attached to First Army for the invasion, and landed on 14 June, across UTAH. Later in June they were attached to the 90th ID (which was also assigned to Third Army, but attached to First Army until 1 August) and pretty much remained with them until the end of the war.

    My Dad demobilized in 1945, but rejoined the Army and obtained a Regular commission in 1948, staying in until he retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1969. If your Granddad stayed in the Army and AAA/AD it is possible they ran into each other later, since officers in the same branch tend to follow similar courses.
     
  16. Powelltc1

    Powelltc1 New Member

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    My grandpa got out at the end of war as a Corporal, so maybe not! Appreciate your dad’s service, even after the war.
     
  17. jjd

    jjd New Member

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    Jeremy- I just stumbled across your post from 2 years ago. My dad was in "B" Battery, gun section 11 of the 792nd. I went to a couple of the unit reunions 12 or 15 years ago and kept in contact with a few people, 1 veteran in particular who was in the hospital with my dad after they were both wounded. Anyway, the unit did not fight as a single entity: it was fed piecemeal into the battle as needed. "A'' Battery went 1st (gun sections 1-8) then "B" battery (9-16) etc. then "C", "D" and Headquarters battery. So if you see references to the unit being in France on a particular date that is probably when the entire unit was finally SOMEPLACE in France. Some of "A" Battery went ashore on June 6. My dad landed on June 11 on Omaha Beach. At that point the 1st/29th divisions were a couple miles inland. They then moved west thru St. Mere Eglise and eventually thru the Peninsula to Cherborg. My dad was a 40 MM gunner. Each gun section had a 40 MM and a quad 50 cal. for low level protection. In Normandy they would sometimes be used for infantry support. They then backtracked down to St. Lo and followed the breakout after operation Cobra. Most of the time they were protecting high value assets like captured airfields.They would work with other gun sections but I never heard anyone say there was more than 1 Battery together. They were with the VII Corps and always part of the 1st Army but they may have been under operational control of the 9th airforce since they usually were protecting forward airfields. They set up at LeMans and a number of other airbases as they moved east, eventually to Florrines Belgium. From there my dad was moving in a column in Belgium near the german border city of Aachen when they were jumped by several german fighter planes and he was seriously wounded so his war was over on Sept. 28 1944.From talking to him ( he kept in contact with a few of his buddies after the war ) and others at the reunions that I attended, there were at least parts of the unit which participated in the Battle of the Bulge until they ran out of ammo, destroyed their guns and took off. I also have some pictures of them most of which I got at the reunions and which, ironically enough, are almost all of "B" battery personnel. Hope this is informative. I do not believe the unit was ever all together once they started leaving England and I have no idea where Headquarters battery went.
     
  18. jjd

    jjd New Member

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    Jeremy- Also, once they got across the Atlantic they trained further in Abergavenny Wales before they went operational. They then were sent to the Poole- Dorchester- Weymouth area of England to provide a small part of the AA protection for the buildup before D-Day. Puddletown was, I believe, where the H.Q. was located.Or at least where they went when on leave!
     
  19. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The 792d was a Semi-Mobile Battalion, so was used for AA defense of rear area installations, rather than for mobile AA defense. On 31 March 1944, the battalion was at Dan-y-Parc, Brecknockshire, Wales. On 30 April 1944, the entire battalion was at Poole. On 31 May 1944 the battalion, less Battery A, was at Poole. Battery A was at Dorchester. I am afraid I can find no evidence for any elements of the battalion going ashore on 6 June. As of 30 June, the Battalion (-) was still at Poole and Battery A was still at Dorchester. On 31 May 1944 they were assigned to the Anti-Aircraft Section, ETOUSA, then they were attached to First Army on or about 15 July.until mid-August when they were assigned to the IX ADC where they stayed until the end of the war. I suspect you Dad slipped a month in his memory and he went ashore 11 July. Yes, typically the date of arrival of the battalion was either when the HQ & HQ Battery arrived or when the battalion closed in its new location, but normally it was just a few days ahead of the main body.
     

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