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976th Engineer Maintance Company-info

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by koryandleslie, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

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    Nice pic. Glad he was on our side.

    Back to the discharge one more time: he is shown as arriving in ETO on Sep 11 44 and is credited with Rome-Arno campaign participation. Problem is, Rome-Arno ended two days earlier (Sep 9). How did he get credit for serving in a campaign he missed? OK, hold onto that.

    The truck bumper shows 1st Tactical Air Force, 319th Air Service Group. 319 ASG is shown at APO 374 after V-E Day. APO 374 was located at Le Duc, Salon, Dole, and Mirecourt, France after Sep 11 44. You can hunt those locations up.

    Now, stay with me - Stanton gives a code number for campaign participation. I presume these one or two digit campaign codes are official army usage. If so, then try this on: Rome-Arno is #35 whereas Rhineland is #34. As a crackpot theory, would it make more sense for his one campaign to have been Rhineland? Rhineland starts four days after his arrival and goes thru V-E Day. From that, would that mean he served in 319th ASG? Or was the presence of that truck just happenstance?

    The good news is, the USAF historical operation is at Maxwell AFB and they have tons of operational records available on CD ($30 each the last time I ordered). They are very nice there and usually pretty prompt. It's late tonight, so I'll hunt up more info tomorrow. Don't want to get your hopes up, so retain some skepticism.
     
  2. jm1981

    jm1981 New Member

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    LRusso - amazing - great match on the pin! That has to be it.

    firstflabn: thanks for the new information. This is certainly getting confusing. He was definitely in Rome at some point or he would have had the photos and we know he was in Italy from stories too. Could he have gone to Italy, then to the Rhineland campaign?

    If the pin is right can he move from AAF Technical Service to the 976th?

    Also perhaps worth nothing some dates with photos I do have because we can actually put him in a place at a specific time:
    Etampes, SW of Paris 30 July 1945
    Lyon,France 8 Feb 1946 Ampere monument, city centre
    Bourg-en-Bresse, NE of Lyon, 26 feb 1946 photo and postcard

    And again we know he was in:
    Maybe Paris, France Series of postcards
    Hondreville, near Nancy, France Photo
    Vezelay ??, near Hondreville France Photo
     
  3. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

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    The 1125 bumper marking is the 1125th QM Co, Air Service Group, which was an organic element of the 319th ASG for at least part of its ETO period.

    The 'Clerk, Non-typist' on his discharge is an MOS title only used by USAAF. So, looks like things are starting to fall into place.

    The 1125th got campaign credit for both Rome-Arno and Rhineland (and two others before Sep 44). Since he didn't show up in time for Rome-Arno, I am even more convinced that entry is a clerical error and should have been Rhineland (#34 instead of #35 as postulated earlier). The only other possibility is that the date range of Rome-Arno was adjusted after 1946 and that he served in yet another unit in between the 1125th and 976th.

    Again, going backwards through the 976th MRs starting with his departure date from Europe in '46 is the only way to find out for sure what his previous unit was. The way research is done is to start with the knowns and move to the lesser known. The knowns are his unit at discharge and the date that info was correct (though the bumper markings on that weapons carrier are a strong but disconnected clue).

    Now, if you want to jump on the 1125th bandwagon, I would contact AFHRA at Maxwell AFB (they have a website with a contact email) and ask them if they would look for any kind of organizational history for the 1125th. This was a small company of 81, so they may not have compiled any sort of unit history. If nothing is found, I would ask them to alternatively look for the same for the 319th, a much larger unit of almost 1400.

    AFHRA will usually provide a few pages for free, so give them a try if you think my 1125th theory has any chance.

    Another slim chance is to find his hometown newspaper from around his return date. They often printed such info on "returning warriors" and might include unit designation in such a social mention.
     
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  4. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Good work, Lou & firstflabn. Posting the photos really helped move the ball down the field. Unit insignia and vehicle markings are great when the picture is decent quality as these are.

    After VE day, they were just trying to get the "high pointers" home and others to units heading to the Pacific or staying in the ETO for Occupation duty. Expediency was often more important than making a perfect match. As firstflabn pointed out, following the MR trail is your best bet. That will tell you with certainty what unit he was with before the 976th. Unlike other unit records, the NARA does not take requests for Morning Reports. You can try to barter with someone as has been suggested, or you could hire a researcher. If cost is a concern, most researchers will provide an estimate, and may have some recommendations for keeping the cost down.
     
  5. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

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    Tommy, the 1125th also got Occupation credit. Do discharges normally also include that notation along with the campaign credits?

    If it should be there, then we may have a third unit interceding between the 976th and 1125th. If so, that would take us right back to the 976th MRs.

    If not, then the MR search to find his arrival date in the 976th might be pretty brief as, IIRC, they didn't keep GIs in the embarkation camps very long (unless he transferred to the 976th well before departure to fill an empty clerk position - possible, but seemingly unlikely). So, wild guessing it, maybe 2-3 weeks to travel to the camp and wait on their boat? (I'm presuming the transfer was between two units camped near each other). Might take the researcher longer to request and then rack up microfilm than to actually look at it (easy to say for one not actually doing the work).

    I happen to have T/O&E 10-437 for the QM Co, ASG. FWIW, the company is authorized a private SSN 055. So, that keeps the window open.
     
  6. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    AFAIK, Occupation credit was not normally put on discharge papers. I don't recall ever seeing an Occupation medal listed on a discharge either.

    My experience has been that, as long as they were in a regular unit, MRs have been available, even post War. More than likely, Reinforcement (Repple Depple) units are another matter. Other than that, MRs are a good source for verifying unit assignments.

    I recently researched a soldier for whom I had no discharge papers. I did know his basic enlistment info and his ASN. From family and newspaper articles, I knew he served in Belgium and Germany. However, the only unit referenced was a unit that only served in Italy. I sent what I had to a researcher I've used before and he tracked down his unit with apparently little difficulty. In this case, he had no starting point or ending point from which to begin. The soldier was a replacement and ended up hospitalized with frostbite.

    In this case, there is a definite starting point, so I am very confident that it will be possible to track his service through the MRs.
     
  7. jm1981

    jm1981 New Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    Sorry for the slow response - in the middle of moving.

    Ok so basically my most logical step forward would be to have the 976th MR's checked. And if I wanted I could check the 1125th history at Maxwell AFB I could do that now or perhaps after the 976th search. Correct?

    Thanks for all of the generous help - my family really appreciates it!
     
  8. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

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    Moving is at the opposite end of the fun scale from this stuff, so I'd much prefer to help here.

    Here's a link to Maxwell's microfilm holdings for the 1125th. All the info for the period of interest is on one roll ($30). Since the 1125th was such a tiny unit, I might be tempted to ask the folks at Maxwell if they would check one of those 5 page reports from Oct 44 thru Dec 44 to see if a company roster is included and if so to check for your grandfather's name. It's kinda suspicious to me that four straight reports dated on the first day of the month are each 5 pages. Kinda hard to see how a QM Co could fill 5 pages without including a roster (my wild guesses at no extra charge). Or you could just gamble the $30.

    Not often would I advise jumping past the known and pursuing the lesser known, but that bumper marking is tempting - of course it could be coincidental. Many people hit dead ends in their research; you have a couple of good options. If you do order, ask if they have transferred this one to CD yet. Saves going to the library to print copies.

    http://airforcehistoryindex.org/search.php?q=COMPANY%2F1125%2Fquartermaster&c=u&h=100&F=&L=

    (For everybody: Just fill in the search box using that format to find unit records for any USAAF unit - unit number is four digits; use zeroes where needed. Visual quality differs widely on the microfilm or CD, but $30 is pretty cheap. If NARA had something similar for other WWII Army units, my check register would have a bunch of $30 entries.)
     
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  9. jm1981

    jm1981 New Member

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    Great - thanks so much! After I get settled from my move I'll shoot them an email and see if they're willing to look for me.
     
  10. jm1981

    jm1981 New Member

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    My mother just got around to scanning his medals for me. Any clues here? Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  11. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    First picture: WW2 Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal
    Second picture: Europe-Africa-Midle East (EAME) Medal
    Third, fourth and fifth pictures show the backs of these medals
    Last Photo shows the ribbons associated with these medals. The lower left is the Honorable Discharge award (frequently called the "Ruptured Duck"). One of the EAME ribbons indicates two campaigns (indicated by the two stars) The blue one is the American Campaign ribbon.
    Check here for more info http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Catalog/HeraldryList.aspx?CategoryId=5&grp=4&menu=Decorations%20and%20Medals
     
  12. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    First, two of them have the ribbon and medal parts mixed up. The ribbon that is red with white strips goes with the medal that is attached to the rainbow colored ribbon and vice versa. The former is the Army Good Conduct medal. The other is the WWII Victory Medal. Both appear to have been repaired, so that is probably when they got mixed up.

    The European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal has the predominantly brown and green ribbon.
     
  13. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Ah, looks like Lou beat me to it. The other pin that is a globe with an anchor is a Marine Corps pin.
     
  14. jm1981

    jm1981 New Member

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    Does the marine corps pin change anything from our prior discussion about his whereabouts?
     
  15. jm1981

    jm1981 New Member

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    and thanks for the info on the medals/pins!
     
  16. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Not at all. It is more likely that he acquired it or traded for it sometime after the War. That was not an unusual practice. One of my relatives (through marriage) had a collection of SSI (shoulder sleeve insignia) for a wide variety of units.
     
  17. TommyBoy0329

    TommyBoy0329 New Member

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    Reviving an old thread...I just did a Google search for the 976th Engineer Maintenance Company which led me to this forum...my grandfather also served, although he never really talked about the war much, except a couple short stories...looking to put together a shadow box for his son and myself and curious about unit insignia, locations, etc.

    Reading from his WD AGO FORM 53-55:

    PFC Edward H. Leonard
    September 19, 1944 - November 5, 1945
    Rank: PFC
    Organization: 976th Engineer Maintenance Company
    MOS and Number: Duty Soldier III 590
    Battles and Campaigns: Rhineland and Central Europe
    Decorations: Purple Heart, EAMET, Bronze Svc Star for Rhineland, Bronze Svc Star for Central Europe.
     

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