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980th Field Artillery Battalion Pictures - Training to Germany

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by ISUnorth, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. ISUnorth

    ISUnorth Member

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    My father, Corporal Marvin L. Snyder, was in Battery B of the 980th Field Artillery Battalion. Found this forum and the older thread on the 980th and want to share what I have. I have a bunch to scan but did a few this evening and will scan and try to work my way through from 1942 to 1945. Seems logical to start with training. I have some captured German photos I'll scan and post in s separate thread.

    Below: LTC Harold O. Welch, 1943 in the California desert maneuvers.

    View attachment 16693

    Below: COL Cole, 1943 in the California desert maneuvers.

    View attachment 16694

    Below: Observation plane for the 980th, again maneuvers in California 1943. Fathers caption on the back says "Cub, observation plane. I dropped a sack of beer between the control cables on one just like this on maneuvers. But we made a smooth landing. Everyone wanted beer but I managed to only fly enough in for myself. Brag!"

    View attachment 16695

    Below: More maneuvers in California 1943. Dad's caption "155mm rifle and crew in traveling position with 7 1/2 ton truck."

    View attachment 16696

    Below: Rough image of big photo at Fort Lewis, Washington, of the 144th Regiment before it was split into the 980th and 981st FA battalions. Going to have to have this scanned somewhere, it's 16x20. Long Toms are in the background and enlisted men are in the formation of a bear. My dad was lucky enough to be in one of the "bear legs" up front so I can pick him out of the group.

    View attachment 16697
     

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  2. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Great pics and stories, please continue.

    Treasure the stories your father shared -- and write them down for future generations.
     
  3. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I'm glad you started your own thread with pictures of the 980th. Your commentary adds a personal touch. Keep them comiing, and I look forward to more.
     
  4. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I wholeheartedly agree with Earthican and Lou! Thanks for sharing your father's photos and stories. They are a treasure that many relatives of WW2 veterans do not have.
     
  5. ISUnorth

    ISUnorth Member

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    Round 2 of 980[SUP]th[/SUP] FAB photos

    Looked up a little more on the desert training area. Captions on the back of my dad’s photos called it “Camp Granite”. It was a huge area in Southern California into Western Arizona. I knew it was in the Mojave Desert because I remember my dad talking about it and how he got stung by a scorpion. He thought he was going to die and the California guys just laughed about the small town Iowa fellow who got stung. I also remember him telling me he was afraid of getting run over in the night maneuvers they were doing out there.

    Anyway, here is the last round of Camp Granite pictures. Next round is Fort Lewis.

    The 155s were brought to the desert location by train.

    View attachment 16702

    Caption for photo below “One of our wreckers and a jeep. Tractors in the back are used to pull the 155’s.”

    View attachment 16703

    Caption “Air view of Camp Granite after we got set up”. Dad was buddies with the observation pilot.

    View attachment 16704

    Scale terrain model they used for training. Caption “Our small scale layout of the desert.”

    View attachment 16705
     

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  6. ISUnorth

    ISUnorth Member

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  7. ISUnorth

    ISUnorth Member

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    More pictures from training at Fort Lewis.

    KP duty. Marvin L. Snyder second from left in first picture and first on left in second picture.
    View attachment 16780

    Some individual soldiers as labeled by my dad. Only information I have is the names on the photos.
    View attachment 16783
     

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    SKYLINEDRIVE likes this.
  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    These pictures are a treasure. Rest assured that those on the forum appreciate them. Thanks.
     
  9. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Peeling potatoes on KP. It doesn't get more "Army" than that! Great photos.
     
  10. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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    Thank you very much for posting these pics! They give a fantastic insight into the training of the US Army!!!
     
  11. ISUnorth

    ISUnorth Member

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    More training stateside picture. Yakima, Washington training center.

    The aid station sign below still says 144[SUP]th[/SUP] Regiment since it hadn’t become the 980[SUP]th[/SUP] and 981[SUP]st[/SUP] FA Battalions yet. I am sure they came here from Ft. Lewis for firing exercises.
    View attachment 16822

    Picture from convoy at Mt. Rainer. Apparently on their way to or from the Yakima firing range. By the caption I am sure my native Iowan father was pretty impressed with seeing a real mountain for the first time.
    View attachment 16823

    It look like the convoy stopped at the National Park Service inn at Longmire.
    View attachment 16824

    My dad looking a little out of place on the ski slope with these gals.
    View attachment 16825

    Not ski troops, just artillery guys trying out some skiing.
    View attachment 16826

    I have some other pictures at Mt. Rainier of individuals I can’t identify. Since this is the research forum I’ll scan and post them on the outside chance someone pulls them up someday and can identify them.
     

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  12. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Your dad may look out of place, but he also looks like he's just fine with the situation he is in. ;)
     
  13. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I know I wouldn't complain. He doesn't look like he is, either.
     
  14. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Great pictures and commentary, hope to see more.

    I got a little confused about when and where the 980th FAB was so, using the other thread, I summarized what I found. I imagine they went to Yakima several times during their almost two year stay at Ft Lewis. And maybe had one or more Army level maneuvers somewhere on the west coast.

    I also looked up Basingstoke, England and Oakridge Farm on some ~1950 maps (attached). Oakridge Farm might be hard to find on a modern map. I wonder if they used a nearby training area for field training and firing practice?


    1st Btln / 144th FA Regt
    3 Feb 1941 - induced to federal service - Santa Barbara, Cal
    18 Feb 1941 - moved - Ft Lewis, Wash.
    7 Dec 1941 - Pearl Harbor attack - Ft Lewis?

    Jan-Feb 1942 - guarding west coast - ?
    March-April 1942 - training - Ft Lewis ?
    May 1942 - training - Yakima Training Area, Wash.
    June-Dec 1942 - training - Ft Lewis?

    980th FA Btln
    8 Feb 1943 - re-designated - Ft Lewis
    March 1943 - training - Yakima Training Area, Wash.
    June 1943 - moved - Desert Training Center, Cal/Az
    15 Aug 1943 - moved - Ft Leonard Wood, Mo
    21 Nov 1943 - moved - Camp Miles Standish, Mass.
    28 Dec 1943 - embarkation - Boston

    Jan 1944 - debarkation - Liverpool or Glasgow?
    Jan-May 1944 - preparation - Basingstoke, England (Oakridge Farm)
    6 Jun 1944 - invasion - Normandy (B Battery only)
    11 Jun 1944 - cross English Channel - UTAH Beach

    LST 325
    "11 June 44 Convoy EPL4-10 from Portland-Weymouth, England to Utah Beach (Sugar Red), Vehicles and personnel of 980th Field Artillery Captain A.J. Reid commanding. Returned on 13 June 44 carrying 68 German POW's, 4 US Army MP escorts."
     

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  15. ISUnorth

    ISUnorth Member

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    I know they were in Yakima enough that my dad had a girl friend in town. At that time he was a company clerk and ambulance driver. Just before Normandy they made him a combat medic. While at Fort Lewis and Yakima he was also a bus driver so he got to town a lot driving in the guys on leave. He thought it was a pretty good gig. :)

    Your list of training would seem to mesh well with my dad’s statement that by the time they saw combat they were VERY well trained. My dad was in Battery B but landed with the rest on the 11[SUP]th[/SUP] not the 6[SUP]th[/SUP]. Not sure if that was by design or due to him being injured in a truck accident before they disembarked. Being assigned to the medic unit he familiar enough with things to be able to take the x-ray of his back, wave it around like he knew what it indicated and bluff his way out of the hospital in time to board the LST. He could hardly walk and he said the guys propped him up in the back of a weapons carrier cushioned by some lifejackets. He said there was no way after all of the time with these guys that he was going to miss going with them and end up into some sort of replacement pool.

    I wish the guy posting the unit history in the other thread had complete d it. Was some interesting stuff in there from my perspective. I have more pictures to scan and will try to supplement them with anything that my dad’s old papers might add. Next time I run down to Iowa to my folks old house I will have to bring back his letters and notes. I know there was a little scrap of paper with towns they were at or near in WWII. Hope it’s still somewhere to be found in the old house.
     
  16. ISUnorth

    ISUnorth Member

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    Mt. Rainier

    Pictures below are a series of unidentified folks at Mt. Rainier. Assume the guy in regular army uniform is a battery mate of my dads. Don’t know what those hats are the other guy and the gal are wearing. Help with that?
    View attachment 16832

    Under the heading of “boys will be boys”; snowball fight in the parking lot at Mt. Rainier.
    View attachment 16833
     

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  17. ISUnorth

    ISUnorth Member

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    Yakima, Washington

    Another picture of the battalion first aid station with three unindentified soldiers.
    View attachment 16834

    Unidentified female, obviously in Yakima by the picture of the car.
    View attachment 16835

    Fort Lewis, WA

    I mentioned my dad was assigned as a bus driver while at Fort Lewis or Yakima. I found his ID badge and it does say Fort Lewis.
    View attachment 16836

    Don't know who these uniformed gals are. Picture was with others from the 1943 time period so adding it here.
    View attachment 16837
     

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  18. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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  19. ISUnorth

    ISUnorth Member

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    WAVES it is. Went though some of the photos with my aunt last weekend and she could identify some of the folks. The one on the left was Anne from Minnesota who worked at the bank in my dad's hometown of Strawberry Point, Iowa.

    I 'll get back to scanning and posting soon but weather here in Minnesota is pretty nice right now and that means outdoor time!
     
  20. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Regarding the hats, they seem to be a style of 1930/1940 ski hats with the bill turned up, see linked photo.

    http://media.oregonlive.com/terryrichard/photo/trgeorgehenderson1930sjpg-f40d07361e11f90e.jpg
     

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