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99th Division, 394th Regiment, Companies K & M Information

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by baildu01, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. baildu01

    baildu01 New Member

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    Hi there! I'm doing research on my Great Grandfather who served in the 394th. He was in Company K and then was transferred to Company M. His name was PFC James Lyke and thankfully he survived the war but passed away before I was able to meet him. My grandfather also passed away so I'm really left with no one to talk to that might have had any information. Any information that anyone out there has, regardless of significance would be greatly appreciated! If anyone knows anyone from these Companies who might still be living please contact me. I've also attached a photo of my Great Grandfather. Thank you in advance!
     

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  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Much can be found on the 394th Infantry and 99th Division from a Google search.

    99th Infantry Division

    S/Sgt. Cecil R. Palmer, F Company, 394th Infantry on the 99th ID website

    394th Infantry Regiment Memorial in Belgium

    Story about K Company, 394th Infantry Regiment on Historynet.com


    I realize you are hoping to connect with someone who knew your Great Grandfather and I do wish you well in your search. However, the chances are remote as there are fewer left every day. I think your best bet is to be as visible on the internet as possible with your search. Keep posting here. Whenever possible, post on related websites (i.e. Comments section, guestbook section, etc.).

    I also encourage you to track down the 99th Infantry Division's history, "Battle Babies". There are reprints by Battery Press available for around $50 or so (Don't pay more than that unless you know for sure it is a First Edition). You may also be able to get one on loan from your local library. If you want to know what he went through, read stories from other vets of the 394th. That's why I linked to the story of S/Sgt Palmer from F Company. Your Great Grandfather's experiences were probably not much different.

    Let us know if you have any questions about his service or that of the 394th.
     
  3. pistol

    pistol Member

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    The 3rd Bn, 394th (incl. K & M Coy) was heavily involved in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944. The battalion defended Buchholz Station on 16 & 17 Dec 44, a small railroad station located to the southeast of the 'strategic' important crossroads of Losheimergraben.

    If you search for Losheimergraben on the net you probably will find more info related to your search. See also: http://www.ww2f.com/topic/51307-bft-2013-ardennes/
     
  4. baildu01

    baildu01 New Member

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    I truly appreciate the information. I know that finding someone who might have served with my Great Grandfather is a long shot, but you never know! I have the morning reports from both companies he was in while he was there. He an two others were wounded on December 5th. I somewhat puzzled by it because it lists that he had 1st degree burns to his face and forearm. The other two men also had burns in the same areas. The Captain of their Company states that they were Line of Duty wounds but were Non-Combat Injuries. He and one of the other men ended up being sent to hospital for recovery and he did not return until February 28th I believe. After that, he served with his Company through the end of the war and received a Bronze Star I'm guessing sometime after he returned from the hospital. When you dig into these records, sometimes it leaves more questions than answers!
     
  5. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    A soldier in my great uncle's TD battalion was posthumously awarded the Soldier's Medal "... when he and six other members of the battalion attempted to aid in the extinguishing of a fire in a vehicle loaded with explosives." Perhaps your great grandfather was in a similar situation, but with a much better outcome.

    Is the Bronze Star you refer to the medal or a bronze battle star? If it is the former, it may have been a specific award, but it could also have been awarded under the Bronze Star Conversion (assuming he had also been awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge. If it is a specific award, you may want to try and track down the General Order which may indicate why he received the BSM.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of archival research! ;)
     
  6. baildu01

    baildu01 New Member

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    It's a bronze star. I'm not sure if he was also awarded a CIB. I have the morning report stating that he was awarded the medal, but it gives not details or General Order for the award. Do you know where I could look to find this information?
     
  7. pistol

    pistol Member

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    From 15 November to 10 December 1944 the 3rd Bn, 394th Infantry, was holding the crossroads of Losheimergraben. On the latter date it switched position with the 1st Bn, 394th Infantry and became the divisional reserve, occupying the position at Buchholz Station. I searched the After Action Report of the 394th Infantry, but there is no mention of an incident on Dec 5th.

    Nor does the Combat Interview of the 3rd Bn, 394th Infantry do.

    BTW I would be much interested in the morning reports of the companies for Dec 44.
     
  8. pistol

    pistol Member

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    This is the closest I came to anything re 5 Dec 1945:

    Captain Wesley J. Simmons, the CO of K Coy, wrote after the war: "During the period of 15 November to 10 December 1944 defensive positions were maintained and patrols were sent out daily. The company received a few casualties when our patrols met those of the enemy and during occasional enemy shelling in our area but the majority of our battle losses were as a result of anti-personnel mines. Enemy patrolling was not aggressive enough to penetrate our lines to any extent and because of this and continuous snowing, one log hut for each platoon was constructed on or about 4 December to enable a portion of each platoon to get dry and warm. Over 60 per cent of the men had not yet been issued arctics although they had been requisitioned several times. Size 12 was the only size available thus far."

    (Source: Wesley J. Simmons, 'The operations of K Company, 394th Infantry, (99th Infantry Division) in defensive action near Elsenborn, Belgium, 16 - 21 December 1944 (Ardennes Offensive)' , Advanced Infantry Officers Course 1949 - 1950)

    Were the wounds of your grandfather and his mates caused by a bonfire which went out of control inside one of the new log huts? These would probably be classified as non-combat wounds.
     
  9. baildu01

    baildu01 New Member

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    I'm not sure if that is what happened or not. According to the morning reports they were in the process of constructing their huts. I also read the morning report that list his name and that he and three others were awarded the Bronze Star. I believe it refers to General Order 86 - 99th Infantry Division. Is this what would tell me why he was awarded the Bronze Star? Does this sound right? Also, as far as CIB go they don't seem to list the names of the men they award them to. At least not in these morning reports. Is there anywhere that can be checked as well? Thanks!
     
  10. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    If it was mentioned in the MR, it was definitely not a BS Conversion.


    Why do you believe it is that particular GO? Was that mentioned in the MR? If so, it may be helpful if you could post the MR here so we can see it in context.

    Assuming it is a GO of the 99th Division, I would first contact the 99th Division website. They may have access to the GOs and, hopefully, may be willing to help. If that doesn't work out, you can try contacting the NARA II in College Park, MD to request the GOs for the 99th Division. If you are certain about the GO #, you can try requesting a copy of just that GO, but they may have a minimum order. If you aren't certain about the number, I'd request the GOs for the year you know the BSM was awarded.

    My great uncle's CIB was listed in one of his regiment's GOs.
     
  11. baildu01

    baildu01 New Member

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    Sorry for the delay. I had to work on getting these down to the proper size to upload them. I have attached two MR's from December when he was wounded and The third MR is where the Bronze Star is referenced. Take a look and let me know what you guys think. Again, his name is James Lyke. Thanks!
     

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  12. baildu01

    baildu01 New Member

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    I guess I can't post all three in one reply. Here is the second MR I was talking about.
     

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  13. baildu01

    baildu01 New Member

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    And here's the third with the Bronze Star reference.
     

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  14. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Well, I would definitely say you were correct about which GO you need: 99th Division GO #86 1945. The MR is dated July 1945. I have seen GOs for other Divisions dated after the War was over where they were awarding BSMs for their overall Meritorious Service during the War. Here's an example of what I mean:

    View attachment 21080


    This is only meant to show that the GO may or may not give specific info on what he did to deserve it other than Meritorious Service. On the other hand, it may be fairly specific.
     

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  15. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Since they were burned on their faces, heads, hands, and arms, I am inclined to think that they may have been working with some type of fuel that exploded as they were trying to light it. Maybe a heater? It was December. That would have been considered "Line of Duty", and also a non-battle injury. Just a guess.
     
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  16. baildu01

    baildu01 New Member

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    I found a book on ebay, "Index to the General Orders of the 99th Division in World War 2". You think it would be worth picking up?
     
  17. pistol

    pistol Member

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    I do not know the book: could be only an index, not the actual orders.
     
  18. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Pistol is exactly correct. It is a listing of soldiers and the GOs in which they are mentioned. It will probably tell you which particular GO to look for, but will not include the text of the GO. Read the description carefully. I suspect they have a disclaimer stating that there is a possibility that someone might have been omitted from the listing.

    My opinion is that the benefit of buying one is limited. On the other hand, if the NARA would allow you to request copies of some of the unit's GOs (or better yet, just the GO you need), the book may pay for itself.

    My advice is, if you can get it for a good price, it may be worthwhile. If you can find a copy through your local library, even better.
     
  19. pistol

    pistol Member

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    Baildu: found this thread on WW2talk from a vet from the 99th (1st Bn/394th Infantry): http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/9995-the-battle-of-the-bulge/?hl=veritable

    There is an interesting remark about heating the dugouts and cooking: "the line companies built dug outs,out of pine logs.they were heated with 50 gallon drums burning wood. Life was good. We dug potatoes from the abandoned farms and made french fries. On occasion we shot a cow. Telling them that we thought it was a deer. We ate good. Even the Co. commander wanted some BBQ deer meat. LOL".
     
  20. christopher Wilson

    christopher Wilson New Member

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    I have some Co M info. My dad kept a map of the companies route across Germany from their position in Belgium in Dec 44 until he came home in June of 45. I'll shrink it to post if you are interested. Attached is a photo of my dad and two buddies from Co. M 394th at the end of the war near Ampfing Germany. As far as I know all three of these men have passed.
     

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