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AAF Army Air Force - DD214 Confusion

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by 716_Grandson, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. 716_Grandson

    716_Grandson New Member

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    Hello, Maybe some of you are more educated than me on this. I have attached my great uncle's WWII DD214 to this post. With all of the information here, I have not been able to find ANY information on his Unit or "Organization" from box 6.

    It has his organization (box 6) simply listed as "Unit 4 DET A DEP SUP SQ" however no one has been able to tell me what exactly this means or what his actual unit was. I've contacted St. Lewis who could not help me, also Carlisle, PA army heritage center who said they were not sure what it meant either. I've been to the local VA office who can't help either because I am not the next of kin. He had no children or wife, and nothing of his remains in the family.

    He is listed as a CPL but I don't have any other document or record other than this. His headstone says "CPL" too, but upon calling the funeral home I was still left with no info. If any of you understand or happen to know where to find Unit info for the Army Air Force, in particular whatever "Unit 4 DET A DEP SUP SQ" is it would be very helpful.

    Thank you.
     

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  2. Natman

    Natman Member

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    I think the 'DEP SUP SQ' is 'Depot Supply Squadron'. Can't find any reference to 'Unit 4 DET A'.

    This older thread, on the same subject, will give you a little more info: http://www.ww2f.com/topic/42610-help-with-my-dads-dd-214/

    Hopefully someone more knowledgeable with the AAF will be along this evening to answer your questions in detail.

    Steve
     
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I agree with Natman and have suspicions that part of the unit designation is missing.
     
  4. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    The DD214 shows the unit he was in at his seperation and sadly not the organization he most likey served with. Most returning vet's were assigned to a main group for transfer home. If you can find a picture we may be able to see a Unit insignia or possibly a home town newspaper archive would help. You may be able to get a 'hit' on a site like fold3 also.
    Good Luck and keep digging.
     
  5. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    This is what I have come across:
    https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ddaymuseum.co.uk%2Fdocuments%2FUS-units-May-44.doc

    while I didn't find anything specific to "Unit 4" I did find reference to "Unit 5".

    To confuse everything "Unit 4 Det A" means that he was in Detachment "A" of unit 4. I think that "SUP" actually stands for "Support" and not "Supply" beings that he was a Carpenter and drove a heavy truck. My guess is that UNIT 4 Det "A" would have been something like a Sea Bee unit with the exception being that they were in the Air Corps / AAF.

    I think you would have to find an Order of Battle for Army Air Forces WW2 to figure out where he was.

    Looking at Air Force photos might be of use, especially pay attention to bumper numbers on the vehicles
     
  6. 716_Grandson

    716_Grandson New Member

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    Thank you for your replies and direction. I have attached this one single image of my great uncle with his uniform insignia visible. This would have been taken around November of 1943. I am not educated on AAF patches, but this appeared to be a standard AAF insignia and not a Unit designation. I could be wrong. Thank you for your help and I will continue my research.
     

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  7. 716_Grandson

    716_Grandson New Member

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    Also, Another question: Would the names of the "Dispersing Officer" in box 47 or the Personnel Officer in box 57 be at all connected to the unit?

    I've googled a little to see if there were other records they are attached to with the same Box 4 Organization Name, but came back with little. My assumption was that these names would have little or no connection to the actual veteran or his Unit, but then again I wasn't 100% sure.
     
  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Probably not. These were just the names of the people who mustered him out. I must confess to seeing anything on his DD-214 that helps me.
     
  9. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    The departure date of 6 Dec 43 with a destination of ETO most likely meant he landed in England with either the 8th or 9th AF. Not much help...
     
  10. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

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    T/O&E 1-858 is for a Depot Supply Squadron, so the unit type exists. This supply squadron was part of an Air Depot Group with the same number. An Apr 44 ETO USAAF station list does not show a 4th Air Depot Group in the OOB. Prowling around the 'net shows the 4th ADG in the Philippines.

    So, assuming the discharge is correct and EAME was his only overseas service, he must have been assigned to the 4ADG for processing out upon arriving stateside.

    The only sure way to find out is to research the 4th DSS morning reports from the day of his discharge back until his transfer in is recorded. The latter should list what unit he transferred from. Of course, this chain may consist of more than two links. He conceivably could have been bounced around among several units, but for a low point GI in an ETO supply unit who didn't get redeployed to the Pacific, a Jan 46 arrival in the U.S. wouldn't be a big surprise.

    Good luck.
     
  11. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Great list you found, Brad.

    I copied it down and did a search for Depot Supply Squadron and found many entries. I did a search for Depot Support and got nothing, so I'm thinking that is not correct. I still think the unit designation is incomplete. It lists the specific detachment but not the specific Depot Supply Squadron and there were 22 listed ,such as the 35th Depot Supply Squadron, the 5th Depot Supply Squadron and 98th Depot Supply Squadron.

    Regardless, as others have mentioned, it is highly probable that he did not actually serve with the unit listed on his AGO Form 53-55 (DD 214), but only came home with them or bunked with them while waiting on his discharge.
     
  12. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    I google around with the "Supply / Support" deal at work yesterday and came to the same conclusion. AAF did some weird stuff with their unit designators.
     
  13. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

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    I violated my own rule of thumb by first looking at the unit instead of the GI. I should know better.

    SSN188 with a Construction Work MOS in the USAAF was almost certainly for service in an Engineer Aviation Battalion. Further, qualifying on the '03 and Garand would have been unusual in the USAAF - except in the case of engineer units.

    Would anyone like to argue that an air depot supply company would have permanent need for a construction worker? If not, chasing the depot supply company could only be useful if pursuing the morning report method described above.

    As it so happens, HQ Co of an engineer aviation battalion (TO&E 5-416) has two SSN188 positions - "Rodman and chainman, surveying." The ETO had at least 24 of these battalions.

    Unless our subject got admitted to a VA hospital and, thus, left a paper trail that eluded the St. Louis fire, this is needle in a haystack territory. Even though rodman/chainman is an entry level position, it is a skill that would readily translate to the civilian economy. Asking family members whether he worked postwar in this field could provide a clue.

    It wouldn't hurt to provide the vet's name. I don't think any Nigerian princes are looking to this forum for help with their banking problems.
     

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