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boot camp location?

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by jimmc, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. jimmc

    jimmc Member

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    Hi, I'm wondering if anyone would know how I could find out where my father would of done his bootcamp,/training if it's possible. I know he enlisted on sept. 5 1944 and was shipped overseas jan.18th 1945. he doesn't recall where he did his training. He ended up with the 2nd division 23rd infantry k company, would this be any clue as to where his training might of been. or were they assigned to their unit after boot camp. thanks
     
  2. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Any documentation records on his service, old letters, etc would help a great deal. The Army had many many training facilities scattered throughout the US, and without any paperwork indicating where he was sent would be a stretch to figure out.

    Also FYI the term boot camp referred to the Marine Corps and Navy. The Army and Army Air Force had basic training.
     
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  3. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    Where did he enlist -home town? That pretty much determines where he did basic. In 1945 they were trying to replace the men who were lost during the Bulge so after basic they were assigned to any unit that needed replacements. His separation paper would have that information.
     
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  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    And watch "Biloxi Blues".
     
  5. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    We had other names for it but not appropriate for young ears :)
     
  6. jimmc

    jimmc Member

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    he is from archbald pa, he enlisted in wilkes barre pa, he was assigned to 2nd division 23rd inf. k company
     
  7. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    During WWII, Camp Reynolds PA was an induction center where the new men were received, processed and waited for their next assignment to basic training. Camp Indiantown Gap, PA was where they trained the men (basic training), and served as the staging area for the New York Port of Embarkation. Seven Army divisions were given their final training at the Gap before being shipped overseas. The 2nd Infantry Division was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, TX so if your father did do his training at Indiantown Gap he was assigned to the 2nd as a replacement. Without any documentation, where he did his basic training is only a guess, but it was customary to send the men to the closest induction center, and then to the nearest training facility. Advanced training sometimes required sending the troops to a secondary post but most infantry units could handle both basic and advanced infantry training at the same facility.

    A man that enlisted, say in South Dakota, would go to the nearest induction center for processing--say Fort Smelling, MN. Then if he was assigned to an Armor unit, he would be sent to Fort Knox or the newly opened Ft. Campbell KY where they did basic and advanced training in tank warfare.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I wouldn't be to sure...soldiers from Wilkes-Barre wound up going to many different places for Basic.
     
  9. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    "Without any documentation, where he did his basic training is only a guess, but it was customary to send the men to the closest induction center, and then to the nearest training facility. "
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    That seems to have held true for those inducted prior to early 1942. However, for those inducted from late 1942 on, that does not hold true, and the inductees were sent all over the US for basic training.
     
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  11. jimmc

    jimmc Member

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    thanks, I am going to see him tonight, I will ask him again and mention some of the names maybe that will trigger something.
     
  12. jimmc

    jimmc Member

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    I talked to my father again and asked if his basic training was in pa, he said no he thinks it might of been in Virginia or a little south of there. I guess I will never really find out.
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  14. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    The induction center to which they reported to would have been local, but where they went for training was not necessarily closest to home. My great uncles seem to have gone straight to their assigned units for training. Glenn's enlistment date was 24 Feb 1942. On 2 Mar 1942, he shows up on SO #61 of HQ 129th Infantry at Camp Forrest, TN assigning him to the Anti-Tank Company of the 129th. He was later transferred to E Company. His brother, Norman, enlisted 21 Mar 1942 and was sent to Fort Lewis, WA to train with the 776th Tank Destroyer Bn, which was his permanent unit. Obviously, their experience was different than someone who entered the War at a later date. I only mention them to illustrate that, especially early on, soldiers may not have gone through BT before being assigned to their permanent unit.

    I also had an uncle who enlisted in July 1944. I discovered through a hometown newspaper article that he went to Camp Fannin, TX for basic training. At the time, Camp Fannin was an infantry replacement training center. One of our (former?) members, Earthican, did some excellent work on the Army Replacement system. Here is a quote from one of his posts that explains the Infantry Replacement Training (IRT) process:

    "Fort Snelling is a regional Reception Center where he would be medically examined, tested for aptitude and issued a first set of uniforms. From there he would go by train to an Infantry Replacement Training Center for 13 to 17 weeks of basic and infantry training. Most would be allowed ten days furlough home and then report to Fort Meade, Maryland where Ground Force soldiers (mostly infantry) were accumulated to insure a steady flow overseas. Soldiers destined for northern Europe were sent out through New York or Boston. They would arrive at Glagow, Scotland or Liverpool, England and travel by train to a Replacement Depot in southwestern England. Through this transit period attempts were made to keep soldiers physically in-shape (road marching) and skilled with their primary weapon (dis-assembly and re-assembly). From England soldiers were shipped across the channel, in groups called Casual Detachments, and received by the field army Replacement Battalions where they would live in fields awaiting an assignment to a division.

    IRT provided basic skills but little tactical field training. When replacements arrived at a unit in combat they were often bewildered by unit procedures -- moving when they shouldn't, not moving when they should. Survival skills like judging the sound of approaching enemy artillery fire, before it landed, took time to acquire. Most everyone knew it was better to assign replacements when the unit was off the front line, but for circumstance, this was perceived as not always possible."​

    infantry training
     
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  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That does suggest that it might be worth checking out the back issues of the home town newspaper if they exists. Local library may be a good source.
     
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  16. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    That's something I often suggest. There are 2 caveats: 1) after early 1943, specific info is less likely as home front security was more widely practiced 2) don't take info from newspapers at face value. Always try to confirm the info.

    The info I got on my uncle was a post-War article, so there was no security concern.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  17. jimmc

    jimmc Member

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    I did search news paper archives a little bit, will have to search more, he said he enlisted in wilkes barre pa which is about 40 miles from his home town, he remembers taking the train there so i'm assuming that's where the induction was which was probably the wilkes barre armory, I know there was a Scranton armory which would be half the distance but maybe it wasn't open back then, I did ask him last night if he was ever in Scotland because he said he was on the ile de france which left on jan. 18th out of boston and went to Scotland,but he said he wasn't in Scotland but was in northern England the ship and date of departure match what he remembers so again i'm assuming he was probably on that ship but just doesn't recall going to Scotland., his one paper I was reading did say he departed for eto on jan'18th. and arrived jan. 30th he doesn't remember when he was assigned to his unit but my mother did say his training was cut short was able to go home for a week and then was shipped out.
     
  18. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    It's possible the ship stopped in Scotland, but the soldiers did not disembark until it arrived in England. In that case, it is less likely he would recall Scotland.
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Also possible they were told they'd arrived in Great Britain and translated that as "England" especially if they were sent by train south right after they debarked.
     
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  20. jimmc

    jimmc Member

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    very possible, he did say he remembers riding trains over there, but the way I understood him it was while he was in germany, he said they would jump on the tanks most of the time and once in a while they would jump on a train, to get where they were going, but what I could see of ship departures on jan. 18th 1945 the ile de france is the only one I could find online. could it be that all ship crossings are not documented. because he did tell me when they first arrived that they traveled the coast of Italy where they were supposed to get off but then plans were changed and they went in the waters off north Africa and up to Europe. could it be also that back then most of the soldiers really didn't know exactly where they were a lot of the time, I would think it would be a very confusing time for them, so many like my father from small towns just out of high school and shipped somewhere you probably never heard of. I guess this is true with most wars.
     

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