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Continuing Research on Granddad

Discussion in 'Those Who Served' started by serjio, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. serjio

    serjio New Member

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    Hello everyone,,
    Just thought I would update everyone on how things are progressing in my research on Daniel W. McCarty, my granddad. (my original thread here: http://ww2f.com/threads/hello-new-member-researching-ww2-grandfather.70496)

    I've got my hands on a bunch of documents now that have painted a clearer overall picture of his service from Oct 44-June 45. I've been able to confirm (thanks to a lot of help from folks here) that he was drafted into the 44th ID and served in the Medical Detachment of the 71st IR. Furthermore, I've had success getting the index of the 44th ID from the National Archives. Even more good news is that there appears to be Operations Reports from the 71st ID spanning that exact same time period. I've sent off an email to the NARA researcher who reproduced the index to find out how to request those records.

    One question I do have is what other reports or documents may be relevant to him? There's just so much here and I don't know if requesting Divisional records will be of any use or if I'm better sticking to the Regimental level. Anyone have any experience? According to the researcher, "there are 50 boxes (Boxes 9209 - 9259) in total for the division; each box contains approximately 1,200 pages of documents." Yowsers!

    The terminology is also somewhat daunting - I don't know what "S 3 Reports" nor "S 2 Journals" are. This may prompt additional questions but hopefully I can draw upon the experience of others.
     
  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    They are references to Battalion staff positions. S2 refers to the Intelligence officer. S3 refers to Operations officer. So, an S2 Journal is they journal of the Intelligence officer. An S3 Report is an Operations Report. Journals tend to be line item entries, where reports tend to be narratives. Both can be very useful in researching a unit. However, I would start with the S3 Operations Reports as they are much easier to read.
     
  3. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Usually the Divisional records will have records of the component units (i.e. Regiments), so there should be 71st Infantry records in the 44th ID records. In general, the smaller the unit, the more relevant the records are to the individual soldier. However, it is unlikely you find any mention of your grandad by name in any of these records. The exception would be General Orders for awards and promotions, or casualty lists. They will, on the other hand, give you and idea of what his unit, and by extension, your granddad did during the War.

    I believe that your grandad was awarded a Silver Star Medal. The reference given was "HQ, 44th Infantry Division, G.O. No. 31 (1944)", so if you requested the 44th Division General Orders from 1944, you should find GO #31 which will list him by name and describe the circumstances for which he received the award. As you know, there is a brief description of his heroism in the 71st Regiment unit history book.

    My preferred method of WWII service research is to get the Company Morning Reports which will give you a daily record of where he was on any given day during the War. The MRs function as an outline of his service. Then use unit reports and histories to fill in the details as far as they can be determined.
     
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  4. KMZgirl

    KMZgirl Member

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    "My preferred method of WWII service research is to get the Company Morning Reports which will give you a daily record of where he was on any given day during the War." Who do you request these from or do you have to hire a researcher if you can't go in person? Thanks!
     
  5. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    The researcher I have used is Geoff at Golden Arrow Research. A simple Google search will take you to the website. It's a very good website with real examples of different types of records that they can obtain so you can get an idea of what you are likely to receive. Geoff will get the records and provide a brief summary of the veterans service as indicated from the MRs. Essentially, GAR obtains the documents requested. That is what I prefer because I like doing the research, but can't always make trips to St. Louis. I will say that I have found Geoff to be very fair and easy to work with. I have had a one or two occasions where he billed me for less than what he quoted because there were fewer records than he expected.

    There are other researchers (which I have not used) who advertise that they will provide a complete report using various sources of information including MRs and unit records. I don't know what they charge or what they actually produce, so I can't really say much more about them.
     

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