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Edward William Gruss Technician Fourth Class, U.S. Army Service # 33003315 46th Tank Battalion, 13th

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by missconduct, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. missconduct

    missconduct Member

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    I HAVE AN UPDATE!!!!!!!
    I received an email today from a very interesting source. I am very excited. Please see message below.

    Julie:
    I came across your posting and conversation on a Genealogy site. Edward was a friend of my father. My dad told me that Edward shot in the neck by a sniper in the closing days of WWII.

    Edwards daughter “Elisabeth Ann Gruss” is buried in my mother “Betty” old family plot at Louden Park Cemetery on Wilkins Ave Baltimore ,Md

    Edwards folded flag along with my father’s flag is displayed on my mantel at my home. They are not forgotten!

    I hope this information helps.

    Best Regards
    William Reed
     
  2. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Great news for you!!! Fingers crossed for more.

    Have you seen this short memory of a B Company veteran? Nothing new here, just a near encounter.

    Fred Himmelstein: January 2011
     
  3. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Feeling a little low lately but nothing picks me up better than working on a few maps....

    When we found the unit documents I took a quick look and I didn't think they would help much. When I returned to them later I found they had some details but go completely vague exactly on the dates we are most interested in, 14 April and 18 April.

    Nonetheless I used Google terrain maps to sketch the route of TF SATT from 10 April to 15 April (attached).

    On the 10_15 April map, all the action is east of Cologne (Köln) and the Rhine River. The TF SATT crossed the Sieg River on 10 April, just east of Siegburg, in the zone of the 97th Infantry Division, and drove north on the 11th, 12th and 13th. On the 14th of April the AAR mentions a mission to contact the 78th ID to the northeast. It mentions the town of Wuppertal but I don't think they got very near that town. The large situation maps (attached) show an enemy pocket between the 13th AD / 97th ID and the 78th ID. I suspect TF SATT attempted to clear that pocket on the 14th. I drew a small oval in the general area but have no idea where TF SATT traveled -- off the map I suspect.

    The unit assembled late on 14 April and traveled to Leverkusen and remained there on the 15th.

    More to come...
     

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  4. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Picking up the story of Task Force SATT in Leverkusen, I attached a second map. This map covers operations for 16 to 18 April 1945 in the area east of Dusseldorf.

    I also attached some excerpts from the AAR that show the Task Force composition, dates and locations. Notice there is a mention of TF SATT consisting of TF MACFARLAND and TF COX. B Company of the 46th Tank Battalion is paired with B Company of the 67th Armored Infantry Battalion in TF COX.

    After resting on the 15th of April, the Task Force drives north again on the 16th. Some resistance is reported north of Hilden but they reach the area of Mettmann.

    On the 17th, the AAR mentions a special mission under Lieutenant Colonel Frame (sp?) to capture German Field Marshall Model. Two units mentioned are B-67 and B-46 (Companies B of the 67th AIB and 46th TB [or TF COX?]). As we know Model committed suicide and I don't think this group got close to his actual location.

    B-67 and B-46 returned to TF SATT at 2200hrs on the 17th at Peckhaus, northwest of Mettmann. On the 18th, the Task Force cleared the area northeast of Dusseldorf, from Mettmann to the Rhine.

    As as part of TF COX, B Company, 46th Tank Battalion is specifically mentioned in Hassel and later Peckhaus. I found a period map to locate those towns northwest of Mettmann (attached).

    So that's a basic understanding. Anyone trying to read the AAR should find the maps helpful.
     

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  5. missconduct

    missconduct Member

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    Hi guys, since you have all been of such invaluable help to me, above and beyond isn't sufficient a description, I thought you may want to hear the information I now have.
    I received an email one morning from a man who had seen my request for info. His first email is below...

    "..Julie:I came across your posting and conversation on a Genealogy site. Edward was a friend of my father. My dad told me that Edward shot in the neck by a sniper in the closing days of WWII.

    Edwards daughter “Elisabeth Ann Gruss” is buried in my mother “Betty” old family plot at Louden Park Cemetery on Wilkins Ave Baltimore ,Md

    Edwards folded flag along with my father’s flag is displayed on my mantel at my home. They are not forgotten!

    I hope this information helps..."

    I quickly realized that this was the son of my Uncle's girlfriend, Betty. So exciting! His response to my reply to his initial email is below.

    "...Betty was my mother. Her maiden name at that time was Betty Lydon. My mother pass in 1999. My mother was a friend of Helen Gruss, Edwards sister. They both worked together at Montgomery Ward Store in Baltimore. My mother never spoke about that part of her life. My sister and I pieced together everything we know.
    My father Leo was friends with Edward and his brother Bernie. They were neighbors in South Baltimore. The Gruss’s had a summer beach house in Rivera Beach just south of Baltimore where all the boy in the neighborhood would go during the summer. I was there a few time in the 1960 as a kid.

    I have some pictures deep in our family archives that I would like to send you of Edward. It will take some effort to find, but I know they are there.
    Edwards name is on the Maryland WWII memorial in Annapolis. I went to the memorial with my Father some 13 years ago . Dad found Ed’s name on the granite wall along with five or six others that he knew.

    I had the opportunity to visit the American Cemetery in Luxemburg when stationed in west Germany in the early eighties. What a beautiful site. The grounds were immaculately kept. It’s nice to know that people in the Netherlands still understand the sacrifice that was required. Many are forgotten as the years pass. I hope you have the opportunity to see Margraten for yourself.

    I will scan and send the photo as soon as I can..."

    I want to sincerely thank all of you, here on this board, for the time, effort, and selflessness in tirelessly taking your own personal time to help me find the answers I so desperately wanted. You have my respect, gratitude, and appreciation. THANK YOU!!!!!
    I'll still be around, both to find more info and to continue my "crusade of remembrance".
    I wouldn't have learned nearly as much as I have without your assistance. Again, thank you!
    <3 Jules
     
  6. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Great news, an amazing family story.
     
  7. missconduct

    missconduct Member

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    Now I'm waiting for photos. Since the IDPF never arrived, its unlikely I would have ever discovered the information had Betty's son not contacted me. The fact that he also has photos is unbelievable and wonderful. I'll share them once I receive them. :)
     
  8. missconduct

    missconduct Member

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    I finally received the IDPF. Not a whole lot of information, but interesting, nevertheless. I also received the photos from his late girlfriend's son. Here he is, in uniform. :)
    View attachment 18958

    Thanks again, everyone, you were all so amazingly supportive, helpful, and an endless source of information to me on my search. I'm forever indebted and appreciative.
     

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  9. Natman

    Natman Member

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    Thanks for updating us, good to see a photo of Edward. Very nice that the girlfriend's son came thru. Interesting that the photo shows his rank as Sergeant First Class (SFC, E-7) pre-war?

    I'm waiting on an IDPF for a distant relative (grandmother's nephew) that I recently found was killed in Italy. Fingers crossed that it will provide something useful.
     
  10. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Outstanding!!, super sharp too.

    The photo does add some more to his story. His rank in the photo is Technical Sergeant (one above Staff Sergeant, not a Technical Grade). The collar insignia is Armor Force. Given his long service stateside none of that is surprising. A Tech Sergeant could be the Platoon Sergeant of a tank platoon, second in command behind the Platoon Leader. Or he could have had a staff NCO position.

    Now I wonder whether he had to take the reduction in grade to be a tank mechanic and whether that entailed a "transfer" to Ordnance Corps or not.
     
  11. Natman

    Natman Member

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    You are correct regarding the rank, E-man. SFC didn't take affect until 1948.
     
  12. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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  13. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    That is a fantastic photo. It's nice to be able to put a face to the man we've been reading about and discussing. Thank you for sharing it with us.
     

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