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Found Dad in 41st Armored Infantry, Co. D, 2nd Armored

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by VT03A3, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. VT03A3

    VT03A3 Member

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    As you may recall, I have been looking for information on my Dad, PFC Kenneth G. Magoon. I didn't have much information on his locations and activities in the 2nd Armored after he landed at Normandy.

    His pay records were burned up so I contacted the VA last April and asked for his C-file. It arrived last week, all 292 pages on a CD.

    He had 3 wartime hospitalizations - November 19 to 23, 1944 298th General Hospital for blast wounds (Puffendorf?), January 16 through 19 1945 for frostbite (around Samree) at the 28th General Hospital, and January 27 through February 2 1945 for intestinal difficulty (same place). On each of these records was clearly marked "41st Armored Infantry, Company D".

    I have contacted a researcher about looking for morning reports and other records at the Eisenhower Library, where I understand many 2nd Armored records are kept. I have not heard back yet. I will branch out to other researchers if necessary. I also posted an information request with the 2nd armored association.

    I'm interested in any sources of information on the activities of his unit and would be thrilled if anyone who might have known him were still alive.
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Pretty exciting news. Do you know what awards he had (sorry if you've already posted this, I'm very forgetful)? A researcher is the way to go. I hired one to find out more about my father's service. While it was expensive, he had morning reports, etc. that I would never find. Best of luck with your search.
     
  3. VT03A3

    VT03A3 Member

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    Thanks. He had a Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and a PUC. The researcher just emailed me that he is on his way out of town for the weekend but will follow up Monday. It was a fast reply as I had just emailed him.
     
  4. Natman

    Natman Member

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    I might be telling you something you already know but Morning Reports are at the Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, not the Eisenhower Library. There are 12,500 pages of 2nd AD records at the EL If you live anywhere within a day of Abilene, Kansas, I would sure recommend you visit the EL and copy the records you're interested in. It's an interesting experience, to say the least, and the folks there are easy to work with.

    Here's a link to the pages that list the records available for the 2nd AD (page 39), and the 41st AI (page 50), you'll have to scroll thru the Airborne units and the 1st AD: http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/research/finding_aids/pdf/US_Army_Unit_Records_1.pdf

    Steve
     
  5. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    The CIB would also entitle him to a Bronze Star, as per General Marshall post-war.
     
  6. VT03A3

    VT03A3 Member

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    Thanks to both for good info!
     
  7. Buten42

    Buten42 Member

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    VT, just finished reading a personal account by Paul J Andert who fought with Company "B" 41st Armored infantry in seven campaigns. The book is titled "Unless You Have Been There". I picked it up on Amazon. I realize you are looking for something more specific about your father but this might give you an idea of what others in the 41st went through.

    This may be old news, but a good history of the 2nd Armored is "Hell on Wheels" by Donald Hueston. The 41st was attached to the 2nd throughout. Thanks for the update on your progress, if I run across any other tid-bits which might help I'll post them.
    Dave
     
  8. Powerhouse

    Powerhouse New Member

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    I'm agree with you Buten42, this is a very good book.
    You can have a look at his website: http://paulandert.com/
    The informations about the 41st Armored Infantry Regiment are rare.
     
  9. VT03A3

    VT03A3 Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the good info. I will get the Andert book. I just ordered "Armored Attack 1944: U.S. Army Tank Combat in the European Theater from D-Day to the Battle of the Bulge" by Steven Zaloga. I understand it is mostly a picture book, but very good. As it says, it covers D-day to the Bulge. There is another volume that covers from there to the end of the war. I also have the Houston book. I read it a few years ago but will read it again now that I know more.

    The records of my Dad's 3 hospitalizations in November '44 and January '45 are hard to read. I will have to print them out, blow them up, change contrast etc. They are mostly handwritten and the writing is bad. Some of the terminology can be confusing too. It will take some time.
     
  10. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    If you get stuck on something, post it here and maybe we can be of some help.
     
  11. VT03A3

    VT03A3 Member

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    Well, thanks to a researcher in St. Louis, I know more now, but still have gaps. My Dad transferred into the 41st AIR from the 86th Replacement Battalion on August 15, 1944. Other than his having told me he landed in Normandy on June 12, I know nothing of his time in England or Normandy. I have a fair number of morning reports and rosters for Company D, 41st AIR, from August 15 up to his hospitalization on January 16, 1945. When he left the 28th General Hospital on February 4, 1945 he went to the 3rd Reinforcement Depot. After that, there is brief mention of him in the 502nd Engineering Light Pontoon Company and then he is found in 3191st Engineer Base Depot Company sometime before July, 1945 when he ends up in the 2905th Engineer Depot Platoon.

    He remained in the 2905th until transferred to the 32nd General Hospital in September, 1945. This outfit was evidently an agglomeration of the physically infirm. They were placed on the hospital ship Marine Angel which departed France on October 2, 1945 and arrived in New York on October 11. Then it was over to Ft. Monmouth, NJ on the 12th and discharge on the 20th of October.

    I have a ton of higher level information from Abilene, both regimental morning reports and after action reports. Between that, the St. Louis material and the VA material, I have over a thousand pages related to my Dad's service. However, [SIZE=12pt]I have a gap between June 12, 1944 and August 15, 1944. I also know next to nothing of February and March 1945. These two gaps would really complete his war history but I need unit info to get morning reports. I have a record stating that he was treated for a possible ulcer on April 10, 1944 but I have no idea where, in England or still in the states. On that record it says Company A, Regiment and arm of service 30 - 8. What could that mean?[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]This may be all I ever know, and I suppose I am fortunate to have what I do.[/SIZE]
     
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  12. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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  13. VT03A3

    VT03A3 Member

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    Thanks for the info. I had never considered the possibility that he might have remained in a replacement battalion for two months. I think it more likely that he was only in it for a few days, but you never know. I am told that it is very hard to know who was in those units as people moved through quickly and records were not as good as a normal unit.
     
  14. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    As you indicated, personnel records from the Repple Depple units is non-existent, so it is not easy to determine when he was with the 86th other than the info you have from the 41st AIR MR indicating his transfer. It is, at least, an interesting coincidence that the date he recalls landing on Normandy is the same date the 86th landed there. By the way, Fold3.com has a collection of reports on the US Army Replacement units. No personnel records, of course. However, they do cover logistics, locations of units, training, etc. There are even some training photos of the 86th Repl. Bn. near Aachen, Germany. The photos are probably from later than August 1944, but they are interesting. Just thought I'd mention it in case you or someone else is interested.
     
  15. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I wrote a book about a now deceased friend from my church who server with the 30th Infantry Division. A childhood friend of his spent about 5 months at a Replacement Depot. He never learned why he was there for so long. He thought his records were lost or misplaced, but did not know for certain.
     
  16. Powerhouse

    Powerhouse New Member

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    It is difficult to understand how a soldier could stay two months in Replacement Bn while nearby units suffered significant losses and the need of new soldier was strong... especially when you think that all the delivery were to be made by boat...
    I have numerous examples where when the soldier came ashore just after D-Day, he was assigned at a new units the same day or in two or three days....
    But never say never....
    But the dates seems to correspond...
     
  17. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

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    Replacements were requisitioned by MOS. If your father happened to have an MOS that saw low loss rates, he could easily have stayed in the replacement depot for awhile. Also, the Neptune assault divisions each carried an overstrength of 2,500 (assigned to specific divisions, not a general pool), which lasted them awhile. Beyond this, the early replacements were apportioned by predicted losses. It turned out that early losses in riflemen and heavy weapons crews in infantry companies were a much higher percentage than predicted, and, thus, other specialties were lower.

    I don't know where your father's MOS would be listed other than on his discharge. Do you have any recollection of his job? EM MOS numbers (technically called SSN) are three digit in case your records list something.

    In describing this period, the Army Green Books say that on July 23, there were only 750 immediately available rifleman replacements in France, so it seems a bit unlikely that was his MOS. He could have been retrained in a new MOS later and that event might appear on the morning reports. But if I read your post correctly, you only acquired the post-August MRs for his company.

    If there's a daily G-1 report or log for the 41st AIB, it might note the MOS of replacements reporting on the date of your father's arrival with the 41st. If so, maybe you'll get lucky and the numbers will be small enough to make an educated guess on his MOS.

    Good luck. You've done a great job so far.
     
  18. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Morning Reports will often indicate the MOS of the soldiers referenced in a given entry.
     
  19. VT03A3

    VT03A3 Member

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    Stateside, my father drove trucks up to 2 1/2 ton. That would be MOS 345, which he had when he was in the Engineering units in mid-1945. While he was with the 41st AIR he was MOS 745 - infantry. During his January 1945 hospitalization he complained about being moved to infantry and that all he wanted to do was drive truck. So he might have landed with MOS 345 and then when they got really short on infantry, they retrained him. So it does make sense that he might have been in the 86th for some time as a 345 before they converted him.
     
  20. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

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    Well, I had half of it about half right. You're way ahead of me (again).

    Replacement depots were required to prepare morning reports. All changes of status were entered on morning reports. A new MOS is a status change. So, if the date your father became a Rifleman (that's what 745 means, as opposed to a general 'infantry' description) is of interest in understanding why he stayed with the depot for two months, then the 86th's MRs hold the answer. Heck, for all we know (I say I hate to speculate, then I plunge ahead anyway), he had a relapse with his April health issue and was on limited duty as a light truck driver with the 86th and when he improved he got converted during the summer 1944 rifleman replacement crisis.

    All this comes through the Machine Records Unit using IBM mainframe computers to process data. It's an interesting story in itself. The morning report was the primary (though not the only) source for personnel changes. The example I like to use is from the 12th Army Group official history. It mentions that on 15 Dec 44, the 12th's rifleman understrength was 17,581. The only way in 1944 to produce that number in a timely manner is through the MRU showing daily status changes, and those status changes were compiled from morning reports. The system knew how many riflemen were currently authorized and it knew how many were present for duty that day. That total, of course, came from reconciling departures of casualties and arrival of returnees and replacements shown on morning reports. A duty reassignment from 345 to 745 would reduce the 345 'present for duty' total by one while increasing the 745 by one. It's an accounting entry sorted in a database.
     

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