Not sure the best place to post this, but I figured I'd put his bio and a couple pics I have here. Maybe I can post some stories along the way with related threads as they come up. I already mentioned the 949th's involvement in the attack on the 106th Panzer Brigade at Mairy here: http://www.ww2f.com/wwii-general/10194-panzer-division-feldherrnhalle.html --------------------------------- 1/SGT Frank J. Parada Dad enlisted in the MI National Guard in 1936 with the 182nd Field Artillery Regiment ("Might if Right") which was inducted into Federal service on April 7, 1941. He entered active duty then as a Sergeant through Ft. Custer, MI. In 1941 he completed 12 weeks of QMC - Cook and Bakers School and served as a Mess Sergeant at Ft. Leavenworth, KS and elsewhere. In 1943 he was sent to the 949th Field Artillery Battalion at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO to become an artillery gunnery sergeant, ultimately promoted to First Sergeant "responsible for control, coordination, and tactical employment of four 155mm Howitzers manned by 102 enlisted battery crewman." (On March 1, 1943, the 182nd Field Artillery Regiment was broken up and its 2d Battalion was redesignated as the 949th Field Artillery BN). I know they had 3 months of maneuvers/desert warfare training in the Mojave Desert in 1943. The battalion was then transferred to Fort Bragg, NC in Nov. 1943. He departed the US from NY on June 22, 1944 on the troop transport Queen Elizabeth and arrived in Greenock, Scotland June 28, 1944. Entrained to Leominster, England with final assembly in Southampton Aug. 3, landing at Utah Beach Aug. 5, 1944 with BTRY B 949th FA BN. Battles and Campaigns: Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe. Wounded in action Feb. 21, 1945 in Germany (Shrapnel injury to cervical spine, closed head injury), awakening from coma on his birthday Feb. 28 in a rear echelon hospital. Learned to walk again while in hospital in Paris and ultimately rejoined his unit. Decorations: Purple Heart Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal w/ 4 Bronze Stars, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation-Germany, Honorable Service Lapel Button and Marksman Badge with Carbine, M1 Rifle and Pistol Bars. He departed Europe Oct. 19, 1945 (unknown Victory ship), arrived USA Oct. 30, 1945 and separated from the Army due to demobilization Nov. 4, 1945 at Indiantown GAP MIL RES, PA. He returned to Detroit, MI where he lived until his passing June 6, 1991. Dad was very proud of his service in the Field Artillery and to have served under Gen. Patton in the Third Army. We saw the movie Patton together when it came out and he felt this was a very realistic portrayal of the General as he saw him, specifically commenting on the mornings he saw Patton in his jeep heading to the front line, the prayer for good weather, etc. I thank my father, 1/SGT Frank J. Parada, just one of millions of citizen soldiers, who fought for freedom and was fortunate enough to return home. I am proud of him and the 949th FA BN for their superb contribution to Allied Victory in WWII. ----------------------------------- My avatar is a picture of him undoubtedly taken in 1945, as The Purple Heart ribbon is on his lapel. I think this was taken in Paris, as I know he had a portrait done there while on a pass, after he was released from the hospital. I'm awaiting that portrait and other pictures my sister has at present. This is a picture while he was with the MI National Guard, 182nd FA Rgmnt, sometime between 1936 and 1941. He was 16 when he joined, lying about his birthday, which I guess was not uncommon in those days. His military records list his birth year as 1918, reflecting this and not the correct year of 1920. I'm guessing the pose with the BAR is for "effect" and he was probably between 16-18 years old here. He's in front of a Model 1918 155mm Howitzer, the predecessor of the M1 155mm Howitzer, which they fielded with the 949th. I'm also guessing this was taken at Camp Grayling, MI, where the NG still maintains a range, etc. He's on the left side in the photo below, wearing the "Mae West". I don't have any idea who the fellow is on the right. I wish I knew where this photo was taken. I wonder if the water in the back is the English Channel, reflecting a recent crossing, but I just don't know.