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Help Identifying Grandfather's Unit via Photos

Discussion in 'What Granddad did in the War' started by Peter Arcara, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Peter Arcara

    Peter Arcara New Member

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    Hello all,

    This is my first post here, and I was inspired by my mother wondering about her father's service in WW2. We have photos of him in Mannheim, Germany where he was apparently stationed. He really never spoke of the war when he returned, and unfortunately he passed about 25 years ago. If he was alive when I was an adult I would have certainly asked him for whatever details he would have been willing to share. I am posting a couple of pictures to hopefully start some trails that I can research. What I have gathered so far is that he was under the command of the 7th Army (at least he was at the time of this photo?) Also it looks like he was a part of the 1323 Labor Supervisor Co.? But I literally can't find anything about this unit...

    Any help would be immensely appreciated! Thanks.

    Pappy_Jeep.jpg Pappy_Monument.jpg
     
  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Is that a "T" patch (36ID) in the 2nd pic? I just have my phone so I can't get a good look at it.
     
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  3. Peter Arcara

    Peter Arcara New Member

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    Its really hard to say... I was looking through all of the shoulder insignias to see which ones seemed like a match, and that's the only one I really thought it could be. In online info I found on the 36th it seems they were in Texas for a bit, and he was in Texas at some point before the war. So it's very possible. I am going to ask my mother to see if there are any better pictures of him in his uniform that would show his shoulder patch.
     
  4. KMZgirl

    KMZgirl Member

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    What was his name? Is that a T on his arrowhead shaped shoulder patch?

    Edited to add, I was googling and didn't see the other post.
     
  5. Peter Arcara

    Peter Arcara New Member

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    His name is on that plaque. And it seems like that is the best guess for what patch is on his shoulder.
     
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  6. KMZgirl

    KMZgirl Member

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    Gotcha. I didn't realize that was his name.
     
  7. Powerhouse

    Powerhouse New Member

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    Hello,
    It is the patch orf the 36th ID.
    But, his unit seems to be the 1323th Labor Supervision Co.
    The Labor Supervision Companies managed PW's or civilian displaced persons and give them an employment with the army on different tasks (guard, construction,....).
    We can see on the bumper of the jeep that is unit is directly dependant of the 7th US Army.
    For me, your grandfather was previously assigned to the 36th ID and was reassigned to the 1323th LSC after the en of the war. He did not change the patch?
    Moreover, the 36th ID returned to the United States in December 1945 and the second photo was taken in 1946....
     
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  8. Peter Arcara

    Peter Arcara New Member

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    Thanks for the response! Well, that makes sense about what he did after the end of the war in Germany. The one thing we knew was that the German POW's really liked him a lot, and they even made him this wood carving of him and his jeep. I didn't mention that in my original post. As someone who hasn't followed military history, it is really hard to follow the structure of the units. So thanks for your insight into when the 36th went back to the US.
     
  9. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    The 1323rd Labor Supervision Headquarter (not the full company) earned campaign credit for Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns.
    Both were active 2 May 1945 until 31 Oct 1945 in Germany.

    My first thought when looking at the divisional patch was the 25th Division and immediately thought, "What is he doing in Europe that soon after the European war has ended with that patch."

    After blowing up the photo some, I am convinced it is a 36th Infantry Division patch. Being a resident of Texas or even ever in Texas was not a requirement for serving with the 36th ID. By this point in the war, I would suspect the number of Texans in the division was a rather small minority, especially among the combat arms.

    You might find some general information about Labor Supervision units in this:http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdo...29745A7D?doi=10.1.1.731.232&rep=rep1&type=pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    When was he drafted? He may have been a low point man and was separated from the 36th ID when it came home.

    I can't tell in the photo if the branch insignia on his lower lapel is crossed pistols, sabers, cannons or muskets. That would tell us something more about him. Crossed pistols would be more in line with what he did post war and might tell us what he did for the 36th ID.

    He is wearing 4 Overseas Service bars, indicating at least 24 months overseas at that time. I'm guessing he went over as a replacement in 1944, as the 36th had already been in theater since 1942.
     
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  11. Peter Arcara

    Peter Arcara New Member

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    Wow, thanks for the info about the bars on his sleeves! I was wondering what that meant... He probably did come over at that time (1944), since what I have gathered is that the 36th was in Italy before going into France and Germany.

    One other note that I should have mentioned is that my grandfather met my grandmother in Gloucester, UK before going over to Europe. So I am guessing that happened before he met up with the 36th? We have been chatting with family in the UK and they seem to think that he came to France via the beaches on Western france, but not on D-Day. So that would match up with the 7th Army detail I believe.

    I am checking with my mother to see if she has any pictures of his lapel pins to see if that gives any clues.
     
  12. Powerhouse

    Powerhouse New Member

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    The fact that he passed by UK credited the thesis that he was joining the division as a replacement, probably towards the end of 1944 or early 1945.
    Indeed the division has fought, since 1943, on the Mediterranean front. The division has landed in August 1944 in Provence and goes back to the North East of France where it has fought until the beginning of 1945. And never passed by England.
    Reinforcements from England therefore certainly joined the division only towards the end of 1944.
     
  13. Peter Arcara

    Peter Arcara New Member

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    So does that mean that he was in a different unit until he joined up with the 36th? Or do they assign reinforcements to that division before officially joining up with them? Sorry for my relative naive understanding of troop units... I have never really looked into it until now. I think the most I'd ever heard about units is from reading a book like "Band of Brothers".
     
  14. Powerhouse

    Powerhouse New Member

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    For resume, Replacement sent from US, trought UK or directly to France (depending of the period) and then assigned at a Replacement Depot (known as "repple depple") and then assigned to an unit which lack of personnal.
     
  15. Peter Arcara

    Peter Arcara New Member

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    Thanks so much to everyone that has responded.

    To respond to Slipdigit's post my mom found these muskets at home. She has been looking through some of my grandpa's stuff that she didn't even realize she had. It's so amazing to her that the internet can be used for finding out these things we never thought we could. Also, so much of this would have never meant anything informative to us without this insight.

    So what do these muskets mean? Thanks again!
     

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  16. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    They are actually crossed rifles. They're the insignia of the infantry.
     
  17. Peter Arcara

    Peter Arcara New Member

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    Ah right, my mistake. Thanks for the clarification!
     
  18. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Kind of late to the party . The top picture was most likely taken in Germany when the 36th ID was part of the 7th Army. The 36th was part of the 5th Army until August 1944, prior to the invasion of Southern France, when it was attached to the 7th Army. Prior to that it was attached to the 5th Army during the Italian Campaign. My guess is that the picture was taken, sometime between 29 Sept. 1944 and 31 March 1946 when the 7th Army was part of the XV corps.

    The building in the back looks a lot like the Police Headquarters Building located behind Dachau concentration camp in Nuremberg.... trying to find a picture of it to compare.
    The 36th, while part of the 7th Army, participated in the capture Nuremberg and Munich.

    As stated above this is all gleaned from the bumper of the Jeep.

    The bottom picture tells us that your grandfather must have been in Europe/ Germany at least until 1946 (date on the plaque 1945 & 1946) again XV corps.

    My guess is that your grandfather joined the 36th late in the game as a replacement and did not have enough "points" to rotate home and was assigned to the Labor Service Corps. I would expect to see more awards beings he had been overseas for 24 months (i.e. Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, Campaign Ribbon) however this may have been an attempt to not intimidate / create discontent in the PW's he was in charge of.... Just a guess.

    It would be interesting to figure out where that plaque is located and if it still exists.

    Brad
     
  19. Peter Arcara

    Peter Arcara New Member

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    Thanks for the insight Brad!

    That is really interesting about the top picture possibly being Dachau. I have a feeling that the picture with the Jeep was taken after the war in Europe ended. Some others mentioned that he was in the 1323rd Labor Supervision Headquarter, and it seems he was given a field commendation and moved to that unit. Not sure if that changes where that picture could be.

    I believe he was stationed in Mannheim, Germany after the war. The bottom picture has that specified on the back. I would LOVE to know if that plaque still existed... I somewhat doubt it, but I guess there are others that have. So it might be possible.

    Let me know if you find that reference picture that reminds you of the building in the background of the Jeep pic.

    Thanks again!
     
  20. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Both pics suggest he was serving with the 1323d Labor Supervision Company ('1323 LSC' on bumper & plaque). I came across a document placing the 1323d at Mannheim in Jan 1945. I just have my phone now. I'll see about uploading it later.
     
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