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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. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

    Jun 3, 2011
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    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Well, I had recalled the date incorrectly. It was 15 June 1945 that they were at Mannheim:

    ContAdvSectionHistory_Page_218.jpg ContAdvSectionHistory_Page_219.jpg

    These pages are from the Continental Advance Section (CONAD) Command Reports.
    Peter Arcara likes this.
  2. Peter Arcara

    Peter Arcara New Member

    Jun 17, 2019
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    Ok, thanks so much for the info!

    Just an update to everyone who posed in this thread, my mom has been digging through anything that could be related to my grandpa's time in ww2, and she seems to have found some things. I will be at their house this weekend, and I will take pictures of anything else that might give more detail of his time in Germany.
    TD-Tommy776 likes this.
  3. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Aug 7, 2015
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    My 2 cents. The Mannheim photo shows him in his Class A uniform, so I suspect it is a shot from a presentation ceremony for the plaque. Trees are bare, but no snow on the ground and he is not wearing gloves or an overcoat or even a cover, so that makes it likely very early spring 1946...call it March. With two years of overseas service at that time, he arrived in Europe sometime between c. November 1943 and March 1944 (if it was before November 1943 he would have another six-month stripe). My suspicion is he was an infantry replacement in the 36th ID in Italy...possibly about the time of the Rapido debacle, then served with the 36th until it rotated home at the end of the war in December 1945. I doubt that any man with two years of combat service had points low enough not to rotate home, so the other alternative is he was offered a commission as a lieutenant to stay in as part of the Army of occupation and was put in command of the 1323d. Fold3 shows Francis W Szymkowiak as enlisting 4 February 1943 in Buffalo, New York. Is that him? If so, enlistment in February and arrival in theater around November 1943 as a replacement is pretty reasonable, especially if he was assigned originally to another division that was raided for replacements, which was common in the fall of 1943 and winter of 1943/1944.
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    May 21, 2007
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    I have some contacts in Mannheim. I will send photos to them and see if they recognize the location.
  5. Peter Arcara

    Peter Arcara New Member

    Jun 17, 2019
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    Yes my grandfather enlisted in Buffalo!

    Also, it seems to make sense that he took a commission to stay in the army. My mom thinks that would be in character for him.

    My mom found a bunch of paperwork from him and I will take some pictures of it tomorrow night and share it.

    Slipdigit, I am really excited to hear that you have a contact in Mannheim! Hopefully they will have some insight.

    Thanks again to you all! This has been a very exciting last week or so for my family.
  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

    Jan 5, 2009
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    Very exciting. You got a lot of information quickly just from people looking at pictures. I'm looking forward to whatever paperwork you have. Maybe it will give us further insight into his service. Good luck.

    here is his basic information.
    Francis W Szymkowiak

    Army Serial Number:

    Enlistment Place:
    Buffalo New York

    Enlistment Date:
    4 Feb 1943

    Army Branch:
    Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA


    Race Or Ethnicity:

    Tarrant County, Texas

    Enlistment Term:
    Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law

    Source Of Army Personnel:
    Civil Life

    Army Component:
    Selectees (Enlisted Men)

    Level Of Education:
    4 years of high school

    Unskilled nonprocess occupations in manufacturing, n.e.c.

    Marital Status:
    Single, without dependents

    Birth Date:

    Birth Place:
    New York
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
    formerjughead likes this.

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