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Help request: 81st Field Artillery Battalion?!

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by SKYLINEDRIVE, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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    I am doing a research on the 81st F.A. Bn. of the 422 F.A. Grp. for an American Lady. Her father fought with that unit during WWII, first on the Aleutians, then in the ETO, through the Bulge until VE day. If anybody has any Information it would be greatly appreciated!

    Thnak you very much for your help!!

    Tom
     
  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I found the following in an obit for an officer who served with the 81st FA Bn:

    I also found the 81st FA listed in Field Artillery (CMH Pub. 60-11) ** Note: This links to a PDF of the publication.

    Page 948 of the publication has the following bibliography for the 81st Field Artillery Bn.:

    I hope that is of some help.
     
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  3. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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    Thanks TD-Tommy!!!!!!
     
  4. ShaneW

    ShaneW New Member

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    This may be late, but my Grandfather also fought with this unit. He was with the 58th Armored FA Bn from June 1941 through D-Day landing and with the 81st FA Bn from Late Sept 1944 thru VE Day due to an injury on Omaha that separated him from his unit. There is a small hardback booklet with red/maroon cover that details the action of this unit. My dad has granddad's copy--if interested, let me know. (it may be the second cited book above, i am not sure)
    This unit was indeed highly decorated for their contributions during the siege of Bastogne, the aformentioned book contains Gen. Patton's citation letter. My understanding is that they were one of the units holding Bastogne with the 101st Airborne. Granddad (Charlie Battery) tells the story of running the German lines in deuce and a halfs to resupply their 155 tractor drawn howitzers.

    These men fought through the Ardennes to Czechoslovakia and into Berlin during the ETO.
     
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  5. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Is it possible to scan the book? I know that books of that vintage can be in delicate condition, so I don't recommend it if that is the case. However, it would be very helpful to families of other 81st FA Bn veterans if a digital version were available.
     
  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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  7. ShaneW

    ShaneW New Member

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    Thank you for the welcome. I regret it took me so long to find this forum. Thank you for the reference Lou, I have requested a copy of that book as well as the History and Operations of the Eighty-First Field Artillery Battalion cited above from my local library--let's see if they can get it. Let me look into making a digital copy of Granddad's book. I will get back to you.

    The following books I have found very insightful in understanding the 58th AFA Bn:
    Highways of Hot Steel: The story of the 58th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, edited by Fran Baker available on Kindle
    Honor Untarnished, by General Donald V. Bennett (ret.) available used on Amazon

    I cannot imagine what it must have been like to drive through the Kasserine Pass.
     
  8. ShaneW

    ShaneW New Member

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    Tommy, Lou,

    I confirmed with Dad that the book I was referring to is indeed the cited book above:

    History and Operations of the Eighty-First Field Artillery Battalion, 8 June 1940 to 7 May 1945. Erfurt, Germany: Ohlenrothsche Buchdruckerei,
    1945. Also printed at Steinbach-Hallenberg, Germany, 1945.
     
  9. Vincent

    Vincent New Member

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    I am from Germany and my father in law was in the 81st FA. Today 70 years ago they have been near Arnstadt. It is only some miles distance to our home. We try to find out the track of the 81st here in Germany. Does someone know the excactly places where they have been?
    I found some details as preview, sadly I have no possibility to research in a German library. They don't have the book.

    History and Operations of the Eighty-First Field Artillery Battalion, 8 June 1940 to 7 May 1945. Erfurt, Germany: Ohlenrothsche Buchdruckerei,
    1945. Also printed at Steinbach-Hallenberg, Germany, 1945.

    It would be great to get an answer. Maybe I also can help with my information we have from the military papers.
    You must know it is a great feeling that a family member helped to liberate Germany in 1945!

    Thanks for your Help!
     
  10. ShaneW

    ShaneW New Member

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    Hello Vincent,

    I just got Granddad's book (the one you cite above) from my Dad last week--impeccable timing. Give me a few days and I will turn it into a digital record for you. It contains a mapped route of the battalion from Normandy to the Czech border. It also lists headquarter battery locations along the route, so you can easily follow their progress.

    I would be very interested in any additional information you might have about the battalion--especially the European campaign.
     
  11. Vincent

    Vincent New Member

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    Hello Novice,

    thank you for your answer. It would be great to get a copy of the informations.
    Lots of the places where the 81st FA BN has been in Germany and Luxembourg are well-known for me.
    My father-in-law got wounded by shrapnel both legs and knees on 17th Dec 1944 and he came into 635th General Hospital. Sadly I can't say when he came back to his unit. His military papers include no information about that.

    With the help of the military papers I tried to reconstruct the places where my father-in-law has been in Europe. I did it as good as I can (Don't know if it is correct):

    17.09.1944 arrivel New York
    00.00.1944 Scotland 00.09.1944 appendectomy - 81st FA Reims, France
    28.09.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) 198th Gen. Hospital France
    09.10.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) Les Pieux, France
    10.10.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) Les Mons, France
    11.10.444 81st FA Bn (155 How) Longumeau, France
    12.10.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) Chalones, France
    13.10.1944 13.10.-7.12.1944 First Army, VIII Corps, 83rd Infantry Division, 81st FA Bn (155 How) Kablen, L
    27.10.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) Welfrange, L
    03.11.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) Trintange, L
    04.11.1944 4.-6.11.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) Altwies, L
    13.11.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) Battle of Le Stromberg, Basse Konz
    01.12.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) Berburg, L
    05.12.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) Mondorf, L
    09.12.1944 9. - 22.12.1944 4th Infantry Division, 81st FA Bn (155 How) Flaxweiler, L
    12.12.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) Lellig, L
    15.12.1944 discharge
    16.12.1944 Third Army, 81st FA Bn (155 How)
    17.12.1944 wounded by shrapnel both legs and knees 635th Gen. Hosp. Germany
    28.12.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) Loufflemont, B
    29.12.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) Lonarie, B
    30.12.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) St. Marie, B
    31.12.1944 81st FA Bn (155 How) Grande Rosiere, B
    09.01.1945 81st FA Bn (155 How) Jodenville, B
    15.01.1945 81st FA Bn (155 How) Givry, B
    16.01.1945 81st FA Bn (155 How) Villereux, B
    06.02.1945 6.-12.2.1945 87th Infantry Division, 81st FA Bn (155 How)
    08.02.1945 81st FA Bn (155 How) Schonberg, Luxembourg
    11.02.1945 81st FA Bn (155 How) Auw, Germany
    18.02.1945 18.2.-8.3.1945 87th Infantry Division, 81st FA Bn (155 How)
    26.02.1945 81st FA Bn (155 How) Schonberg, Luxembourg
    07.03.1945 81st FA Bn (155 How) Auw, Germany
    07.03.1945 81st FA Bn (155 How) Schonfeld, Germany
    15.03.1945 15.-22-03.1945 ??? 81st FA Bn (155 How) Lissendorf, Germany
    29.03.1945 81st FA Bn (155 How) Battle of Coblenz
    05.04.1945 89th Infantrie Division,422d fa gp, 81st FA Bn (155 How) Battalion crosses Rhein River at St. Goar
    22.04.1945 1st US Army, 81st FA Bn (155 How) liberation concentration camp Ohrdruf
    07.05.1945 81st FA Bn (155 How) "Cease Firing" (Waffenstillstand), Stenn
    00.09.1945 281st FA
    00.10.1945 ? 193rd FA
     
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  12. ShaneW

    ShaneW New Member

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    I have the book scanned into 3 pdfs. I don't know how to post them here or if I can

    Tommy/Lou, what is the best way to get them posted so other folks can view/download them?
     
  13. ShaneW

    ShaneW New Member

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    Lou, I saw you sent me a document via email (a tax return?). But I am still unclear how you did it.
     
  14. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I didn't mean to. I was trying something. I'm not sure how you got it. I'll be back later.
     
  15. bking191

    bking191 New Member

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    My father was in Battery C of the 81st from its formation in Seattle, to Alaska, reorganization at Camp Chaffee, and then the campaign in Europe, starting at Normandy and ending at Stenn, Germany. Because he could type he was assigned as a battery clerk. I have a copy of the History and Operations book but it is in very bad shape. Would love to have a digital copy if anybody could scan it and make it available. Also, does anybody know any living veterans from the battalion? My father passed away in 1995 and he never kept in touch. These guys gave it all for us. They went through hell together. The carnage was so bad my father just wouldn't talk about it after the war.
     
  16. ShaneW

    ShaneW New Member

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    Bruce,

    I have the book scanned at full scale and in color where required (cover, inside cover, and blazon) at 200 dpi, so it maintains resolution. I wanted it to look as close to possible to the original. I broke it into 3 pdfs so they would each be less than 4 MB (some folks have email restrictions). I was hoping to get some guidance as to how to post it for anyone, but so far I don't know how. I can email it out to anyone who wants it.

    It is great to hear from another 81st FA Bn legacy. My grandfather is still living (he is 94). He joined the Bn for the European campaigns--he was injured during the Omaha Beach D-Day landings and was evacuated back to England and so was separated from his original Bn--the 58th AFA Bn.

    While 18-25 year olds today are educated in a college, these men were educated in a war--shame on us if we forget their sacrifice. Only recently has my grandfather spoken to any degree over what he experienced, and even then it is very limited.

    Shane
     
  17. Natman

    Natman Member

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  18. ShaneW

    ShaneW New Member

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  19. Natman

    Natman Member

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    The links work fine, Shane. That roster will be very valuable to future researchers. Thanks for sharing.
     
  20. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Nice job, Shane.
     

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