Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Help with grandfather's service record

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by RRyan, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. RRyan

    RRyan New Member

    Apr 21, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Good afternoon all,

    I have had some trouble in figuring out information on the unit in which my grandfather served. General internet searches have turned up very little.

    His discharge papers from April of 1946 say "BTRY A 291ST FA OBSN BN." I have deciphered this as "Battery A(?) 291st Field Artillery Observation Unit." His battles and campaigns are listed as "Ardennes Central Europe Rhineland GO 33 WD 45 AS AMENDED."

    I found one document online that was a study of this group and their employment (dated 1945).

    Further muddying the waters for me, is the fact that I have seen pictures of my grandfather with a military police (MP) arm band. There was a 291st Military Police Company also active during the same time period and same location (per one website that I found).

    It is also listed on his papers that he went to "SIG C Wire Communications" school.

    Given my very, very limited knowledge it would seem that not all of these things would fit together. I could possibly see that the wire communications and field observation battalion would work in unison, as the report that I saw said the battalion took part in information gathering and reporting, e.g. location of enemy artillery.

    Does anybody have any information on this group or have a better idea of how this all fits?

    Thanks in advance...
  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Jun 3, 2011
    Likes Received:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    The problem with unit names on a discharge is that they are not always the unit the soldier served with during the War. However, I would presume that the 291st FA Observation Battalion was his unit during the War until you find clear evidence to the contrary. The photo of him with an MP armband could have been post-war (i.e. Occupation duty assignment). If you have not requested his OMPF yet, I would suggest you do that as it can take a while to get. That is, of course, assuming it was not destroyed in the 1973 fire.

    Another avenue to go would be to track him through unit Morning Reports. That would involve going to the NARA in Saint Louis, or hiring a researcher. If you live near Saint Louis and have the time to spend doing the research, that might be a bit cheaper. For myself, I went the researcher route. After I figured the costs of travel, room & board, it just made more sense.
  3. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

    Jun 27, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Washington State

Share This Page