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In search of great uncles records or info

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by Kyle_and, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. Kyle_and

    Kyle_and New Member

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    Indeed.

    The records consist mostly of burial records and personal effects. It also mentions cause of death - head wound.

    Unfortunately it doesn't talk much about his unit. I'd love to know what happened on the day he died. If anyone knows where I can find that kind of info, it would be appreciated.

    All in all, I'm happy I requested it. It provides some closure in a small way.
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I suspect that the only way to find that kind of detail would be to hire a researcher. Others may have further suggestions, but I did, and I'm glad I did. Its expensive, but I feel it was worth it.
     
  3. Natman

    Natman Member

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    I agree with Lou, hiring a researcher would be next if you want to pursue that. He and I both used the same guy and I was also very satisfied with the work. Send me a PM and I'll give you the guy's info if you're interested. He will be able to give you a plan of action based on what you already know and some type of a cost estimate. Your great uncle's DOW status will let him know to look at dates before his DOD.

    Another avenue you might want to try is contacting the NARA and requesting copies of the 23rd AE Bn records. I use this site: http://www.archives.gov/contact/inquire-form.html#part-b

    Under "I have a question about research .......", choose "Records created by the United States Military" in the "select topic" section, then type your question as "I would like to request an index to the records of the 23rd Armored Engineer Battalion during WWII, along with a reproduction cost quote". You'll get an email acknowledgement of the request and the index/cost quote will come in the mail (at least my last one did). After Action Reports (AAR's) would be a good place to start but if you are unsure about which records to request, post the index here and someone can help. My experience has shown that each unit kept their records a little different than the next one. Be aware that NARA is charging .80/page now days.

    Good luck, Steve
     
  4. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    The purpose of the IDPF is to document what happened to the remains of a soldier who died while in the Service. There normally wouldn't be much regarding his unit, but it may tell you what Company of the 23rd Eng. Battalion he was in. That could help narrow down where he was and what was happening when he was killed.

    Lou and Steve have already suggested the next best avenues of research. Unfortunately, they both require spending money (except for getting an index of unit records, which should not cost anything).

    I found this web page for the 23rd AEB which lists dates and actions. Keying off of what Steve mentioned regarding your great uncle's DOW status, it's possible he was wounded in action near Mortain and died a few days later:

    This is not certain since, as the saying goes, correlation does not equal causation. And, of course, there are several other possibilities as combat engineers were subject to any number of hostile actions and dangerous situations.
     
  5. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Nice website, Tommny. I agree that knowing his company would help narrow down the action he was participating in when he received his wound. Mortain makes sense.
     
  6. Kyle_and

    Kyle_and New Member

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    IDPF states Company B of the 23rd AEB
     
  7. Kyle_and

    Kyle_and New Member

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    Company B
     
  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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  9. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    The link I posted in post #24 says the list was compiled by a member of Company B.
     
  10. Kyle_and

    Kyle_and New Member

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    Wonder if he might still be around. Worth a try I guess
     
  11. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    If you go to the main page of the website, there is a link to a page of email addresses. His name & email are towards the bottom. I have no idea how current it is, but its worth a try.
     
  12. Kyle_and

    Kyle_and New Member

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    All,

    I received the OMPF and there's not as much as I had hoped. There is a hospital record and I have a question about something on there. The circumstances of casualty state the following "battle casualty or battle injury other than self inflicted injury or injury intentionally inflicted by another person"

    First diagnosis "head wound (penetrating)"

    I'm wondering how to interpret that. Does it mean shrapnel or something like that?

    I'd like to find out what exactly happened if that's even possible

    Thanks for any help
     
  13. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Finding out "exactly" might be a tall order, but I understand the inclination to know.

    As for the circumstance given, I would understand it to be broadly categorizing it as not suicide or an accidental death. In other words, he was KIA. As for "head wound (penetrating)", that could be shrapnel or it could be a bullet wound. It was not a blunt force injury. If I had to guess, I would go with a bullet wound.
     
  14. Kyle_and

    Kyle_and New Member

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    Thanks. And I just realized I put this under the wrong post lol. That's what I get for working too hard on this.

    Would morning reports shed any more light on this?
     
  15. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Hard as this may to believe, but we enjoy this. It's a mystery that we like to solve. Beyond that, we like to help others find things that they otherwise would't know.
     
  16. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Kile, I would think the MR's would not help much. The officer who wrote them would only note that he lost men, probably by name, but I don't think there would be much detail about the injuries suffered by each individual. I'm sure I could be wrong, but having read some MRs that would be my sense.
     
  17. Kyle_and

    Kyle_and New Member

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    Thanks. I guess I'll just never know exactly how he was wounded. I'll have to give my best educated guess. Thanks everyone for all the help!
     
  18. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    In my experience, what Lou said is pretty much correct. They may give you an idea of where his Company was around the time that he was KIA. You could then try researching the Division/Battalion (and Company, if you're lucky) records for clues. Some narrative histories are more detailed than others.

    Also, I again encourage you to consider the local historical society nearest his home town. You never know what they may have in their records. The bonus is that they are usually an inexpensive source and the folks are usually very enthusiastic about helping, or at least that is what I've found to be the case.
     
  19. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    If you can find After Action Reports from the company level or battalion level, you might be able to get some insight into what happened. It won't be much, but you might be able to find something.

    Do you have his Form WD-53-55...his discharge papers? If he earned a Silver Star or higher award for valor, you may be able find the citation for the award and it might have something of value about how he was injured.

    Did he come home with the 30th Infantry Division? In June/July, 1945, the 30th ID swapped high point soldiers for low point soldiers in the 76th ID. The 30th was going to redeploy to the Pacific, so soldiers who had high points were sent over to the 76th, which was not. As it ended up, the 30th started back to the States so the men would have time to get a 30 day leave before going to the PTO and bombs were dropped, ending the war, while the 76th remained in Europe for a while more. The 30th (now made up of a large number of 76th men) made it home before the 76th.

    Go to the court house where he entered service and/or returned home to and search the old newspapers, especially if it is a small town. There might be an article about him being wounded, coming home or both.
     
  20. Kyle_and

    Kyle_and New Member

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    Thanks.

    I guess I should clarify. I mixed 2 posts together by mistake

    This post was originally regarding my grandfather. He was never wounded.

    I put in some info regarding my great uncle, who served with the 23rd AEB, 3rd AD. He was killed fighting in France in '44.

    My bad, lol.
     

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