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Info on the 226th FA in Leyte.

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by bigfun, Mar 8, 2008.

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  1. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    Hey Guys!
    I have been searching for info on the 226th Field Artillery Bn., actually a specific soldier. His name is Harold L Vander Maas, KIA Oct. 25 1944. I just had a discussion with my 2nd cousin last night, he was in tears. This was his father. Harold died when his son, Jim (my 2nd cousin) was 3 1/2. He did not know his father, and only recently learned that he died while trying to save his buddy. He ran out onto the battlefield and put his buddy over his shoulder and then ran back to their line, only to be hit by small arms fire. Both men died.
    It would please Jim very much to be able to tell his kids and grandkids about this hero of WWII. If you could direct me to a site where I can start digging that would be great!

    Thanks in advance for all your help!!

    scott
     
  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    That's tough one, Scott. I'll sniff around some more but it ain't looking good for finding anything that finite.
     
  3. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    Thanks for moving this to the appropriate spot! My bad! I was afraid of that Jeff, I can't seem to find anything about this particular man at all. But I told my relative that I would try to find info on his Father. I have a few leads, but mostly just on the unit.
    Thanks again Jeff!
     
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I dug around in my book.
    the 226th FA was a non-divisional battalion of 155mm towed howitzers. They served on Leyte (20 Oct 1944) and Okinawa (14 June 1945) and arrived in Los Angeles 20 Jan 1946 and disbanded the next day.

    I've not been able to find anything else. Small units like this that were not part of any larger organization are hard to find anything on.
     
  5. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    Thanks Slip,

    well the time fram fits pefectly, he was KIA on Oct 25th, 1944. I didin't mention this before but this man was supposed to be the Lead man on the #1 gun. Jim (the son) also knew that his father was on a 155 mm howitzer.

    What book did you get that out of Jeff, maybe I can refer it to Jim.

    thanks again!
     
  6. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    Does this mean I won't be able to look up divisions or other possible connections?
     
  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I've slept several times since that post...Probably got it from Shelby Stanton's Order of Battle World War II.


    Probably not. Non-divisional artillery battalions were shuttled back and forth between different Corps as needed.

    I looked in Order of Battle World War II again, there just isn't much information provided for this unit (and a lot of other non-divisional units). Best you might find is to luck up and read about it in other units histories, if they happen to mention the 226th. The smaller down the org chart you get with these histories, the less likely you will find mention of the battalion, as the smaller units probably didn't know where they were getting the artillery fire from they requested.
     
  8. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    Thanks Jeff, I'll give that a try!!
     
  9. Dan Florida

    Dan Florida recruit

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    My father was in the 226th FA. He served with Battery C FA battalion, 24th Corps, 10th army on the Hawaiian , Marshall, Admiralties,Phillipines, and Okinawa Ishlands for 31 months. He was crew chief in charge of 4 155mm guns. Active from January 13, 43 to January 10 46. He started at Camp Forrest Tennesse to Fort Oglethorpe Georgia to Fort Sill Oklahoma to Camp Stoneman California to Maui to Oahu to Molokai to Eniwetok to Manus to Leyte to Samar and ended up on Okinawa. My father's name was James Kenneth Florida. I am in possession of every letter he sent home to my mother...over 600 of them. I can search my letters to see if someone you know is mentioned. Or if you knew my father i would love to talk to you....please respond.
     
  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Dan, I'm guessing from your wording that your father has passed on. You must have been proud of him.

    Would you be willing to add more information about your father and 226th? Any you would be willing to add would be appreciated.

    Do you have pictures, etc and would you be willing to post them?

    My grandmother saved the letters my grandfather sent home, only to burn them shortly before her death. You are a fortunate man to have those letters. Cherish them.
     
  11. Dan Florida

    Dan Florida recruit

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    I would be glad to do what i can. My mother is still alive but my father died in 1975 from Lung Cancer. I have a sword and 7.7 Jap rifle he brought back and a machete. He also operated a bulldozer over there and ending up operating one all of his life. He rarely talked about the war and so the letters have been priceless. All were censored until around the fall of 45. He was in a company of older men for the most part while he was only 20 when he went in Jan of 43. Four years ago or so I found a wooden box at Mom's house and it had an aluminum cup like thing with a bullet hole in it and enscribed on it every place he had been. That is how i knew all the locations he served in. I know by his letters that they never expected to leave Leyte or Okinawa alive. It must have really been bad there. It is most interesting to see how he matured from the early letters to the later ones. I also have a couple hundred photos that he brought back and some are horrible. i do know he buried many Japanese soldiers with the bulldozier. i would be glad to share the photos if someone would explain how to do so. i will stay in touch and check this site again. Waiting to hear from you.
     
  12. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    Hey Dan!
    Just spotted this post, your Father must have walked the same ground as my cousins Father! I will send him an email to ask about your Fathers name. He too has many letters from the war.
    By the way if you want to post a picture, we have a gallery here that you can use, or you can post on photobucket, either way.

    Was your Father in Leyte on 25 Oct 1944?
     
  13. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Dan, yes! Pplease post any pictures you have the time to post. We'd like to see them.

    You need to make a total of 5 posts before you can attach photos. When you do that, I'll help you post your pics. It's fairly easy. These limits were put into place to slow down the trolls from trying to cause problems with the forum.
     
  14. wildstorm

    wildstorm Member

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    Hello everyone.

    First off I would like to thank all those that served/is serving/will be serving in the US armed forces.

    OK let me begin. My grandfather served with the 226th FA. I was told he received the Bronze Star for helping train the Marines in Leyte, and the other islands, on using a new gun. He would never really talk about the war to anyone. Which I understand, but I am also disappointed that he never talked about his experiences. I was told he also took a video camera with him and took quite a few films. I was in NY 2 weeks ago and got the films from my uncle. He said that there was a film of my grandfather filming a Japanese plane strafing him with bullets going down each side of him, he spins around and films the plane flying away. Hopefully I have this one. I have yet to see them. I just need to find a reputable place that will clean and transfer the films to DVD. Anyway, I was wondering if anybody has anything that mentions him, letters, photos, etc. His name was George Anthony Rollins. I finally visited his grave in NY and found out that he was actually still on active duty during world War II, Korean War, and Vietnam. He never resigned his commission which is why those are listed on his grave.

    Also, since I'm on a role, I also found a letter in the box of films. It was not written by my grandfather. It is from:

    Corp Jos Juliano
    Station Compl
    Fort Monmouth NJ

    It goes on to say that he met someone special while in NY. He explained how the gave a Command Performance for President Roosevelt at Hyde Park and how Roosevelt liked it so much that they were to make a film of it. He also says that they ere to perform in a few weeks (from when the letter was written) at the Martin Beck Theatre on 45th & 8th.

    If anyone knows this person or a relative I would really like to know so that I may return the letter to the family.

    So any help would be appreciated. I have asked Hyde Park for info and they are looking into it for me. I have sent a request for my grandfather's military records. But any help would be appreciated. I also have some photos of him during his tour. As soon as I get these I will post them. They are of him and some of the people he served with.
     
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  15. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Wildstorm, thanks for posting. If you could get any of those videos available for viewing, we'd love to see them.
     
  16. wildstorm

    wildstorm Member

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    To offer an update I found in a cigar box about 20-30 (still going through them) photos of my grandfather during WWII. There are also some pics of people that I am guessing were with him in WWII that I don't even know.
     
  17. usmcwwiiinfo

    usmcwwiiinfo Member

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    Not sure if you've seen my post, but I've been trying to find out any info on the USMC artillery involvement at Leyte. My grandfather was attached to the 5th Amphibious Corps, in an artillery unit, and was at Leyte in October of 1944. The USMC had very little involvement at Leyte on the ground other than a few thousand artilleryman/units and some USMC aviation units. Here's my post http://www.ww2f.com/military-servic...smc-artillery-involvement-leyte-campaign.html

    There is another link on that post to a bunch of scans I put up of him with his unit (or what I assume is his unit---though I'm not sure where they were taken)

    The 5th 155mm Howitzer Battalion apparently landed at Leyte with the 226th FA according to HyperWar: USMC Monograph--Marine Aviation in the Philippines

    I'd love to see the photos you say you have...and to WILDSTORM, I'd LOVE to see the video you came across as from what my grandfather's brother told me, my grandfather was injured (and subsequently laid up and out for the rest of the war) after a Jap fighter plane strafed their positions...and he lept into (unbeknowst to him) a foxhole that was laden with sharpened bamboo in the bottom of it !
     
  18. wildstorm

    wildstorm Member

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    I found some more pics. How would I go about posting them here?
     
  19. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    You need to make 2 more posts, Wildstorm, before you can post pics. We do this to prevent trolls from dumping crap in the forum.

    We very much would like to see your pics. Make two more posts and then choose Go Advanced below and click on the paper clip. If you need more help, contact me or one of the other moderators and we will help you.
     
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  20. wildstorm

    wildstorm Member

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    thx slipdigit

    one post to go!!
     

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