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Leon Szymanski - 119th Infantry Reg't, 30th Infantry Div.

Discussion in 'What Granddad did in the War' started by ScottE609, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. ScottE609

    ScottE609 Member

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    My grandfather passed in 1998, and only ever discussed his time in ww2 twice in his lifetime. Everything I know about his service is either a result of my own research or my grandmother's memories.

    He entered the service in 1943, and trained at Fort Meade and later at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. He shipped over to England in June 1944 as part of the 41st Replacement Battalion, spent some time at Camp Houndstone in Yeovil, England, and on July 17th was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 119th Infantry Reg't, 30th Infantry Division. He was a PFC, and his paperwork lists him as a light mortar crewman. I've obtained company level morning reports, a battalion level AAR, lots of random paperwork, tons of letters that he wrote home to my grandmother, and a few dozen pictures that he brought home with him. Quite a few of the pictures have names, dates, and locations on the backs, but a lot don't. I'm trying to piece together where he was and when, and so far I'm doing a decent job of it. I've been able to tell my grandmother a lot of details that she didn't know. At some point, if there's interest, I'd be glad to post some of his pictures and more details of his service. I'd LOVE to somehow get in contact with someone that knew him, or even someone familiar with his company. I'd also like some help trying to pinpoint the locations where some of his pictures were taken.

    View attachment 18515

    Thanks! - Scott
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Welcome. Post anything you want about your grandfather. We are very interested in seeing what you have.

    Did he make it all the way to Magdeburg?

    Did he ever attend any of the 30th ID reunions?
     
  3. ScottE609

    ScottE609 Member

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    Yes, he ended the war in the Magdeburg area. Spent quite a bit of time in Wurzbach - a lot of his pictures are from there.

    He never went to any reunions. The first time he talked about his service time was in the 60's after his nephew was killed in Vietnam. He talked my grandmother's ear off from the time they left the funeral until the next morning. Then he didn't talk about it at all until he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1998. He apparently had a lot of trouble dealing with what he had seen/done during the war. He was an alcoholic for most of his life.
     
  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    You can get the 119th Infantry Regiment unit history: Unit Histories

    That will give you a very good view of where he was from day to day. The Battalion unit histories are much harder to come by, but will be even more specific. If you haunt Ebay long enough and do enough google searches you'll eventually track down a 1st Battalion 119th, unit history and when you do, buy it.
     
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I have a close friend who was in the recon troop and he is very active with the reunion association. I was hoping maybe your grandfather had attended some reunions and that Mr. Sanford had.
     
  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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  7. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Welcome, Scott. You seem to have gotten the attention of our 30th Division experts. ;) I wish you well in your search and look forward to hearing more about your grandfather.
     
  8. ScottE609

    ScottE609 Member

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  9. John Derry

    John Derry New Member

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    Scott My father also was in 1st Battalion 119th C Company 30th division.He passed 6 years ago was 87 and never talked about
    his time over there with us. I found most of the information I have after he passed. He was a Sergeant who was part of ammunition group and worked with engineers laying and planting mines. He received 5 Bronze Stars and should have received Purple Heart but never received it.1st Battalion received Battle Honors for Dec 17-21 in Battle of the Buldge. I have some pics of him and some of his group.you can contact me if you are still on this site.
     
  10. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    John, It looks as though Scott hasn't been around for nearly four years. Its unlikely that he'll respond here. I suspect that the Bronze Stars are actually Campaign awards, not actual Bronze Stars, which are different. In any case, feel free to post pictures that you might have. There's plenty here about the 30th Division. Have fun reading those threads.

    30th Infantry Division CAMPAIGNS


    1. Normandy 6 Jun - 24 July '44

    2. Northern France 25 July - 14 September '44

    3. Rhineland 15 Sept '44 - 21 March '45

    4. Ardennes - Alsace 16 Dec '44 - 25 Jan '45

    5. Central Europe 22 March - 11 May '45

    About The 30th Infantry Division Veterans of WWII
     
  11. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    What is his name? I have a listing of awards for valor for the the 30ID.
     
  12. John Derry

    John Derry New Member

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  13. John Derry

    John Derry New Member

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  14. John Derry

    John Derry New Member

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    Here are a few pics that we found after my dad passed!
     
  15. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The July 12th award was fighting to take St Lo, just prior to the breakout from Normandy.
    The November award was in the Seigfried Line, north of Aachen, Germany

    I tend to agree with Lou about the Bronze Campaign Stars vs Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, especially given what you posted above.
    Did he ever show you a Combat Infantry Badge?

    Do you have his WD AGO 53-55, his discharge papers?
     
  16. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    The citation letters and pictures are nice. I hope you can come across more. If there is a CIB that would be the topper. It seems as though he deserved one.
     
  17. John Derry

    John Derry New Member

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    Yes we have his combat infantry badge,and I have his first Bronze Star with Citation, my sister has CIB And oak leaf cluster medal. We have discharge papers. And we have his Distinguished Unit Citation 1st Battalion 19-21 Battle Of The Buldge, French Croixde Guerre Badge. He was Wounded by shrapnel but was patched up and sent back out, and he didn't stick around to receive medal. He never signed up for Veterans help or had anything to to with the service after discharge! He sold a couple Lugers he brought back plus we still have a German flag he brought back!!
     
  18. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Can you post pictures of the discharge papers? We'd love to see them. Also, do you have his EAME medal with the campaign awards? You can get them all together and make a shadow box in his honor. Several of us have done so. You can see mine if you go to the media section.
     
  19. John Derry

    John Derry New Member

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  20. John Derry

    John Derry New Member

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