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Looking for info 2nd Infantry Division

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by VET76, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. VET76

    VET76 Member

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    Hello,
    I am new to this site and it was recommended that I post my original "newbie" thread on this board. So I will give it a try,
    My name is Matt I am 34 yrs old, and spent 6 years in the Air Force. I joined the AF in 1995, and my Grandfather, who was a WWII Vet, passed away in 1996. I have been searching the internet for clues to what happened with my Grandfather, and I ended up here. I am interested in WWII on the whole, but specifically interested in 2nd Infantry Division info because my grandfather was a member of that Division.

    I am searching for information reguarding my Grandfather and his time with the 2nd Infantry Division during WWII. My Grandfather not unlike many War Veterans didnt speak of the War much. Growing up, I only knew that my Grandfather was in WWII and that he was wounded. It wasnt untill I joined the Air Force that I really begun to appreciate what my Grandfather and his comrades did for our Country. By then it was too late, my Grandfathers mind was starting to get cloudy, and his health was failing rapidly. He passed away in 1996, and since then I have tried to do some research, mainly books and web pages in my spare time.
    I will try to keep this short, I am just looking for any information, and would love to see some official document stating what happened to my Grandfather (not sure if that is even possible). But any information that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated. I just feel this is something that needs to be passed on to future generations, and right now I am significantly behind the info curve.

    This is what I know
    My Grandfather served with the 2nd Infantry Division, 9th Regiment, 2nd Battalion, K Company. I believe he was wounded just outside of St.Lo France. My Grandfather has a "skull patch" on his uniform which meant he attended and passed Ranger training in Wisconsin. I also believe he was in a "machine gun squad" or "heavy weapons"?


    Thank you in advance
    Matt ​
     
  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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  3. VET76

    VET76 Member

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    Slipdigit,
    Interesting I will have to do some more checking. My uncle has my Grandpa's book about 2ID I am sure the answers are in there. Also, the military records are on their way, hopefully I can get the exact battalion nailed down soon. I am going to take some pictures of his uniform, maybe some of the more experienced members like yourself can give me some info from looking at it. I will take close up detailed pictures and post them here. I will also post his picture again when I get home.

    Slipdigit,
    This very well could be the case. Again, I am going by what my Dad is telling me that he is pulling from "years ago". His uniform tells us that he is 2ID, but Dad was a little uncertain of the company and possibly the battalion. He is sure that he was 2ID, 9th Infantry regiment. So hopefully I can get proof shortly. I have written to a couple people who may be able to help me before the "official service records" get here. But he very well could have been in 3rd Battalion. I am pretty sure he was 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry. According to this website
    http://www.2id.korea.army.mil/organization/units/1hbct/2-9inf/ It doesnt list any info about a 3rd Battalion with the 2ID. So possibly Dad got the company wrong, not sure at this moment. Still searching.........
     
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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  5. VET76

    VET76 Member

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    Slipdigit,
    Your probably right, my dad has a photo of my grandpas company. On the guide on it says K company 9th Regiment. So its definetly "K Company" which looks like its definetly 3rd Battalion. Thanks a ton slipdigit! I will also get a photograph of that photo as well to share on the board. I just learned of that photo.....
     
  6. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I look forward to seeing it.
     
  7. karenlalaniz

    karenlalaniz Member

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    Welcome, Matt! Like you, I am here to understand WWII and to put together the pieces of a family member's service. My Dad was in WWII also, and I have learned a few things on this journey. You've already done the first thing, which is to send for his records. I don't know how most people's records look, but my father's didn't have nearly the information I would have liked them to have. So, I have gone at it from some other directions.

    1. Talk to all of your relatives. Ask the older generation; your aunts, uncles, grandmother, and so forth. Approach it from a conversational point of view. Tell them what you know, it may spark something. Don't just say, "Do you know anything about grandpa's service?" And be prepared to listen.
    2. Talk to the younger generation; sometimes a veteran has talked about things, but chose only to do so with a particular person.
    3. Learn as much as you can about his life before he went in the service. Who were his friends? What was his job? Where did he live? Where was he trained? All of these may lead to new places for you to search.
    4. Find out who his childhood friends were (childhood through the time he went in the service, that is). My own father confided in a few friends. I didn't learn this until I was almost done with the book. (I have a book coming out in the fall about my father)
    5. Look on social networking sites such as Facebook. Although it is generally a younger generation's medium, more and more 70, 80, and even 90 year olds are online. Their kids encourage them and help them set it up.
    6. Look for local connections; the library, the newspaper that would have announced he was leaving/coming home, church etc.
    7. Don't give up until you have a complete picture of your grandfather. That means keeping it a topic of conversation wherever you go.

    Matt- I think it's great that you're doing this. You're filling in an important part of your family history. Once you get it all together, write up what you know, or simply make copies of information and put it in one place, like a scrapbook or photo album. Future generations will be glad you did! ~Karen
     
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  8. VET76

    VET76 Member

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    Karen,
    Thank you so much for the advice! I will keep all of your points in mind. Its funny because I also plan to put together a book, although mine will probably be done via Staples...haha I plan on giving as much information as I can to all of his Grandkids, Kids, Friends etc who are interested. He and my Grandmother had 8 kids so there are plenty of people who I am sure would be interested. He also had a Brother in WWII so depending on how things go with my Grandpa I may gather the information for his Brother as well. I am doing this because I sometimes feel like the appreciation for our Vets, and our history in general is falling by the wayside. I want my kids to grow up and honor people who have given so much for our Country. If nothing else, I want my kids to remember just how fortunate they are, and why they are so fortunate. I appreciate your advice, and I will keep everything you said in mind. I have already started made a phone call to my Uncle today, didnt learn much but he has a book that my Grandfather has written in, and its a book on the second infantry. So hopefully that will give me leads as well. Please let me know when your book comes out, I would love to get a copy and read it.

    Thanks again, Matt
     
  9. karenlalaniz

    karenlalaniz Member

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    You're welcome. A book form of your grandfather's life and/or time in the service is a great idea. People are sometimes intimidated by even considering that, but it really is quite simple. It can be as easy as just making copies of everything and as you said, going to Staples and having them bind it for you. Or it can be as complex as writing it in story or chapter form, complete with photos/memorabelia etc. You're off to a great start! ~Karen
     
  10. luketdrifter

    luketdrifter Ace

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    Matt good luck with your research. I would love to see photos of your grandfathers uniform, and some sharp folks on this site could probably help you with your questions. You've come to a good place.
     
  11. VET76

    VET76 Member

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    Here are the photos I promised, hope you all enjoy. Wow, it was really neat taking these photos. While I was taking them my Dad said, "I would bet my Dad would have never thought that 65 years later his Grandson would be taking photos of his Military uniform." Anyway here you go, any information any of you can provide about these photos would be greatly appreciated.

    Guide on proof 9th inf reg K Company.....right?
    [​IMG]

    Left side of 9th infantry Company K
    [​IMG]

    Middle of 9th infantry Company K
    [​IMG]

    Right of 9th infantry Company K
    [​IMG]

    Grandpa in company photo
    [​IMG]

    Well probably better do this in a few posts, not sure about the number of pics per post......
     
  12. VET76

    VET76 Member

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    Some more...........

    Grandpas uniform

    [​IMG]

    2nd Infantry Division

    [​IMG]

    Anybody know what this insignia is above the right chest pocket?

    [​IMG]

    Ok, I know one of these is the "skull patch" hand made this was rewarded to members who completed Ranger training correct? What are the two bars below the skull patch? (note: all the patches on this uniform appear to be hand sewn)

    [​IMG]

    Medals and ribbons. Dad said he knows some of these are missing, sorry about the presentation on these ribbons they need to be "squared up a little" but I was unfortunately in somewhat of a hurry when I took these pictures. Any help on any of the ribbons/insignias etc would be greatly appreciated.

    [​IMG]

    And a couple of his Purple heart

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Here's what I can help with
    [​IMG]
    Combat Infantry Badge

    [​IMG]
    Honorable Discharge (Ruptured Duck)

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Purple Heart Good Conduct Medal European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign (one has a battle star)

    He should be entitled to
    [​IMG] and [​IMG]
    Bronze Star (for the CIB) and WW2 Victory Ribbon.

    I'm not sure of the ribbon next to the Purple Heart. Maybe a VFW award?

    The two bars under the Skull Patch are Overseas Hash marks. Each represents six months overseas service.
     
  14. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Here are two photos Matt posted in another thread. I'm putting them here so all his things are in one thread.
    [​IMG]

    His grandfather

    [​IMG]
     
  15. VET76

    VET76 Member

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    L Russo,
    Thanks for all the very valuable information. Was I correct on the "skull patch"? What did you mean when you said he should be entitled to a bronze star (for CIB)? I am kind of embarrassed that I didnt notice two of the ribbons were identical. My Dad said he knows there were at one time more ribbons, he can remember playing with them when he was a kid.......haha Again, thank you so much for taking the time to shed some light on this topic for me. I greatly appreciate it.
     
  16. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I believe the Skull Patch is for Ranger training. Here is another example
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    James Edwards (The US 2nd Infantry Division WWII) on Myspace

    As for the Bronze Star, at the end of the war, General Marshall decreed that any soldier who won either a Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) or a Combat Medic Badge was in close enough contact with the enemy that he was entitled to a Bronze Star. My father won his in that way, as did many others.
     
  17. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I am pretty certain that the skull patch was an unauthorized patch, probably specific to the 2nd ID or maybe the 9th IR. The Rangers did not wear such a patch. They had a their own patch with a tab that says "Ranger" on it.

    Lou is talking about a bronze star device attached to the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon. It is not the same as a Bronze Star Medal. The bronze star device signifies a second award of the ribbon it is on. The EAME Campaign ribbon actually encompased several different campaigns, with each addtional star denoting action by the wearer in those campaigns. If he was wounded at St Lo, then he probably earned a ribbon for the Normandy Campaign and and the star device the Northern France Campaign, if he was wounded after 25 July 1944.

    Edit----Well, maybe you weren't, Lou.

    The Bronze Star Medal and ribbon is an award for valor or meritiorious service.

    It is not uncommon for soldiers to have 4 or 5 bronze star devices attached to the EAME ribbon if they fought in Normandy, across Europe to the end of the war. A good friend of mine did just that. He has a ribbon and 4 stars. His brother was a AAA gunner that participated in the air defense of Great Britian prior to going across the Channel, so he has a ribbon and 5 stars, for 6 campaigns.
     
  18. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    You are correct, Jeff. My father had 4 battle stars on his EAME. I found out later that he won his Bronze Star because of his CIB. I assume Matt's grandfather was entitled to the same thing.
     
  19. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    He probably is. I did not know that such a decree had been made by Marshall.
     
  20. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Here's the statement:
    As a result of a study conducted in 1947, the policy was implemented that authorized the retroactive award of the Bronze Star Medal to soldiers who had received the Combat Infantryman Badge or the Combat Medical Badge during World War II. The basis for doing this was that the badges were awarded only to soldiers who had borne the hardships which resulted in General Marshall’s support of the Bronze Star Medal. Both badges required a recommendation by the commander and a citation in orders.
    Bronze Star Medal
     

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