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Looking for info 2nd Infantry Division

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

  1. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Never really heard that before; but, it would explain his CIB and Carbine Qualification. Here is a discription of a Machinegun squad in WW2, it's about in the middle of the page, I'd assume then that he was a #3 or #4 man?
    WWII Weapons - Browning Machine Guns . Sounds like an OJT position for Machinegunner.
     
  2. VET76

    VET76 Member

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    Ya looks like he was probably on a "light machine gun" squad according to this website. Look at the last paragraph, talks about the MOS 504 (they refer to it as "ammo bearer") changing to MOS 604 "light machine gunner".

    link
    8th Infantry Division in WW1

    This lists the 604 MOS Light machine gunner but doesnt mention the 504 MOS Ammunition Handler which would confirm the link above.

    http://alternatewars.com/BBOW/Ranks/USA_Job_Areas_WW2.htm

    And another, no listing of 504, but there is a listing of 604?

    http://380th.org/HISTORY/partIV-4.html#600

    Strange, this site also mentions that during WWII the MOS's changed several times......I dont know, but I am going to go with MOS of 504 changed to 604 light machine gunner. Can anyone shed any more light on this, or direct me to a better place to find out more info?
     
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  3. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    I am going to say that's very likely. The Army loved part numbers. Replace part 604 with part 504 and order up another part 504 and if part 504 is on back order you can always substitute with a part 745. It really makes sense considering that the actual machinegunner has a pretty short life expectencey and the necessity of having several people close at hand to take over would be key. I am thinking you could probably run through a machinegun squad (5 guys) pretty quick and it wouldn't take very long for an Ammunition bearer to advance to Machinegunner.
     
  4. VET76

    VET76 Member

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    Well, my aunt told me that Grandpa told her that (I am guessing his squad) was down to so few men that it had to be combined with another squad, so what you said makes sense. I received the 2nd Infantry Division book from my Uncle today. In the back it lists the men of the 2nd Infantry division who were killed in Action. He went through the names and next to each person that he knew or was "friends" with he placed a blue dot. I counted the blue (pen dots) and there were 28 total. I will try and post a picture of the book tomorrow. Still scouring the internet for more info on "ammo bearer"/ammunition handler/light machine gunner.
     
  5. VET76

    VET76 Member

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    As I said earlier I would post pictures of my Grandfathers WWII Second Infantry Division Book.

    The Front Cover......
    [​IMG]
    Inside the front cover
    [​IMG]
    First Page
    [​IMG]

    And an example of one page (of the 3 pages) That Grandpa looked through and put a blue "pen dot" next to each soldier he was friendly with during the war. Really sad, we lose a friend to cancer and its hard, imagine losing 28 (total he knew) to a war.........
    [​IMG]

    Hopefully I am not boring you guys/gals I just post this because I think of you all as being WWII history buffs and are interested. But I sometimes feel like this is personal family history that nobody aside from my family will care about. If anyone ever stumbles across a family member looking for 2nd Infantry Division info....point them my way. I realize from reading post after post that I may have a considerable more amount of history about the 2ID than a lot of people have about their loved ones. I can easily gain info to things like this book, I have numerous pictures of the 2ID winter training/ranger training at Camp McCoy Wisconsin, and since I started my research numerous websites speaking of the 2ID and the affiliated regiments...etc. Hope you all enjoy my posts.
     
  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Keep posting, Matt. The material you have is not only valuable to you, but it is interesting and informative to the rest of us. I posted my father's copy of the battle history of his unit. It can be found in the MIlitaria section under Documents and Photographs. Primary documents are always of interest.
     
  7. VET76

    VET76 Member

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    Lou, I looked but couldnt find your post about your fathers battle history. Would love to look it over, do you have a link?
     
  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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  9. VET76

    VET76 Member

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    Russo,
    Very cool posts! I enjoyed them, thanks for the info. Finally got around to reading them.

    Found out some more info about my Grandpa after taking a closer look at his documents and shooting emails all around the country. Turns out he was in the CCC for a few years before becoming a Merchant Marine. He was a Merchant Marine for approx 4 years before enlisting in the Army. So my journey started out looking for his military history and now I am on to researching several topics. Also found some other records that are being sent to me from one of my Grandpas former VFW posts. This is all very exciting, I have documents, and items coming from all over, its like Christmas in February! I have some more pictures of my Grandpa and I thought I would post some. Most of these are from Camp McCoy Wisconsin.....hope you all enjoy.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After being wounded and stateside again....... Notice the brace on left arm.
    [​IMG]

    Some pals, I believe still in training before heading to the war.....possibly Fort Sam, Texas? How about the ladies?
    [​IMG]

    Again, I believe before being in the war.......
    [​IMG]

    There are many others I just posted a few.
     
  10. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Just wanted to bump this interesting thread.

    Quick review of the veteran's service

    Entered the Army in May 1942 from Wisconsin
    Uncertain as to where he trained (with his unit or at an IRTC)
    MOS 504 Ammo Handler, probably LMG crewmen
    Joined the 9th Infantry of the 2d Infantry Division at Ft Sam Houston, Texas 1942
    2d ID moved to Camp McCoy Wisconsin in Nov 1942
    While at Camp McCoy he attended a "Ranger Battle School"
    Shipped with the 2d ID to Northern Ireland Oct 1943
    Landed with the 2d ID in Normandy shortly after D-Day
    Wounded 19 June 1944
    Returned to US August 1944
    Discharged July 1945

    Member and Chapter Commander VFW.
     
  11. ABPOS

    ABPOS New Member

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    Vet76,

    I just wanted to hop on here and say a hello and give you my little story. I've been researching My Grandfather's service too. Kind of off and on for years now. It is very similar to your Grandpa's. His name was Sgt. James L. Rea and he was in the 2nd ID, 23rd IR, E company. He died on July 26th near St. George D'Elle. Right at the beginning of the breakout. I don't have near the amount of information that you have and that is wonderful that you have so much!!!

    I had a company called Golden Arrow Research do some digging for me. They specialize in this sort of things and he pulled and copied a bunch of morning reports from the company and I got to see some things about my Grandpa. My Grandpa also had some Ranger training at "Cherry Valley" in Ireland according to the morning reports. Some of the guys on the 2nd ID website (yahoo groups) were saying that meant he was probably trained all along at Camp McCoy too. If you ever see my Grandpa's name come up in any of your materials, I would love to hear about it. I know that chance is probably slim, but I figured what that heck and I'd say something.

    I have a pretty good division book called "Second Infantry Division in WWII". Although it's sort of an overview but it's a good read and has a lot of info in it. I just finished a book called "In Death's Dark Shadow by Cleve Barkley and his Dad was a survivor of Normandy to the end. But he was Company G in 38th IR. It was kind of a hard book to read as it showed the conditions these guys had to fight in. But gives you a real good picture of the fighting in Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. And some other stuff in between and after. It was a fascinating book. I guess there's another new book out from a man named James Branch, who's Dad was in the 23rd IR MP's. I need to pick that one up too. I forget the name of it right now. I can find out though if you're interested.

    Anyways... Another thing is that some of these guys from the 2nd ID yahoo group say a lot of the guys that were Ranger trained landed on D-Day. Whereas the rest of the division was a day and sometimes two days after. Depending on regiment. So... I forget if it was mentioned in the thread here but there is a possiblity that your Grandpa and mine landed on D-Day. But I'm not sure. Anyways... I'll see if I can post the only picture I have of my Grandpa:

    Obviuosly my Grandpa is the one on the far left. My Grandma is the younger Gal sandwiched between her Aunt and Uncle. My Grandma is still alive. She's 91. They met while he was at "Camp McCoy". I know it's "Fort" at present but back then it was "Camp". She was a WAAC. Womens Auxilary Army Corps. Something like that. They met at a USO dance or whatever. Fell in love, got married and my Grandma got pregnant and my Grandpa shipped out. She had my Dad and that was that. Thin threads that I'm even here. My Dad's birthday is November 7th 1943. Well, the Division didn't make it up to Camp McCoy until November of 42. So you can see there was only 3 months for this romance to all happen. I have no clue which came first, the pregnanacy or the marriage and I don't really care. Hhehehehe. The fact is, it all happened and it's a crazy story. Probably a lot like other stories at that time. The world seemed to be going crazy. So...

    Anyways.. I'm rambling. But thank you for posting what you found about your Grandpa. It was nice to see. I have no clue if you're even still frequenting the website, as I googled and this thread popped up. I see that you started it a couple of years ago. Take Care.


    I think if you click on it, you'll see it bigger. For some reason it wouldn't let me post from snapfish. Hmmmmmm....
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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  13. ABPOS

    ABPOS New Member

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    Thank you!
     
  14. JDement

    JDement New Member

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    Looks like more people than just me are researching the 2nd ID. In my case, I'm trying to track down info on G Company, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry. My great uncle was a Staff Seargent who was KIA on 13 Apr 45. I've got copies of his IDPF, unfortunately it lacks information surrounding the action in which he was killed. I've already read Company Commander, a memoir written by G company's CO that covers that time frame, and, so far, I've only seen one specific incident that resulted in a SSgt being killed. It could conceivably be my great uncle, but since a fictitious name was used in that incident, I'm not certain.

    Since I mentioned the IDPF, would anyone know what "M.W. Body" would mean when listed as cause of death? I'm guessing multiple wounds-body, but it's just a guess.
     
  15. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    I found this short memoir by an officer of the 23d Infantry and was looking for an appropriate place to share it. I was hoping to find a thread featuring the 23d Infantry or the 2d ID. I kind of hate tagging-on to this great thread about a veteran of the 9th Infantry but since there was a direct inquiry here about E Company, 23d Infantry near the end of July 1944 its hard not to respond even though much too late.

    This officer was attached to the 23d Infantry before D-Day but unassigned and carried as a ready replacement. Several days after landing he was assigned as a Platoon Leader in E Company. He provides a vivid description of Normandy up to the breakout which I quoted below. The document also has the text of the Distinguished Unit Citation (now Presidential Unit Citation) which provides additional details.

    My War
    Thomas Clayton Quigley
    http://www.1jma.dk/articles/MyWar-text%20only.pdf

     
  16. acervizzi

    acervizzi New Member

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    Hello Vet76. I am also interested in K Co since my Granfather Victor Cervizzi was one of the Platoon Sergeants (Tech SGT). I noticed the picture of the book your Granfather had and wondered if my Grandfather's name was listed. It would be interesting if both of them knew each other. Thanks in advance.
     
  17. theRaider5150!!

    theRaider5150!! New Member

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    Hey Vet,

    A few things to add. Service Numbers that begin with "3" denote being drafted.

    On June 19, 1944, the 2nd division was at St. Georges D'Elle, a small village a few miles from St. Lo. The 2nd's objective was to take Hill 192, the highest point in that sector of Normandy. The 9th Infantry was mainly tasked with taking and holding the southeast flank of Hill 192. This included the village of Berigny. Several major assaults were made on Hill 192: June 11, 12, 16, and 19. Each assault was very costly for the Division. Numbers of dead and wounded were very high. For some reason, the loss of officers was much higher than averages. Most of the frontline Companies would be under entirely new leadership by mid July. June 19 was the final attempt to seize Hill 192 for the month of June. The Division had taken a beating. Omar Bradley had halted the drive south in order to focus on taking the Cotentin Peninsula and the port at Cherbourg. All resources and ammunition would be allocated to that objective. A major storm hit the beachhead during this same period which stopped any landing of supplies for 3 days, which put the entire Overlord timetable behind schedule. This all gave the Germans precious time to regroup and strengthen their positions, especially at Hill 192. Hill 192 was defended by crack German Fallshirmjagers (paratroopers). They were very experienced and tough fighters. For the remaining weeks of June, all along the southern front of the American Sector, almost no ground was traded. It in essence became a WW1 style trench stalemate. Hill 192 was finally taken on July 11 after being shelled by an entire Division's worth of artillery, with the infantry and tanks advancing behind the barrage.
     
  18. theRaider5150!!

    theRaider5150!! New Member

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    If you want a very thorough overview of operations from D-day to the breakout, read "The Americans at Normandy" by John McManus. It includes some great chapters on Hill 192.
     
  19. theRaider5150!!

    theRaider5150!! New Member

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    Another thing you can do for research is to search for the narratives of citations of valor awards. You can search for awards given for actions on a certain day, like June 19, 1944. I've had some luck searching by unit (looking through any awards given to 23rd Infantry men). Also, you can search for awards given to a specific individual (ie if you know the company commander's name or that the Platoon Sergeant got an award.) Military Times runs a hallofhonor section on its website with thousands of citations. Google can work too. This can help build a picture of the men your relative served with and the events that happened.
     
  20. theRaider5150!!

    theRaider5150!! New Member

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    My relative is PVT Glen Standing. He was K co, 23rd IR. He was KIA June 15th, 44, between Cericy La Forey and St. Georges D'Elle. before being returned to the U.S. in 1948, he was interred at the La Cambe cemetery, which is now the cemetery which holds the German Normandy war dead. Co K was bad ass. 4 members received the Distinguished Service Cross, 7 Silver Stars that I know of, and SGT Jose Lopez received the Medal of Honor on December 17, 44, when he covered the 23rd's retreat with his machinegun, killing over 100 advancing Germans. If you know anything about K Co, 23rd IR in WW2, please respond.
     

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