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Making sense of Discharge Paperwork

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by Bryan Kardisco, Mar 23, 2024.

  1. Bryan Kardisco

    Bryan Kardisco New Member

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    Hello,

    I have been researching my paternal grandfather's time in service. Unfortunately, like so many, any paperwork that was in the St. Louis archives went up in flames. Furthermore, he did not speak of his time in service to family. And to make it worse, he's been deceased for 40 years.

    Through the use of newspapers.com, written requests and other avenues I've been able to obtain his Discharge Paperwork and also have a few newspaper clippings and photos.

    I believe he was a member of the 26th Infantry Division and I think he was in the 101st Regiment. However, that's as far as I can find.

    The question I'm trying to answer is as follows:
    On his honorable discharge paperwork on line #31 Military Qualification and date it says
    "CIB GO 9 101 INF MAY 45"

    I think this means he was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, under General Order 9 Number 101 - In May '45. But I must admit this is where my ignorance is shining through. I'm trying to decern what that line means and if that's the case, why I cannot seem to cross-reference anything from https://mcoecbamcoepwprd01.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/library/GeneralOrders/DAGO1945.pdf (Page 1107/1163) and furthermore that GO seems to reference 10 Feb 1945.

    So I come to you all, hoping for some advice/suggestions.

    Am I reading that line wrong?
    Where can I go from here?
     
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  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    And always check the footnotes for bread crumbs. Endless clues to be found there. Most research doesn't make it into books but is still cited.
     
  4. Biak

    Biak Boy from Illinois Staff Member

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    Welcome and keep digging. We have some pretty darn knowledgeable folks on here. Be patient and (some) answers will eventually get here.
     
  5. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    You're close. He was assigned to the 101st Infantry as an infantryman, thus the CIB. However, that is General Orders No. 9, by the 101st Infantry. The G.O. was in May 1945 - usually there is a date - with some effort you could track it down, but it would just be a nominal list with him on it.

    Here's the thing though. You know what regiment he was assigned to in May 1945 and if you do track down a copy of G.O. 9 it should tell you what company he was assigned to. With that you can work backwards via that Company's Morning Reports to find references to him, when he joined, if he was wounded, went on leave, was sick, and so on. You can probably access the G.O. from the Regimental records at either the Eisenhower Library in Kansas or the National Archives, Archives II in Washington D.C. Once you know what company he was in you can get the MR from the St, Louis microfilms - Geoff Gentilini at Golden Arrow will give you a good price and may also be able to access the G.O. for you. I would reach out to him first.

    Hope that helps and feel free to ask if you have other questions.
     
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  6. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    And you can retain a professional, for a fee. No warranty implied there, I've never used one.
     
  7. Bryan Kardisco

    Bryan Kardisco New Member

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    OK, so I actually live in the DC area - so a trip to the National Archives isn't that big of a deal. I assume I need to register and go through the process of visiting The National Archives in Washington, DC

    From what you're saying I want to make that trip to the archives and need to find a copy of G.O 9. From there it should be some basic list but it would have his name and with his name it would most likely have the company he was assigned do. Then cross-reference 26th Infantry 101st along with that company and morning reports for that given period of time and I can hopefully get some more context?

    If so, that's great!
     
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  8. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, it is the one thing I miss about moving away from Fairfax.

    A couple of things. What you are looking for, G.O. 9 of the 101st Infantry, is not going to be at the downtown Archives Building, AKA Archives I. You will need to go to Archives II in College Park. Note that post-covid, the Research Room access at Archives II is supposed to be by appointment only...except they also say they take walk ins. Go figure, its the US Government. Go to the Archives website here for further information on making an appointment and know that a reply takes about three weeks. Information for Researchers

    You want to reach out to the Modern Military Records Branch and you will be working with Record Group 407, Entry 427. Specify the 26th Infantry Division, 101st Infantry Regiment, and you are looking for General Orders. Usually they are filed numerically by year, so there can be a GO 9 in 1941, 1942, 1943, and 1944, as well as 1945. However, since you also want to know what the 101st Infantry did, you probably want to request any After Action Reports, Unit Reports,or Historical Reports that might be filed for them. That will give you a background of events. You might also want to see about an inter-library loan for History of the 101st Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division in World War II which is pretty easy in the DC area.

    Yes, more than likely the GO will have his name, rank, serial number, and company assignment. From that, you can request the daily Morning Reports of that company. Work backwards looking for his name, which will appear when there is any change in his status, wounded, sick, on leave, disciplined, whatever. Eventually you will probably get to the first time he is assigned to the unit, which will often say which unit he arrived from. From that, you can request that units Morning Reports, working backwards from that date, and so on.
     
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  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Love this place.
     
  10. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    I'm presuming you already found this where someone was looking for similar info a few years back and got a response from "Jason" at the National Archives:
    Seeking operation reports of 101st Infantry Regiment

    Never mind, I see now that you've already been there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2024
  11. Bryan Kardisco

    Bryan Kardisco New Member

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    Thank you for that follow-up info, I was about to go to April 17 - Research Appointment at Archives I (Washington, DC) and schedule a visit but that would have been for DC and not College Park. I'm not opposed to making a trip out to College Park though. I can work off of this 100%

    Thank you so much
     
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  12. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    You may want to post his full discharge information. There may be other information there that will give clues, for example the date of his entry into service, his dates spent overseas and the like.
     
  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Bread crumbs, to find your way out of the forest.
     
  14. Bryan Kardisco

    Bryan Kardisco New Member

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    Not a problem, I can do that as well.
     

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  15. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Very good.

    Interesting to note there is a typo there, which is not unusual - "25th Div" instead of 26th.

    He arrived in the ETOUSA on 27 March 1945, so would have been part of a replacement draft, probably coming in through Le Havre. With transit times he probably did not actually join the division until mid April, so may have had two or three weeks in combat. By the time he left Europe 22 July 1946 he was an NCO - 1st Sergeant, promoted on 4 April 1946, but not with the 101st Infantry. which returned to the States on 29 December 1945. He was Infantry, so as 1st Sergeant he was "Top Kick" in a company.

    Sorry, no other clues as to what Company he served with. You might have to go through every morning report for every Company in the 101st Infantry from March 1945 onward to find when he joins, then you can find when he is transferred out to remain in Germany and it may say what unit he was assigned to in the Army of Occupation. It may have been the 42d Inf Div in Austria - they were inactivated there 29 June 1946. Otherwise, the 1st, 3d, or 9th Inf Div or the 3rd, 14th, or 29th Infantry Regiment (Separate) are the most likely.
     
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  16. Bryan Kardisco

    Bryan Kardisco New Member

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    What's really interesting (at least to me ) is that he was drafted on 18 Mar 1942. But then some time later he was admitted to the emergency room for some emergency surgery(ies) and was out of commission for quite some time. However, no one knows why....and I really want to know. Also he

    All I know is I have a newspaper article that says four people that were on the same draft list as him did not go on July 44. It says He "underwent an emergency operation over the week-end at the State Hospital"

    Also, I know that on Dec 8, 1944 he was in Camp Blanding, Florida in infantry replacement training
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2024 at 1:24 PM
  17. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Well he was a labor foreman, so it was possibly work related? Appendicitis is another possibility though, since that was major surgery at the time and an emergency appendectomy was no fun.

    Yes, he was an Infantry replacement.
     
  18. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    He may have been drafted early too, but was then work deferred if it was war related work.
     
  19. Bryan Kardisco

    Bryan Kardisco New Member

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    So, maybe this can help. Like I mentioned, I know he came in with the 26th based off of newspaper articles. BUT at some point he was with the 83rd infantry division, or so I assume. The reason being this photo. IF you were to look at this photo, it looks like he has the 83rd "patch" (I don't know the proper term) there. At this point, to my eye (and that's not worth much)

    You can see:
    1. Him wearing the CIB
    2. His three stripes
    3. What appears to be the logo/emblem/please tell me the proper words of the 83rd
     

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  20. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    That is a "SSI" - a Shoulder Sleeve Insignia. What are often described as "lapel pins" are "DUI" - Distinctive Unit Insignia. The first are associated normally with divisions, corps, armies, and commands, the second is associated with battalions and regiments. The first was traditional and based upon patches designed and worn in World War I, but the latter have traditions in some cases going back to the Revolutionary War. Both now are regulated by the US Army Institute of Heraldry.

    Yes, he does appear to be wearing the 83d Infantry Division SSI. Problematically, the unit that soldiers were assigned to when they returned to the States was often not the actual unit they served with. Sometimes it wasn't even the same Branch - my Father, and officer commissioned in the Coast Artillery (AA) returned to the States as an officer assigned to a Tank Destroyer unit.

    On top of that the clerks typing up discharge papers often made typos...they were processing literally thousands of men each day. The 26th Infantry Division was inactivated in Germany on 29 December 1945. If he was assigned to it then, he would have been transferred to another unit. The 83d Infantry Division stayed in Germany until 27 March 1946. He left Europe on 22 July 1946. He was awarded the CIB, by a General Order of the 103d Infantry dated May 1945.

    From that I would assume his wartime service after arriving in Europe just before the end of the war was with the 103d Infantry, 26 Th Infantry Division. However, when it was inactivated, its personnel either returned to the US if they had enough points - you need 85 - or were transferred to another unit in the Army of Occupation. He had only 22 points (Box 55) so he was transferred to the 83d Infantry Division, which is where he was when he was photographed. When the 83d returned to the States the process repeated - he still remained in Europe because his point score was too low and was transferred to yet another, unknown unit. Then, on 29 June 1946, a "WD TWX" War - a teletype cable message from the War Department to US Army Forces European Theater - amended the requirement of 85 points and sent him home for the "CONV OF THE GOVT" - convenience of the government. When he got home the clerk typed in the unit his wartime service was with - he may have asked him or just took it from the copy of the 103d Infantry GO for the CIB - and typed it in...and misstyped the division.
     
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