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My grandfather - VIII Army Corps, please help!

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by mellybee88, Nov 26, 2010.

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  1. mellybee88

    mellybee88 recruit

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    Hey all,

    I'm a 22-year-old grad student interested in WWII history on the side. Right now I've become very interested in learning more about my grandfather's military experience during the war. However, he died before I was born, and according to my grandmother he never liked to talk about his experiences much so I have very little to work with.

    Earlier this evening I was telling my grandmother about my interest in his story, and it blew my mind when she pulled out an old beat-up wooden box from the back of her closet. Inside was an amazing collection of his war memorabilia - including German army souvenirs, parts of his gear, medals, a diary with a few entries, almost 30 thumbnail-size photos that he took during time in France (ie. Bastogne)...

    To pinpoint his infantry division (he was a Warrant Officer in the Army, was a civilian accountant before), I have:

    a) a large scroll-out photo of a large Army group (maybe 100-150 people?) complete with alphabetical roll and indicates the commanding officers and their names as well. No date or location indicated.

    b) a typed-up list of sites where they operated and relevant dates. No indication of who wrote this, but it has handwritten notations. Highlights include (exactly as written):

    Southampton, England
    Ohmar (sic? assuming this means Omaha) Beach

    FRANCE
    St. Germaine de Varville - Jul 3, 1944
    Barneville sur mer - Jul 5
    Barneville de la Palace - Jul 7
    Montmartin sur mer - Aug 3
    Merlaix - Aug 24

    BELGIUM
    Bastogne - Oct 3
    Arlon - Dec 20
    Charleville (France) - Dec 22
    Neaufchateau - Jan 23, 1945
    Bastogne (*underlined*) - Feb 6
    Arlon - Feb 17

    GERMANY
    Adeneau - Mar 15
    Polch - Mar 26
    Diez - Apr 1
    Rotenburg - Apr 8
    Ohrduf - Apr 13
    Pessneck ("the end came here") - Apr 19, 1945
    Weimar - May 17

    c) Found two blue and white "8" shoulder sleeve badges in his old military-issue sewing kit. I've looked the image up and it appears to indicate VIII Army Corps (which is apparently different from the 8th Army).

    *****Considering these things, any advice on how to proceed on narrowing down his infantry division or smaller unit would be so much appreciated. I have Google-searched the name of the commanding officer in his group photo, Capt. Frank R. Miller, to no result. I would love any advice, comments, or thoughts from those of you who might know a lot more than me! =)

    Melissa
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Welcome to the forum, Melissa. I'm sure that we can be of some assistance. To start with, go to this thread and read it through. It gives information on how to go about requesting your grandfather's records (you'll need to fill out the form SF-180). Your grandmother should sign it as next-of-kin so you get all the data available. http://www.ww2f.com/military-servic...esting-copies-military-personnel-records.html Please be aware that many records were destroyed by a large fire in 1973, but you can get as much detail as its available. Check with your grandmother to see if she has any paperwork from your grandfather. His discharge papers would be of great help.
    [​IMG]

    I assume this is the patch your referred to.

    Here is a listing of the units of the VIII Corps at the Battle of the Bulge. If you have any other patches, it might narrow down what specific unit he was in.
    Battle of the Bulge Order of Battle

    I hope this is helpful.

    You can also go to this site and put in the appropriate dates to find the changing order of battle for the VIII Corps. http://www.ordersofbattle.com/UnitData.aspx?UniX=6291&Tab=Oob&Titl=VIII Corps
     
  3. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Any chance you can post up the picture and and any documents (like his DD 214) here? If you can they would be of help in us identifying his unit etc.
     
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Lou's pic didn't make the cut, so I'll help him out.

    View attachment 12118

    As Lou pointed out also, there were a large number of units attached to VIII Corps at one time or another during the Battle of the Bulge.

    To help you understand: A corps was a very flexible command unit, between "army" and "division" and had very few combat units attached to it permanently. It's main function was operational command & control of the combat units that were attached to it and the composition and number of these units could change from day to day. Essentially a Corps was a HQ unit, to which various combat and support units from division size to company or platoon size were attached and removed as needed. Some support units, such as trucking companies or engineer battalions, may have worn corps insignia if they were with the corps for a long period of time.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Thanks, Jeff. When I put the picture in, it came out OK. I was able to see it, but didn't get back to this thread until just now. I wonder what happened?
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Hotlinking photos on Angelfire is against their rules(for the free websites), been that way for years now. That's why I never used them. You want to allow hotlinking from Angelfire, you have to pay for their Premium Service.
     
  7. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    That's odd. I'm sure I've used that site before to post images. I could be mistaken, though.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    IIRC, it is ok to post the web address to the photo, so that people have to do the old "cut and paste" method to view the photo, but hotlinking is a no-no.
     
  9. Patton Puppy

    Patton Puppy recruit

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    Hi Melissa - I just came across this thread - I am always researching my Dad's Unit & his history - He was with the 740th Field Artillery Battalion - If you do not have your Grandfather's DD214 paperwork, which would give your grandfather's unit information as the other members here have indicated - then you may want to try the following link:

    The World War II Army Enlistment Records File and Access to Archival Databases

    This is the WWII enlistment records data base for 1938-46 - Click the blue highlighted "Access to Archival DataBases"; then select "WWII"; then select the second file for the 8.7 million records. You will have to enter your grandfather's name as "LAST NAME#FIRST NAME#MIDDLE INITIAL" - Please read the "Sample values" for instructions on searching by name - There are additonal fields that you can search by to narrow down your search returns. If he is in the database, this search will give you your grandfather's Army Serial Number, which will then enable you to file the SF-180 form and continue your research.

    I'm also including a link to a pdf file on the National Archives for researching your grandfather's unit, if you can find more info:

    http://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww2/ww2-participation.pdf

    And here's the main link for the National Archives that deals with military records

    Veterans' Service Records

    I went to the National Archives and copied my Dad's unit history - I ended up with about 700 pages - It's amazing the amount of information one can find.

    Diane
     
  10. Cheshire cheese

    Cheshire cheese New Member

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