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Need help reviewing grandfather's WW2 Separation Form

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by McCabe, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    The book on Ebay looks to be in better condition than the one to which I linked. You may want to make an offer to see if they'll take less than $150. It can't hurt. A regimental history is about about the best you can hope for as far as formal unit histories. Battalion and company histories are extremely rare. To get information below regimental level, you almost have to track down official records.

    Regarding the PUC/DUC question, according to the Lineage and Honors of the 30th Infantry Regiment, they were credited with 4 during WWII:

    Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered SICILY
    Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered MOUNT ROTUNDO [Italy]
    Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered BESANCON, FRANCE
    Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered COLMAR [Pocket]

    As for the Arrowhead, as Clint suggested, he could very well have participated in more than one amphibious landing. Only one Arrowhead was allowed to be worn on a ribbon regardless of the number of assault landings. As far as I can tell, the 3rd Division was involved in assault landings in North Africa, Sicily, Anzio, and Southern France. If you have a history of the 3rd Division, you may already be able to determine if any can be eliminated.
     
    Earthican likes this.
  2. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    Thanks for all the info guys, I really appreciate it. Making progress on uncovering a lot of stuff no one alive in my family ever knew. I have another question. My father says my grandfather was definitely at Anzio; he said his father had mentioned it several times, and that a lot of men died there. He said that he always had negative things to say about General Lucas because he got a lot of men needlessly killed. He didn't like talking about it, and that's all he can remember his father saying about Anzio.

    Would Anzio be listed on the ROS? If so, what would be a likely reason for it not appearing on my grandfather's ROS?
     
  3. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Your grandfather has a long combat record and many things could have happened. It seems likely he came the 3d ID as replacement private and was possibly riflemen, machine gun crewmen or other low-level position. While still a private or PFC (or higher, many acting Sergeants in the Infantry) he probably met the requirements of the CIB. Over time his skills with vehicles or mechanics may have been recognized and earned him a position as an automotive mechanic. As Heavy Weapons company for the battalion, H Company had at least 16 jeeps.

    IMO, your best lead for clues to what might have happened lays with the CdG. Since it is recorded on his discharge document it was most likely a personal award for action or service. Most of the unit level CdG's were not formalized until after the war. Without his personnel file, I would guess the next best place to look would be the 30th Infantry Regiment records at NARA. This would require a personal visit or hire a researcher. However those records could be quite extensive so it would be nice to be able to narrow the dates. Keep in mind the processing for awards can be months after the event and recommendation.

    Also if you can show he was with the 30th Infantry in France (rosters at St Louis), he might also be entitled to the Fourragere in the colors of the Croix de Guerre. Along with the BS/CIB, that might be something you request to have reviewed for a replacement set of medals.

    Welcome, Good Luck!!!
     
  4. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    Earthican, thanks for the info. Makes a lot of sense. I will definitely be making a trip to St. Louis.
     
  5. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Oh, sorry, I just noticed he attended a Motor (Vehicle) Maintenance school at Fort McClellan. So he came to the 3dID as a mechanic. Still, assigned to a Heavy Weapons company, it might be hard to stay out of bad situations that required actions outside his specialty.

    I'm not sure when Fort McClellan started to turn-out exclusively Infantry replacements, but that might have had something to do with his assignment to an Infantry regiment rather than the hundreds of other motorized outfits.

    (Have I back-pedaled enough? This is tiring)

    Just to be clear, unit rosters can be found in St Louis, MO (Army Personnel Center) and unit records are at College Park, MD (NARA).

    I hope that helps.
    Again sorry for the misdirection.
     
  6. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    The man I wrote a book about went to mechanics school at Ft Riley and held a mechanic's position in his recon unit. Assigned to the unit he was assigned, he saw far more combat action than he was willing to talk about as we were preparing the book for print. Only after the book was printed and being sold did he mention some specific details he deliberately left out in our conversations. Seventy years removed from the events and he still did not want to talk about them in detail.
     
  7. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    Takao, I finally found what you were talking about and you are perfectly correct.

    http://missingmedals.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/combat-infantryman-badge.pdf

    Everywhere I looked I would read the part about the MOS assignment-the May 1961 version. I do have a question--is this award automatic if a soldier has fulfilled the basic requirements, like a Purple Heart, or does it have to be recommended like a Good Conduct Medal?

    Thanks for the correction--I hate being wrong, but don't mind being corrected.
    Dave
     
  8. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    That's a good question. I have seen regimental reports which would cite the awarding of the CIB en masse as opposed to individually, at least when it came to NCOs and EMs. I suppose that doesn't necessarily answer the question one way or the other.
     
  9. specialsp321

    specialsp321 New Member

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    Hi McCabe
    i was interested that the Baltimore War Memorial holds records for WW2 veterans from Maryland. Was it difficult to obtain the records? Thanks
     
  10. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    Hi there-- It was not difficult at all. I was thoroughly frustrated after dealing with NARA. I read somewhere online about city/county registrars storing copies of returning veterans' papers. I contacted the Baltimore registrar (whatever their particular office is called, I forget) and they informed me that those records were now housed by the Baltimore War Memorial. I contacted them via telephone, spoke with a gentleman and explained my situation and received from him a faxed copy of my grandfather's discharge paper within 20 minutes, and mailed copies within a couple weeks, completely free of cost. Good luck to you.
     
  11. DocL

    DocL Member

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    Please don't make the mistake of not shooting it-- Old guns in good condition deserve to be shot. You will probably enjoy it, as the Hi-Power is a delight to shoot.
     
  12. DocL

    DocL Member

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    One question: What "branch" or "arm" would a vehicle mechanic have been assigned to in WW2? Infantry or Ordnance or ??? I note in Block 4 of the DD214 that his basic branch was infantry. I wonder if he did infantry AIT after basic training and then later got his mechanic MOS. This version of the DD214 doesn't seem to allow listing of multiple MOSs held, so I wonder if he held a secondary MOS of rifleman. Just an interesting question, as I agree with the comments which state that infantry MOS was not required by regulation for award of the CIB during WW2.
     
  13. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    Gents--

    I recently received the search results from Golden Research. They sent me aproximately 100 pages of morning reports showing when he joined the 30th, transferred, went on leave, came home, etc. Also included are reports that do not mention him by name, but establish locoation of the unit and when they were there, which I can use to figure out which battles my grandfather participated in. Below, I've included the short report/explaination they gave me along with the records. The records themselves usually somewhat vague, and day-to-day activities are not elaborated on past condition and morale of the troops. Little combat action is written about. I'm wondering if this is where my search ends, or if I have other avenues to explore. I'm very much interested in getting into 30th Infantry Regiment operational records, if they exist, as well as those of the 3rd ID. I do have The History of the 3rd Division in World War 2, and I'm working on obtaining a copy of The History of the 30th Infantry, but I'd like to get as detailed info as possible, down to battalion-level or further, if possible. Where can I find more info on H Company, 30th Infantry?

    Also, can I point to these morning reports as a legitimate source of information in assuming what campaign/battle credits he *should* have received-- in other words, Anzio is not listed on his discharge paper, but the records seem to support that he was there for the landings. Is this most likely a case of an incomplete DD214, as was apparently case for many returning soldiers of WW2? Is it worth getting his official record amended? Does he still have an official record (my copy of his DD214 wasn't obtained through NARA (fire))? A few of you touched on this earlier in the thread, I just wanted to see if you all had any advice or tips at this point in my search.
    Thanks again for all your help.

     
  14. SirJahn

    SirJahn Member

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    Many of the WWII personnel records were lost in the St. Louis fire in the 70s. A place to look for his DD214 is the county courthouse where he was from. Vets were encouraged to file their DD214s there. Most of the unit records are stored in NARA at College Park MD. Golden Arrow works St. Louis mainly so if you are near College Park I would suggest going there to dig up the 30th IR records. I did some work on the 13th IR there and they had the Commo Logs, daily unit reports, attack overlays etc which have considerable detail.
     
  15. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    SirJahn-- thanks for the response. I have to clarify, I do indeed already have his DD214, I'm just wondering about its accuracy.

    I'm not near College Park but near enough to plan a trip. I may look into doing just that. Thanks again.
     
  16. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    As far as his official record goes, I believe when a request is made for replacement medals it is normal for the Army to review the record and provide the additional decorations that were formalized after the war. There should not be a problem with adding the BS for the CIB and the additional campaigns (Anzio, Ardennes-Alsace) but it should not hurt to point these out in a cover letter. And might as well try to catch them all with your own research (assault landing credit, Fourragere, other?).

    If you were requesting a decoration that is not relatively obvious or an upgrade to a medal there is a different Army review procedure (with special form) than the routine replacement of medals procedure.


    As Heavy Weapons company (water cooled MGs and 81-mm mortars) the operations of Company H are tightly bound to the 2d Battalion as a whole. The MG's would be distributed to support the Rifle companies while the mortars would be centrally located with forward observers moving with the Rifle companies. Ostensibly a jeep was assigned to support each weapon crew (squad) but in practice the company/battalion may have found it better to pool the jeeps and use them where possible to support the whole battalion moving ammo, chow, water, etc.

    I have not studied the Tables of Organization and Equipment (T/O&E or T/O's) to see if there is a separate maintenance section for the company or battalion. It is possible a portion of the drivers (chauffeurs then) were also mechanics beyond the normal operator functions (fluid level checks, cleaning, etc). Because he had mechanics training I am assuming that at some point he may have used those skills (mechanic and/or driver), but one can't be certain. Eventual assignment to Company H points in that direction.


    A substantial amount of unit information can be gleaned from the official histories. Your grandfather seems to have arrived just as the 3d ID was wrapping-up its part in the Fifth Army drive to the Winter Line.
    map
    http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/volturno/map27.jpg
    [​IMG]


    ***EDIT ADDITION***

    This veteran arrived at the 2d/30th Infantry, Ammo and Pioneer Platoon, Headquarters Company on Anzio. While he does not provide a clear picture of how the battalion rear area operates, he does provide a sense of what it is like to be just behind the line.

    http://normanmohar.icwest.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=85&Itemid=71

    As can be seen, moving forward entailed the risk of not finding the rear of the rifle companies and ending up between the lines. Random and directed enemy shelling could find one in the open suddenly seeking cover.

    There are some paragraphs out of chronological order, i.e. Besançon should be before the Voges action.


    I checked the last T/O&E for the Heavy Weapons Company and it shows the auto mechanic as the driver of a 3/4 ton truck (Dodge?) presumably carrying tools and supplies.
     
  17. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    Earthican- just saw your edit, thanks a bunch for the extra research, it is much appreciated. I do actually have a copy of Norman Mohar's war memoirs that I printed out, but I had forgotten about it and you reminded me. Thanks again.
     
  18. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Glad you found it, thank you for the response though.

    Actually I had only read the "WORLD WAR TWO EXPERIENCES OF JAMES TOLBY ANDERSON". I forgot to go back and browse the site. Thanks for bringing me back to it.


    I was distracted by this... I found this PDF from a Heavy Weapons Company Commander of the 83d Infantry Division. He starts out as the 81-mm mortar platoon leader but, through casualties, is appointed company commander and eventually promoted to Captain. There are only a few references to the motor pool/park but they are the only ones I have found on the Internet. In the Ardennes fighting, he mentions his Motor Sergeant and includes a sketch.

    http://www.jpgravelyn.com/WWII.pdf
     
  19. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    Just an update-- Yesterday, I actually traded emails with a Mr. Norman Mohar (Sgt. Mohar posted his memoirs in the form of the webpage you linked to) who served in the A&P platoon of my grandfather's battalion. He said he recalls the name but didn't know him personally, although they "may have passed each other in the night". He is going to check with another guy, who was a machine-gunner in the Heavy Weapons company-- the same company my grandfather was in, to see if he knew him. Even if he doesn't remember him, I sat down and re-read Sgt. Mohar's story, and if nothing else I have a little bit better of an understanding of what their battalion went through, now that I know positively when/where my grandfather was with the unit (which was shortly before Anzio until the end of the war). I have a better appreciation for Mohar's memories, and in a way I have a better mental picture of some of the things my grandfather probably experienced. Thanks again for the link.

    Also, thank you or posting that PDF -- some very pertinent information. Like you, I've not found much info online at all regarding the motor pool and their role in any infantry company, much less my grandfather's company. Any info at all is a plus.
     
  20. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Excellent, good luck with that contact. For me, Norman Mohar's account is shaping-up to be a rare look at the role of the A&P Platoon.


    I've been reading Mr. Mohar's account in chunks and, in between, testing the Google search: "motor pool" jeep "heavy weapons" (and other variations).

    I found this from a HW's jeep driver with the 106th ID (one of two online). He mentions that the Motor Sergeant rode in the 3/4 Ton with, I presume, the company mechanic/driver.

    I would think this was the standard procedure across many of the HW companies, unless the company commander authorized "midnight requisitions" of additional jeeps as the CO of the HW company in the last link below (65th ID).

    http://www.veteransofthebattleofthebulge.org/2012/04/17/john-a-swett-106th-infantry-division-army-history/
    ....
    Google Book result:
    World War II Reminiscences
    By Col. John H. Roush, Jr.
    page 314
    http://books.google.com/books?id=4m-I5pdxBeMC&pg=PA314&lpg=PA314&dq=%22motor+pool%22+jeep+%22heavy+weapons%22&source=bl&ots=2GtpJLDuaL&sig=0QlY13m3WG4B-miv8tMQ-vIlxrY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=axYKU8iMNNL1oASp94DwAQ&ved=0CBsQ6AEwADgK
     

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