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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. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    That is interesting, thanks (again) for sharing that, the effort is much appreciated.

    I decided to upload a few pictures to a photobucket album-- pictures which may or may not help contribute to the search for info.

    But I wanted to ask a question or two regarding some particular photos (I'll share the whole set at a later point on the appropriate forum) --

    It's my guess that these photos were taken in mid '45, after the surrender, but I can't be sure. I see some guys with T/4 rank patches, but my grandfather was still most likely a PFC at the time these photos were taken. I keep seeing that "the" company mechanic drove around in a jeep. Who are these other guys I see that also look like mechanics (overalls). Is it possible that a weapons company would have several mechanics for its many vehicles? Or could they other mechanics from the battalion? After the war, my grandfather always received christmas cards from these guys, and he may have even visited a couple of them. Can I assume that this was a group of mechanics that worked together, and how might that fit into a possible WW2 heavy weapons company T/O&E? The company motor pool?

    http://s1222.photobucket.com/user/McCabeTFB/library/30th%20Infantry%20Regiment
     
  2. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Good questions. The US Army developed a coverall fatigue uniform (called herringbone twill or HBT, a kind of green cotton denim) that they thought might be used by everybody. But in combat, with frequent cases of the 'runs' (something Mr Mohar describes at great length) when wearing the coveralls one had to virtually undress 'to gain access', soon these uniforms were consigned to places off the front line. But out of combat anybody could be using them. So it might not be just mechanics even in the summer of 1945.

    The T/O&E I looked at shows only one designated mechanic in the HW companies -- driving the the 3/4 Ton Dodge, not 1/4 Ton jeep. However the Motor Sergeant could/should be a mechanic and possibly one or more of the jeep drivers (that would give the company depth for a critical position).

    Late war US Army T/O's (PDF format)
    http://www.militaryresearch.org/freebies.htm#Army%20WWII

    I suspect, particularly out of combat, all the battalion vehicles were closely supervised by the battalion Motor Officer. Here the unit would pull together all the vehicles, all the mechanics and a few of the drivers (OJT mechanics) to bring all their vehicles to top condition. The three rifle companies only had two jeeps each but the battalion Headquarters Company had several vehicles and at least one mechanic and Motor Sergeant -- I assume without checking. So that's the 'extended family' of mechanics and drivers outside the company.

    Then there is the regimental Service Company with more vehicles and more mechanics but I don't think there would be a regimental motor pool with all the regiments vehicles from the three battalions.

    I hope that answers a few questions without confusing the issues...feel free to discuss.


    EDIT: Nice photos, to discuss it would be helpful if they were numbered -- really helpful if I could do thumbnails, but that's my issue...

    hole.jpg (two guys next to hole/entrance in slope) looks like it could be Anzio
     
  3. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    That definitely answers a few questions. I think these guys are either other battalion mechanics, or they're fellow company mechanics. I've been told that the heavy weapons company would've had a good number of jeeps at its disposal, and I refuse to believe that a HW company would have just one or two guys assigned to take care of those vehicles, much less drive them. My ongoing conversation with Mr. Mohar seems to somewhat confirm this.

    Regarding the photos, I plan on uploading the entire album and posting to the appropriate forum here. Mr. Mohar also suggested I submit them to be posted on warfoto.com, which is among the more in-depth amateur websites dedicated to the 3ID in WW2. I think they have connections to the 3ID Society, not sure.

    Question: What were the eligibility requirements for earning the Motor Vehicle (Driver & Mechanic) badge? Did it you mean you received the training to be either or both? Also, were the badges awarded with or without the hanging tabs that say either Driver or Mechanic? I have his badge, but there is no hanging part, it's missing.

    I'm also going to post a few points that Mr. Mohar hit upon in one of his emails he sent to me, because I think you and others may appreciate them. He is very enthusiastic about sharing his memories, and I don't feel that he would object to me posting here some of the interesting tidbits he provided. I'm also thinking about asking him to consider checking out a forum like this, where he can feel free to share his experiences and help educate people on what he remembers from the war. He's getting up there, but he loves computers and loves talking to people.

    Man. that last quote is pretty heavy. Can you imagine the relief of finding out you don't have to ship out for the invasion of Japan?

    Anyway, I thought this was interesting so I wanted to share some here, I hope you got something out of it.

    Again, Earthican, I appreciate the effort in helping me with my search, and I'll continue to post questions here for anyone who wants to help. Thanks a bunch.
     
  4. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    I may not answer your questions directly, I often end-up finding related things that grab my interests

    Nineteen jeeps (and drivers) in the HW company, to be precise. I did miss the three 'motor corporals' in each of the platoons, so that is a total of five people who should have a mechanics background in the company. I suspect the 'motor corporals' would be chosen from the jeep drivers that showed a talent for motor mechanics (and leadership).

    Regarding the photos, there is one vehicle, besides the jeeps (and the German convertible), that is probably the 3/4 Ton Dodge. I can't be sure, there are only portions of it shown (front grill, rear tire).

    Motor Vehicle Badge, Google us for photos: site:ww2f.com "motor vehicle badge"
    http://www.ww2f.com/topic/27957-insignias-badges-medals-and-clasps/page-8#entry338926

    I don't know about the methods for being awarded the MVB off the top of my head. You may want to put that in the "Information Request" Section of the forum.

    The 3d ID was slated for the Pacific but before leaving they transferred out the 'high point' men (that's how Mr Mohar ended up in the 70th ID) and transferred in 'low point' men from other divisions. The war ended before the 3d ID left Austria but because they were ready to ship they shipped with all the low point men and they got home earlier than many 'high point' men. Still as along as men were in uniform they had good reason to praise the A-Bomb for bringing it all to an end.
     
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  5. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    Thanks again, Earthican, much appreciated.
     
  6. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    http://www.dogfacesoldiers.org/info/memoirs/brown/anzio.htm

    I was reading these memoirs and after several familiar episodes I realized he was in the same battalion as Mr. Mohar and therefore the same Heavy Weapons company as your grandfather.

    You probably found this already but for anyone else on the search this thread/topic has a number useful links -- hopefully one more won't hurt.


    The link above has most of his story for Anzio, but he also wrote a book for which GoogleBooks has a limited preview.

    My Comrades and Me: Staff Sergeant Al Brown's WWII Memoirs
    By Al Brown

    http://books.google.com/books?id=s6wbB0mncYcC&pg=PA86&lpg=PA86&dq=Tatlock+30TH+INFANTRY&source=bl&ots=dDcnnN0jjw&sig=vFaeRd7Zaeum8Frk9vhjcP6h5Bk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ir2EU9SQNouhogTxjoGgBA&ved=0CEMQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=Tatlock%2030TH%20INFANTRY&f=false
     
  7. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    Thanks Earthican. Indeed, I had come across Al Brown's memoirs. Mr. Mohar actually did me a favor and emailed Al Brown, who is still living, and asked if he recognized my grandfather. He did not, but said this was probably because he was in one of the MG platoons, while my grandfather was likely in the mortar platoon or in the rear doing vehicle repairs.

    To date, Mr. Mohar and Mr. Brown's memoirs are really the closest thing I have to a first-hand account of my grandfather's time in the war. They were further up on the front lines but both men were of huge help in painting a picture of what my grandfather probably saw/heard/felt etc. Thanks again for thinking of me and posting the link.
     
  8. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    Found out today that Norman Mohar (mentioned above) passed away this past November. He was up there in age, but still shocking news. A true fighter and hero.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  9. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    RIP, Mr. Mohar. May your service and sacrifice never be forgotten. :S!
     
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  10. Solvitur

    Solvitur New Member

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    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).


    Can someone please help me to understand this? What is the difference, and are the unit rosters different than Morning Reports?
     
  11. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The "unit rosters" in St Louis are the microfilm of the Company Morning Reports, prepared every morning by each company-sized unit (company, battery, and troop) of the US Army, which included a personnel accounting roster (present and absent and why changes) and a record of the previous days events (sometimes very detailed, but often very sketchy). Note that each division-sized unit would produce 50 to 60 every day...so the RA divisions over the course of the war EACH produced about 80,000. Using them is a difficult and time-consuming task.

    The "unit records" at College Park are the historical records of a unit - the paperwork they generate during operations in peace and war, which are required for the unit to maintain by Federal law. In general they include theater-level down to separate battalion (and some company level) papers, including daily unit journals, records of events, histories, copies of general and special orders, personnel accounting (numerical rather than individual personal information), logistical records, and the like.
     
  12. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Yes, they are. A roster is simply a listing of the personnel assigned to a given unit. The following is an example of a roster:
    [​IMG]
    Morning Reports, as Rich described very well, are a daily record of personnel changes for a given unit, usually Company level. There were two forms of MRs used during WWII. An example of the type used earlier in the War can be seen in this Forum thread. The following is an example of the type used from about Sept 1943 through the end of the War:

    [​IMG]


    I hope that helps.
     

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