Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Questions I Should Ask

Discussion in 'What Granddad did in the War' started by Cadillac, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Cadillac

    Cadillac Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Lone Star State
    Hello all! I have just returned from a long vacation in Arizona. While there I talked to a lot of veterans who are friends with my grandfather (a former Ranger), and they all had great stories. One was an Air Force loadmaster in Vietnam and later a CSM in the Army, and another was a fixed-wing pilot, helicopter pilot, tank mechanic, and helicopter mechanic (his son is now a helicopter mechanic in Afghanistan). All in all it was a great experience, getting to hear these men tell their tales about life in the service.
    I am trying to find more information about my great uncle Theodore C. Scheick, a D-Day veteran who was wounded during the war. I am going to be in Normandy for the commemorations next year, and I wish to wear a unit patch to honor him, for he died several years ago. I am about to start emailing his granddaughter for information on his service, and I came here looking for some tips from more seasoned interviewers than I. Does anyone know of some questions I can ask?
     
  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    979
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
  3. Cadillac

    Cadillac Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Lone Star State
    It turns out she's actually his daughter, but yeah same principle.
     
  4. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    979
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Well, you would obviously have to adjust for the situation, but the above threads may give you some help.

    At the risk of stating the obvious, try to ask open ended questions. That is, avoid questions that can be answered with "yes" or "no".

    People tend to be more comfortable talking about what they know best: themselves. Framing the questions so that it is about her perspective on her father's service may yield a longer response and, hopefully, more information. That is not to say that you should avoid asking more direct questions about her father's service. They certainly have their place.

    Avoid correcting any factual errors she may make during the interview. All it will accomplish is to limit her response to subsequent questions.

    I would definitely ask about any letters, photos, or news clippings that she or other family members might have. Get the word out to your extended family that you are looking for that sort of thing. I have gotten much info on my great uncle's that way.

    I hope this helps. You'll have to let us know how it goes.
     
    Slipdigit likes this.
  5. Cadillac

    Cadillac Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Lone Star State
    Thanks Tommy! I will definitely keep all that in mind.
     
  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    5,931
    Likes Received:
    1,421
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    If you can find out what Division he was in a lot of doors suddenly open. You can usually find the regiment and a lot of other info, including day by day accounts of movement and actions across Europe.
     
  7. Cadillac

    Cadillac Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Lone Star State
    I've actually compiled a list of possible units he could've been in, with the information given to me. I'll make a post with the information I have so far, as well as the list.
     
  8. Cadillac

    Cadillac Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Lone Star State
    Theodore C. Scheick was drafted into Army service on March 4, 1942, just after the war began. After training, he shipped out to North Africa, staying there for a short time before his unit took part in the invasion of Italy with Lt. Gen. Mark Clark’s 5th Army. He was a driver who was often subjected to enemy bombing raids, before being assigned as a Catholic chaplain’s assistant. His job in that capacity was to essentially act as the chaplain’s armed bodyguard, due to their status as noncombatants.
    Scheick’s unit fought in Italy until the end of the war, taking part in the famous drive to Rome. His frequent mail to his girlfriend during the campaigns contained a secret code, in which he would include the first letter of the town he was in at the moment so as to elude the censors and let her map out his location. He left Italy on a troopship, arriving stateside a week later. Soon after, he was honorably discharged from the Army and married his long-time girlfriend, Bette.

    Possible Units:
    85th Infantry “Custer” Division- Activated in North Africa, had a very prolific involvement in the Italian Campaign
    1st Armored “Old Ironsides” Division- Fought Rommel in Tunisia and landed at Salerno in Italy
    88th Infantry “Cloverleaf” Division- Undertook training in North Africa, took part in the Italian Campaign and crossed into Austria
    91st Infantry “Powder River” Division- Transferred to North Africa for training, fought in Italy until the war’s end
    894th Tank Destroyer Battalion- Fought in Tunisia in 1943, later advanced into Italy with the 5th Army
    16th Armored Engineer Battalion- Part of 1st Armored, fought in Tunisia and throughout the Italian Campaign
     

Share This Page