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Technician 4th Grade Edward H. Leonard

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by TommyBoy0329, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. TommyBoy0329

    TommyBoy0329 New Member

    Jan 12, 2018
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    So my dad officially blew my mind this Christmas...I grew up with bits of pieces of granddads stories about the war, but never really paid them any mind as a kid or a stupid teenager...I vaguely remembered something about shrapnel and running down a hill carrying guys over his shoulder...as I grew older and then joined the military myself, my interest in what Grandpa did in WW2 was ignited, unfortunately by this time he had Alzheimer's and would pass away before I could ever get any real answers.

    Anyways, back on track...apparently without me knowing, while cleaning out the attic of their house, my father found my grandpa's old discharge papers. He made some inquiries with the National Archives and was told that all the originals were lost in the Oklahoma City bombing, but that copies were on file. He got extra copies of the paperwork, along with a complete list of medals that my Grandpa had earned during his time. He sent me a package with the copies of those papers and some medals that were supplied by the Army after their various inquiries. My dad made sure that my Grandpa got the heroes burial he deserved and had the medals present at the funeral, and they were later divied out to the kids as memories of that cranky, crusty old man who used to yell at us. I ended up with a EAME Campaign Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, a WWII Occupation medal and his Purple Heart ribbon (his son has the actual medal).

    Looking at the paperwork he was assigned to the 976th Engineer Maintenance Company out of Chievres Belgium, being discharged November 5th 1945 for reenlistment in the Active Army. The paperwork says he participated in the Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns and was awarded a Purple Heart for a shrapnel wound. I then have a second discharge form, but this time from the 1253rd Engineer Combat Battalion, Company B where he was awarded a Combat Infantry Badge. I have another form which lists him as a Labor Foreman (356) which states "Supervised German Prisoners of War in an Engineering Depot. Saw that surplus engineer equipment was shipped to US Engineer Units in Germany from Belgium."

    Does anyone have any info on either of these units? What they did? Where they did it? Sorry for the long ramble, its all a jumble right now. I will scan the paperwork at work on Monday and upload it for you guys to look at and review and maybe translate for me.
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

    Jan 5, 2009
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    Can you post pictures of the documents? They will be of immense help. The unit he was discharged from he might not have served with. Many times men were put in units for discharge purposes.
    If he was awarded a CIB he was entitled to a Bronze Star that was given later
  3. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Jun 3, 2011
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    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    I'll second Lou's suggestion. It does help us if we can see the actual documents.
  4. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

    Jun 27, 2009
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    Washington State
    Stanton has the 1253rd ECB departing the US on 22 Oct.44 and arriving in England on 2 Nov.44, then arriving in France 15 March 45, That Battalion was credited with the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns. This matches your Grandfathers records. The 1253rd was being shipped back to the states in Aug 45. I think the 976th was the unit he was transferred to for processing to the US. A lot of the soldiers were given the job as guards for the POWs until their boat sailed.
    Without looking at his paperwork that's about all I can glean out of Stanton. I think you'll find he was wounded while in the 1253rd.
    With his CIB, he should have been given a Bronze Star Medal in addition to his others.

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