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What unit did my G-pa really belong to? 900AAA (AW)

Discussion in 'What Granddad did in the War' started by Annie Link, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Annie Link

    Annie Link New Member

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    I am so excited to have found this forum! I visited mom after Thanksgiving and was THRILLED to have found a copy of my grandfathers discharge paperwork and a couple of letters he had sent home to his sister. I always knew he served in WWII and had received a purple heart for his service, but that is where my knowledge stopped. Mom tried to get copies of his service records a few years ago, but was informed that his had been destroyed in the fire. His discharge paperwork says that in addition to the Purple Heart, he received 4 BSS and a bronze arrowhead for the campaigns: "Naples-Foggia Rome-Arno No Appennines PO Valley". He was also awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge. My research thus far tells me he is possibly deserving of a Bronze Star medal due to the service and CIB award. I would like to request to have his records corrected, but in the absence of an official 214, I thought maybe I could start with researching his unit history and find documentation that way, going to wherever the records are located and spending a few days searching. My first roadblock I'm hitting is that I simply do not know enough about units in WWII to know where to start. His letter dated 9 April 1944, says "my address has changed but I am in the same outfit as before the 600 AA is now the 900 AAA we was a Regiment now we are a Battalion I am with the same men as before well I was in the Battle of casseno..." His return address says "Btry A 900 AAA AW BTN, APO 464 New York, NY.

    I'm having difficulty finding anything concrete on either unit. I'm hoping someone has some insight or can point me where to go... Also on his discharge paperwork in the awards, it says, "Purple Heart GO hq 171 Evac Hosp 23 Apr 45" and in the wounds received section, it says "italy 22 Apr 45". Is the 171 reference to the general order number or the hospital name?

    THNK YOU to anyone who had insight or can point me in a general direction!!
     
  2. wooley12

    wooley12 Active Member

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    You have enough info now to use Google and get educated in the world around your grand dad at that time. I just searched for wwii "900 AAA AW BN" and learned what that AAA AW stood for Anti-Aircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) and from Wikipedia that "While the 789th AAA Battalion was not intended to act as an infantry unit, anti-aircraft artillery units could be attached to a variety of other units, including infantry units." I also noted that Google did not show any AAA AW units with a X00 number designation. That might mean something, or nothing.

    Good luck. Google is your friend IMO. After 1000 hours of researching my dad I can go on Google Earth to within 1/2 mile of where he got his Purple Heart for getting shrapnel in the buttox. Just like Forest Gump. :)
     
  3. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    There was no 600th AA Regiment. The 900th AA AW Battalion was actually organized 14 March 1944 at Santa Maria Italy from the 2d Battalion 505th Coast Artillery (AA) Regiment. The 505th CA (AA) Regiment was activated 1 June 1942 at Camp Edwards Massachusetts and landed at Salerno 9 September 1943. The CIB is interesting, because he would not have been eligible for it, except on 14 January 1945 the assets of the 900th AA Bn were reorganized as the 3d Bn, 473d Infantry.

    The General Orders (GO) were published by the 171st Evacuation Hospital on 23 April 1945, but he was wounded 22 April 1945. IIRC, most of those hospital GO's for Purple Hearts were not numbered, but just dated.
     
  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Those were my father's units. Name would be useful. I have the names of several members of the 473rd.
     
  5. Annie Link

    Annie Link New Member

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    Thank you!
     
  6. Annie Link

    Annie Link New Member

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    Thank you for the response! I am so curious why he wrote that he was no longer part of the 600 AAA Regiment. My mom just send me a pic of his paperwork (i only took a pic of the awards and campaign sections). When he got out, he is listed as belonging to Co F, 350th Inf.

    thank you for clearing up the info regarding the 171st!
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  7. Annie Link

    Annie Link New Member

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    Pfc William Wade Shatto from Ripley, WV. He went by Wade. I
     

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