Nothing is wrong with me custer. what is wrong with you that you have a losing general as your name? you remind me a bit of custer though, stubborn disrespectful to others and your post to me was not that bright.
To everyone else:
My "name" is dedicated to the brave MEN who served in the 85th CUSTER Infantry Division. The 85th Division was deactivated this last month after 90 years of service that span 2 world wars as a combat unit and as a training unit during the last several decades.
Is there any of the photo's you have with a vehicle in it or some kind of sign if not a patch on any other soldiers that may be in the photo's you have?
Anything even if it seems silly can be a great help.
To those of you that have been posting to me...
thanks so much.
I should explain why I haven't been here much lately..we farm for a living and we are working on our last harvest for the year...working 14 hour days, so I haven't had time, or energy, to turn on my computer. The harvest runs until the end of Oct. I have a little time now because we are broke down and my husband is fixing some equipment, so I'm at home for an hour or so...
Anyway...I had some help and I now have my father's discharge papers, which will be instrumental in the rest of my 'quest' to trace his footsteps.
Custermen, shultz, Wailuna, PSimon570 & USNVet940...
thanks again for all your posts...
as for photos, the ones I have don't show much as far as any clues....but, my brother has some photos and my father's 'war diary', as well as some other things he brought home with him (a few cool momentos), so as soon as harvest is done, I will look over what my brother has and use that to help in my search. If any of the photos he has are good enough to scan, I'll post them...
with the discharge papers there is a cover letter with a few suggested places I can write to for more information.
The discharge papers list Naples-Foggia, Rhineland, Rome-Arno, Southern France, Tunisia.
One of his medals ('they' will be mailing me his medals in a few months) is listed as 'European-Africa-Middle Eastern Service and another is listed as 'Good Conduct LTR 188th.
Here is the medal list (don't know if it helps any):
Good Conduct Medal
Meritorious Unit Commendation
American Defense Service; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign with silver service star & arrowhead
WWII Victory medal; Army of Occupation with Germany clasp
I'm not sure I'll have time after this post for a while, but will reply to anyone when I have the time, and will post when I find out more information.
I appreciate you guys...thanks.
As for member 1571275 (numbers)....
get a life!!!!
He enlisted before Pearl Harbor, service dates 1941-45.
What a great post, joanie1947. Good work and thanks for letting us know. Thanks also for sticking with your farm. Farmers are America's second most important profession. After soldiers, of course. Just one question: What was your father's unit?
and yep, farmers are important, too bad most folks don't realize that. Farming is also back breaking work and extremely stressful...especially being at the mercy of Mother Nature...she dosen't always co-operate!!!
My husband was an oil field 'roughneck' before he went to farming with his dad. I am also a horsewoman, and have horses...we also run about 65 head of cattle (cow/calf pairs with 3 Bulls)...selling the calves as feeders helps with the finances...except when Canada ruins the market with their 'MadCow Desease'....
we grow our own alfalfa hay, sugar beets (which we are harvesting now)...so use lots of sugar...hahaha, and also malt barely for Budweiser beer...so drink lots of beer...that one is pretty easy!!
As for our soldiers...well, this country wouldn't be what it is today without the sacrifices all our military people have made over the decades.
Anyway...your question is the one I need an answer to. Unless there was a 188th, I still have to search that one out.
I'm waiting to go thru the stuff my brother has from dad's service and also will get in touch with the 2 places the cover letter suggested that came with his discharge paper:
US Military Institute and the NY Public Library
(except for his discharge papers, everything else on record for him was in that 1973 St.Louis fire)
I'll sure post back when I find out the answers to my dad's service....as soon as I discover his Unit, I'll post that...surely I can get that info someplace.
Again, thanks so much.
"188th" is a slim lead and I have found just one unit with that number that comes close to being consistent with what we know of about your father's service. 188th Ordnance Battalion has campaign credits for Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, and Rome-Arno. However, the 188th Ord. Bn. remained in Italy until the end of the war and was not involved in the Southern France or Rhineland campaigns. As Custerman pointed out earlier, however, VI Corps was transferred from Fifth Army in Italy to Seventh Army for the invasion of Southern France. In fact, the Rome-Arno and Southern France campaign periods overlap in part, for the period August 15 to September 9, 1944. Your father might have been in 188th Ord. Bn. in Italy until sometime in the summer of 1944 and then transferred as an individual replacement to a VI Corps unit in time for the invasion of Southern France. This works on paper but you would need to do some more digging to confirm the conjecture.
I wonder if that was a way that someone was referring to GO 188 for the Good Conduct Medal?? And not the unit.
The GCM was awarded by a General Order issued by his unit and each GO was numbered for the year it was issued. The full reference would be something like:
GO 188 158FA 44 - for the Number, Unit and Year.
This might be listed on his Discharge Papers but I don't think the GCM was mentioned. A Purple Heart Medal or Bronze Star Medal would usually have the GO listed.
Was the GCM awarded on General Orders during WWII? It was awarded on company-level "unit orders" in later years and it may have been awarded by "letter orders" in WWII. It was a new award and a new concept then. I have heard some strange stories about confusion over this medal when it first was introduced and for several years after that. Perhaps one of the BTDT vets will shine some light on this for us.
custerman & wailuna,
My husband is very into all things military and explained the medals to me, but he also can't make out much of what is on my father's discharge paper.
One thing is that he was discharged 'at the convenience of the government (demobilization)"
He was still there after the war in Europe was over and transferred to, we beleive, but aren't sure we read it correctly, the 188th ORD BN in March 1944.
Custerman... your mention of the 'GO' made me look at the paper again...you may be on to something...
every box with information has tiny print in the upper left hand corner that states a 'catagory' like: 'Decorations and Citations'...there are a few of these tiny catagories that you can't read, I even used a magifiying glass, and in one of those boxes is the following info:
'Naples-Foggia Rhineland Rome-Arno Southern France Tunisia'...followed by: 'GO 33 WD 45 As Amended'
I have no clue what that all means (at least not yet) but looks like that GO 33 stuff may mean something...his unit??
wailuna... the GCM is listed this way on his paper: Good Conduct Medal LTR 188th.
Wonder what LTR means?
custerman & wailuna,
I just did a Google using that GO 33 WD 45 as amended. I found some listings, which I am still looking thru, to see if I can find out what that is...this is a copy & paste from something I found that is obviously from a web site listing the 'stats' of dozens of soldiers in all wars:
"European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon, and the Good Conduct Medal. Battles and Campaines; Rome-Arno GO 33 wd 45, Southern France GO 33 wd 45, Central Europe GO 33 wd 45."
Someone esle had a relative in whatever this is...the unit?
If your grandfather's Report of Separation says that he was assigned to 188th ORD BN, that will partially confirm my speculation a couple of days ago. Which block # contains this entry?
"GO 33 WD 45" stands for War Department General Order number 33 of 1945. It will not identify your grandfather's unit. It is the Army's list of the named campaigns and their geographical boundaries as they were in early 1945. It was used as the authority for awarding campaign participation credit to soldiers upon their discharge (among other things.)
"LTR" is a commonplace abbreviation for "letter." This is just a guess but the entry in question may mean that your grandfather's GCM was announced in a letter issued by 188th Ordnance Battalion.
Can you scan the ROS and post it here? I know it will be hard to read but we may see something of importance in it that will answer some of your questions.
Slight correction...this is my father, not my grandpa
I did a Google search on all that GO33 stuff and found alot of listings, but none helped me out as they were mostly from other people also searching out a relatives war time service...and yes, all that is as you said,the campaigns & boundaries...
so I still need to find his Unit.
Anyway, my search continues...I'll try sacnning and posting his discharge paper, but really don't think it will be very readable (is that a word )??
I just tried to attach the discharge paper after scanning it to my computer...but, it seems I don't know how to attach a document to my post.
I don't have a URL for it...so not sure how to procede.
Military.com used to have a photo center (powered by Smugmug.com) but the relationship evidently was terminated. You can still use Smugmug.com to share your scans in a military.com forum, but the service is no longer free.
So, here are a couple of other on-line photo services that will enable you to share your scans here and elsewhere and they are still free:
They all work about the same way: You have to register first then go through a bit of trial and error, but basically they are easy to use once you get used to the program.
Thanks for giving me the URL tp picasa so I can get some of my dad's stuff here for you guys to see.
I hope I did this right...I beleive you can use thew link below to get to my 'album' on the picasa web site.
I had my brother take photos of dad's uniform, minus his medals, which we'll be getting in a few months time. I included one photo (probably blurry) and it does say T Sgt. along with his name. I also have his discharge paper in the 'album' and a close up og the campaign ribbons.
I looked up the arm patches and found them...the only explanation for each is as follows:
the one with the big 'A' and #5 said 'Italy Fifth 1943'
The other one, which you can't see very well said 'Seventh 1943'
So far, that's about it...my brother has some other papers that he is still looking for.
If you guys can help out, that would be awesome....thanks so very much...especially you, wailuna...I appreciate your help.
My Father's Army Uniform, photo, discharge paper
I added a few more pics to the album at Picasa.
One shows my dad in Germany, 1945...wearing a German Officer hat...he was in Nuremburg in 1945...don't know the full story, but they evidently invaded a German Officer's 'hideout' and dad came away with a German Officer's hat and his Luger...he also took down a large banner with the Nazi symbol on it from the officer's quarters.
We still have the banner and the hat, but unfortunatley the Luger was stolen many years ago...which broke his heart...it was a really cool gun and momento.
Thanks...and I can use an many 'oars' as possible here...hahahaha...yep, wailuna is tops in my book...
The thing that we are really trying to find out is what Division/Unit my dad was in. We'd like to try and trace his footsteps during the war to see where he was. My brother said he has some other pspers he's trying to find, but that dad seems to have been in 7 campaigns.
Like many vets, he never did want to talk much about his tour...but there were times little things would come out...he talked about tanks and snipper fire and loosing 'his guys'.
I think one reason he didn't talk much about it all is that he lost eight brothers during the war (I beleive all were in the Navy)...there were 16 children in his family.
So...my research continues and I am soooo happy I found you all...you are a great bunch of men.
|"Justi Terram Incolant" (The Just Shall Inherit the Earth)|
If I may stick an oar in here(with your permission) here's what I can tell you from the Ike Jacket photo. (I don't mean to intrude on Wailuna's assistance because I think he's one of the best on this Forum and always ready to help.)
Going in a clock-wise direction the 3 Stripes over the "T" indicates his rank was a Technician 4th Grade;
The shoulder Patch is for the 5th Army(A/5);
Opposite over the pocket is the "Ruptured Duck" issued to all honorably discharged veterans;(should also have received a R/D Lapel Button for civilian wear)
Moving up to the right lapel is the Ordnance Corps. Insignia;
Opposite that on the left lapel in the US Army Insignia(everybody enlisted had this);
Dropping down to the ribbons you have (from right to left) -
EAME(ETO medal ribbon with 2 Campaign Stars and an Arrow Head:
The American Defense Medal Ribbon and
The Good Conduct Medal Ribbon.
From what I can see I believe that is the 7th Army shoulder patch of the left sleeve.
Hope this helps!!
You posted the picture of your dad before I could post this and I'm fairly positive that is the butt of the Luger sticking out of the holster on his hip.
Your father's Honorable Discharge answers most of the questions you have asked:
1. His rank at discharge was Tec 4 (just between sergeant and corporal -- see chart in earlier post). Note: His highest grade held (block 28) is partially obscured. It might be Tec 3 but it is not Technical Sergeant (or T. Sgt.)
2. His organization was 87th Ordnance Heavy Maintenance Company, Field Army, which is consistent with the EAME campaign credits he received. This type of company was attached to various battalions (and higher echelons) from time to time as tactical situations changed. I found mention of the following attachments in Fifth Army's order of battle: On January 11, 1943, 87th Ordnance Company (Heavy Maintenance) (Tank) was assigned to 43rd Ordnance Bn. (Maintenance and Supply), I Armored Corps, Fifth Army. On September 29, 1943, the company was attached to 87th Ordnance Bn., 6694th Ordnance Base Group, Fifth Army. Item # 33 of his Discharge indicates that his Good Conduct Medal was awarded by 188th Ordnance Bn. on March 7, 1944, which implies that his company was attached to that battalion, but I can't verify that from an independent source. However, by April, 1944, I can find no further mention of 87th Ord. HM Co. in Fifth Army.
3. As to his uniform: The shoulder patches, Seventh Army on the left sleeve and Fifth on the right, are correct, although it appears that he could also wear the I Armored Corps patch on the right sleeve instead of Fifth Army. His ribbons are incomplete, but it also appears that the Army has informed you correctly regarding all the medal to which he is entitled. Two uniform items are not mentioned: He was entitled to wear one service stripe on his lower left sleeve (not visible in these pictures) and five overseas service bars above the single service stripe. Some overseas service bars are just visible but I can't make out the count -- they are the gold colored horizontal bars on the left cuff.
4. Your father received training in automotive repair in the Ordnance School at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. He was a supply clerk (MOS 835) when he was discharged.
5. He was honorably discharged as part of the massive demobilization that was underway by the Summer of 1945. Unless there are typos on his discharge, it also looks as though he flew home from ETO: He departed July 7, 1945, and his arrival date is illegible but he was discharged July 12, 1945.
6. One entry on your father's discharge has me stumped. Item 36 -- Destination "EAME TH" I have no idea what "TH" means in this context. Some BTDT want to jump on that one?
Thanks again for posting all this material. It is a lot easier to answer your questions when we can see the actual evidence.
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