Military History/SS Brazil

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QUESTION: My grandfather was wounded on the USS Brazil during WWII.  Unfortunately the ship was sunk and so went his medical records.  I have been trying for almost 15 years to work on trying to have him awarded his Purple Heart.  He was shot two other times but his records burnt in the ST Louis fire.  Do you have any idea where I may be able to find information pertaining to his injury(ies)  Thank you very much!

ANSWER: Dear Sir,
  Thank you for your question.  In it you typed "My grandfather was wounded on the USS Brazil during WWII."  Respectfully, I could find no record of a ship commissioned by the US Navy during WW 2 with the name "USS Brazil".  Could you be referring to the troop ship SS Brazil?
  In your question you typed "Unfortunately the ship was sunk and so went his medical records."  If the ship in question was the SS Brazil, the troop transport was not sunk during WW 2.  May I ask, what is your source for the information you have typed in this question?
  Was your grandfather a member of the US Navy or US Army during WW 2?  If the US Navy, his personnel records were NOT destroyed in the infamous 1973 fire at the Military Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri.  
  In your question you typed "Do you have any idea where I may be able to find information pertaining to his injury(ies)"?  Yes, your grandfather's Discharge Documents.  The source for your grandfather's Discharge Documents is you, or some member of your family.  Your grandfather was provided with numerous copies of his Discharge Documents when he was discharged from the US Military.  Also, if your grandfather was a member of the US Navy, obtain the ship's records.  But first, you will have to provide me with the correct name of the ship your grandfather was assigned to when he was WIA.  If your grandfather was a member of the US Army, what unit was he assigned to when he was WIA?  Learn that FACT, then I could assist you obtain the unit records.
  Good Luck with your quest.

  Richard V. Horrell
   WW 2 Connections
    211 Union St.   #611
     Nashville   TN   37201-1502   

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Requested Information:
My Grandpa was in the US Army from August 23, 1940 to November 2, 1945. Upon enlisting he was assigned to Fort McKinley, Maine. Next he was sent as the very first Army unit to Camp Edwards, Mass. He was attached to the 68th Anti Aircraft Unit, and was sent to protect the shipyard in Weymouth, Mass. From there he was assigned as an Armed Gunner on a Navy Troopship from March to July 1942 where they transported troops and equipment to Karachi, India (now in Pakistan). It was on this troopship that he received his 1st wound. He was shot in the hand by enemy aircraft and a Navy doctor treated him. He did have scars from this injury. He then was assigned to the 120th transport Unit, once again as an Armed Gunner on another troopship. They left the US in August of 1942 and went to Scotland for training to prepare for the North African Campaign. Once completed, the men were re-assigned to various troopships and they met up with many more troopships and warships. He was assigned to the SS Brazil which was traveling with the 'sister ships' the SS Argentina and the SS Uruguary. It was off the Coast or Oran, Africa that the ships met with heavy fighting. His ship was among the ones shelled and torpedoed and he was among the wounded crew members (November 1942). This was his 2nd wound. He was seriously hurt in his right leg. He remembered that the ship lost a propeller and it made it's way to So. Africa for repairs. A Navy doctor replaced his right knee cap which caused him great discomfort at times for the rest of his life. He was sent stateside with other wounded. This discharged papers showed that he left So. Africa on November 17th and arrived in the states on December 3, 1942.  We have a Princeton, Maine newspaper clipping stating he was home on furlough recovering from his wounds. We also have a letter written October 9, 1944 from his brother-law (who was killed at the Battle of the Bulge) referring to this wound to the knee. We have no medical records on these two wounds treated by the Navy doctors. We were told that the US Army destroyed all their files on the troop ships movements, passenger lists and logs in 1951.

When his furlough ended he was assigned once again to Camp Edwards December 1942) and was attached to the 573rd AAA, Battery C as an Auto Weapons Specialist. He and his unit were sent to Europe on December 16th 1944 aboard the "Queen Elizabeth" and arrived on the 22nd. While there, he was in charge of a Half Track unit (102nd) and saw action in Belgium, Luxemburg, France and Germany. It was while his unit was crossing the Rhine River that he was shot in his left leg (1945). This was his 3rd wound and it was treated by a field medic. It was from this wound that he continued  passing shrapnel up until the time of his death. We have an envelope containing a piece of shrapnel that his family doctor removed in February 1949. After Dr. Higgins death he then saw Dr. John Gould and his records refers several times to the pain and discomfort of his war wounds.

While he was stationed in Brunswick, Germany after the war with Germany was declared over but he was sent with a peace keeping force and assigned to the 413th AAA Gun Bn, Battery A. to Darmstadt. It was from their that he went to Fort Dix, NJ to separate from the Army on November 2, 1945.  

His separation shows that he had 4 months in Basic Training, 8 months as a supply technician and 43 months as a Anti Aircraft Gun Crewman. His job description has him supervising 11 men and assigned their duties. Maintained guns, tracts, ammunition, trailers and personal equipment. Used sighting bars or range finders and radio.

Thank you again for any assistance you can provide.

Answer
Dear Sir,
  Thank you for your follow-up.  In it you typed that your grandfather "was attached to the 68th Anti Aircraft Unit".  Was your grandfather assigned or attached to the 68th Coast Artillery Regiment?  Regardless, the 68th Coast Artillery Regiment arrived at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts, September 16, 1940.
  In your follow-up you typed that your grandfather "was assigned to the 120th transport Unit".  Respectfully, I could find no "120th transport Unit" activated by the US Military during WW 2.  What is your source for the numerical designation "120th transport Unit"?
  In your follow-up you typed "He was assigned to the SS Brazil.......he was among the wounded crew members."  The following is the voyage in question for the SS Brazil:

Departure Date:   November 1, 1942
Departure Location:   Gourock, Scotland
Troop Ship(s):   SS Brazil (elements of the 77th Evacuation Hospital onboard)
         SS Argentina
         SS Uruguay
Arrival Date:   November 12, 1942
Arrival Location:   Oran, Algeria, North Africa
    via the Straits of Gibraltar

The next voyage of the SS Brazil is as follows:

Departure Date:   November 15, 1942
Departure Location:   Oran, Algeria, North Africa
Troop Ship:   SS Brazil
Arrival Date:   November 30, 1942
Arrival Location:   Hampton Roads, Virginia Port of Embarkation
    via the Straits of Gibraltar

Obviously the SS Brazil did not sink, as indicated in your initial question.
  In your question you typed "We were told that the US Army destroyed all their files on the troop ships movements, passenger lists and logs in 1951."  The "troop ships movements" & "logs" exist, that is where I obtain the troop ship FACTS in this reply.  As to "passenger lists" I have heard the same story, but without the specific entity that destroyed the "passenger lists".  May I ask, who told you this?
  In your follow-up you typed that your grandfather "was attached to the 573rd AAA".  The voyage of the 573rd AAA Auto-Weapons Battalion to the ETO is as follows:

Departure Date:   December 16, 1944
Departure Location:   New York Port of Embarkation
Troop Ship:   RMS Queen Elizabeth
Units Onboard:   351st Field Artillery Battalion (African-American)
         121st Evacuation Hospital
         573rd AAA Auto-Weapons Battalion
         170th Field Artillery Battalion
Arrival Date:   December 21, 1944
Arrival Location:   Gourock, Scotland
    13,057 Troops onboard

  In your follow-up you typed that your grandfather was "assigned to the 413th AAA Gun Bn."  The voyage back to the USA of the 413th AAA Gun Battalion is as follows:

Departure Date:   October 17, 1945
Departure Location:   Marseilles, France
Troop Ship:   SS Mahanoy City Victory
Units Onboard:   413th AAA Gun Battalion
         1134th Engineer Combat Group
Arrival Date:   October 27, 1945
Arrival Location:   Hampton Roads, Virginia Port of Embarkation
    via the Straits of Gibraltar

  In your original question you typed "I have been trying for almost 15 years to work on trying to have him awarded his Purple Heart."   May I ask, what is typed in Box #34 on page two of your grandfather's Discharge Documents?  If "None" is typed in Box #34, then the US Army recorded that your grandfather was not WIA during WW 2.  On November 1, 1945 your grandfather was given the opportunity to proof read his Discharge Documents for accuracy of content.  His signature in Box #56 indicated that the content of the document is accurate.  I do not wish to type that your grandfather was never WIA, but that he chose on November 1, 1945 to have no record of it kept by the US Army.  IF there ever was a US Army Medical File for your grandfather, god only knows where it is located.  A wild guess on my part, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
  Good Luck with your quest.

  Richard V. Horrell
   WW 2 Connections

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Richard V. Horrell

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Can answer: World War Two. Specifically, the troop transport ships that took US Military Personnel overseas & returned them to the US, 1941-47. Also, unit history of US Army QM, Signal, MP, Ordnance, Medical, Transportation & Engineer units that served during WW 2. The more obscure units are my specialty. If you have the APO that a Veteran sent letters from or received letters at, I can look up the history of that APO.

Experience

A lifelong study of WW 2, including participation as a WW 2 Re-enactor, 1980-2002. Also, interviewing over 400 WW 2 Veterans about their role in WW 2.

Organizations
AASLH, Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society

Publications
Over 800 Profiles that I have written for client's about their loved one's role in WW 2.

Education/Credentials
BA, History & Political Science (19th & 20th Century European History) Webster University, Webster Groves, MO.

Awards and Honors
Assisting the National Archives on numerous occasions during the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of WW 2, 1991-95.

Past/Present Clients
Respectfully, I do not disclose the names of the clients I deal with. I have a confidentially agreement with them.

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