Military History/134th AAA Gun Battalion
Can you help me identify who Colonel Israel was and his association with the 134th AAA Gun Bn.? I have checked the roster for Headquarters Battery of the 134th, but his name doesn't appear. This leads me to belive he must have been in Brigade headquarters, but haven't been able to find that roster. I know that he appeared with Brig. Gen. Timberlake (49th AAA Brigade)during June 1945 at a ceremony honoring the 134th AAA Gun Bn. I have talked to a few of the veterans of the 134th and they remember the name Colonel Israel, but can't provide any additional information. The only comment was that he was "a very mysterious guy doing secret squirrel stuff." One veteran from headquarters battery talked on the radio with him once and he believed Israel was in Intelligence. He could speak perfect German and it is thought that he was born and raised in Germany.
I have first hand account of a Battery D veteran whose life and the lives of two other GI's were saved by the heroic actions of Colonel Israel going behind enemy lines during the Battle of the Bulge. Any information you could provide on Colonel Israel would be greatly appreciated.
My dad was in Battery D of the 134th AAA Gun Bn. My brother and I have spent thousands of hours researching the history of the battalion. We have copies of the After Action Reports. We have visited the exact location of D Battery on the morning of December 16, 1944. Major Israel is one mystery we haven't been able to solve.
Thank you for your question. In it you typed "Can you help me identify who Colonel Israel was" and later you typed "Major Israel is one mystery". Respectfully, was he a Major, Lieutenant Colonel of full Colonel? Also, a First Name & Middle Initial?
In your question you typed "This leads me to believe he must have been in Brigade headquarters, but haven't been able to find that roster." Maybe these unit histories would help:
Operations of the 49th AAA Brigade in Europe, June 6, 1944, to May 9, 1945
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"The Forty-Niners," a Unit History of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 49th AAA Brigade, December 1, 1942-May 9, 1945
by Michael G. Kelalos
In your question you typed "Any information you could provide on Colonel Israel would be greatly appreciated." I have none, but I do have suggestions of further research to try. The odds are the Veteran is deceased, so try a web site called Find-A-Grave. The headstone should yield some additional FACTS. I ASSUME he was a college graduate. Where? Are his private papers at that college? Did he attend West Point? VMI? The Citadel? ROTC? Reserve Officer? Where/how? The Veteran obviously existed, you just need to get your desire for FACTS about him to the masses, so someone (family) will respond. With the information super highway entrance ramp before you, it is MUCH easier than it was when trying to find a Veteran to compile an Oral History with 30 years ago. Oh, how I l-o-n-g for the good old days.
Good Luck with your quest.
Richard V. Horrell
WW 2 Connections