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Military History/703 ENGR and 407 ENGR BN Italy


QUESTION: The content of my Step Father's Enlisted Record and Report of Separation is described below (.pdf incompatible, sorry). Anything you can tell me about Divisional affiliation while in continental and foreign service  of the 703 ENGR PDU and 407th ENGR BN would be greatly appreciated. Also, any information regarding the role and actions of the 703 ENGR PDU and 407th ENGR BN is also appreciated. The meaning and significance of GO 33 & 40 WD 45 is not clear to me either. Do the 3 Bronze stars associated with the EAME service medal refer to 3 campaigns? Rome-Arno, Northern Appenines, and Po Valley are listed. Active service began 22 SEP 42. 11 months, 4 days continental service, 2 years, 2 months, 18 days foreign service. Arrival in ETO appears to be 21 AUG 43. Highest rank appears as T/5. What is the meaning of T/5?I know I'm asking  a lot from you. I'm grateful for any insights you can provide.
Thank You, Charles

ANSWER: Dear Sir,
  Thank you for your question.  There was no "Divisional affiliation" of the 703rd Engineer Petroleum Distributing (I've also seen Distribution) Company nor the 407th Engineer Service Battalion.  Both units were assigned to the Peninsular Base Section, the Logistical Support Entity of Fifth Army in Italy, September 1943-May 1945.
  The 703rd Engineer Petroleum Distributing Company participated in the:

Rome-Arno          January 22-September 9, 1944
North Appenines    September 10, 1944-April 4, 1945

Campaigns.  The unit was also awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation for the period September 1-December 31, 1944.  General Order #153; HQ, Peninsular Base Section; awarded May 29, 1945.
  The 407th Engineer Service Battalion (Pipeline) was activated at Livorno, Italy (I've seen December 5 & December 25) 1944.  It participated in the:

Po Valley      April 5-May 8, 1945

  In your question you typed "The meaning and significance of GO 33 & 40 WD 45".  General Order #33 & 40, issued by the War Department (Department of Defense was not created until 1947) in 1945 authorized your step-father the Campaign Credits listed in Box #32 on page two of his Discharge Documents.
  In your question you typed "Do the 3 Bronze stars associated with the EAME service medal refer to 3 campaigns?"  Yes, each Bronze Campaign Star represents a Campaign, until you reach five Campaigns.
  In your question you typed "Arrived in ETO appears to be 21 AUG 43."  Would you be so kind as to provide me with ALL the dates typed in Box #36 on page two of your step-father's Discharge Documents?
  In your question you typed "What is the meaning of T/5?"  The US Army utilized the Tech Grades (1942-48) to recognize a person's skill as opposed to leadership of men.  Paid $66.00 per month, a T/5 was a Corporal with the letter "T" beneath the two Stripes.
  Would you be so kind as to send me your mailing address via First Class USPS?  I have further FACTS per the two units, but too much to type here.  With your mailing address I can send you photocopies via First Class USPS.
  Good Luck with your quest.

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

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

QUESTION: Reference block 36: It is partially obscured by an eligibility stamp. However, I believe it contains in the Date of departure block 21 AUG 43 and 21 OCT 45, destination block ETO and USA, in the date of arrival block 2 SEP 43 and 8 NOV 45.
         ASR SCORE (2 SEPT 45) 87
Do you know what the lapel button was? Also, any information about the meaning of ASR SCORE 87?
Should I send you a self addressed stamped envelope for the additional information?

Thank you very much,

Dear Sir,
  Thank you for your follow-up.  As to the troop ship that took the Veteran overseas.  It was a HUGE convoy, so I will send you the list of the troop ships in the convoy when I send you the other photocopies.  You do NOT need to send me a SASE.  Just your mailing address is all I need.
  As to the voyage home for the Veteran:

Departure Date:   October 21, 1945
Departure Location:   Leghorn, Italy
Troop Ship:   SS Cornelius Gilliam
Arrival Date:   November 7, 1945
Arrival Location:   Baltimore, MD Port of Embarkation
    via the Straits of Gibraltar

The troop ship arrived November 7, 1945, the Veteran set foot on the dock on November 8, 1945.
  The Lapel Button was a brass insignia, referred to as a "Ruptured Duck" by the Veterans who wore it (I do NOT make these things up, I only provide historic FACTS).  Mainly to let others (potential employers) know the Veteran served honorably.  The ASR Score indicates the quantity of "points" earned by the Veteran.  "Points" were awarded for time in the military, time overseas, number of Awards or Decorations earned, dependants back in the USA.
  I will eagerly await a post card from you with your mailing address.

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

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Richard V. Horrell


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.


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.

AASLH, Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society

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

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

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

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