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Military History/My fathers WW 2 travels

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QUESTION: My father was in Battery B 204th AAA AW BN. in WWII.  From his enlistment and separation papers it says that his date of induction was 6 Jul 43, Date of entry was 27 Jul 43 from Huntington WV. I know he was in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe Ground Combat.  His date of Departure for England says 28 Feb 44 and arrived 12 March 44. I am interested in knowing what he did before he got on the ship to England?  It says he had 3 months of basic training but that leaves 3 months before leaving Europe.  Also, I'd like to verify his travels in Europe.  Some dates I see on the internet are very similar but do not match exactly what is on his papers. He returned home on 19 Nov 45 and arrived 27 Nov 45. Date of separation was 2 Dec 45, in Ft. Geo G Meade, MD.  He was a Gunner, Machine AA - 597(?)  and a truck driver, Light (345)??
Also, can you tell what infantry he was in and how many people were in the 204th AAA battery B. ?  
Thank you for your help,

ANSWER: Good Day,
       Thank you for your question.  In it you typed that your father "was in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe Ground Combat."  The following are the Campaigns your father participated in:

Normandy          June 6-July 24, 1944
Northern France    July 25-September 14, 1944
Rhineland          September 15, 1944-March 21, 1945
Central Europe     March 22-May 8, 1945
Ground Combat, E.A.M.E. Theater     May 11, 1942-May 8, 1945

       In your question you typed that your father departed for England "28 Feb 44 and arrived 12 March 44."  

Departure Date:   March 1, 1944
Departure Location:   New York Port of Embarkation
Troop Ships:   RMS Arawa
         SS Santa Cecilia
Arrival Date:   March 12, 1944
Arrival Location:   Liverpool, England

The difference between February 28, 1944 & March 1, 1944 is that your father boarded the Troop Ship on February 28 but the Troop Ship did not depart until two days (Leap Year) later.  HUGE convoys took a great deal of time to embark.
       In your question you typed that your father "returned home 19 Nov 45 and arrived 27 Nov 45."

Departure Date:   November 19, 1945
Departure Location:   Le Havre, France
Troop Ship:   USS Monticello  AP-61
Arrival Date:   November 27, 1945
Arrival Location:   New York Port of Embarkation

       In your question you typed "I am interested in knowing what.......that leaves 3 months before leaving Europe."  After completing "basic training" your father was assigned to the 204th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion for additional training with the unit he would see combat with.
       In your question you typed "I'd like to verify his travels in Europe.  Some dates I see on the internet are very similar but do not match exactly what is on his papers."  You found Primary Source Documents about your father's service during WW 2 on the internet???  LUCKY YOU!!!  One can never argue with Primary Source Documents, so you are dealing with THE FACTS!
       In your question you typed "He was a Gunner, Machine AA - 597(?)"  This  means that your father operated a .50 Caliber Browning Machine Gun to destroy enemy aircraft.
       In your question you typed "truck driver, Light(345)??"  This means that your father drove military vehicles smaller than a two & a half ton 6X6 G.M.C. Truck.  
       In your question you typed "can you tell what infantry he was in".  No.  Your father was not in the Infantry, he was in the Anti-Aircraft Artillery.
       In your question you typed "how many people were in the 204th AAA".  37 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers & 774 Enlisted Men.
       Good Luck with your quest.

  Respectfully,
   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections

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

QUESTION: Follow up question: Is there any way to know what date my father's battalion arrived on Normandy and what beach?  
Also, where would we go to learn more about his specific Battalion and their activities in each campaign?  Is there such a place

Thank you so much.
Jackie Downing

Answer
Good Day,
       The 204th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Auto-Weapons Battalion arrived in Normandy, June 19-25, 1944.  I am 90% sure the 204th landed across OMAHA Beach.  
       To possibly learn additional facts about the 204th I suggest you contact:

  US Army Heritage & Education Center
   950 Soldiers Drive
    Carlisle   PA   17013

For the best results, be as specific as possible with your question(s).
       Good Luck with your quest.

  Respectfully
   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections

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Richard V. Horrell

Expertise

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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