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Military History/WW 2 troop transport

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Question
Mr. Horrell,

I am researching my fathers WW2 records and would like to find out more info on his transport to Suva, Fiji.  He was in route to the Philippines from San Francisco (Hamilton Field) in Dec ? 1941 aboard USS Garfield.  The ship was returned to San Francisco after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  He then boarded the USS President Monroe on 1-12-42 and arrived in Suva, Fiji on 1-29-42.  My dad (John H. Cramer) was in the Army Air Corp, 35th Fighter Control Squadron attached to the 70th (Pursuit Squadron or Fighter Squadron - I don't know). Parts of the 70th squadron went on to Brisbane, Australia but he went to Suva, Fiji.  From Suva he island hopped and eventually joined the 319th in Guadalcanal. My dad is still alive and we are trying to reconstruct his wartime history.  I am trying to find out what units went to Suva and on to Guadalcanal and what medals my dad might be entitled to. Thank you very much for any info you might have.

John Cramer

Answer
Dear Sir,
       Thank you for your question.  In it you typed "would like to find out more.......after the bombing of Pearl Harbor."  The following is what I believe you are referring to:

Departure Date:   December 6, 1941
Departure Location:   San Francisco Port of Embarkation
Troop Ship:   SS President Garfield
(on December 8, 1941, ordered back to port of origin.  Unfortunately, I do not have the date the SS President Garfield arrived at the San Francisco P of E)

       In your question you typed "He then boarded the.......Suva, Fiji on 1-29-42."  The following is what I believe you are referring to:

Departure Date:   January 13, 1942
Departure Location:   San Francisco Port of Embarkation
Troop Ship:   SS President Monroe
Arrival Date:   January 29, 1942
Arrival Location:   Suva, Fiji Islands

       In your question you typed "Army Air Corps, 35th Fighter Control Squadron attached to the 70th (Pursuit Squadron or Fighter Squadron-I don't know)."  The 70th Pursuit Squadron, part of Task Force FIVE ISLANDS, was assigned the Fiji Islands.
      In your question you typed "From Suva he island hopped and eventually joined the 319th in Guadalcanal."  With all due respect, the 319th ????? ???????  The only "319th" I am familiar with is the 319th Bombardment Group, which served in the M.T.O.
       In your question you typed "I am trying to find out what units went to Suva and on to Guadalcanal".  I suggest you research going backward.  Obtain an Order of Battle for Guadalcanal (August 7, 1942-February 21, 1943), then research each US AAF Unit back to when the unit departed the USA.  That should provide you with the FACTS you desire.
       In your question you typed "what medals my dad might be entitled to."  If your father was an Enlisted Man, I suggest you refer to Box #33 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents.  If your father was an Officer, then I suggest you refer to Box #29 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents.  Either way, Box #33 or Box #29 is accurate, since your father verified accuracy prior to his signing the document.
       Good Luck with your quest.

  Sincerely,
   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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