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Military History/Army units transported on USAT Willard A Holbrook on 11 Dec 42


QUESTION: I am trying to recreate my Dad's service history for WWII as they were destroyed in the National Archives St Louis warehouse fire.  I have his discharge form from 1945 and a Certificate of "The Court of Neptune Rex" (crossing the equator)held on board the USAT Willard A. Holbrook on 11 Dec 42. I have pictures of him in Hawaii (date unknown). At one time he said he was on the "Canal" , possibly with the 25th ID. If I can find the units onboard the Holbrook on 11 Dec 42 I might be able to start recreating his military history

ANSWER: Dear Sir,
       Thank you for your question.  I believe I can assist you with your dilemma.

Departure Date:   December 6, 1942
Departure Location:   Pearl Harbour
Troop Transport:   USAT Willard A. Holbrook
Unit(s) Onboard:   elements of the 27th Infantry Regiment (RA) & the 161st Infantry Regiment  (Washington State N.G.) 25th Infantry Division
Arrival Date:   December 30, 1942
Arrival Location:   Guadalcanal
  via Noumea, New Caledonia

       The USAT Frederick Funston & USS Republic  AP-33 were also in the same troopship convoy, same dates & locations.
       Since you live in "The Keystone State", you may wish to visit Carlisle Barracks for further research.
       Good Luck with your quest.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections

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

QUESTION: Mr. Horrell,

Thanks again for the quick response and the information about using the Army Heritage Center. As I also served in the 1/27th Inf Reg (RVN) would the Regimental history records (unit orders, morning reports, unit rosters) have any more details as to which Co and Bn and dates my Dad might have been with the 27th Inf Regt. I have heard that the unit rosters at the National Archives were destroyed soon after the war, is this true?

Steve Simon

Dear Sir,
       Thank you for your follow-up.  In it you typed "As I also served in the ....... have been with the 27th Inf Regt."  Yes, ABSOLUTELY!!!
       In your follow-up you typed "I have heard that the ....... soon after the war, is this true?"  No, this is NOT true.  I have obtained scores of unit rosters over the years for US Army units.  What I have heard (& since no one can find them, it must be true) is that the troop manifests for the troop transports taking soldiers overseas & returning them to the US were destroyed.
       Good Luck with your quest.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections

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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.

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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