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Military History/Rhineland & Central Europe Campaigns

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QUESTION: Dear Mr. Harrell, I am trying to get information about my father who served with the Rainbow Division 42nd, 232 company c from 8 Dec 44 - 21 March 45 in Rhineland - then from 22 March 45 - 11 May 45 in France and Austria. He received a bronze star in both Rhineland and Central Europe. I have two questions: 1. How can I find out what he did in order to receive these bronze medals and
2. He was in Korea. From 2 Sept 47 to 1 Sept 50, his papers say "HQ US Army and Air Force RCTG Dust, 2313th ASU, Remains assigned to the Department of the Army per Transfer Order 1, NME 26 Sept 47". What the neck does that mean? Was he in the air force too? What remains are they talking about? Dad died in 1971. Any help with these questions would be appreciated.Thank you.

ANSWER: Dear Patty,
       Thank you so much for your question.  It is always a great pleasure to provide FACTS to a young lady interested in WW 2, THE pivotal event of the 20th Century!  To think, your father & mine made history with their contribution to the Allied Victory.
       In your question you typed "I am trying to get information about my father".  It would be my preference to provide you with FACTS.
       I am familiar with the 1st Battalion, 232nd Infantry Regiment, 42nd Infantry Division during WW 2.  The following are the FACTS as per the voyage overseas of the 232nd Infantry Regiment:

Departure Date:   November 25, 1944
Departure Location:   New York Port of Embarkation
Troop Ships:   SS Bienville (1,797 Troops onboard)
         USAT Edmund B. Alexander (5,348 Troops onboard)
Arrival Date:   December 8, 1944
Arrival Location:   Marseilles, France
    via the Straits of Gibraltar, December 7, 1944

Your father was onboard one of these Troop Ships.  Sorry that I cannot be more specific.

       In your question you typed "He received a bronze star in both Rhineland and Central Europe."  YES, he most certainly did!  Those FACTS you may have obtained from Box #33 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents (WD AGO FORM 53-55)  Each Bronze Service Star indicates the soldier's participation in a specific Campaign, in this context a Bronze Service Star for the Rhineland Campaign & a Bronze Service Star for the Central Europe Campaign.
       In your question you typed "How can I find out what he did in order to receive these bronze medals".  Patty, this is the first time I am reading of any "medals" in your question to AllExperts.  Would you be so kind as to provide me with the source that your father was awarded two Bronze Star Medals for Valour?  It has always been my understanding that the soldier is presented with one Bronze Star Medal for Valour.  If the soldier earns a second Bronze Star Medal for Valour, it is an Oak Leaf Cluster to be attached to the ribbon of the first Bronze Star Medal for Valour.
       As to your question about Korea, I have no knowledge base for FACTS to share with you.
       Good Luck with your quest.

  Sincerely,
   Richard V. Horrell [Horrell]
    WW 2 Connections  

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

QUESTION: Dear Mr. Horrell,

Thank you for your quick response. In answer to the Bronze Star Medals, this is the information I have. Dad received two bronze service stars for participating in Rhineland and Central Europe.  He also received a Bronze Star Medal of Valour on Sept 25, 1945 for heroic achievement in action in Germany. And, a second one on March 13, 1945 - or visa versa. I remember a letter from Harry Collins stating that he recommended the first medal because his company C was surrounded in a German village by Germans and they ran out of ammo. Plus, the company commander - don't know his name or rank - had either been injured or died. Dad was a T/Sgt and had to take over the company. He crawled across enemy lines to get help and crawled back with ammo to save the rest of the company from being unable to fight back. I wish I could find this letter, but since my Mother passed away two years ago, paperwork seems to have been "filed" away somewhere. How can I get another copy of this letter and one for the other bronze star medal? I really would like to know what "heroic achievement in action" really means.

Thank you again. On another note: I am headed for hospital for major surgery Monday morning. I do not know when I will be able to respond back, but I eagerly await your answer.

Patti

Answer
Dear Ms.,
       Thank you for your follow-up.  In my initial response I typed "Would you be so kind as to provide me with the source that your father was awarded two Bronze Star Medals for Valour?"  In your follow-up you typed "In answer to the Bronze Star Medals, this is the information I have."  Would you be so kind as to inform me as to the source for "the information I have."  Discharge Documents?  Two medals that your father showed to you?  Text from a book/unit history of the 42nd Infantry Division?  The specific source is invaluable to me for further research.
       In your follow-up you typed "I remember a letter from Harry Collins stating that he recommended the first medal because his company C".  Since this is the first time that Mr. Collin's name has appeared, would you be so kind as to place him in context of your follow-up?  A soldier your father served with?  A fellow Historian?  A Librarian?  A family friend?
       In your follow-up you typed "How can I get another copy of this letter".  If it is an actual "letter" you desire, then shouldn't Mr. Collins have a copy of his official correspondence?  If it is the Citation for one of your father's Bronze Star Medal for Valour, then I would start with the unit records.  The unit records are located at:

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

    1-717-245-3972

    www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/

When dealing with Carlisle Barracks, it is best to be QUITE specific with your question.  The greater specificity, the better the odds of obtaining the FACTS you desire.
       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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