Military History/WW 2 facts and lost medals
QUESTION: My father served in WWII as a paratrooper in the army. He recently passed away and I would like more info regarding his service. We are having a memorial service for him in September, on what would have been his 94th birthday! I would like to replace his lost medals and ribbons plus say something about his service in the army. The only piece of information I have is his discharge papers. When my mother became ill with Alzheimers she threw away all my fathers papers, pictures and medals. Trying to replace the medals is difficult because online there are so many options it is difficult to figure out which ones would have been his. Any help you can provide would be appreciated. The following is the info from his discharge papers.
Army Serial No.- 20 625 808
Grade - S SGT
Arm or Service - CAC
Component - NG
Organization - Btry C 153 A/B AA Bn
Date of Separation - 19 Oct 45
Place of Separation - CAMP GRANT ILL SEPARATION CENTER
Date of Induction: 16 Sep 40
Date of Entry Into Active Service: 16 Sep 40
Place of Entry into Service: Chicago, ILL
Military Occupational Specialty and No. - AAA Crewman 7-601
Military Qualifications: Carb & Rifle: MM
Battles and Campaigns: Central Europe
Decorations and Citations:
• American Defense Service Ribbon
• European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon W/1 Bronze battle star
• 1 Service stripe
• 1 Overseas Bar
• Good Conduct Medal
Service Outside Continental U.S. and Return:
26 Jan 45 - ETO - 6 Feb 45
12 Aug 45 - USA - 20 Aug 45
Prior Service: Illinois National Guard 5 months 7 days
Reason and Authority for Separation: Conv of Govt RR 1-1 (demobilization) AR 615-365 dtd 15 Dec 44
Service Schools Attended: 4 wks Prcht Trng Sch 1944
Pay Data: Vou #12494
• Longevity for Pay Purposes: 5 yrs, 6 months, 11 days
• Mustering Out Pay: $300 total
• This Payment: $100
• Travel Pay: $4.40
• Total Amount, Name of Disbursing Officer: $215.74 G F Dolbear Capt FD
• Kind of Insurance: Natl Service
• How Paid: Allotment
• Effective Date of Allotment Discontinuance: 31 Oct 45
• Date of Next Premium Due: 30 Nov 45
• Premium Due each Month: $6.60
• Intention of Veteran: Continue
Lapel button issued ASR Score (2 Sep 45) 71
ANSWER: Dear Ms.,
Thank you for your question. I believe I have all the FACTS you desire, so I will begin with addressing the bullet points (no pun intended) you have provided.
Serial Number 20625808: Almost all the time when a Serial Number begins with the numeral "2" it means the soldier is a Member of the National Guard
Arm or Service-CAC: Coast Artillery Corps
Component-NG: National Guard. This will become clearer as I answer the question(s).
Organization-Btry C, 153rd Airborne Anti-Aircraft Battalion: The 153rd was assigned to the 13th Airborne Division during WW 2. At the Memorial Service, this is the unit your father served with while overseas in the ETO, 1945
Date of Separation-19 Oct 45: The date your father was honorably Discharged from the US Army.
Date of Induction: 16 Sept 40: This date is accurate, but a bit misleading. September 16, 1940 was the date your father's National Guard unit was Federalized into the US Army. In other words, the entire unit was taken into the US Army, not the individual men. As a unit Federalized, preparing the unit for combat would be much quicker. A personal opinion, most of the NG Units that served in WW 2 were EXCELLENT. Not all were perfect, but in my opinion most were.
M.O.S. and Number- AAA Crewman 7-601: Your father's NG training prior to December 7, 1941 was in AAA, but with another unit. More on that later.
Battles and Campaigns: Central Europe March 22-May 8, 1945. That is the Campaign Credit the 13th Airborne Division has for WW 2, as well as your father.
American Defense Service Medal/Ribbon: Awarded to your father for service within the Continental US, prior to December 7, 1941
E.A.M.E. Theater Medal/Ribbon W/1 Bronze battle star. Awarded to your father for service in the E.A.M.E. Theater. The Bronze battle star (now referred to as the Bronze Campaign Star) designated that your father served in the Central Europe Campaign.
[I will digress now. In addition to the Medals/Ribbons were have already cited, I would ad the American Campaign Medal/Ribbon, for service with the Continental US, December 7, 1941-March 2, 1946 & the WW 2 Victory Medal]
Service Outside the Continental U.S. and Return: The following are the 13 Troop Transport Convoy that transported your father to the ETO on early 1945 (sorry I can't be more specific)
From the New York Port of Embarkation on January 26, 1945:
SS Marine Robin
SS Robin Sherwood
USAT Cristobal (I know the troop transport well)
USAT George Washington
USAT J.W. McAndrew
USS General G.O. Squier AP-130
USS General J.R. Brooke AP-132
USS General T.H. Bliss AP-131
From the Boston Port of Embarkation on January 26, 1945:
SS Chapel Hill Victory
SS Frederick Victory
USAT George W. Goethals (yes the bridge near you is named for Mr. Goethals)
USAT James Parker
All 13 Troop Transports arrived at Le Havre, France, February 5, 1945. Your father set foot on French soil February 6, 1945.
As to your father's voyage home:
Departure Date: August 12, 1945
Departure Location: Southampton, England
Troop Ship: USS General W.M. Black AP-135
Arrival Date: August 19, 1945
Arrival Location: Boston Port of Embarkation
The Troop Transport arrived at Boston P of E on August 19, your father set foot on US soil August 20.
Prior Service: Illinois National Guard 5 months 7 days. The 5 months & 7 days your father served in the Illinois NG was PRIOR TO September 16, 1940! So, your father joined the Illinois National Guard in early April 1940. I am NOT 100% sure, but I believe the Illinois NG Unit your father served with was the 202nd Coast Artillery Regiment, ILL. N.G. Coast Artillery Regiments had a AAA Component, & your father's M.O.S. was AAA Crewman 7-601.
The following is a thumb nail sketch of the 202nd Coast Artillery Regiment:
Federalized into the US Army at Chicago, Illinois, September 16, 1940
Arrived at Fort Bliss, TX, September 27, 1940
japanese naval forces attacked the Hawaiian Islands, Territory of the USA, Sunday, December 7, 1941
Arrived at Bremerton, Washington, December 16, 1941
Redesignated the 202nd AAA Group, September 10, 1943
The only other FACTS I have were the locations of the 13th Airborne Division while in the ETO:
Camp Lucky Strike (named for the cigarette)February 6-23, 1945
Auxerre, Yonne, France, February 24-April 3, 1945
Arpajon, Seine-et-Oise, France, April 4, V-E Day
Hopefully the few FACTS I have provided you will assist in making the Memorial Service for your Father a bit more personal & significant.
My Sympathy for your loss,
Richard V. Horrell
WW 2 Connections
2011 Richard Jones Rd.
Apt. E 26
Nashville TN 37215
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you so very much for all of the information and the amazingly quick response. The only follow-up questions I have are is there any information pertaining to my father being a paratrooper? And are there any medals that are associated with being a paratrooper that would be included with his service? Also, what was a AAA Crewman 7-601?
I am so excited to share this information with family! Thank you again!
Thank you for your follow-up. In it you typed "is there any information pertaining to my father being a paratrooper?" What you typed; Service Schools Attended: 4 week Parachute Training School, as well as your father being assigned [assigned] to the 153rd Airborne Anti-Aircraft Battalion, 13th Airborne Division.
In your follow-up you typed "medals that are associated with being a paratrooper". Not a medal, but your father was awarded Paratrooper Wings when he completed Parachute Training School. The "wings" were silver, a deployed parachute with wings on each side of the deployed parachute. Since your father did not make any combat jumps, there should be no stars nor arrowheads upon the wings.
In your follow-up you typed "what was a AAA Crewman 7-601?" Every soldier & W.A.C. had a M.O.S. (Military Occupational Specialty). The US Army trained the individual this particular M.O.S., which they were expected to perform. An "AAA Crewman" was a soldier that worked as a member of the crew of some sort of an AAA Weapon. The weapon could be as small as a Browning .50 Caliber Air-Cooled Machine Gun, up to a 90mm Gun! Since your father was assigned to an Airborne AAA Unit, the AAA Weapon would have to be small, since it had to be delivered by a CG4A Waco Glider.
One other item I suggest, the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 13th Airborne Division.
Good Luck with your quest.
Richard V. Horrell
WW 2 Connections