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Military History/Replacement versus Casual


From a 1954 book called "The Personnel Replacement System in the United States Army,"  there is a line,  "Faults charged to the replacement system included .... the holding of replacements, especially casuals, too long."  I thought those terms were exactly the same.  How can they distinguished?  Question #1

1.  "Men transferred to AGF replacement depot #1 Ft Meade, MD by rail. Arrive before noon 29 April 44." (from Camp Chaffee)

2. APO 15325 is on a Savings Bonds purchase form to begin July 1944.

3. APO 15325 is on June-July ration card. The man who signed the ration card said he was in 39th Replacement Depot, but maybe he was mistaken.

4. "15th Replac Depot" is handwritten on an envelope that took about 10 forwards and 4 months to find my father.  

5. From July 13,44 Morning Report, it seems that my father was assigned to the 35th Division from the 41st Repl Bn.

Question #2:  Is that a typical pattern of replacement depot assignments for one person during 6 weeks after landing in the ETO June 2nd?  Thank you very much.

ANSWER: Dear Ms.,
       Thank you for your interest.  In it you typed "Faults charged to the.......can they be distinguished?"  As I understand the Replacement System of WW 2 (IF anyone does) a "casual" was an individual, grouped with other said individuals, unassigned, going overseas.  A Replacement was an individual earmarked for a specific job/task, although the exact unit the Replacement would be assigned to was undetermined prior to the Replacement being sent overseas.  Clear as mud, I agree.
       Question #1
       1)   I'm unsure as to what the question is.  Please clarify?
       2)   APO 15325, sent overseas from New York, was assigned to the 1st BPO (Base Post Office) in England, beginning May 13, 1944.
       3)   What documentation do you have that the 39th Replacement Depot is accurate?  How much credence do you place in the gentleman's recall?  I cannot be the judge, since I do not know the gentleman.  When conducting this sort of research, one must deal in FACTS, preferably documented.  IF you do not have documented FACTS, research another way for documented FACTS.
       4)   Respectfully, this reads more as a statement than question number 4.
       5)   Again, it reads more as a statement than a question.
       Question #2
       There were no "typical pattern" only the FACTS, as per your research.  There is only one, CLEAR point to all this, NEVER BE ASSIGNED TO A REPO DEPOT (Replacement Depot) in the US Army during WW 2!
       I would be eager to learn all four dates typed in Box #36 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents, WD AGO FORM 53-55, dated November 1, 1944.
       Good Luck with your quest.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections

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

QUESTION: Thank you very much for your response.  I contacted you several years ago with various questions after my father wept from a flashback related to the sight of a Higgins boat and a few questions asked by me. Since that time, I acquired July 13, '44 morning reports for the 320/35 with my father's name as arriving from the 41st Replac Depot. I was just curious if there was any meaning to you within the list of 5 bits of information from my father's artifacts (which I neglected to explain in my first correspondence.)

My father and his friend arrived in the ETO June 2,44, and the friend has a bronze arrowhead for 116/29.  My father said he landed on the beaches on D-Day + 1. We did not know that he was involved in the assault landings until after he received the French Legion of Honor about 8 months before his death.  I wish I could find some indication of a unit he was assigned at that time.

21 May 44 ETO 2 Jun 44
23 Sep 45 USA 28 Sep 45

1.  Does AGF mean American Ground Forces?
2.  Along with the list of 5 bits of info, I have a letter that has APO 67 on it.  Does APO 67 have any significance?  I suppose my father was sort of lost in the replacement system, and I need to accept that I will never know to whom he was assigned for June 7th.  I believe in my heart and head that my father's words are true.  Thank you very much.

ANSWER: Dear Ms.,
       Thank you for your follow-up.  In it you typed "I contacted you several years ago.......a few questions asked by me."  If you contacted me several (4) years ago, I have dealt with literally thousands of people as per their questions about WW 2 & their loved one's role in the war.  I do not recall your contact with me, my apology.
       In your follow-up you typed "Since that time I acquired.......from the 41st Replac Depot."  Based upon this statement & other statements in this follow-up, what was the location of the 41st Replacement Depot on July 13, 1944?
       In your follow-up you typed "I was just curious if.......from my father's artifacts".  None that I am aware of.
       In your question you typed "My father and his friend.......bronze arrowhead for 116/29."  Respectfully, what is your source that your father's friend was assigned to the 116th Infantry Regiment (Virginia NG) 29th Infantry Division.  That your father's friend "has a bronze arrowhead"?
       In your follow-up you typed "We did not know that he.......about 8 months before his death."  What was the criteria for the French Government to present your father with a Legion of Honor?  Was the criteria that your father made an amphibious assault upon OMAHA or UTAH Beach on June 6/7, 1944?  If so, how did the French Government know where your father was on June 6/7, 1944?  What was their source for your father's unit assignment & whereabouts?
       In your follow-up you typed 21 May 44 ETO 2 Jun 44 /////// 23 Sep 45 USA 28 Sep 45

Departure Date:   May 21, 1944
Departure Location:   New York Port of Embarkation
Troop Ships:   RMS Esperance Bay
         RMS Rangitata
         SS Sea Porpoise
         RMS Highland Brigade
Arrival Date:   May 31, 1944
Arrival Location:   Liverpool, England
         EXCEPT the RMS Highland Brigade, whch arrived June 1, 1944

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Departure Date:   September 23, 1945
Departure Location:   Southampton, England
Troop Ship:   RMS Queen Mary
Arrival Date:   September 28, 1945
Arrival Location:   New York Port of Embarkation

       AGF means Army Ground Forces.
       APO 67 was as follows:

Established April 16, 1944
Opened at Delamere Park, England May 22, 1944
Relocated to Requeil, France, beginning August 28, 1944
Relocated to Le Havre, France, beginning December 13, 1944
Last day mailing address, October 9, 1945

       In your follow-up you typed "I believe in my heart and head that my father's words are true."  Would you be so kind as to share with me ALL the EXACT words your father said to YOU as per the contact you had with me several years ago, the question to AllExperts dated September 12, 2013 & the follow-up question to AllExperts dated September 18, 2013.  With all due respect, I am a bit unclear as to what it is that you are trying to determine about your father's role in WW 2?  I do not mean to be obtuse, but without clarity it is difficult for me to provide FACTS.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections

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

QUESTION: I will answer the questions that I am able, but I am quite convinced I have to accept that I will never know to whom my father was assigned in June of 1944.  I will now write what I have discovered for my nieces and nephews.

My father's presidential unit citation for Mortain (1st Battalion/320th/35th) was probably the action that allowed him to be presented with the French Legion of Honor.

The Bronze Arrowhead is listed on my father's friend's discharge papers along with 116/29.

The 41st Replac Depot was located in Trevieres 3 MI SET 673813 FRANCE on July 13th.

I was hoping for clues about all the replacement depots listed on my father's letters and ration cards and savings bonds order forms. My father's very few exact words were distributed over decades, but since the 35th was not involved in assault landings, I discounted all such comments....until after the French Legion of Honor when it seemed he realized he had to tell us.  I very much thank you for considering my rather nebulous questions.  I appreciate your all your time and efforts.

Dear Ms.,
       Thank you for your follow-up.  I am sorry to read that you believe that you "will never know to whom my father was assigned in June of 1944."  The answer is there, you just need to continue to let as many people know what it is that you are looking for.  Evidently the internet is good for that!!!  LOL
       Yes the 1st Battalion, 320th Infantry Regiment was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for Mortain.  Decades after V-E Day, how did the French Government locate your father to award him a Legion of Honor for Mortain?  By the way, it was not your "father's presidential unit citation"  but the 1st Battalion, 320th Infantry Regiment's Presidential Unit Citation, which your father could wear as a soldier assigned to the 1st Battalion, 320th Infantry Regiment.  The Presidential Unit (hence the name) Citation is awarded to the unit, NOT the soldier.  Therefore, if the 1st Battalion, 320th Infantry Regiment existed today, members would wear a Presidential Unit Citation, even though their parents weren't even born in 1944.
       I acknowledge that your "father's friend's discharge papers" list a Bronze Arrowhead.  That is your father's friend, not your father.  Discharge Documents were prepared based upon the soldier's personnel file with the unit.  The Discharge Documents were handed to the soldier for the soldier to check for accuracy.  If the soldier disagreed with what had been typed, they could bring the error-omission to the attention to the Personnel Officer in charge.  Once the Discharge Documents were accurate to the soldier's satisfaction, the soldier signed the document.  Did your father sign his Discharge Documents?  Then you must believe the documents are accurate.  Otherwise, what FACTS have you to begin your research with.  
       In your follow-up you typed "until after the French Legion of Honor when it seemed he realized he had to tell us."  Since you typed that the French Legion of Honor was for (probably?) Mortain (your typed words) your father had to begin to tell you about his role at Mortain?  I just do NOT see the connection between the French Legion of Honor, what is typed on your father's friends Discharge Documents & your father's location June 6/7, 1944.
       Now then, to probably confuse the issue even more, First Army in the build-up to D-Day created Overstrength for specific units.  First Army must have anticipated horrendous casualties, which did not come to be on June 6, 1944.  The following is the date/day, beach, unit & quantity of Overstrength soldiers for said unit(s):

D+2   OMAHA   29th Infantry Division   1,825 men
         3rd Armored Group   147 men
         1171st Engineer Combat Group   136 men
         1121st Engineer Combat Group   112 men
         81st Chemical Mortar Battalion   33 men
         56th Signal Battalion   47 men
D+5   OMAHA   V Corps Artillery   129 men
         3rd Tank Destroyer Group   145 men
         HQ, V Corps   20 men
         53rd Medical Battalion   23 men
         102nd Cavalry Group   83 men

Loathed as I am to type this THEORY, could your father (& his friend) been part of Overstrenght, then when your father (& friend) were no longer needed, they reverted to the role they traveled overseas as, replacements?
       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.

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Assisting the National Archives on numerous occasions during the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of WW 2, 1991-95.

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