Military History/APO locations

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Question
QUESTION: My brother and I have been trying to trace our father's military service. Yesterday I found three V-Mails sent from him in 1945. Can you pinpoint the location?

APO 152   (March 25, 1945)
APO 350   (May 8, 1945 & May 31,1945)

This is the only concrete information we have bee able to find.
Thank you,
Kim

ANSWER: Dear Ms.,
       Thank you for your question.  APO 152 was assigned to the 182nd General Hospital, located at Sudbury, Suffolk, England, January 29, 1944 through July 1, 1945.  APO 350 was located at Paris, France, March 22, 1945 through March 5, 1946.
       In your question you typed "This is the only concrete information we have been able to find."  Hopefully in the weeks to come you will find & utilize a copy of your father's Discharge Documents, which are invaluable toward ACCURATE historic research.  Your father was provided 6-10 copies of his Discharge Documents when he was discharged from the US Army.  Where are those 6-10 copies today?
       Good Luck with your quest.

  Respectfully,
   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections

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

QUESTION: Thank you so much. I am stunned that you would answer so quickly!
One problem and another question:  Somehow I mistyped the APO # for March 25,1947. It should have been APO 153.

Could you answer the same question for APO 153   (March 25, 1945)?

If APO 350 was located in Paris at that time, how could Dad say he was in Germany?

Nearly everything we think we know about Dad is circumstantial. We DO know that he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in April 1942, he trained under the Second Air Force Training Detachment at the J. M. Perry Institute between June and August in 1942, he was based in Blythe, California for some time after that. He remembered flying tail gunner in B-17's (remembers the flack and the incoming fighters), but he was also a paratrooper in the Battle of the Bulge. That would mean he would have had to jump over Holland in Operation Market-Garden. We THINK he was at Bastogne with the 101st Airborne. He remembers crossing the bridge at Remagen. He was wounded in Germany. We think two times. He was haunted for the rest of his life with memories of the death camps. Finally before the end of the war he deployed to the South Pacific. He said the only thing he did in the Phillipines was to catch malaria.

How is it possible for one man to have been involved with so much?

That is the mystery we are trying to resolve for his grand children.

Thank you,
k

ANSWER: Dear Ms.,
       Thank you for your follow-up.  APO-153 was located at Stolberg, Germany from March 19, 1945 through April 6, 1945.
       In your follow-up you typed "We DO know that he.......the Flack and incoming fighters)".  I acknowledge that your father's early career in the US Military during WW 2 was with the US Army Air Force.
       In your follow-up you typed "he was also a paratrooper in the Battle of the Bulge."  Do you mean that your father was re-assigned from the US Army Air Force to the US Army Ground Forces & trained to be a paratrooper, OR your father remained a member of the US Army Air Force was attached (ATTACHED) to an Airborne Unit during the Battle of the Bulge?
       In your follow-up you typed "That would mean he would have had to jump over Holland in Operation Market-Garden."  OK, what are your FACTS that lead you to this cause & effect?
       In your follow-up you typed "We THINK he was at Bastogne with the 101st Airborne."  IF your statement about your father & Operation MARKET-GARDEN is true, how does that place him with the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne?  Scores of Airborne Units assigned to Operation MARKET-GARDEN were also involved in the Ardennes Offensive.  Just because someone was "a paratrooper in the Battle of the Bulge" does NOT mean they were "at Bastogne with the 101st Airborne."  At minimum, what about the 82nd Airborne Division?
       In your follow-up you typed "He remembers crossing the bridge at Remagen."  OK, so did well over 100,000 members of the US First Army.  Also, was your father referring to the Ludendorff Railroad Bridge, or one of the bridges built by engineers of the US First Army?
       In your follow-up you typed "He was wounded in Germany. We think two times."  What is typed in Box #34 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents?
       In your follow-up you typed "Finally, before the end of the war he deployed to the South Pacific."  Certainly a possibility, hundreds of thousands did so.
       In your follow-up you typed "How is it possible for one man to have been involved with so much?"  While it is possible, your father's participation in WW 2 is atypical.  The problem I read is in the telling of his deeds.  Where are your FACTS?  Have you his Discharge Documents?  He was provided with 6-10 copies when he was discharged from the US Army.  The source for his Discharge Documents is you, or some member of his family.  Since there are, by your own admission, three V-Mail Letters, are there more?  Where?  What I am trying to type is, are you looking for FACTS about your father's service during WW 2, OR wishing for someone to confirm the "Family Lore" you have typed here.  I mean no disrespect to your father or your family, but in my OPINION your father deserved the FACTS.
       Good Luck with your quest.

  Respectfully,
   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections

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

QUESTION: Thank you for your patience Mr. Horrell.

First, I know that the name, Kim, is ambiguous, but I am a Mr. not a Ms. I am the elder brother of my siblings.

Thank you again for your professionalism. You could not be more perceptive in speaking of Family Lore. Dad passed away 15 years ago. What we know from him is less than a dozen of his memories. He would not, or could not talk about the war.

As to records, his were among those burned in the fire in St. Louis in 1973. The only hard documents we have are the three V-mails that started this conversation, and a graduation certificate from the J. M. Perry Institute in Yakima, Washington. This certificate was dated June 8, 1942 - August 29, 1942. It listed training in Parachute Repair, Parachute Packing, Aircraft Cable Splicing & Airplane Fabric and Dope.

Mom & Dad were married in Yakima in 1942. They transferred to Blythe, CA. There were B-17's there. Family Lore: Dad was a paratroop trainer there in Blythe for quite awhile.

Everything else is speculation from there. We tried to match his reminiscences with the history we could find. Here is the course of our speculation: We have a picture of Dad wearing Sergeant's Stripes and an Army Air Corps patch on his jacket. He described parachuting directly into combat, but never mentioned Normandy. Since I was born in mid-March 1945 I conclude that Dad was still in the US in mid-June 1944, after the D-Day invasion. Two Airborne Divisions of the Army Air Corps, the 82nd and the 101st, were deployed in Europe. Each of those Divisions included three Parachute Infantry Regiments. I researched the histories of each of those six regiments. Of those six, only the 506th PIR of the 101st mentioned being trained for transfer to the Japanese Theater. Dad was sent to the Phillipines. I mentioned the malaria that he brought home with him. So, I assumed that Dad was attached to the 506th after Normandy. The 506th jumped in Market-Garden. This was the only other jump made in Europe by either the 82nd or the 101st. They then were pulled back to Mourmelon, France. The attack in the Ardennes started two weeks later. Along with the rest of the 101st and the 82nd, the 506th was loaded onto trucks and trailers and carried over night to Bastogne. This must seem so elementary to you. From that point on Dad's memories match the advance of the 506th, including the APO 153 in Stolberg, Germany. We know he was there.
I also mentioned that he spoke of being tail-gunner in a B-17.
There is a cryptic note from one memory. He mentioned moving "From the Air Force to the Infantry in one day."
I have read that in the summer of 1944 that infantry drew every available warm body from every available source. Is there any precedent for a man with parachute training being being reassigned to the parachute infantry over night?

Answer
Dear Sir,
       Thank you for your follow-up.  In it you typed "As to records, his were among those burned in the fire in St. Louis in 1973."  My query was not about your father's personnel file, but his Discharge Documents.  Your father's Discharge Documents were NOT in his personnel file, but in your father's possession.  You indicated that your father passed away 15 years ago.  Your family would have utilized a copy of your father's Discharge Documents at that time.  Without a copy of your father's Discharge Documents to begin research with FACTS, all your efforts are dealing with validation of Family Lore.
       In your follow-up you typed "Dad was a paratroop trainer there in Blythe for quite awhile."  Blythe Army Air Field was a Fourth Air Force Training Facility, providing Army Air Force services to the California/Arizona Maneuver Area.  The 46th Bombardment Group & the 34th Bombardment Group were based at Blythe Field.  Yes, there were B-17's at Blythe Field, but no "paratroop" training took place at Blythe Field.  Air Crews may have been trained to exit a disabled aircraft (parachute) but NO training of paratroops.
       In your follow-up you typed "He described parachuting directly into combat".  Parachuting into combat as a paratrooper, or air crew bailing out of a disabled aircraft?
       In your follow-up you typed "Two Airborne Divisions of the Army Air Corps".  First of all, the Army Air Corps was re-designated the Army Air Force on May 1, 1942.  Airborne units were never assigned to the Army Air Corps or the Army Air Force.  Airborne Units were assigned to the Army Ground Forces, the combat portion of the US Army.
       In your follow-up you typed "only the 506th PIR of the 101st mentioned being trained for transfer to the Japanese Theater."  Your source please, for that statement.  The 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment was never sent to the PTO, but your father was.  Why was the 506th not sent to the PTO, but your father was.  
       In your follow-up you typed "I assumed that Dad was attached to the 506th after Normandy."  Attached, or assigned?
       In your follow-up you typed "From the Air Force to the Infantry in one day."  Re-assigning a man from the Army Air Force to the Infantry would actually take about 20 seconds.  But, being assigned to an Infantry Unit & being an Infantryman are two different things.  The difference, training!  If we had access to your father's Discharge Documents, we could read if he was awarded a C.I.B. or a X.I.B.
       In your follow-up you typed "I have read that in the summer of 1944 that infantry drew every available warm body from every available source."  Actually, it began in 1943.  Again, just because you were assigned to an Infantry Unit does NOT make one an Infantryman.  Training is involved, else the replacement becomes cannon fodder.
       In your follow-up you typed "Is there any precedent for a man with parachute training being being [sic] reassigned to the parachute infantry overnight?" When did the "man" receive "parachute training"?  Re-assigned overnight, yes.  To be able to function as an Infantryman in a combat role, NO WAY!  When/where was the Infantry Training?
       I do not mean to sound frustrated, but there are quite a few "assumed" in all this.  My desire is to deal with FACTS, & to provide FACTS to those asking questions at AllExperts.  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE may every attempt to obtain a copy of your father's Discharge Documents.  Then, & only then would we be able to begin ACCURATE historic research.  Without a copy of your father's Discharge Documents, there is really nothing further that I can assist you with.

  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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