Military History/APO 153

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QUESTION: We have some FACTS!
Ten days ago I felt that we had reached an insurmountable loggerheads. You couldn't have been more civil or correct in asking for real facts, while we still had the lifelong frustration of no facts, none.
Your insistence on finding Dad's Discharge Papers led me back to a reference book I had found. It was written by Jonathan Gawne, "Finding Your Father's War." Concerning Discharge Papers he wrote that the Army "specifically recommended that the serviceman deposit a copy of his discharge with his local county clerk or county recorder's office." Within three hours I had copies his papers.

He was honorably discharged from the 2nd Infantry Division on 22 December 1945 at Fort Douglas, Utah.

Line 24: Date of Entry into Active Service  /  6 APR 42

Line 25: Place of Entry into Service  /  Salt Lake City Utah

Line 32: Battles and Campaigns / Rhineland / Central Europe

Line 33: Decorations and Citations  /  American Theater of Operations Service Ribbon / European African Middle Eastern Service Ribbon  /  Asiatic Pacific Theater Service Ribbon  /  Philippine Liberation Service Ribbon  /  Good Conduct Medal AR 600-68  /  Victory Medal

Line 36: Service Outside the Continental U.S. and Return  / Departure 19 FEB 45  Destination EAME  Arrival 27 FEB 45

Line 41: Service Schools Attended  /  Perry Institute  Yakima, Washington  /  Parachute Rigger


I don't know how to find where Dad did his Basic Training, although Fort Lewis Washington makes sense since he married Mom in Yakima, WA on the 4th of July 42. They were together in Blythe, CA for quite a while (Blythe Army Air Base was abandoned by the Army by July 1944),but I found an entry in my Grandfather's journal relating how he and Grandma caught a bus to Walla Walla, WA and drove home with them in Dad's car the first week of July 1944.
I believe Dad was still in the Army Air Force at that time. I have no idea where he was between July 44 and Feb 45 or when he became infantry.

He told me he had shipped on the Queen Mary and told my brother that he had visited Glasgow, Scotland during the war. When I checked online about the Queen Mary crossings during the war I found that it embarked from New York on 19 Feb 45 and  arrived in Gourock, Scotland  24 Feb 45. He arrived at the front on 27 Feb 45.

The 2nd Infantry Division liberated a concentration camp near Buchenwald on 14 July 45. History matches my Dad's memories. A week later he was in the hospital in Paris. You helped us find that fact.

That is all that I have been able to find. Can you give me any more leads?  How did he end up in the Philippines?

ANSWER: Dear Sir,
       Thank you for your follow-up.  In it you typed "discharged from the 2nd Infantry Division".  Is that the unit typed in BOX #6 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents?
       In your follow-up you typed "Battles and Campaigns / Rhineland / Central Europe"

Rhineland        September 15, 1944-March 21, 1945
Central Europe   March 22-May 8, 1945

       In your follow-up you typed "Departure 19 FEB 45.......Arrival 27 FEB 45"  

Departure Date:   February 19, 1945
Departure Location:   New York Port of Embarkation
Troop Ship:   RMS Queen Mary
Arrival Date:   February 25, 1945
Arrival Location:   Gourock, Scotland
    11,362 Troops onboard

The RMS Queen Mary anchored in the Firth of Clyde on February 25, 1945.  It takes awhile to unload over 11,000 men by lighter (ferry) so the February 27, 1945 date is when your father set foot upon Scottish soil, not the date "He arrived at the front".  Operation MARKET-GARDEN was September 17-25, 1944.  The Battle of the Bulge was December 16, 1944-January 15, 1945.  Your father arrived in Scotland February 27, 1945.
       In your follow-up you typed "Parachute Rigger".  The US Army Air Force had personnel who packed & maintained the parachutes used ONLY by US Army Air Force personnel.  A "Parachute Packer" does not make a paratrooper.
       In your follow-up you typed "2nd Infantry Division liberated a concentration camp near Buchenwald on 14 July 45."  The following may be of interest:

Departure Date:   July 12, 1945
Departure Location:  Le Havre, France
Troop Ship:   USS General W.P. Richardson  AP-118
Troops onboard:   elements of the 2nd Infantry Division
Arrival Date:   July 20, 1945
Arrival Location:   New York Port of Embarkation

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

Departure Date:   July 13, 1945
Departure Location:   Le Havre, France
Troop Ship:   SS Marine Panther
Troops onboard:   elements of the 2nd Infantry Division
Arrival Date:   July 19, 1945
Arrival Location:   Boston Port of Embarkation

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

Departure Date:   July 13, 1945
Departure Location:   Le Havre, France
Troop Ship:   USS Monticello  AP-61
Troops onboard:   elements of the 2nd Infantry Division
Arrival Date:   July 20, 1945
Arrival Location:   New York Port of Embarkation

In this context, three "elements" = the entire 2nd Infantry Division.  May I please have your source that the 2nd Infantry Division was on the continent of Europe "14 July 45"?  My source indicates the entire 2nd Infantry Division were passengers onboard three troop ships somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean
       In your follow-up you typed "A week later he was in the hospital in Paris."  Would you be so kind as to share all that is typed in BOX # 34 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents.  By the way, to clarify something from a previous follow-up, the 2nd Infantry Division crossed the Rhine River on a pontoon bridge at Linz, Germany.
       In your follow-up you typed "How did he end up in the Philippines?  As far as how he physically arrived there, please provide me with ALL THE DATES in Box #36 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents.  As to why, please refer to BOX #55 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents.  Look for ASR score.  After V-E Day, your father did not have enough "points" to be discharged from the US Army.  So, your father WITHOUT the 2nd Infantry Division was transported via the Panama Canal to The Philippines.  When your father departed the ETO, Operation OLYMPIC / CORONET was still to happen.  August 6 & 9, 1945 changed all that.  Once your father was no longer needed to invade Japan, Operation MAGIC CARPET brought your father to a West Coast Port of Embarkation.  I could provide you with more FACTS, if only I had ALL THE DATES in Box #36 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents.
       Good Luck with your quest.

  Richard V. Horrell
   WW 2 Connections   

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

QUESTION: Thanks once again for sharing your time and expertise,

I will try to answer your questions in the order that you asked them:

Box 6: 2ND INFANTRY DIVISION

14 July 1945 was my stupid mistake. I should have proofread. The correct date was APRIL, 14 April 1945. (The source is the website for The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum under 2nd Infantry.)

Box 34: NONE

Box 36: two lines / 19 FEB 45 - EAME - 27 FEB 45
         UNAVAIL - US - 15 DEC 45

Box 55: LAPEL BUTTON ISSUED        ASR SCORE ( 2 SEP 45 )  70
         * CHOLERA  NOV 45          YELLOW FEVER  JUL 45

Typed in Box 40 is "CONVENIENCE OF GOVERNMENT RR 1-1  DEMOBILIZATION  AR  615-365   15 DEC 44.
Is this the date that Dad went "from the Air Force to the Army in one day"?

Thank you,
k

ANSWER: Dear Sir,
       Thank you for your follow-up.  In it you typed "Box 34: NONE"  Therefore, based upon the FACT that your father signed his Discharge Documents indicating accuracy, he was not W.I.A.
       In your follow-up you typed "Box 36: two.......US - 15 DEC 45".  Since a date of departure from The Philippines was not provided, the following are based upon only the date of arrival at a West Coast Port of Embarkation on December 15, 1945:

Departure Date:   November 20, 1945
Departure Location:   Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands
Troop Ship:   USAHS Marigold
Arrival Date:   December 15, 1945
Arrival Location:  Los Angeles Port of Embarkation

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

Departure Date:   November 30, 1945
Departure Location:   Leyte, Philippine Islands
Troop Ship:   USS General R.L. Howze  AP-134
Arrival Date:   December 15, 1945
Arrival Location:   San Pedro, California Port of Embarkation

The severity of your father's malaria may be a determining factor in which ship your father was upon.
       In your follow-up you typed "Typed in Box 40 is.......to the Army in one day"?  No.  December 15, 1944 was the date the US Military finalized the criteria for men & women of the US Military to be discharged from the US Military AFTER hostilities cease.
       Good Luck with your quest.

  Richard V. Horrell
   WW 2 Connections

 

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

QUESTION: I don't think there is a way to properly thank you for the effort you have shared with our family. When we first came to you we knew nothing about Dad's military service All that we now know is a result of your patience and expertise. Thank you.
I have just one last question, a small one; and then we will leave you alone.
When I first found out about the APO addresses I came across a resource that associated APO 153, March 25, 1945,  Stolberg, Germany with the 9th Field Hospital; and APO 350, May 8, 1945, Paris, France with an unspecified General Hospital. I have not been able to confirm that association with specific hospitals. Can you help?

thank you,
k

Answer
Dear Sir,
       Thank you for your follow-up. All the FACTS you typed I agree with except the portion about the 9th Field Hospital.  The 9th Field Hospital may have been at that location, I just don't have any FACTS to support that.
       The following may be of interest to those desiring FACTS about the 9th Field Hospital:

Departure Date:   September 12, 1943

Departure Location:   New York Port of Embarkation

Troop Ship:   RMS Mauretania

Units onboard:   9th Field Hospital
         316th Station Hospital
         23rd Hospital Train

Arrival Date:   September 19, 1943

Arrival Location:   Liverpool, England
    7,620 Troops onboard

       Good Luck with your quest.

  Sincerely,
   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.

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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.

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Respectfully, I do not disclose the names of the clients I deal with. I have a confidentially agreement with them.

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