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Military History/U.S. Army in Iceland, WW 2


Dear Mr. Horrell,
I'm trying to put together the pieces of my father's military service during WWII. I have certificates for his promotions to Corporal and Sergeant, know that he served in Iceland and Panama, and a few other clues. 4

My father was in the U.S. Army, Coast Artillery and was appointed Sergeant, Battery D, 7th Coast Artillery (HD [Harbor Defense]), U.S. Army, Fort Hancock, NJ in September 1940.

My present interest is in the fact that my father had photos of Winston Churchill visiting Iceland. I discovered that Churchill visited the troops in Iceland on August 16, 1941. Some sources say that portions of the U.S. Army started arriving in August, mainly the Marines at that point. The Army took over later that year or in 1942.

Do you have any information about the Army men who arrived prior to Churchill's visit? I want to make sure he didn't just have photos that were being sold as souvenirs (because I'm also quite surprised at the number and quality of the photos he has. I don't think he took them himself). I wondered if he may have been part of a support /service team to the Marines or I would like to confirm that the Army sent Coastal Artillery men early in their involvement.

Thanks so much for your help!

Dear Ms.,
       Thank you for your question.  I agree, the 7th Coast Artillery Regiment was located at Fort Hancock, New Jersey in September 1940.  However, since the 7th Coast artillery Regiment never went overseas during WW 2, your father was not assigned to the 7th when he was based in Iceland.
       As to when the US Military arrived at Reykjavik, Iceland, please read the following:  

Departure Date:   June 22, 1941
Departure Location:   Charleston, South Carolina Port of Embarkation
Troop Ships:   USS Fuller  AP-14
         USS Heywood  AP-12
         USS Orizaba  AP-24
         USS William P. Biddle  AP-15
Arrival Date:   July 7, 1941
Arrival Location:   Reykjavik, Iceland
    Units Onboard:   elements of the 1st Marine Brigade

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

Departure Date:   September 5, 1941
Departure Location:   New York Port of Embarkation
Troop Ships:   USS Harry Lee  AP-17
         USS Heywood  AP-12
         USS Republic  AP-33
         USS William P. Biddle  AP-15
Arrival Date:   September 15, 1941
Arrival Location:   Reykjavik, Iceland
    Units Onboard:   elements of the 5th Infantry Division

       What is the first date in the upper left hand corner of Box #36 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents?  That date will provide us with the FACT of the date of departure to Iceland for your father.  With that date, we will know know your father's place in the timeline of US Military Defense of Iceland during WW 2.  This is an easy one, you have the FACT/date, all you need to do is share it with all of us at AllExperts.  I will eagerly await your reply with the FACT/date.
       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.

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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