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Military History/SS Uruguay 1943, arrival date in Brisbane


QUESTION: My late father-in-law served in the Pacific in the Army.  Because I have his Shellback certificate, from the USS Uruguay, dated May 27th, 1943, I know he left NY May 15, 1943 headed for Brisbane, Australia via the Panama Canal.  But what date did the ship arrive in Brisbane?
Also, due to the fire in the St. Louis record center, I am unable to find his service history.  Any suggestions for alternate sources?
Thank you.

ANSWER: Good Day,
       Thank you for your question.  In it you typed "My late father-in-law served in the Pacific in the Army."  Would you be so kind as to share with me the unit your father-in-law was assigned to prior to September 2, 1945.
       In your question you typed "Because I have his.......the ship arrive in Brisbane?"  The following FACTS may answer your question:

Departure Date:   May 15, 1943
Departure Location:   New York Port of Embarkation
Troop Ships:   SS Brazil
         SS Uruguay
         USAT Henry Gibbins
         USAT Thomas H. Barry
Arrival Date:   June 5, 1943
Arrival Location:   Brisbane, Australia
  via the Panama Canal (USAT Henry Gibbins on May 21, 1943)
       In your question you typed "Any suggestions for alternate sources?"  My suggestion is to start with your father-in-law's Discharge Documents, which I assume you have in hand.  The unit listed in Box #6 is the unit he was assigned to after V-J Day.  Sometimes the unit the soldier was assigned to while in combat, so that FACT needs to be determined.  Once you know the unit, see if there was a unit history published.  If not, then you may wish to have a look at the unit records of the unit your father-in-law was assigned to prior to September 2, 1945.  Those unit records are located at:

US Army Heritage & Education Center
950 Soldiers Drive
 Carlisle   PA   17013

The facility is NOT a lending library, so you would need to conduct your research at their location.  Since you are in the Garden State, your drive across the Delaware River would be a pleasant one.  
       One last request.  Would you be so kind as to share with me ALL THE DATES in Box #36 on page two of your father-in-law's Discharge Documents?
       Good Luck with your quest.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections

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

QUESTION: Mr. Horrell,
Thank you very much for your response.  I do not have the discharge papers, nor the unit information in hand, but I will see my MIL this weekend...
All I recall is that in spite of service in the Army, my FIL spent much of his time on an Australian excursion boat converted to a forward anti-aircraft and spotting picket.  I believe the boat was anchored off New Guinea.  My FIL did spend enough time in the jungle to return with a life long souvenir - malaria.  
I will follow up once I have the information.

ANSWER: Good Day,
       Thank you for your follow-up.  Your mother-in-law provided a copy of the Discharge Documents to the Funeral Home that handled your father-in-law's arrangements.  Also, most Veterans registered a copy of their Discharge Documents at the Court House of the county the Veteran would reside in after WW 2.  Please try both of those sources for a copy of your father-in-law's Discharge Documents.
       I will eagerly await a follow-up from you at your convenience.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections

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

QUESTION: Hello again,
My MIL had the discharge; most recently she used it for a property tax reduction. I now have the honorable discharge...
Box 36:  Date of Departure     Destination     Date of Arrival
        15 May 43          WPTO          14 Jun 43
        27 Nov 45          USA          16 Dec 45

I see that his unit was the 35th TC Service Group, and he served in Luzon, New Guinea and the Ryukyus (Okinawa?).

I also have his separation qualification record and life insurance certificate.
Can you point me to a guide on interpreting the information on these papers?
Thanks again & Best Regards.

Good Day,
       Thank you for your follow-up.  As to the November-December 1945 dates, the following may be of interest:

Departure Date:   November 27, 1945
Departure Location:   San Fernando, Luzon, Philippine Islands
Troop Ship:   USAT Puebla
Arrival Date:   December 16, 1945
Arrival Location:   San Francisco Port of Embarkation

       In your follow-up you typed "Can you point me to a guide on interpreting the information on these papers?"  It would be my pleasure to assist you.  Please photocopy said documents, then send the photocopies to me via First Class USPS.  Please be sure to include your e-mail address for ease of response.  It would be a pleasure to share with you any FACTS I glean from the documents.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections
     2011 Richard Jones Road
      Apt      E 26
       Nashville   TN   37215-2837

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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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