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Military History/539th Motor Ambulance Company


QUESTION: Good evening,

I am doing research on my grandfather's service to our country during World War II and cannot find anything on the 539h Motor Ambulance Company. I am looking for photographs of their unit crest and shoulder patches as well as a history on the unit itself.

I was young when my grandfather passed and never got to thank him for his service or talk with him about it.  Thank you for your time.



ANSWER: Dear Sir,
       Thank you for your question.  In it you typed "cannot find anything on the 539th Motor Ambulance Company."  The 539th Motor Ambulance Company served in the Central Europe (March 22-May 8, 1945) Campaign while in the E.T.O.  Also, the 539th Motor Ambulance Company served in the Army of Occupation in Germany, May 20-June 3, 1945.
       May I ask, what is your source that your grandfather was assigned to the 539th Motor Ambulance Company prior to May 8, 1945?  Is that the unit typed in Box #6 on page two of your grandfather's Discharge Documents?  Would you be so kind as to share with me what is typed in Box #32, Box #33 & ALL THE DATES typed in Box #36 on page two of your grandfather's Discharge Documents?
       For additional FACTS about the 539th Motor Ambulance Company, may I suggest you contact:

U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center
950 Soldiers Drive
 Carlisle     PA     17013

       Good Luck with your quest.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections

[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Mr. Horrell,

Thank you for your assistance, I really do appreciate it. I have two documents, one of which is his Honorable Discharge and the other being WD AGO FORM 53-55, where I see the 539th Motor Ambulance Company.

I am not sure which page of his discharge documents I have.  On the WD AGO FORM 53-55 that I do have, it states the following:

6. Organization:

539th Motor Ambulance Company

32. Battles and Campaigns:


33. Decorations and Citations:

American Defense Service Medal, American Theater Campaign Medal, EAME Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Star, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Victory Ribbon, 1 Service Stripe, 1 Overseas Service Bar, Lapel Button Issued.

36. Service Outside Continental U.S. and Return:

Date of Departure:     Destination:     Date of Arrival:
27 FEB 45          EAME          11 MAR 45
22 JUL 45          AP          28 AUG 45
8 DEC 45          US          23 DEC 45

I hope this information is what you were looking for.  If not, let me know and I will try to get my aunt to send me the complete file.  



Dear sir,
       Thank you for your follow-up.  The page you obtained FACTS from Box #6, Box #32, Box #33 & Box #36 is page two of "WD AGO FORM 53-55".  There are four pages, but for some reason most Veterans/families have page two & page one (certificate in format).  If your aunt has all four pages, please do have her photocopy all four pages, then send the photocopies to the address at the end of this follow-up.  Please have her include YOUR e-mail address for ease of response.  It would be my pleasure to share with you all the FACTS I glean from the photocopies.  Now then, as to the FACTS you provided in the follow-up.
       In your follow-up you typed "32. Battles and Campaigns:  CENTRAL EUROPE"  Since the campaign your grandfather participated in & the campaign the 539th is credited with is one & the same, I would type I am 99% sure the unit your grandfather was assigned to prior to May 8, 1945 was the 539th Motor Ambulance Company.
       In your follow-up you typed "33.  Decorations and Citations:  American Defense Service Medal".  This means your grandfather served in the U.S. Military prior to Sunday, December 7, 1941.
       In your follow-up you typed "33.  Decorations and Citations:  Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal".  This means your grandfather served in BOTH the E.T.O. AND the P.T.O., a RARE occurrence, indeed!!!  More on that in a bit of time.
       In your follow-up you typed "36.  Service.......23 DEC 45".  There are three sets of dates, horizontally.  First is U.S.A. to E.T.O., second E.T.O. to P.T.O., third is P.T.O. to U.S.A. (after WW 2 ended)

Departure Date:   February 27, 1945
Departure Location:   New York Port of Embarkation
Troop Ships:   SS Argentina
         SS Mexico Victory
         SS Sea Owl
         SS Uruguay
Arrival Date:   March 11, 1945
Arrival Location:   Liverpool, England (except the SS Uruguay, Le Havre, France)

       Sorry that I'm only able to narrow it down to four troop ships.

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

Departure Date:   July 22, 1945
Departure Location:   Marseilles, France
Troop Ship:   SS Monterey
Arrival Date:   August 26, 1945
Arrival Location:   Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands
    via the Straits of Gibraltar, Panama Canal (8/2/1945) & Ulithi Atoll (8/22/1945)

       The difference between August 26, 1945 & August 28, 1945 is that there is an International Date Line in play, as well as slow unloading at the port of Manila.

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

       As to the final set of dates, horizontally, in Box #36 on page two.  When I provide the FACT that someone was onboard a particular troop ship, it is based upon three separate sources for FACTS, one being a Primary Source Document.  I do not have three for any of the troop ships that potentially returned your grandfather to the U.S.A. on Saturday, December 23, 1945.  The following troop ships are possible, along with the Arrival Location on December 23, 1945:

SS Lurline        Tacoma, Washington Port of Embarkation

USS Freestone  APA-167       Tacoma, Washington Port of Embarkation

USS Murzim  AK-95        Seattle Port of Embarkation

USS Goodhue  APA-107        Los Angeles Port of Embarkation

USS Rockingham  APA-229        Los Angeles Port of Embarkation

       So, it looks as if you have a bit or research to do, as well as to contact Carlisle, PA.  Good Luck with your quest.

   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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