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
---------- 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:
539th Motor Ambulance Company
32. Battles and Campaigns:
CENTRAL EUROPE GO 105 WD 45
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.
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
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.
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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.
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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