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Military History/My Father at Normandy, France


Mr. Horrell

My Father, Irvin Henry Hartman Jr, was assigned to the 3473rd Ordnance Medium Auto Maintenance Company. His Company deployed on the NT 669, "Aquitania" on December 13, 1943 for England. He would never talk to me about Normandy and would only talk about the more pleasant experiences of his time in Europe. I spent 30-years in the USAF and never pressed him on the details but I wish I knew more as many of his Grandchildren are now asking.

His Company history, I have tried to review but I cannot tell where and when they came ashore at Normandy. This document stated his unit as participating in Normandy per AG200.6, HQ ETO, APO 887, dated 16 November 1944,(S)(6 Jun 1944 to Jul 1944).

I do have a document from the US Army showing that this unit is credited for participating in the Normandy Campaign and several others from Northern France to the Rhineland.

As a young Army Captain, my Dad told me of his unit experiences in taking care of the vehicles directly used by General Omar Bradley and his Senior Staff. My Dad also told me that his Maintenance unit designed and constructed special mobile trailers that General Bradley used as his mobile command post, etc. I remember that my Dad kept a personally autographed picture of General Bradley in his office for his entire life as he greatly admired General Bradley.

I sincerely hope that you may be able to fill in a few of the gaps for me.

Thank you

Dear Sir,
       Thank you for your question.  In it you typed "His Company deployed on the NT 669, "Aquitania"".

Departure Date:   December 12, 1943
Departure Location:   New York Port of Embarkation
Troop Ship:   R.M.S. Aquitania
Unit(s) Onboard:   HQ, VIII Corps
         HQ, VIII Corps Artillery
         654th Engineer Topographic Battalion
Arrival Date:   December 19, 1943
Arrival Location:   Gourock, Scotland

       In your question you typed "His Company history, I have.......came ashore at Normandy."  First, a bit of background about the 3473rd Ordnance Medium Automotive Maintenance Company.  Assigned to the 84th Ordnance Battalion, the 84th was an Intermediate Battalion providing 3rd Echelon support to the 51st Ordnance Group, which was assigned to U.S. First Army.  Located at Yate (northeast of Bristol) England on May 31, 1944, the 3473rd Ord. M.A.M. Co. landed across OMAHA Beach on D+8, Wednesday, June 14, 1944 (Bastille Day, in France).  There were 87 vehicles along with 120 men (Officers and E.M.)  On July 24, 1944 the 3473rd was located at Vouilly, France.
       The assignment for the 3473rd during the Normandy Campaign was to provide "3rd echelon support for headquarters and special troops of army."  That to me is quite clear that your father's unit took "care of the vehicles directly used by General Omar Bradley and his Senior Staff."
       In your question you typed "this unit is credited for participating in the Normandy Campaign and several others from Northern France to the Rhineland."  The following are the Campaigns the 3473rd participated in:

Normandy          June 6-July 24, 1944
Northern France   July 25-September 14, 1944
Rhineland         September 15, 1944-March 21, 1945
Ardennes-Alsace   December 16, 1944-January 15, 1945
Central Europe    March 22-May 8, 1945

       May I suggest you read:

The First Army In Europe 1943-1945
by Elbridge Colby

A Command Port at War
by David W. Hogan, Jr.

       Good Luck with your quest.

   Richard V. Horrell
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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.

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Assisting the National Archives on numerous occasions during the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of WW 2, 1991-95.

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