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Military History/WW 2, Luzon Campaign


My father served in the US Army Battery A 181st Field Battalion at age 18. His date of entry: 13 Jul 44 Camp Forrest TN
Date of Departure: 24 Jan 45 PTO Arrival 26 Feb 45
Date of Return: 20 Jul 46 USA 12 Aug 46

Victory Medal/Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon w/2 Bronze Battle Stars/Phillip Liberation Ribbon/3 Overseas Service Bars/Good Conduct Medal

On his discharge papers: SS W/CARBINE (Mother said he manned a Howitzer)

I am interested in all you can tell me about my father's service who is now deceased, having died at age 56. Mother tells me he was stationed in Calif before going to Luzon. I have researched the 181st in Luzon and cannot find specifics of where they landed and what role the 181st played in the battle.

Thank you in advance.

Hello Neighbor,
       Thank you for your question.  In it you typed "My father served in the US Army Battery A 181st Field Battalion".  I am familiar with the 181st Field Artillery Battalion, Tennessee National Guard.
       In your question you typed "Date of Departure:24 Jan 45 PTO Arrival 26 Feb 45"

Departure Date:   January 24, 1945
Departure Location:   San Francisco Port of Embarkation
Troop Ship:   SS Sea Corporal
Arrival Date:   February 20, 1945
Arrival Location:   Leyte, Philippine Islands
    via Hollandia, New Guinea February 8-14, 1945

Once your father arrived at Leyte on February 20, 1945, another vessel of some sort transported him to Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippine Islands to be assigned to the 181st Field Artillery Battalion.  The 181st landed at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, on January 9, 1945, so your father was a replacement (the 181st went overseas in late October 1943).  This in no way diminishes your father's service to defend our great republic.  It is just a simple fact of history, nothing more, nothing less.
       As to your father's return to the USA in July-August 1946, in my OPINION he was onboard the SS Marine Panther, that arrived at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation August 12, 1946.
       Your father's two Bronze Battle (Campaign) Stars are for:

Luzon          December 15, 1944-July 4, 1945
Southern Philippines     February 27-July 4, 1945  

       When your father qualified with his M1 Carbine, he qualified as a Sharp Shooter.  However, your mother is correct, the 181st weapon was a 155mm Howitzer, Tractor Drawn (the Prime Mover was a tracked vehicle, not a truck).
       Yes, your father was stationed in California prior to departing the USA in January 1945.  The 181st Field Artillery Battalion, Tennessee National Guard made an amphibious assault at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippine Islands on Tuesday, January 9, 1945.  
       If you wish to obtain more FACTS as per the 181st Field Artillery Battalion, Tennessee National Guard, I suggest you contact the Tennessee State Archives, here in Nashville.  The unit records are here at the archives & I am sure an archivist would be thrilled beyond words to have someone show interest in a WW 2 topic.
       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.

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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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Respectfully, I do not disclose the names of the clients I deal with. I have a confidentially agreement with them.

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