Military History/Looking for more information on my father's WWII service
Dear Sir –
I am trying to piece together my father’s service during WWII (facts to follow). His records were badly damaged in the 1973 fire and he did not discuss his wartime experiences with any of his children and my mother only shared a few things he'd told her (more later). Since he passed away, I gotten a few questions I’d like to have asked him that I can't. I’m hoping you can help me understand some of what he did and how he got there.
I have three somewhat complicated questions. I have probably included too much detail but as I’m not sure what you’d want or need to know, I’ve included anything I thought you’d find useful - or even interesting. My apologies if this is too verbose. Please know that I greatly appreciate the time you are spending on my behalf as well as anything you can tell me to help me get answers to the following three questions:
1. I have two Honorable Discharge papers – the following is from the later dated one (the first was from his training days – if you need to see it, please let me know).
Here is the information from his last Discharge paper:
Box 2: 44 XXX XXX
Box 3: PVT
Box 4: Inf
Box 5: RA 1˝ Yr.
Box 6: 26th Inf Regt.
Box 22: [blank]
Box 23: 15 Nov 45
Box 24: 15 Nov 45
Box 28: Camp Croft SC
Box 30: Rifleman 745
Box 31: Rifle Sharpshooter 172 Aug 45
Box 36: 21 Dec 45 ETO 30 Dec 45
4 Mar 47 US 13 Mar 47
Box 39: 0-4-29 AUS
Box 40: CONVN OF THE GOVT, PAR 1 AR 615-365, 24 JAN 47 and TWX WCL 26052 dtd 2 March 1947
My question on the above is specifically about Box 40. Can you/Would you explain what the verbiage in Box 40 means? I have been unable to find any references to “TWX WCL” at all.
2. My mother shared that my father spent a longer time than usual in “boot camp” because of confusion over his first name. His first name are the letters “JC” and supposedly created some difficulties with the government and it took a while for adequate documentation to be acquired to prove that this was his actual name. Is there any way to find out if this is true?
3. My mother also shared that he was a guard at the Nuremburg trials and Himmler was one of the prisoners he guarded (impossible, as Himmler was already dead, right?]. I have my dad’s Separation Qualification Record that states (Box 13 “Title – Description – Related Civilian Occupation”):
As a rifleman in the guard detachment with the 26th Infantry Regiment in Nurnburg, Germany, assisted with the Guard Assignments at the war crimes trials. Escorted prisoners of war to and from court room adn and while inside court room. Was responsible for the safety of prisoners at all times. Served in the ETO for 11 months.” [original spelling preserved]
She showed me a newspaper picture of the court room during the trials and, supposedly, one of the men standing guard was my dad. Unfortunately, it was too grainy and distant to tell for sure. Is there any way I can get more specific information about the guards at the trials and whom they may have guarded?
Thank you so much!
Thank you for your question. In it you typed "I am trying to piece together my father's service during WWII". From what you have typed, your father served in the E.T.O. after May 8, 1945. Therefore, his service was not "during WWII". This is not good nor bad, just a simple FACT of history.
You have not "included too much detail" nor are you "too verbose." FACTS from a Veteran's Discharge Documents are always welcome
In your question you typed "I have two Honorable Discharge papers-the following is from the later dated one (the first was from his training days-if you need to see it, please let me know)." I wish to see both! I am unfamiliar with a Discharge Document from a Veteran's "training days".
Box #5 = Regular Army
Box #24 = the date your father enlisted in the U.S. Army
Box #31 = I am unsure how your father would become a sharpshooter in August 1945 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army on November 15, 1945
In your question you typed "My question on the above is.......references to "TWX WCL" at all." The "verbiage" has to do with the reason your father was Honorably Discharged from the U.S. Army, as well as the individual(s) determining it was time to discharge your father from the U.S. Army. The United States Government, as per paragraph one of Army Regulation 615-365, on March 2, 1947 that your father's services to the U.S. Army were no longer required. He departed the E.T.O. on March 4, 1947 & arrived at an East Coast (U.S.A.) Port of Embarkation on March 13, 1947.
In your question you typed "My mother shared that my.......if this is true?" The only source that I would know of would be your father's Personnel File, which you indicated were "badly damaged" A personal observation, I cannot see where having a First Name of "JC" would be a problem. President Truman's middle initial is "S" not an initial, just "S". He had no problem serving during the First World War.
In your question you typed "My mother also shared.......already dead, right?}." Heinrich Himmler died May 23, 1945. Your father enlisted in the U.S. Army November 15, 1945.
In your question you typed "She showed me a.......they may have guarded?" I would contact the 1st Infantry Division Museum in Cantigny, Illinois, to see if they have any FACTS to share with you.
Where about in Tennessee do you live? I reside in Davidson County, so maybe we could meet in a public location to further discuss the documents you have about your father's service in the U.S. Army.
Good Luck with your quest.
Richard V. Horrell
WW 2 Connections
2011 Richard Jones Road
Apt. E 26
Nashville TN 37215-2837