You are here:

Military History/Grandfather's Military History


I was wondering if you could help shed a bit more light on my grandfather's time in the US Army. He was tight lipped during his life and shared very little information with my family. I find very little about his battalion but have found from a copy of the Coast Artillery Journal (Sept-Oct 1947) that his battalion was grouped with the 68th AAA Brigade. He wasn't in the Pacific theater very long as Japan surrendered a few months after he arrived.

Here are the details I have available from his discharge papers:
Name: Gordon Payne
Serial: 14-178-234
Grade: T-5
Arm or Service: CAC
Component: AUS
Organization: Battery C 164th AAA Gun BN
Date of Seperation: 19 FEB 1946
Date of Entry/Enlistment: 9 NOV 42 (Craig Field, ALA)
Military Occupation: Truck Driver Light 345
Battles/Campagins: None
Decorations & Citations: ATO Medal, APTO Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, WWII Victory Medal
Service Outside: 17 May 1945 (depart) -13 June 1945 (arrival) APTO & 15 JAN 1946 (depart) - 6 FEB 1946 (arrival) US

Anything else you can add would be much appreciated!
Amanda Akey

Dear Ms.,
       Thank you for your question.  In it you typed "his battalion was grouped with the 68th AAA Brigade."  Your grandfather's "battalion" was either assigned [assigned] or attached [attached] to the 68th AAA Brigade, which arrived in The Philippines January 9, 1945.
       In your question you typed that your grandfather "wasn't in the Pacific theater very long as Japan surrendered a few months after he arrived."  Your grandfather arrived at Manila, Luzon, Philippines June 12, 1945.  Japanese envoys signed the Document of Surrender onboard the USS Missouri  BB-63 anchored in Tokyo Bay September 2, 1945.
       In your question you typed "Grade: T-5".  A Technician, 5th Grade, was a part of the Tech Series of Rank, 1942-48.  Pay was $66.00 per month.
       In your question you typed "Organization: Battery C 164th AAA Gun BN".  If this is the unit typed in Box #6 on page two of your grandfather's Discharge Documents (WD AGO Form 53-55) then it was the unit your grandfather was assigned [assigned] to at the time of discharge.  It may be the unit he was assigned [assigned] to prior to September 2, 1945, or it may not be.
       Unit histories for both units typed so far evidently exist.  My source that unit histories exist is:

United States Army Unit and Organizational Histories, Volume 2
by James T. Controvich
Lanham, Maryland        The Scarecrow Press, Inc.        2003

    ISBN    0-8108-4596-2

The unit histories are:

Activities of the 68th Antiaircraft Artillery Brigade
by Charles A. French
Coast Artillery Journal, XC (September-October 1946)

Charlie's Battery, 164th AAA Gun Bn., 1943-1946
by _?_?_
_?_?_          _?_?_          1946

       In your question you typed "Military Occupation: Truck Driver light 345".  Your grandfather was able to drive all vehicles from a 1/4 ton jeep up to & include a 2 1/2 ton G.M.C. 6x6.
       In your question you typed "Philippine Liberation Ribbon".  So, we know for a FACT that your grandfather served in The Philippines.
       In your question you typed "17 May 1945 (depart) -13 June 1945 (arrival)".

Departure Date:   May 17, 1945
Departure Location:   San Francisco Port of Embarkation
Troop Ships:   USS Freestone  APA-167
         USS Gage  APA-168
         USS Lycoming  APA-155
Arrival Date:   June 12, 1945
Arrival Location:   Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands

I could only narrow the search down to these three troop ships.  You will have to determine the specific troop ship yourself.
       In your question you typed "APTO & 15 JAN 1946 (depart) - 6 FEB 1946 (arrival) US".  I am not 100% sure, but my research indicates that the SS Marine Wolf, to the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation, via Pearl Harbor, was the troop ship that returned your grandfather to the "US".
       One further point.  Your grandfather arrived in The Philippines June 12, 1945.  The 164th AAA Gun Battalion arrived at San Narcisco, Zambales, Luzon, Philippine Islands (from New Guinea) August 14, 1945.  What unit was your grandfather assigned [assigned] to between June 13, 1945 & August 15, 1945?
       Good Luck with your quest.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections

Military History

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2017 All rights reserved.