Military History/106th AAA Auto-Weapons Battalion, Kentucky National Guard
QUESTION: Mr. Horrell...First of all, thank you for your answer to my last question about the 106th in Sicily. With the info you gave me, I was eventually able to run down the Historical Record of the 2nd Armored Division in Sicily. What a gold mine that was!! Now, for another question: In my research of the 106th CA/AAA, I have seen two references to citations given to the 106th near the end of the war. One reference was in the hometown newspaper of my father and my uncle, who was also in the 106th that was printed in 1945. The other reference was from a newspaper article written about another member of the 106th named Sammie Burns. Mr. Burns was interviewed for a newspaper article in which he related that the 106th received a Presidential Unit Citation. I have not been able to find any official reference to any sort of citation. Can you suggest a source or sources that I might search for this sort of information? And in re: the person who wrote you yesterday making reference to Battery "Z". There was no such battery...only the Hq Battery and Batteries A - D. I have been researching the 106th for four years now and that I know for sure!! I am certainly not an expert, but I would be willing to share what I've learned with that person; please feel free to share my e-mail address with him/her. Thank you so very much for your learned and prompt responses to my inquiries. You have helped me so much.
ANSWER: Dear Ms.,
Thank you for your question. Also, THANK YOU (as always) for referring to me as "Mr. Horrell". Good manners NEVER go out of style!
In your question you typed "thank you for your answer to my last question about the 106th in Sicily." You are welcome. It is ALWAYS a pleasure to deal with someone who follows through, as you always have.
In your question you typed "I have seen two references to citations given to the 106th near the end of the war." My experience is that newspaper articles are notoriously inaccurate. From my file of FACTS as per the 106th, I can find no reference that the unit was ever awarded either a Presidential Unit Citation or a Meritorious Unit Citation for its service during WW 2.
In your question you typed "the person who wrote you yesterday making reference to Battery "Z". There was no such battery". Normally I rely upon only my own sources, but in this situation I gladly defer to you. It is quite clear that you are the GO TO person as per FACTS about the 106th. My wish now is that you, in some fashion or form, make available to the masses your research of the 106th AAA Auto-Weapons Battalion, Kentucky National Guard. Not just for the FACT based historic research you have conducted, but for others to learn that a lay person CAN conduct FACT based historic research, based upon Primary Source Documents!
Continued success with your quest. My hope is that someday I can add YOUR FACT based historic research about the 106th to my file of FACTS as per the 106th.
Richard V. Horrell
WW 2 Connections
2011 Richard Jones Road
Apt. E 26
Nashville TN 37215-2837
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Dear Sir...I'm inclined to think that there was never a citation given the 106th. I've not been able to find any official confirmation of that. They may well have deserved one, tho'. I think it is significant that as the war wound down, many AAA units were relieved of AAA duties and became infantrymen instead, as the need was greater. It speaks well of the 106th that were kept as AAA thru the war and into the occupation of Munich. Add to that the fact that the 45th ID requested them from the landings at Salerno and throughout the war, with only an occasional and brief assignments to other units.
As I've mentioned to you, it is my intention to write a memoir about the 106th for Dad's descendants. I had intended to get that accomplished this year...being the 70th anniversary of the end of WW2, but I keep finding more pieces to the puzzle (often thanks to you!). Last night I read your reference to the Kentucky State Archives in Frankfort and the Armory in Washington County, I'm thinking that's in Springfield. We get to KY every year in October and so now I am planning on visiting those places. So, hopefully I can get my 'magnum opus' done this winter!!
Several years ago, it was my honor to have as a correspondent a veteran of the 106th, Battery D, Mr. John Ashton from Corydon, IN. We exchanged several letters before his death. If you think you would like to have copies for your files, I will be more than happy to copy them and send them to you. As it happened, Mr Ashton shared a tent with my uncle at Camp Hulen and attended a Battery D reunion at my uncle's home one year. For a fellow in his 9th decade, he was a great correspondent, tho' I wasn't ready for our letters to come to an end.
If you think I can be of help to anyone with questions about the 106th, I would be happy to share what I know. I have been thinking about starting a Facebook group for people interested in the 106th; I will let you know when that is ready for "visitors" and perhaps we can get a forum going there. It is also a good place to share pictures as well. There is already a group on Facebook called: "Photos from Camp Hulen". If you are a Facebook user, you might get a kick out of that one. I am in contact with another woman whose father was in the 106th for awhile. Believe it or not, she is a volunteer at the 45th Infantry Division museum in Oklahoma City!! She sent me a copy of a roster for Battery C with Dad's name on it. That one document made all of this so real to me, more than anything else I've come across.
When, not if, I get my little history done, I would be honored to send you a copy along with some other source documents I have in my "file". I would certainly welcome any critique you might offer. One reason this has taken me so long is that I want it to be accurate. I owe that to my dad and his 6 million fellow warriors.
As ever in your debt,
Thank you for your follow-up. In it you typed "If you think you would like to have copies for your files". No, thank you. I will patiently await the "magnum opus". LOL
In your follow-up you typed "I have been thinking about starting.......get a forum going there." I think your idea is a great one, for those that are comfortable in the 21st Century. I am not a facebook user. My issue is that there will be a posting (FACT based) from someone such as yourself, & next to your posting is one that is either "Family Lore" someone's opinion, or Bovine Excrement. facebook has no editors to check for factual content, books have editors to check for factual content. Having typed that, several of my peers are suggesting I have a Troop Ship Voyages group on facebook. So, we shall see.
In your follow-up you typed "his 6 million fellow warriors." May I ask, who are the "6 million warriors"? I am not asking for names, just why "6 million" versus nine million or fourteen million. The significance of the number, please?
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE keep up the GREAT work.
Richard V. Horrell
WW 2 Connections