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Military History/204th Quartermaster Battalion

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QUESTION: Mr. Horrell, Where can I get more information and more details about my Father's service record? I requested his military records 15 years ago and received lots of good information from the Records Reconstruction Branch . . . Does that mean the bulk of his records were destroyed in the 1973 fire?

Included are the following:
Enlistment papers
Report of Physical Exam & Induction
A of state side Clinical Records
Immunization Records
Service Record, which includes dates, campaigns, hospital stays, financials, etc.
Record of medals, ribbons, bars, etc.
Honorable Discharge Papers

I want more details about his transport ship, where he landed in North Africa, his unit's history/details/locations, etc, his hospital stays (locations, records etc), the letter recommending Good Conduct Medal and Bronze Star, etc.

5th Army
Alfred G. Akin, 34-352-575
Enlisted 7/4/42 Fort McPherson, GA
9/22/42 Co. D 204th QM BN - Camp Sift, TX
Left 3/5/42, NYPE for North Africa
Arrived 3/18/43 North Africa
5/6/43 HQ Det 204th QM BN
5/29/43 CO A 204th QM BN
Left 9/3/43 for Italy
Arrived 9/9/43 Salerno, Italy
9/9/43 - 1/21/44 Naples-Foggia Campaign
12/10/43 3837th QM GS Co
1/22/44 - 9/9/44 Rome-Arno Campaign
11/13/44 - 12/5/44 55th Station Hospital
12/7/44 - 1/12/45 118th Station Hospital
3/26/45 Departed Italy for USA
8/22/45 Discharged, Fort McPherson, GA

That's a lot of information!!  But I want MORE!!  I will be grateful for any help/direction you can give me!!

ANSWER: Dear Ms.,
       Thank you for your question.  Also, THANK YOU for referring to me as "Mr. Horrell".  Good Manners NEVER go out-of-style.
       In your question you typed "Where can I get more information and more details about my Father's service record?"  Specifically his "service record", I do not know.
       In your question you typed "I requested his military records 15.......the Records Reconstruction Branch."  LUCKY YOU, most people do NOT.
       In your question you typed "Does that mean the bulk of his records were destroyed in the 1973 fire?"  I do not know.
       In your question you typed "I want more details about his transport ship".  Please read on.
       In your question you typed "where he landed in North Africa".  Casablanca, Morocco, Northwest Africa.
       In your question you typed "his unit's history/details/locations".  The unit records are located at:

US Army Heritage & Education Center
950 Soldiers Drive
 Carlisle   PA   17013

       In your question you typed "his hospital stays".  Please read on.
       In your question you typed "the letter recommending Good Conduct Medal and Bronze Star" Medal for Valor.  Would you be so kind as to indicate to me the Primary Source Document you possess that indicates your father was awarded a "Bronze Star" Medal for Valor?
       In your question you typed "Enlisted 7/4/42 Fort McPherson, GA".  Would you be so kind as to indicate to me what Primary Source Document you possess that indicates your father "Enlisted" in the US Army?
       In your question you typed "Left 3/5/42, NYPE for North Africa  Arrived 3/18/43 North Africa".  Since a voyage from an East Coast Port of Embarkation to Northwest Africa could not take almost 54 weeks, the "3/5/42" date is an error.  Base upon a 3/5/43 departure date:

Departure Date:   5:45 am, Friday, March 5, 1943
Departure Location:   Pier 16, Staten Island, New York Port of Embarkation
Troop Ship:   SS John Ericsson
Arrival Date:   1:40 pm, Thursday, March 18, 1943
Arrival Location:   Casablanca, Morocco, Northwest Africa

       In your question you typed "Arrived 9/9/43 Salerno, Italy".  Would you be so kind as to indicate to me what Primary Source Document you possess that indicates your father arrived at Salerno, Italy, September 9, 1943?
       In your question you typed "12/10/43 3837th QM GS Co".  The 3837th QM Gas Supply Company participated in the following Campaigns:

Naples-Foggia        September 9, 1943-January 21, 1944
Rome-Arno          January 22-September 9, 1944
North Apennines      September 10, 1944-April 4, 1945
Po Valley          April 5-May 8, 1945

The 204th QM Battalion participated in the following Campaigns:

Naples-Foggia
Rome-Arno

and was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation for the period January 1-March 1, 1945.  General Order #39, HQ, Fifth Army.  Awarded April 9, 1945.
       In your question you typed "11/13/44 - 12/5/44 55th Station Hospital".  The 55th Station Hospital was located at Pratolino (north of Florence) Italy, October 16, 1944 through May 21, 1945.
       In your question you typed "12/7/44 - 1/12/45 118th Station Hospital".  The 118th Station Hospital was located at Naples, Italy, October 14, 1943 through May 20, 1945.
       In your question you typed "3/26/45 Departed Italy for USA".  Regrettably, I have no FACTS to share with you as per your father's voyage in March/April 1945.  Would you be so kind as to share with me ALL THE DATES typed in Box #36 on page two of your father's Discharge Document (WD AGO Form 53-55)?
       In your question you typed "8/22/45 Discharged, Fort McPherson, GA".  So what were your father's activities in the US Army from mid April 1945 to late August 1945?  Why was your father sent back to the USA prior to May 8, 1945?
       In your question you typed" That's a lot of information!!"  Yes, you typed a lot of information.  Do you desire information or FACTS!
       In your question you typed "But I want MORE!!"  I know of 16 million families that could type the same statement.  Too bad those same 16 million families did not obtain their loved one's personnel file from 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132 in July, 1972!!
       Good Luck with your quest.

  Respectfully,
   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections   
       

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Answers to your questions:

RE: Bronze Star?  He was issued two bronze stars.  One for Naples-Foggia by General Order No. 75.  The second bronze star is mentioned on several pages of his "Service Record" Form No. 24; an insert titled "Insert: Medals, Decorations, Citations"  Bronze Star/ It. Cpm. -Rome-Arno - Let. 5A Hqs Oct 22, 1944  and a second page titled "Remarks: Administrative Continued" -Authorized one Bronze Star for Italian Campaign (Rome-Arno) per letter, (following numbers, etc. hard to read) Hqs 5A, HE 200-6-HD. OTO 22 Oct, 44.

Also, authorized to wear Good Conduct Ribbon per Ex. Order 9223 and recommendations of immediate commanding Officer, issued 21 Feb, 44 and on "Enlistment Record and Separation" European African Middle Eastern Ribbon with 2 Bronze Stars,  Good Conduct Medal AR 600-68

RE: Question about "Enlisted"- I may have misunderstood the document. On his "Enlistment Record and Separation, WD AGO Form 53-55 " In Box 22 he is listed as being inducted on 4 Jul 42. Box 23 is blank. So he was drafted at age 30 years and 3 months?

RE: Departure date for North Africa, 3/5/42 was a typo - 3/5/43 is correct.

Re: "Arrived 9/9/43 Salerno, Italy" In "Service Record, Form No. 24", page titled "Remarks: Administrative Continued" - Departed N. Africa 3 Sept 43 / Arrived Italy 9 Sept 43 . . . My research indicates Salerno per 9/9/43 landings. Is that correct?

RE: Would you be so kind as to share with me ALL THE DATES typed in Box #36 on page two of your father's Discharge Document (WD AGO Form 53-55)?
Date of Departure 5 Mar 43 - European Theater - Date of Arrival 18 Mar 43
Date of Departure 26 Mar 45 - United States - Date of Arrival 3 Mar 45

Re: In your question you typed "8/22/45 Discharged, Fort McPherson, GA".  So what were your father's activities in the US Army from mid April 1945 to late August 1945? According to his "Service Record Form No. 24", page titled "Military Record; Original Assignment and Organizations to Which Subsequently Assigned" he was assigned to 7RD after being released from the hospital 12 Jan 45 and MP Det 1464 SCU, Ft. McPherson, GA 12 Jul 45 until his discharge 22 Aug 45, but there is certainly a gap in the record.

Why was your father sent back to the USA prior to May 8, 1945?
Maybe because of his illness? According to his "Service Record Form No. 24", page titled "Military Record; Organizations to Which Attached" He was in 55th Station Hospital from 11-13-44 through 12-5-44 and in 118th Station Hospital from 7 Dec 44 through 12 Jan 45, so he was in the hospitals for two months! Form No. 549616  "Report of Physical Examination...Prior to Discharge..." indicates he had Yellow Jaundice in 1944.

Again, thank you for ALL of your help!!

Answer
Dear Ms.,
       Thank you for your follow-up.  May I also type that you have been quite generous with your praise of me.  Thank you, you are most kind.
       In your follow-up you typed "Bronze Star?  He was issued two bronze stars".  Yes, that is accurate.  May I suggest that when you indicate that FACT to others, you utilize the term two bronze campaign stars.  Sometimes others confuse a Bronze Campaign Star with a Bronze Star Medal for Valor.  Of course, an intelligent & articulate young lady like yourself has not confused the issue, but everyone is NOT as intelligent as you & I are.  semi-LOL
       In your follow-up you typed "So he was drafted at age 30 years and 3 months?"  Based upon the FACTS you indicate were typed in Box #22 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents (WD AGO Form 53-55), apparently so.
       In your follow-up you typed "My research indicates Salerno per 9/9/43 landings.  Is that correct?"  Apparently so.  Does the term "arrowhead" appear in Box #33 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents (WD AGO Form 53-55)?  Your father may have made an amphibious assault at Salerno, Italy, September 9, 1943.
       In your follow-up you typed "Date of Departure 26 Mar 45 - United States - Date of Arrival 3 Mar 45".  There must be an error, since the ship in question could not have departed the Mediterranean Theater of Operation on March 26, 1945 & arrived at an East Coast (USA) Port of Embarkation March 3, 1945.  I assumed (something I am loathed to do) that the correct arrival date would have been April 3, 1945.  Regardless, I could find no FACTS to share with you.  Obviously the voyage took place, or you would not be alive today.  I just have no FACTS to share with you as per the ship in question.
       Continued success with your quest.

  Respectfully,
   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections

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Richard V. Horrell

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
AASLH, Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society

Publications
Over 800 Profiles that I have written for client's about their loved one's role in WW 2.

Education/Credentials
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.

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