Military History/WW 2 Grandfather request
We recently found my Grandfather's old papers and we're trying to learn about his time as a soldier in WW2. Any information that you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
From Discharge and Separation official papers:
Harry L. Powell, 33 859 122, Pfc, Battery B, 880th Field Artillery Battalion, 69th Infantry Division.
Date of Entry 24 AUG 44, Separation 20 DEC 45
Cannoneer. Was member of 105 mm Howitzer crew. No. 1 man on crew. Pulled the pin which fired the gun. Performed duties in European Theater of operation.
Battles and Campaigns: G033WD45: Rhineland Central Europe
Date of Departure: 10 FEB 45. Arrived Scotland 18 FEB 45. Returned to USA 3 DEC 45.
There also was a small notebook that appeared to be in his handwriting. Had addresses of locals who were also in the war or in Washington DC. Also had a 2 page list called "Names of Towns" which look to be where he went but are hard to find or follow. They are as follows:
Hampton DEC 12
Reading DEC 13
Partland JAN 22
LA AEUINIE JAN 2
AMEL FEB 9
ARDENE FEB 11
GEU MAR 3
DALNEM MAR 10
ROUDuOE)COLOG MAR 20 (hard to read this one)
KOBLING MAR 29
LIMBURG MAR 31
RHEID APR 3
BALHORN APR 4
KASSEL APR 5
DAHLHEIM APR 6
MERSEBURG MAY 8
S. Hampton DEC 12
Thank you if you can help
Thank you for your question. In it you typed "880th Field Artillery Battalion, 69th Infantry Division." IF that is the unit that is typed in Box #6 on page two of your grandfather's Discharge Document (WD AGO Form 53-55) that is the unit your grandfather was assigned [assigned] to for his return to the USA in late 1945. It may or may NOT have been the unit he was assigned [assigned] to prior to May 8, 1945.
In your question you typed "Pulled the pin which fired the gun." Respectfully, your grandfather "Pulled the" lanyard that released the firing "pin". Also, your grandfather fired a howitzer, not a "gun". A "gun" fired a flat trajectory, a "howitzer" fired an arced trajectory.
In your question you typed "Battles and Campaigns: GO33WD45: Rhineland Central Europe":
Rhineland September 15, 1944-March 21, 1945
Central Europe March 22-May 8, 1945
In your question you typed "Date of Departure: 10 FEB 45. Arrived Scotland 18 FEB 45."
Departure Date: February 11, 1945
Departure Location: Boston Port of Embarkation
Troop Ship: USS West Point AP-23
Arrival Date: February 17, 1945
Arrival Location: Gourock, Scotland
7,138 Troops onboard
HOWEVER, the 880th Field Artillery Battalion departed the New York Port of Embarkation December 1, 1944, arriving in England December 12, 1944. Therefore, your grandfather did not sail to Great Britain with the 880th Field Artillery Battalion. This is not a good thing nor a bad thing, just a simple FACT of History.
In your question you typed "Returned to USA 3 DEC 45." IF the December 3, 1945 date is the date your grandfather arrived back in the USA, then:
Departure Date: November 28, 1945
Departure Location: Le Havre, France
Troop Ship: USS West Point AP-23
Arrival Date: December 3, 1945
Arrival Location: Boston Port of Embarkation
MAGIC CARPET voyage
HOWEVER, the 880th Field Artillery Battalion arrived at the New York Port of Embarkation September 14, 1945. Therefore, your grandfather did not sail from the E.T.O. back to the USA with the 880th Field Artillery Battalion. This is not a good thing nor a bad thing, just a simple FACT of History.
May I suggest you read the following unit history:
Rounds Complete! An account of the 880 Field Artillery Battalion, 1 December 1944-1 July 1945
Nordenham, Germany Karl Blanke 1945
Good Luck with your quest.
Richard V. Horrell
WW 2 Connections