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Military History/Uncle's transport to Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands


QUESTION: Dear Mr. Horrell,
I am attempting to compile a scrapbook on my (late) Uncle Bennie who served in the Pacific. His diary states that he left San Francisco Feb. 17, 1945 and anchored at Finschhaven, New Guinea March 7 and then Hollandia March 10.

The ship then arrived in Leyte March 16 and left on March 21, arriving in Manila approximately March 23.

Do you know what ship or which convoy he might have been on? Thank-you very much for any information you might have regarding his service.
Sincerely, Christa Fluri

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!
       With all due respect to you & your efforts, I do have a correction for you.  "Finschhaven" is spelled with a f, not a "v".  An easy error to make, but the correct spelling may aid you with further research.
       For the portion of the voyage departing the San Francisco Port of Embarkation on February 17, 1945 & arriving at Leyte, Philippine Islands March 16, 1945, the troop ship was the USS General H.W. Butner  AP-113.  From Leyte to Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands, I do not know, but I am sure it was NOT the USS General H.W. Butner  AP-113.  In my OPINION, the vessel may have been a L.S.T. (Landing Ship, Tank, or as Yogi Berra referred to his L.S.T. as, "a LARGE, SLOW target).  L.S.T.s were sometimes utilized as shuttles in this context, transporting personnel, weapons, vehicles, supplies, etc. quite easily.
       Would you be so kind at to share with me ALL THE DATES typed in Box #36 on page two of "Uncle Bennie" Discharge Documents (WD AGO Form 53-55)?
       Good Luck with your quest.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections   

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

QUESTION: Dear Mr. Horrell,
Thank-you for your information. Unfortunately, my mother could not find his discharge papers. She did know that he worked for the B&O Railroad before and after the war, and was enlisted in a Transportation Battalion during the war - but does not know which one. In his diary he states that he is going to help run the railroads in Manila. He also sent my mother a postcard that says "Merry Christmas from the XXIV Corps in Seoul, Korea", however he was not in the Korean War.
That's all I've got.....Sincerely, Christa Fluri

Dear Ms.,
       Thank you for your follow-up.  Also, thank you again for referring to me as "Mr. Horrell".  You are most kind.
       In your follow-up you typed "but does not know which one."  Based upon the information you typed, it is my OPINION that "Uncle Bennie" was assigned [assigned] to the 737th Railway Operating Battalion, T.C.  Again, my OPINION.  I will defer to any FACTS you are able to obtain in the future.
       In your follow-up you typed "he is going to help run the railroads in Manila."  As well as the entire island of Luzon!
       In your follow-up you typed "Merry Christmas from the XXIV Corps in Seoul, Korea".  The 737th arrived in Korea November 2, 1945.
       Continued success with your quest.  Feel free to contact me if I may be of further assistance.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections
     2011 Richard Jones Road
      Apt.      E 26
       Nashville   TN   37215-2837  

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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.

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