Military History/Father's units during WW 2 in Europe
After being drafted my Dad was in Company K, 111th Infantry, of the 28th Infantry Division of the PA National Guard. As I have discovered through my research, that unit went to the Pacific but Dad did not. Instead, he must have been assigned to another unit since he definitely went to the European Theater of Operations.
I do have a copy of his discharge papers and the information below comes directly from it, including his dates of ETO service.
32 065 359
Company K, 111th Infantry
Inducted 8 Apr 41 Newark, NJ
Truck driver, light #345 (2-1/2 ton)
Central Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, GO 33 WD 45 as amended
Departed US 27 Feb 44, arrived in ETO 10 Mar 44
Return from ETO 3 Oct 45, arrived US 11 Oct 45
Continental (US)service 2 yrs, 10 mos, 22 days
Foreign service 1 yr, 7 mos, 15 days
Separation center Fort Dix, NJ 16 Oct 45
American Defense Service Medal
European-African-Middle East Service Medal
Good Conduct Medal
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Rifle M1 Ex1, 1 Jun 43
Carbine Ex3, 3 Feb 44
I was able to locate many wartime photos of him, and based on the shoulder patches on his uniform I determined he initially served in the 3rd Coast Artillery District (Chesapeake Bay Area) and was in North Carolina and Virginia. That service appears to be from April 1941 to Feb 1944.
While in the ETO additional pictures of him in uniform show a shoulder patch for the 9th Army, and a Meritorious Unit Commendation patch on his sleeve, along with 3 service duration slashes.
He drove a 2-1/2 ton truck in ETO delivering gasoline to Patton's army, and may have been part of the Red Ball Express, Red Lion, or ABC Express. He was in France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany as documented by several wartime photos. A handwritten comment on a photo indicates 131st truck company.
Foreigh service dates are: departure for ETO 27 Feb 44, arrival 10 Mar 44 (from New York to the Firth of Clyde according to Dad). He doesn't know which troop transport ship, or the exact city of arrival in UK.
Return from ETO 3 Oct 45, arrived US 11 Oct 45.
Another picture shows him boarding the victory ship Rushville Victory, but it's not clear where it is berthed (France, England ??).
I would like to fill in the blanks as to how he was re-assigned from the PA 111th Infantry, to the 3rd Coast Artillary District in Virginia, to being in the 9th Army ETO, and possibly being part of one of the "Express Supply Units". Also, information on his troop transport ship bringing him to ETO and his return back to the US.
Any additional information would be most welcomed.
Thank you for all you assistance in helping me put together my Dad's wartime service record.
Thank you for your question. In it you typed "my Dad was in Company K, 111th Infantry, of the 28th Infantry Division of the PA National Guard." Is the 111th Infantry Regiment, Pennsylvania National Guard, the unit typed in Box #6 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents (WD AGO Form 53-55)? If so, that was the unit your father was assigned [assigned] to after V-E Day, to return to the USA with. Would you be so kind as to share with me any Primary Source Documents indicating that your father was assigned [assigned] to the 111th Infantry Regiment, Pennsylvania National Guard, prior to mid-February 1944?
In your question you typed "Departed US 27 Feb 44, arrived in ETO 10 Mar 44" as well as "from New York to the Firth of Clyde". 23 troop ships departed various East Coast Ports of Embarkation on February 27, 1944 & arrived at various locations in Great Britain on March 9, 1944. With the specific geographic locations provided by your father, I can reduce the quantity of troop ship possibilities to the following:
SS Colombie (French)
SS Sea Porpoise
USAT Frederick Lykes
USAT George Washington
USAT J.W. McAndrew
USS Florence Nightingale AP-70
USS Lyon AP-71
In your question you typed "Returned from ETO 3 Oct 45, arrived US 11 Oct 45" as well as "Another picture shows him boarding the victory ship Rushville Victory, but it's not clear where it is berthed (France, England ??" In my OPINION, based upon voyage time of other Victory Ships utilized during Operation MAGIC CARPET, the voyage began at Le Havre, France on October 3, 1945. My OPINION, not based in FACT.
In your question you typed "3rd Coast Artillery District (Chesapeake Bay Area)". Would you agree that the shoulder patch "displays three projectiles over a trefoil to indicate the unit's number. The approved drawing of this insignia indicates that it was to be worn with one projectile pointing down." Design approved June 12, 1941.
In your question you typed "a shoulder patch for the 9th Army". Ninth Army became operational near Brest, France on September 5, 1944.
In your question you typed "3 service duration slashes." With all due respect, I have no idea what a "service duration slash" is.
In your question you typed "A handwritten comment on a photo indicates 131st truck company." The 131st QM Truck Company, TC was credited with the following Campaigns:
the same four Campaigns your father was credited with (Box #32 on page two of your father's Discharge Documents). I own the unit history of Ninth Army, & the 131st QM Truck Company, TC is listed as assigned [assigned] to Ninth Army. I also own an Order of Battle for Ninth Army, December 12, 1944. The 131st QM Truck Company, TC was assigned [assigned] to the 520th QM Battalion, which was assigned [assigned] to the 544th QM Group, which was assigned [assigned] to Ninth Army. My question to you is, since Ninth Army was not operational until September 5, 1944, what higher formation was the 131st QM Truck Company, TC assigned [assigned] to, March 11, 1944 to September 4, 1944?
I have provided you with all the FACTS I possess, based upon what you provided to me through AllExperts. You are welcome to photocopy the Primary Source Documents related to your father's role during WW 2, then send the photocopies to me via First Class USPS. PLEASE include your e-mail address for ease of response. It would be my pleasure to share with you all the FACTS I glean from the photocopies.
Good Luck with your quest.
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