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Military History/798th ENGR FORESTRY CO


B. Kildow wrote at 2010-09-01 23:24:49
This war record surprises me.  My Great-Uncle, Chester W. Hoganson, was a member of this unit which was later renumbered as the 1613 Engineer Forestry Company.  Chester died 03 Nov. 1944 when the transport vessel he was in was struck by Japanese Aircraft during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.  He was missing after an explosion and fire and later declared dead by the US Army.   His name appears on the memorial at Tacloban.

All of this occurred during the time the above record shows this Company as being in France?

J. Smith wrote at 2012-04-09 03:55:03
My late father, Melvin F. Smith, was also in the 1613 Engineer Forestry Company. It was originally Company C of the 796th Engineer Forestry Battalion. The name was changed effective February 24th, 1945, according to a history of the company written by it's members. My father suffered burns to his back in the Kamikaze attack B. Kildow refers to, and was awarded the Purple Heart. The 1613th held reunions every two years until a few years ago when it was deemed necessary to discontinue the reunions due to the loss of so many members, and age and health considerations of the rest. Company C was established at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, and remained as an unit for the duration of the war. Company C saw action in New Guinea, Leyte, and Luzon. Chester. W. Hoganson's name is on a list of the 13 men who were killed during the air attack. The list was read at each reunion and a moment of silence was observed. I was fortunate to attend a few of these reunions with my parents and meet these special people who gave so much of themselves early in their lives. I would be happy to provide all the information I have on the 1613th if B. Kildow is interested.  

Richard Rosera wrote at 2013-11-10 19:54:24
My late father, Everett Rosera, was in Company C of the 796th Engineer Forestry Battalion, later becoming the 1613th Engineer Forestry Company.  He was a Staff Sergeant, and was one of the oldest enlisted men, 35 at the time of the company's formation.  In his youth he had been a lumberjack in northern Wisconsin & upper Michigan, so I guess that is how he ended up with a logging & sawmill outfit.  Most of the outfit was from the western USA, so that is where most of their biennial reunions were held.  He lived in Milwaukee, and his wife Agnes (my mother) didn't like to travel by air, so he had never attended one until the 1993 reunion in Birch Run, MI.  I had the privilege of accompanying them to that reunion, the only one he was ever able to make, and videotaped many of the events that took place.  One of the true treasures from that was a booklet, "The March of the 1613th", that former T/Sgt. Bob Cowbrough & his wife Billie assembled.  It has many stories from company veterans, photos (none labeled as being of Chester Hoganson as far as I could see), and drawings by "company artist" Ewald Timm (who was also a Wisconsin resident & a personal friend of our family).  I will see whether I can get it scanned into PDF.  For anybody interested, my e-mail is

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LTC Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard


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