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496th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by James Beusse, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. James Beusse

    James Beusse New Member

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    Hello,

    My grandpa served in WWII; his Enlisted Record and Report of Separation shows that his organization is "496 AAA Gun BN", Arm of Service is "Coast Artillery Corps", and Component is "AUS" (Army of the United States) I have looked on Google, Wikipedia, and many other websites searching for any information about the 496 AAA Gun BN and didn't find too much. What I'm looking for specifically is which unit (or Brigade or Regiment) the 496 AAA Gun BN was attached to so that I can see where exactly my Grandpa was located. I know he was in the Pacific theatre; as well as in New Guinea but not exactly sure where in New Guinea he was or if that's the only place he was. My grandpa has 2 Bronze Stars and would also like to see which battles he took part in too.

    Thank you for your time,
    James Beusse

    Coast Artilliary Corps Insignia.png 496th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion Patch.png

    United States Army Coast Artillery Corps - Wikipedia

    Army of the United States - Wikipedia

    Army 496th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion | Army Veteran Locator

    Solomon Islands Campaign Map.jpg
    New Guinea Campaign Map.jpg

    James Beusse Enlisted Record and Report of Separation.jpg

    usmilitariaforum.com.jpg
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Odd that he was credited with a "Zanzibar" campaign since that was not a recognized one in the Pacific theater. It looks as though he was wounded, or something, since he came back to the US in March 45 and was admitted to Schick General Hospital. He was discharged from there in April 45 (CDD 615-361) I have to look further about his service.
     
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  3. James Beusse

    James Beusse New Member

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    Hello Lou,

    I think that "Zanzibar" was a typo and was meant to say "Sansapor" as in Sansapor Airfield in New Guinea; was thinking the same thing. After many Google searches the only results that were returned were from Zanzibar in Africa; there's no way my Grandpa went to Africa so think its a typo.

    Thank you,
    James Beusse
     
  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    The Eisenhower Library has some information about the 496th. It might be worth a call (or if you are near there you can go).
    You might have better results if you hire a researcher. Many of us have dealt successfully with Geoff at Golden Arrow, but there are others. Check for a price.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
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  5. James Beusse

    James Beusse New Member

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    Hello,

    Just got off the phone with an archivist at the Eisenhower Library & asked if anyone knew any information about 496th AA BN & was told “We don’t have any information about the 496th in our holdings”

    James Beusse
     
  6. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I checked the EPL index of WWII Unit Records and only found the 496th Armored Field Artillery Bn, not the 496th AAA Gun Bn. So, that would explain their response. The EPL does not have records of all units and what they do have are not necessarily complete. However, it is worth checking to see if they have any records there. The records they have are supposed to be duplicates of what are at College Park, but I have found records there that are clearly not duplicate records.

    At any rate, I would suggest contacting NARA at College Park to request an index (or listing) of their holdings on the 496th AAA Gun Bn. See post #2 by Natman in this link Unit Operational Records for how to request an index of unit records. The NARA has changed the online form somewhat, but the general instructions by Natman are the same. It shouldn't take very long to get a response and the listing of the unit records that they hold. Once you have that, you can decide which, if any, records you want to request.
     
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  7. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The 496th AAA Gun Bn (Semi-Mobile) was organized 10 January 1943 at Camp (now Fort) Stewart, Georgia. After training it departed the Portland, Oregon Sub-Port of Embarkation on 16 March 1944, arriving at Milne Bay, New Guinea on 4 April 1944, where it was part of General MacArthur's Southwest Pacific Area. It was first assigned to the defense of Milne Bay, New Guinea, from 4 April to 30 June 1944. For part of that time it may have been attached to the 33d AA Group. From there it moved to Sansapor from 30 July 1944 to 6 April 1945, with Battery B remaining until 23 April 1945. Then to Morotai from 9 April to 30 April 1945, probably attached to the 15th AA Group.

    It received a commendation from the Commanding Officer CTG 78.5 for shooting down a lone observation plane at Sansapor on 30 December 1944.

    It arrived in the Philippines on 3 May 1945. The battalion was deployed at Cotobato with Battery C at Davao, Mindanao, Philippines. It returned to the U.S. via the Los Angeles, California Port of Embarkation on 12 January 1946 and was inactivated 13 January 1946 at Camp Anza, California.

    As a Semi-Mobile Battalion it was intended for the protection of rear area bases, installations, and communications routes (ports, airfields, road junctions, and the like) and would not normally be assigned to a component of the Army in the field.

    You may find some more information by perusing: Antiaircraft artillery activities in the Pacific war. :: World War II Operational Documents
     
  8. firstf1abn

    firstf1abn New Member

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    What a well written, logical, and thorough presentation. Nicely done.
    Some interesting tidbits here:

    Antiaircraft artillery activities in the Pacific war. :: World War II Operational Documents

    Looks like there's also mention of a unit history which should be at College Park. Since much of the 496th's action was after your grandfather's departure, you might ask NARA if they would just copy the relevant date range (and save you a little money - 75 cents a page).

    As you already touched on, there's enough order of battle info in there to keep you busy searching for associated units.

    Good luck.
     
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  9. James Beusse

    James Beusse New Member

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    Hello Richard,

    I'm really happy that you took your time out of your day to share with me this information; I'm really excited to tell my parents and family! No one in my family knew much too much about my grandpa; they had ideas but nothing specific like how you shared. I will make sure to give credit to you when telling them about the 496th AA BN. This information is really valuable to me because I have been wondering about my Grandpa my whole life. It's also nice that others can benefit from the valuable knowledge you shared by doing just a quick Google search!

    Really appreciate everything,
    James Beusse
     
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  10. James Beusse

    James Beusse New Member

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    Hello Lou,

    Thank you for replying to my thread and getting this conversation started. I was excited to see your reply because this is my first time posting on a forum. Especially on a forum that means so much to me. These responses will assist me with further research and that I will be both happy and excited to share; with family or anyone who searches for it

    Thanks (a lot) again,
    James Beusse
     
  11. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I am glad it started something. It's what we do. Sorry I couldn't be more help, but I'm glad Rich stepped into the breech. You're much further along then you were. Lots of avenues for you to pursue.
     
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