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545th Artillery Battalion (1942-44)

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by ConfusedAboutWWII, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. ConfusedAboutWWII

    ConfusedAboutWWII New Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm seeking information relating to service records I recently obtained for my grandfather. He served two years (Nov 1942 to Dec 1944) as part of the Army of the United States and his discharge certificate is listed as "Battery A, 545th Field Artillery Battalion", but I can't find a single shred of information on this unit... not even what division it may have been attached to.

    From the looks of my limited research, this unit headed out to to the Pacific around ~1945 onboard the USS Millard County (LST-987), but this would've been well after my grandfather's service. I found a post on hree from a while back (by RichTO90) that describes how artillery battalions were "assigned" to various divisions, etc., so I'm hoping I may be able to get further info.

    In addition to the unit itself, I'm also interested in trying to clarify a few other items on his record:

    1) His Army specialty is listed as "fireman". For this time frame, did this actually mean "firefighter" in the current day since, or - given the context of military service, did this mean "artilleryman"? (I've seen artillery units termed "fire" or "fires" etc.).

    2) The "Remarks" section on the Enlisted Record of Service states:

    "(*) AR 615-365 % ar 13 SO 122 ASF 4th SerCom Hq Welch Conv Hosp, Daytona Beach, Fla., Dtd 25 Nov 44. No days lost under AW 107"

    I've been able to piece together that "AR 615-365" was the regulation that authorizes demobilization; and that "ASF 4th SerCom Hq" probably refers to the Army Service Forces 4th Service Command, which was HQ'd in Florida (per Wikipedia) and controlled the Florida-based hospital he was evaluated at and subsequently honorably discharged for medical reasons. This does line up with what my dad remembers (service in Florida before returning home to NYC; service in an artillery unit).

    What I can't figure out is not sure what the "ar 13 SO 122" means. (It also looks like there may be a missing character before the 'ar' but I can't figure that one out.) I've found that "SO" may mean Special Order, but there doesn't appear to be any standardization with these, and it all looks to be very localized... so i'm not sure what I can do about this.

    Thank you for your help!!
     
  2. Tipnring

    Tipnring Active Member

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    What's your grandfather's name & do you have his Army Serial number?
     
  3. ConfusedAboutWWII

    ConfusedAboutWWII New Member

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    Yes sir! PM inbound.
     
  4. Tipnring

    Tipnring Active Member

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    You can't depend on the Unit "Battery A, 545th Field Artillery Battalion" that is on his discharge papers.
    He may have been in another unit before his final discharge. Do you have a photo of him in uniform that we can identify a shoulder patch?
     
  5. ConfusedAboutWWII

    ConfusedAboutWWII New Member

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    Thank you for the info! I am checking with family about more photos. All I’ve got right now is a horrible-quality photo of a print that my parents have. By looking at this, it appears the artillery insignia may potentially be coastal artillery (?) by the looks of the portion where the cannons cross.

    Here’s a link to the photo. I will post more if I can get them!

    Imgur
     
  6. firstf1abn

    firstf1abn New Member

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    'Fireman' refers to one fueling a boiler. Is there a three digit number after 'Fireman' on the discharge?
     
  7. ConfusedAboutWWII

    ConfusedAboutWWII New Member

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    Unfortunately not; “fireman” is the only text on that line. The only “three digit number” comes after “military qualifications”: Carbine Qual Marksman, 157”.
     
  8. firstf1abn

    firstf1abn New Member

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    One possibility is a QM Laundry Co, Semimobile which had 16 Firemen (SSN 084), presumably to tend boilers for heating water.

    Might the convalescent hospital mention mean he was on the staff there?
     
  9. ConfusedAboutWWII

    ConfusedAboutWWII New Member

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    That's what I'm wondering -- but on the "flip side" of that thought... I'm wondering if that's simply record of a discharge-related medical evalulation. My other grandfather has similar verbiage written on his service record, with the exception being the specific hospital (Barnes General Hosp., Seattle, WA). Both were honorably discharged for medical reasons. This grandfather was discharged for declining health and not meeting current standards; while the other was similar, but a step further and actually rated disability.

    Thank you (all) for your help!!
     
  10. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The missing letter is probably "p" as in "par 13 of SO 122". AR 615-365 is the Army regulation cited as reason for the discharge(s) in the Special Order promulgated by the Convalescent Hospital. Paragraph 13 was likely a list of those persons being discharged under the regulation. Other paragraphs probably included soldiers discharged under other provisions of AR 615, there was a -363, -366, -367, -368, and -369 as well, all specifying different conditions for the discharge.

    BTW, AR 615-365 was for discharges of those soldiers that could return to duty or limited duty, but were in the Z/I and there was no immediate requirement for them or their MOS. It was invoked regularly late in the war for many soldiers recovering from illness, injuries, or wounds where it was judged unlikely they could get overseas and fit before the war ended. It was less regularly invoked for combat MOS's that were critical such as Infantry and Armor.
     
  11. ConfusedAboutWWII

    ConfusedAboutWWII New Member

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    Thank you for that information! Could you clarify what ‘Z/I’ is?
     
  12. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, Zone of the Interior, i.e., effectively anything that was not in an active theater of war, now known as "CONUS".
     
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  13. ConfusedAboutWWII

    ConfusedAboutWWII New Member

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    Thank you, sir!
     

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