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#1 fireres908

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 11:20 PM

Hi all, I'm doing research on my Great Uncle Sgt. Ralph John Massart. His history seems to be dodging me at every opportunity. Ralph was an MP in the US Army during WWII. I contacted my local VA office and they advised he was a MP(which I knew), a Sgt. (which I knew) and was in the 117th AAA battalion. This is where it gets interesting. I can't find anything, anywhere about any 117th AAA Bn. They stated he was in the northern France and Rhineland campaigns. Enlisted 06/10/1942 and Discharged 11/11/1945. He received the WWII victory medal, 3 overseas good conduct medals and 2 bronze battle stars. As I was looking through some old photo's I have of him (all state side, in private's uniform) I found an old picture caption from a newspaper that stated he was on leave from the 107th quartermaster's corp visiting his mother. Then I found a pass (which I'll try to attach) that states he was in Co "D" 973rd MP Bn. Commanding officer Capt. Eugene T. Richards. I've done the normal internet search on the 973rd MP Bn. and found some info but can't find any info to any specific attachments, it would've had (ie: 3rd army, such and such infantry division) or detailed activities such as after action reports. The 973rd MP Bn. performed route security on the red ball express 8/44 - 12/44, then to Antwerp for port security 12/44 - 6/45. The in June 45 they were again transferred to Marseilles, France for port security operations there June of 45 - Jan. 46. I know he must've spent some time in Antwerp, this I gathered from the internet info and my dad talked to him some before Ralph died and dad said he spoke of being in Antwerp. I've also have a fold up map of France, I'll scan the front of it and attach it. He has several cities circled. Unsure if these are circled as placed he'd been or cities on a route he was securing or just places he wanted to see or heard of!!! Some of the cities are Valognes, St. Mere-Egliee, Mortain, Falaise, Alencon, Dreux and Compiegen. These all seem to be mostly in central France or western France. but then he also has Bastogne and Namur, Belgium circled. I'm going to be sending in a request to the national archive however there's no immediate family left so I'm unsure what type of info I'll be able to get or if most of it was destroyed in the fire. Ralph was originally from Kewaunee Co, Wisconsin. A small farming county just sound of Door County, WI. Western edge of the county border Brown County (Green Bay) and the eastern edge is Lake Michigan.

Any info that's available would be greatly appreciated. Ralph didn't talk much about the war with any of his family. Unsure if this was due to things he saw or simply didn't care and wanted to get on with life!!!

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#2 fireres908

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 11:42 PM

I also have some pictures of his medals/ribbons he came home with or atleast the ones I could find. If anyone could also help me out with ID'ing them. There's also a round pin that he had. It's from a German but I couldn't find it in any search, anyone know what it is and what it was given for? Cheap artifact or was it more than that? Thanks again for any help anyone can give me.

Jamie
JTlachac@aol.com

#3 DocCasualty

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 12:11 AM

The Institute of Heraldry Home Page The Institute of Heraldry lists all US decorations with graphics and their history.

I wish I could offer more help with information on your uncle! Others may be able to. Unfortunately I have found that smaller units which were not permanently attached to larger divisions often do not have much written history associated with them. You never know though, sometimes an individual member has written a memoir or such. Good luck in your search! I'm sure you will learn much, even if some of your questions remain unanswered.

As an additional thought, have you requested a search on any of these units at NARA? You can do it online and they could let you know about any After Action Reports or Unit Histories available.

You might post a picture of the German pin on the Militaria thread. There are some very knowledgeable people here!



"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederic II of Prussia
"In 9 months and 3 days of combat on the Continent the 949th FA Bn had fired 51,000 rounds of ammunition, approximately 2,550 tons." - Unit History


#4 Slipdigit

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 12:19 AM

Finding much info on an MP unit will be difficult.

I am guessing that given the dates and locations you provided, the 973rd probably was assigned to SHAEF, HQ ETO, or possibly one of the army groups.

Post any pics you feel you need to, there are many here who can help you ID medals, patches, etc.

Best Regards,  
JW :slipdigit:

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#5 LRusso216

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 12:23 AM

Hi, Jamie. Welcome to the forum. Here is something for you to pursue. First, his unit was the 793rd MP Battalion (you had typed 973rd which confused me.). I found this name and address as a contact for the unit. I would suggest either writing or calling to see if you can get some more information.

793rd Military Police Bn
Mr. Art Sherokow
Route 1, Box 7870
Wildesville, TN 38388
(901) 845-5854

Normandy Allies - Content

I also found his record in the NARA archives. You might contact them with the information at the bottom (Box Number and Film Reel Number) to see if they have further information.
http://aad.archives....g=1&rid=6380707

Good luck with the search. Be sure to let us know if you discover anything else.

Edited by LRusso216, 24 August 2009 - 12:37 AM.

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Lou


#6 DocCasualty

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 01:49 AM

On page 67 of this Google book search is a brief mention of the 117th AAA Bn. They were formed at Ft. Bragg, NC in March, 1943. Women in the Wild Blue: Target ... - Google Books

However, being listed on his DD214 may only indicate it as the last group he was attached to at the time of discharge. Probably worth pursuing, though.



"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederic II of Prussia
"In 9 months and 3 days of combat on the Continent the 949th FA Bn had fired 51,000 rounds of ammunition, approximately 2,550 tons." - Unit History


#7 Jan7

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 03:53 PM

Jeff, do you remind the technologic search machine that I find and show you in my first times in this forum? Perhaps here is the solution.

Posted Image

Clic and see, please.....Advanced Search






Jan.
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U-Historia, Ubootwaffe 1939-1945 History of UBootwaffe in Spanish
http://www.forospyware.com In Spanish

#8 fireres908

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 02:34 AM

Thanks everyone for the help and the suggestions. LRusso216, I must've had a dyslexic moment there. Thanks for catching that one! I'll keep my search going and if I find anything I'll be sure to post it!! Just noticed the medals pictures aren't there, I'll try reposting them. I can't seem to get the American medals to post but the German one is here. It's hard to see but at the base of the eagle on the bottom of the pin there's a swastika.

Thanks again everyone
Jamie

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#9 LRusso216

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 02:55 AM

Jamie, I can't help with the German medal, but follow this link for the US medals. It shows pictures in color of all the US awards. Then, you can just tell us what you have.
US ARMED FORCES AWARDS

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Lou





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