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#1 jwaugh1

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 06:05 PM

Hi,

Does anybody know how long a rifleman would have trained before going into battle?
I'm trying to find out if my great uncle (an American soldier in WW2) is actually my grandfather following a lot of rumours overs the years in my family. I have his discharge papers that state his date of induction is 16th Dec 1942 and he went into active service on 26th Dec 1942 in Ft Sheridan Il. Further down the page it states that his date of departure to ETO was 21 Oct 1943 and he arrived on 2 Nov 1943.
What would he have been doing from 26 Dec 1942 to 21 Oct 1943? I know he came to the UK and was stationed near Wallingford in Berkshire at some point because he married my great aunt early 1944.
I'm confused as to when he came to the UK and when he would have been sent to France.

Please help!!
Julia

#2 formerjughead

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 06:41 PM

Just from looking at the dates you provided he appears to have spent about 11 months training before going overseas.

Basic taining in the Army was anywhere from 4-6 weeks after that he would have attended an advanced school- Mechanic, Radio, etc. or recieved advance infantry training.

After arriving at his unit he would continue to train and prepare for service overseas. The ability to allow units to train together as a unit is one of the advantages that the Allies had over the Axis. The US fielded the best trained military in the later years of the war because they had spent so much time training as a unit prior to shipping overseas.

#3 jwaugh1

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 06:55 PM

Thankyou,
When would he have arrived in the UK if he spent so long in the US? Do you know of anywhere (websites or records) that would state where he was based in the UK and what dates he arrived? I'm convinced he came to the UK on 26th Dec 1942 and trained here for a while before going into battle in France. Would he have spent 11 months traning to be a rifleman?
Julia

#4 formerjughead

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 07:22 PM

Thankyou,
When would he have arrived in the UK if he spent so long in the US? Do you know of anywhere (websites or records) that would state where he was based in the UK and what dates he arrived? I'm convinced he came to the UK on 26th Dec 1942 and trained here for a while before going into battle in France. Would he have spent 11 months traning to be a rifleman?
Julia


You said previously that he arrived in the UK on 2 november 1943 and spent time in Berkshire.

He could have spent 11 months training with his unit prior to going overseas.

Do you have anything that says what unit he was in or where he was in France? If he was in France prior to June 1944 then it was most likely Southern France in a unit of the 7th Army

#5 USMCPrice

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 01:53 PM

The way I'd read the information you provided he was inducted 16DEC42, arrived for basic training 26DEC42, left the U.S. on 21OCT43 for the ETO, and arrived in England on 02NOV43. 16DEC to 26DEC42 is ten days. You do not state where he was inducted but he could not have gotten from the U.S. to England and back to Ft Sheridan Il in that period of time unless he had flown and that is doubtful. As other posters have said, he would have been in training both individual and unit from 26DEC42 to 21OCT43.

I'm convinced he came to the UK on 26th Dec 1942

It's virtually impossible that he would have been in England and at Ft. Sheridan on the same date.
I hope this helps.
"I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you f**k with me, I'll kill you all."Marine General James Mattis, to Iraqi tribal leaders
"Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary."Gen. Alfred Gray, 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps

#6 jwaugh1

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 07:49 PM

Thank you for the replies. I've reluctantly accepted that he was not here for long enough to be my father's father! Family gossip eh?!!
Formerjughead, I'm guessing he went to France because under the Battles and Campaigns section it states Normandy and Northern France. He was in Company I 254th Infantry. Would he have gone straight to France or to England first? There was also talk of him being in the 3rd army - would this have been possible? Did they stay with the infantry they were first assigned to or did they move about?
Thanks

#7 LRusso216

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 08:44 PM

The way I read your information, he went to Fort Sheridan on 26 Dec. 42. He trained, either there or some other stateside location, until 21 Oct. 43 when he shipped out to the ETO. He would have had to go to England in Nov. 1943, since France was still occupied in 1943. It looks as though the 254th Infantry Regiment was in the 63rd Division beginning in 1943, but it looks as though it was detached at various times, first attached to the 3rd Infantry Division, then later to the 100th Infantry Division. Check this page for links to awards given to the three battalions of the 254th. They fought through most of early 1945. I haven't managed to track down their movements prior to that.
Page Title
Here is the Unit History that shows the attachments and detachments for the 63rd Division. World War II unit histories & officers

image001.png

Lou


#8 Earthican

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 08:42 PM

I know this is too late to be helpful but for future reference...

Induction is usually close to home, after passing induction physicals draftees would be sent home with a reporting date and travel arrangements to a regional reception center, such as Ft Sheridan, Illinois, where they enter active service. At the reception center they would be issued initial sets of uniforms and have further tests and vaccinations. The time at the reception center could vary between one week to one month. From the reception center a soldier would be sent for basic training and advanced training. This training could be conducted at a Infantry Replacement Training Center or a unit that was still in a training cycle.

From the dates you provided and the unit assignments it seems to me your relative came through as an individual replacement. And either he joined a unit as a top-off filler in the US or England. The 254th Infantry and 63d Infantry Division did not arrive in Europe until December of 1944 and they came through Southern France and did not fight in Normandy. What unit he actually fought with would require further information but the dates and campaigns are consistent with a unit of the US Third Army.

It's not likely he trained with the 254th Infantry in the US because the 63d Infantry Division was not activated until June of 1943. It seems more likely he was shifted to the 254th Infantry after VE Day due to re-deployment to the Pacific or as a High Pointer to a unit tagged for Occupation Duty in Germany. If he fought in Normandy he was likely a High Pointer.

Hope that helps




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