Help with Grandfather's service record
Posted 01 June 2011 - 08:38 PM
I recently found my Grandfather's service records (at least that's what I think they're called...). I found his "Enlisted record and report of separation: honorable discharge" and a few other papers. The problem is, I really don't think I understand what I'm looking at, and a lot of it seems confusing to me. It says that his organization is: Co B 103d Inf. Another paper I found says that he served "in combat from 18 May 1945 to 14 August 1945 with the 103d Infantry 43d division company B". Where should I start looking if I wanted to research this further?
It also says that he was given the "WWII victory ribbon, good conduct medal, AP theater ribbon and one bronze service star, Phillippine liberation ribbon and one bronze star. I googled those and was able to find pictures of them but I'm wondering, are the AP theater ribbon and one bronze service star one award or are they separate?
It also says something about "Luzon" which I was able to find out a bit about by googling it.
I never got to meet my grandfather, as he died before I was born. My grandmother is also gone and as far as I can tell, there's no one else left that he would have talked to about his time in the military. It would mean a lot to me to be able to find out more about him.
Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:02 PM
103rd Infantry Division (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
World War II
- Activated: 15 November 1942
- Overseas: 6 October 1944
- Campaigns: Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, Central Europe
- Awards: Distinguished Service Cross (United States)-12; Distinguished Service Medal (United States)-1; Silver Star-299; LM-3; SM-14; BSM-2,669; AM-92
- Commanders: Maj. Gen. Charles C. Haffner, Jr. (November 1942 – January 1945), Maj. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe (January–July 1945), Brig. Gen. John N. Robinson (August 1945 to inactivation).
- Returned to U.S.: 10 September 1945
- Inactivated: 22 September 1945
The 103d Infantry Division arrived at Marseilles, France, 20 October 1944. It relieved the 3d Division at Chevry on 8 November, and attacked west of St. Dié, 16 November, in its drive through the Vosges Mountains. Meeting heavy resistance all the way, it crossed the Meurthe River, took St. Dié, 23 November and captured Diefenbach on 29 November and Selestat on 4 December.
The division crossed the Zintzel River at Griesbach, 10 December. Pushing through Climbach, the 103d crossed the Lauter River into Germany, 15 December, and assaulted the outer defenses of the Siegfried Line. On the 22nd, the division moved west to the Sarreguemines area where an active defense was maintained. The enemy offensive did not develop in its sector and the 103d moved to Reichshofen, 14 January 1945, to take up positions along the Sauer River. 15 January General Anthony "Nuts" McAuliffe was redeployed from the Battle of the Bulge and given command, which he retained until July 1945. Defensive patrols were active and a limited attack on Soufflenheim on the 19th was repulsed by the enemy. On the 20th, the division withdrew to the Moder and repulsed German advances near Muehlhausen, 23–25 January. The 103d's offensive began, 15 March 1945. Crossing the Moder and Zintzel Rivers and taking Muehlhausen against sharp opposition, the division moved over the Lauter River and penetrated the defenses of the Siegfried Line. As German resistance disintegrated, the 103d reached the Rhine Valley, 23 March, and engaged in mopping up operations in the plain west of the Rhine River. In April it received occupational duties until 20 April when it resumed the offensive, pursuing a fleeing enemy through Stuttgart and taking Münsingen on the 24th. On 27 April, elements of the division entered Landsberg, where Kaufering concentration camp, a subcamp of Dachau, was liberated. The men of the division crossed the Danube River near Ulm on the 26th. On 3 May division approached Innsbruck, Austria. A working phone line was found to German HQ in Innsbruck and a German speaking officer called there to demand the German garrison surrender. After a short delay, the Germans gave up. The Germans also surrendered much of western Austria, and the Brenner Pass at Italian/Austrian border. Here the 103d linked up with the 88th Infantry Division which had been fighting its way up the Italian peninsula. After Victory in Europe Day the division received occupational duties until it left for home and inactivation.
Assignments in the European Theater of Operations
- 1 November 1944: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
- 6 November 1944: VI Corps.
- 22 December 1944: XV Corps.
- 9 January 1945: XXI Corps.
- 16 January 1945: VI Corps.
- 29 March 1945: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
- 19 April 1945: VI Corps.
- Nickname: Cactus Division
- Shoulder patch: A yellow disk with a green saguaro cactus superimposed upon a patch of blue
Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:08 PM
Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:10 PM
The bronze star was awarded for each of the named campaigns in that theater. Luzon, in the Philippines, was one of those campaigns. You can check here for other details of the award Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
The Philippine Liberation Award was given to service personnel who participated in that campaign.
Here are the criteria for both the medal and the service star The Philippine Liberation Medal is intended to recognize military service in the last days of World War II when the military of Japan was driven from the Philippines and then to eventually surrender in September 1945. To be awarded the medal, a service member must have served in the Philippines for at least thirty days during the eligible time period, or must have participated in one of the following actions:
- Participation in the initial landing operation of Leyte and adjoining islands from October 7 to October 20, 1944
- Participation in any engagement against hostile Japanese forces during the Philippine Liberation Campaign of October 17, 1944 to September 2, 1945
Philippine Liberation Medal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
If you can scan the papers and post them it would enable us to give you more details. If you use the site's Search function for the 103rd Infantry and the 43rd Infantry Division you will find several threads devoted to each of these organizations throughout the forum.
Hope this helps, and good luck in your search.
- kerrd5 likes this
Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:12 PM
Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:24 PM
Again, thanks so much!
Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:41 PM
You will need more posts before you can post an image. You can try using a photo hosting site, like Photobucket, and put your image up that way.
Thanks for your help! I will start searching now. I can't seem to attach a scan, but will keep trying.
Again, thanks so much!
Posted 01 June 2011 - 11:14 PM
by James Zimmer:
History of the 43d Infantry Division, 1941 - 1945. :: World War II Operational Documents
Posted 02 June 2011 - 07:17 PM
Posted 02 June 2011 - 07:19 PM
Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:11 PM
Wanted to add that the 43rd cleared the way for the 20th infantry of the 6th divison to land (my grandpa's Div and I like to think they had something to do with him making it home safe). The 43rd was well noted for clearing the Japanese from the Ipo Dam that supplied water to Luzon. The book tells all about it in great detail.
Krystal, that is not correct. Both Divisions landed at Lingayan Gulf on 9 January 1945 .
The 43rd landed to the left of the 6th and each had its own objectives. The 63rd Regimental
Combat Team (6th I.D.) was held in I Corps reserve and disembarked the following day, 10 January,
to support the advance of the 43rd to the hills east of Rabon.
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