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Help with Grandfather's service record


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#1 sindij

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 08:38 PM

Hello. Before I start, I sincerely appreciate any help that anyone out there is willing to give.

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.

Thanks again!

#2 akf86surf

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:02 PM

I apologize if you found this already. Here is something very minor from wikipedia so take this for what it is worth. If I am correct, your grandfather may have been in France and Germany. I am sure someone with better information will chime in. Good luck.

103rd Infantry Division (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

World War II


Combat chronicle

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.[2][3][4] 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.
General


  • Nickname: Cactus Division
  • Shoulder patch: A yellow disk with a green saguaro cactus superimposed upon a patch of blue


#3 akf86surf

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:02 PM

double post, sorry

#4 sindij

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:08 PM

Thank you for your help! I'm wondering about the "Luzon" thing. Would it have been common for him to be in France and Germany, and the Philippines also?

#5 LRusso216

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:10 PM

You've come to the right place, and welcome. Here are a few things to get you started. The Asiatic-Pacific theater ribbon was awarded to servicemen who were in that theater of the war. It looked like this: Posted Image
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
Personnel who are awarded the medal for participation in the above mentioned operations are authorized a service star to the Philippine Liberation Medal. Personnel who earned the medal for general service during the eligible time period are awarded the medal without device.
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

image001.png

Lou


#6 LRusso216

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:12 PM

akf, sorry, but there were two 103rd Infantries. You referenced the 103rd Division. The one referred to in the original post was a regiment that was part of the 43rd Division and served in the Pacific. I think that's the one being investigated.

image001.png

Lou


#7 sindij

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:24 PM

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!

#8 akf86surf

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:35 PM

:o oops, disregard my post. Thanks, Lou

#9 LRusso216

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:41 PM

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!

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.

image001.png

Lou


#10 kerrd5

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 11:14 PM

CARL has digitized in three parts the History of the 43rd Infantry Division
by James Zimmer:

History of the 43d Infantry Division, 1941 - 1945. :: World War II Operational Documents


Dave

#11 Krystal80

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 07:17 PM

My great uncle was in the 43rd and 103rd infantry. I bought a book on amazon.com that was the history of the 43rd. Great book that also gave me an idea of what he did. My dad has all my books and paperwork right now that I found, but feel free to ask and if I can answer I will. I highly recommend the book though.

#12 Krystal80

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 07:19 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.

#13 kerrd5

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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.


Dave




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