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Looking for explanation of MOS / Position, and Unit Assignment regarding family member.

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by The LVT is my love, Jul 31, 2021.

  1. The LVT is my love

    The LVT is my love New Member

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    One of my great-grandpas, Tec-5 Herman R. Diers, served with the United States Army from 5 Jan. 1944 to 19 Apr 1946 as an enlisted armour crewman. I have his full Separation Qualification Record page here and it states under his Assignments: 4 months, PVT, Armored Force Basic Training (521). 3 months, PVT, Medium Tank Crewman (2736). 6 months, PVT, Light Tank Driver (1736). 17 months, TEC-5, Tractor Driver, Amphibian (732).

    Under Summary of Occupations:

    "Tractor Driver, Amphibian:
    Served with the 764th Amphibian Tractor Battalion in the continental United States. Operated gasoline-powered tractor, transporting military personnel and heavy equipment from Army vessels to points on land. Checked engine, hull, tracks, and equipment. Supervised loading, stowing, and bracing of cargo. Read compass and was instructed in rules of navigation. Also operated radio set on vehicle, sending and receiving messages. For 2 months was assigned as mail clerk with the 1908th Service Command Unit at Camp Cooke, California."

    From spoken word before he passed he stated:

    "I drove those ****** floating tanks all up and down Marina (California) and Fort Ord. I enjoyed the driving, but the waves and shore were quite difficult to deal with when you had an overloaded tank that could barely float. Besides that, I also enjoyed acting as a commander for the Sherman tank. I was too tall to fit in the drivers seat, but that turret gave me just enough space to move about and not lose my head. I avoided getting sent to Europe several times because I got married and took my honey moon times conveniently when the rest of my unit got shipped off. Never anything illegal or the like, just unfortunate timing. I escaped that shipping off three times in a row and because of that, got the nickname "Lucky" (a name he went by the rest of his life, both family, friends, and new acquaintances). I got out because the war ended and they didn't need anymore Army guys floating about, so they sent me home. I enjoyed being a postal clerk at my last spot in Cooke after having my fun in Fort Ord, so when I came back to the house in Salinas, I joined the United States Postal Service."

    I would very much appreciate it if anyone could explain anything about his "tractor driver. amphibian" job, as he specifically stated that he drove both the turreted and open bay LVTs. He made it a point to state that he did in fact command a Sherman for a bit when at Fort Ord, California. We have a few photos of his unit's parade through Main Street, Salinas, California, and a news article about his unit's practice on the Salinas River, but I have never been able to find anything regarding the 764th Amphibian Tractor Battalion or the 1908th Service Command Unit despite having many surviving forms, pictures, and accounts from Fort Ord, the Army, and Lucky himself. As a note: he got his Tec-5 rating from completing the POST ADMINISTRATIVE SCHOOL, and USAFI, ELECTRICAL REFIGERATION COURSE.

    Thank you!
     
  2. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Download the PDF file War Department Technical Manual TM 12-427 Military Occupational Classification of Enlisted Personnel.
    Then you can go to where each of these MOS are described.
    Page 68 for the MOS 521 Basic
    Page 92 for the MOS 732 Tractor Driver, Amphibian
    Page 126 for the MOS 1736 Light Tank Crewman
    Page 128 for the MOS 2736 Medium Tank Crewman

    I believe the 764h Amphibian Tractor Battalion was original organized as the 764th Tank Battalion, but was redesignated and equipped in early 1944. Several other tank battalions were also so redesignated. The 764th ATB did not serve overseas.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021

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