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Discussion in '☆☆ New Recruits ☆☆' started by Gramagrass, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. Gramagrass

    Gramagrass New Member

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    I am Steve k, 43, in Augusta, Kansas.

    I am a range ecologist by professional and history buff on my free time. Mostly military history.

    I have been attracted to WWII since I was 10, as far as I can tell. And few family members that fought in the war.
    My fathers dad was a MP, 9th bat., 3rd army. Follow Patton from Africa to Germany. Saw a lot of bad things, including a concentrated camp.
    He had a cousin that was in Company B, 803rd Engineers. Station at Ft. Stotsenberg, Philippine island in October 23, 1941. April 9, 1942 was a POW and did the Death March until April 19th where he arrived to Camp O'Donnell prison camp. In August 5th, 1942 he was transferred to Cabanatuan Prison Camp. October 5th, 1942 he was put onto a hell ship Tottori Maru and sent to Pusan, Korea then onto Mukden Prison Camp in Manchuria in November 11, 1942. It wasn’t util August 21st, 1945 he was liberated by the Russian Army.
     
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  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Welcome aboard...
     
  3. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member

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    Howdy!
     
  4. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

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  5. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    Aloha........there's no place like WW2Forum
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  6. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Welcome. New guys buy a round at the bar.
     
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  7. Class of '42

    Class of '42 Active Member

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    Welcome aboard..no saluting required in here.
     
  8. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Welcome to the forums!
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Cheers!
     
  10. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Steve to the Forum
     
  11. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Wow, he survived all that. Did he return home and live a full life after the war?
     
  12. Gramagrass

    Gramagrass New Member

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    Yes he did, unfortunately, he brought home a lot of hate. It does not matter what Asian you are he loses his shit just by any of them walking by. His captives nearly broke him. At one point a guard took his butt end of his rifle and smashed Walter (cousin) face. God knows what he saw on the death march. None of them were not prepared for that.
     
  13. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    It is unfortunate, but not surprising considering what he had to endure. I have nothing but respect for him what he had to live through during his captivity, as well as compassion for what he had to endure after his release.

    You live not too far from the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas. They have a collection of US Army WWII Unit records there. It's not as complete as the collection at the NARA in College Park, but its easier to get to for those of us in the Central Plains states. I've been there a few times to peruse through their collection. If you haven't been there, you should plan a visit.

    Oh, I almost forgot. Welcome to the forums.
     
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  14. Gramagrass

    Gramagrass New Member

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    Thanks,

    I never been to Eisenhower Presidential Library but fully aware of it. Also, I did not know they have records on units. How easy is it for me to do research?

    my wife side of the family has a whole family (5 brothers) that fought in the PTO or ETO. One of them, Edmund Pfannenstiel (Volga German):

    SERVED WITH THE 112TH INFANTRY REGIMENT WHICH WAS AWARDED THE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION, OF THE 28TH DIVISION. LANDED IN NORMANDY AND SAW COMBAT IN 5 BATTLES. CAPTURED IN THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE AND TAKEN TO STALAG IX B AT BAD ORB, GERMANY. ELECTED AMERICAN CHIEF MAN OF CONFIDENCE WHEN THE PRIOR CHIEF MAN OF CONFIDENCE WAS SENT TO A CONCENTRATION CAMP. STALAG IX B, A PRISON FOR PRIVATES HELD OVER 3,000 MEN IN ADDITION TO PRISONERS OF WAR FROM OTHER NATIONS. KEPT CAMP ROSTER, DEATHS AND LOGS OF ACTIVITIES AND WAS FLOWN TO THE PENTAGON AFTER LIBERATION TO DELIVER VITAL DATA. DECORATIONS INCLUDE COMBAT INFANTRYMAN BADGE, BRONZE STAR AND PURPLE HEART

    He spoken fluent German so well, I was told that the camp commander let him walked out of the camp to the near by town, accompanied by two guards. They trusted because of his Volga German heritage and fluent German speaking. Even the town people respected him and had talks. On the day the camp got liberated, the camp commander surrender his Luger to Edmund. Heck, The army filmed did a recreated liberation the next day. Sherman tanks rolling up the gate, German guards surrender, ect. It was neat seeing that.

    This is Edmund’s brother, my wife’s grandfather, Theodore 'Ted' Pfannenstiel

    SERVED WITH THE 1ST U.S. ARMY, HEADQUARTERS COMPANY, 45TH ARMORED MEDICAL BATTALION, 3RD ARMORED DIVISION. ARRIVED IN THE EUROPEAN THEATER SEPTEMBER 15, 1943. LANDED OMAHA BEACH D-DAY PLUS 18. SERVED IN BATTLES AND CAMPAIGNS IN NORMANDY, NORTHERN FRANCE, RHINELAND, ARDENNES AND CENTRAL EUROPE. DISCHARGED SEPTEMBER 10, 1945. HE WAS 1 OF 5 BROTHERS AND 1 BROTHER-IN-LAW WHO SERVED IN THE WAR.


    I also have a uncle, mother’s sister husband that was in a medical unit and landed on Normandy on D-Day, not sure what beach. Little was talked about it because of what he saw as a medic. For a long time I wonder why he was short tempered until my mother told me after he passed away what he did.
     
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  15. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I found it very easy. However, right now it is problematic for obvious reasons. I recommend do some prep work before you go. Start by reading their info page for Researchers. The archivists will go over all the rules when you get there. You will need to schedule your visit in advance, but that is not a big deal. You will also need to provide a list of unit records you want so that they can have them pulled and ready when you get there. There is a limit on how many boxes you can pull at one time so you will want to make a priority list of the unit files you want to review/copy. It's better to have a list that is too long than one that is not long enough to justify your trip. Subordinate and attached units usually send copies of their reports to the Division. So, even if EPL doesn't have much in the specific unit folder, there may be records in with the Division records. I have used both a digital camera (flash & sound MUST be turned off) and a portable scanner for copying documents at EPL. I found the latter to be much more efficient and resulted in more consistent and better quality images. Some documents may not lay flat which is a problem for a camera.

    The WWII Army Unit records at EPL were supposed to be duplicate copies of the records at College Park. They were originally going to be destroyed by the NARA, but they later decided (fortunately!) to send them to EPL. Every time I have been there, I have come across items that were clearly not "duplicate" records. In other words, original items. I brought them to the attention of the archivists as I found them. To be sure, most of the records are copies of reports, journals, etc. Sometimes multiple copies of the same reports. Part of the fun (for me) is going through the boxes of files and finding something interesting or unusual.

    Here's a link to the Finding Aid page for the US Army Unit Records. Download the Index and look up the Box Numbers of the units you want to research. Download the PDFs with the corresponding Box numbers. The PDFs contain a brief description of the contents of the Boxes. Some unit records may not have been inventoried yet. They will be listed without any content description.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
  16. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    This was very interesting. My great uncle was in a US Army Tank Destroyer Battalion. In early April 1945 his Company, a Battalion of the 114th Infantry, a Tank Company, & a Recon unit were selected for a mission to go behind the German lines in order to get to Stalag IX at Bad Orb. There was a concern that the Germans would execute the POWs and they were to hopefully prevent it. Fortunately, the Germans simply abandoned the Stalag IX leaving the POWs behind.

    As I was going through a box of 114th Infantry records, I came across a scrap of paper that had a handwritten check list on it.

    114th_Bad_Orb4.jpg

    That was obviously an original item, but not very interesting, at least not to me at the time. I flipped it over to look at the next page. In doing so, I noticed something on the back of the scrap of paper.

    114th_Bad_Orb5.jpg

    It turned out to be a piece of Stalag IX Bad Orb stationery. It suddenly became much more interesting. ;)
     
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  17. Gramagrass

    Gramagrass New Member

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    Yes, indeed. We shall continue this discussion. I will talk to my month in law about the film of the camp being liberated. They made copies for the family. I will see if I can get one for you.
     

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