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My dad and WW 2

Discussion in 'What Granddad did in the War' started by T. A. Gardner, Aug 16, 2022.

  1. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    My father, Jack Gardner, enlisted on March 14 1939 at 18 1/6th (that's how it is put on his paperwork) years old in Austin TX. He was assigned to the 111th Quartermaster Regiment Co. B to do administrative work. He attended the Army Administration School and advanced in rank to Technical Sergeant and was assigned as a Personnel Sergeant to that unit.
    He also qualified as a rifle marksman--no doubt as part of basic training.

    On November 22 1940 he was inducted into active service, having previously been in the National Guard. Interestingly, because he was already in the military he never had to sign up for selective service (the draft).

    It appears he remained in Texas as part of that QM regiment until August 16 1942 when he was discharged with 4 years, 15 days of service to be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant the next day. He lost no time to AW 107 (eg., had no disciplinary action as an enlisted).
    He was sent to Grinnell Iowa for OCS where he was commissioned on 14 April 1942. He was then sent to 6th Army HQ at the Presidio, San Franciso, CA where he served as a cryptanalytic officer MOS 96.00 on 14 April 1943. I assume the year in between he was being trained somewhere but I don't know where.

    He remained there until 16 April 1945 when he was discharged from active service while in McGaw General Hospital Walla Walla WA for some unspecified physical disability (I'm pretty sure it was something related to a heart murmur) serving 2 years 11 days.

    Afterwards, he returned to the same job as a civilian, retaining his commission as an inactive reservist and was later promoted to 1st LT on 16 Jan 1947. He continued to work as a civilian for the Department of Defense into the 70's in much the same role retiring from civil service in the mid 70's.
     
  2. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I did discover that during that missing year, he had to attend the Army Signal Corps Cryptographic school set up at Vint Hill Farms in Virginia. That is where every MOS 96.00 officer received training. Afterwards, while he appears attached to 6th Army, it's likely he was sent to the Cryptanalytic section at Two Rock Ranch outside Petaluma CA, where cryptanalysis was carried out during the war.

    U.S. Army Signals Intelligence in World War II : a documentary history : Gilbert, James L. (James Leslie), 1943- : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Crypto school was my thought, you beat me to it.
     
  4. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I don't have any documentation for that, but as it was the only school the Army was running for that and 100% of the MOS 96.00 officers had to graduate from it, I'm sure he had to go through it. Interestingly, the non-college officers (my dad) had to be ACGT category 1 and the leading cause of being washed out of the program was failure to be analytical. That is you could ace the "book" knowledge but fail the "thinking" part of the course.
     
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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    Good stuff, TA.
    My family recently acquired a mass of family albums/newspapers/documents that've transformed at least one relative from a few lines of CWGC entry to a real human being.
    Everyone's life, particularly in that period, is interesting.

    As Ron Goldstein used to say a lot: You're not forgotten as long as people speak your name.
     
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  6. Biak

    Biak Boy from Illinois Staff Member

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    Ron Goldstein
     
  7. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Looking into this a bit more, 6th Army set up a base at Two Rock Ranch outside of Petaluma CA., that was operated by the US Army Security Agency to be the primary base in the US for providing code capable operators for the Pacific theater and a Japanese radio traffic monitoring station. The wartime base was largely temporary in nature with more tents than buildings. Everything was set up to make it look like a typical ranch within the area. The entry was camouflaged from the road by trees, so you didn't see it unless you turned down the side road leading into the base.

    Two Rock Rock Ranch a History (asalives.org)
    Two Rock Ranch – Army Security Agency Veterans.net
    Two Rock, California (mstecker.com)

    Today it is still in use as a Coast Guard training center

    Historic California Stations: Coast Guard Training Center Petaluma (Two Rock Ranch Station) (militarymuseum.org)

    As this base was classified "Secret" during WW 2, no mention would have been made in a service record of having been there.
     
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