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Trying to find info about my grandfather

Discussion in '☆☆ New Recruits ☆☆' started by JBR, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. JBR

    JBR New Member

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    Hello,

    I have recently started to research my grandfather's WW2 service and I was lucky enough to stumble upon this site. I am a little lost as I don't have the greatest knowledge about how the military is structured. I also don't have much info because my dad was only 12 when his father passed and my grandmother is no longer with us.

    I do have his discharge summary and a bunch of paperwork to go with it. Unfortunately the discharge summary pdf is too big to upload.

    I know he was in "the big red one" (I have his original patches, at least what the moths didn't devour) I have seen references to the 18th infantry and the 393rd. My dad remembers him talking about D-Day and he thinks the Battle of the Bulge.

    Any info that you guys have would be great I can't seem to find too much about any of the divisions that he was in so if you could point me toward some references I would greatly appreciate it.

    -John
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Hi John Welcome to the forum. I'm not sure I know what you're talking about when you mention "discharge summaries". Most discharge documents I have seen are one page documents.
    As for the patches, could you post pictures of what you have? It will help in our search.
     
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  3. JBR

    JBR New Member

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    I was referring to other documents that I have (soldier's medal, bronze star and promotion to corporal) the actual discharge summary is a 2 sided document. I took a picture of the patches and medals but i can't figure out how to upload it.

    Thanks,
    John
     
  4. JBR

    JBR New Member

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    I figured out the picture!! Now I just need to figure out how to shrink a pdf file...
     

    Attached Files:

  5. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Take a picture of the discharge papers and post them the same way as you did the patches and medals.

    I'll look at the patches, etc. later, but on first glance I wonder why he has an Asian-Pacific Theater pin (the yellow one) if he had his experience in Europe.
     
  6. JBR

    JBR New Member

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    From Top left
    EAME w/ 1 silver & 3 bronze stars and arrowhead -- American Defense Service Medal -- Good Conduct Medal
    Bronze star -- Soldiers Medal
     
  7. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    My mistake. A quick look at the second ribbon led me to believe it was the Asian-Pacific ribbon. I'll look at the rest later, probably tomorrow.
     
  8. JBR

    JBR New Member

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    Excellent, Thanks! I can't get the scanner to work for the front side for whatever reason but it says:

    This is to certify that Alfred K Rasmussen Jr 12 019 671 Technician fifth grade
    anti tank company 393rd infantry

    Given at Separation Center
    Fort Dix, New Jersey
    Date 10 August 1945
     

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  9. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Welcome,

    His campaign record certainly confirms his long service with the 1st Infantry Division. Very impressive.

    I do not see anything that confirms the 18th Infantry Regiment but you said you had other documents.
    EDIT: Found it, Good Conduct Medal cites 18th Infantry in 1943.

    An infantry regiment had three battalions 1st, 2d and 3d. Each battalion had a headquarters company, three rifle companies and one heavy weapons company. The companies were lettered across the regiment with A, B, C and D in the 1st battalion; E, F, G and H in the 2d battalion; I, K, L and M in the 3d battalion. Companies D, H and M were the heavy weapons companies. The battalion headquarters company were titled HQ Co 1st Bn, HQ Co 2d Bn; or HQ Co 3d Bn. There was also a regimental Headquarters Company, Anti-tank Company, Cannon Company and a Service Company.

    His military occupational specialty is listed as "Pioneer". My first thought is he may have served with the Ammunition and Pioneer Platoon of one of the battalion headquarters companies but there may be other possibilities.

    The 393d Infantry (99th ID) on his discharge document is likely the unit he returned to the US with. His long service got him a discharge before the war in the Pacific was over.

    Thank you for sharing. I hope that information helps get you started. Again welcome.
     
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  10. JBR

    JBR New Member

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    Thanks for the response! I am unsure of what a battalion headquarters company or regimental Headquarters Company. It does say somewhere or other AT co. would that be the companies name? Was there only on in each regiment?

    Thanks again,
    -John
     
  11. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    The AT Company refers to the unit's anti tank company. As Earthican mentioned, the AT company referred to on his discharge was probably the unit he was assigned to when he came home.
    For more information on the Headquarters Company, read this. It explains it better than I can. http://books.google.com/books?id=nYWqf579HPQC&pg=PA5&lpg=PA5&dq=head pin - quarters+company+duties+ww2&source=bl&ots=lqw1wBpYK_&sig=ei5O2iLZtoFK7xMGtHv4jBPCyAs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=lpvZU7zGIMGxyASAyIDgBA&ved=0CFQQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=headquarters%20company%20duties%20ww2&f=false
    He was also authorized to wear a Distinguished Unit pin - the small blue and gold device next to the dog tags.
     
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  12. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    As often happens, my first thoughts were wrong. I checked the Tables of Organization and there were no MOS 729, pioneer, in the Ammunition and Pioneer Platoon. The only pioneers I found are in the Anti-tank Mine Platoon of the AT Company. I believe this would be the Fourth Platoon; the other three platoons being three 57mm AT Guns.

    I tend to down-play the unit by which a soldier returned to the US since these were "organizations" only intended to convey the soldiers home. Their fighting days were over. All they needed was a chain of command to maintain order as they made their way through the transit camps and aboard a troopship.

    So the evidence is pointing toward the AT Company of the 18th Infantry Regiment. Do you have any other documents, photos or letters (with a return address)?
     
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  13. JBR

    JBR New Member

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    I don't know, I never would have thought to check for a return address! I'll look through everything later tonight when I get home. I wouldn't be surprised if something had a return address. It is unfortunate that I made such high quality scans of everything, the files are huge! I am sure that I can shrink them in order to upload the. Thank you, now I have another bit of info to look at. I also have some photos that he took somewhere in North Africa (I think at least) that may be helpful, I will see if I can find somewhere to upload them that you can all access them at a useful resolution.

    Thanks again
    -John
     
  14. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    You may want to consider using an image hosting website (i.e. ImageShack, PhotoBucket, Picasa, etc.). They allow you to upload your full-sized image to their website and then provide a forum-friendly URL that you can post here. Using that method, you avoid having to deal with the size limit on the images you want to post here.
     
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  15. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    I was hoping you could confirm his service with the AT Company of the 18th Infantry Regiment. The book "One More Hill" was written by one of the AT-gun platoon leaders, Franklyn Johnson. I read this several years ago -- the receipt says 1983 for a Bantam paperback -- so I've only been scanning for references to the AT Mine Platoon. The first reference is in the spring of 1943, in North Africa, when he was assigned to the company. He describes the mine platoon leader as 1st Lieutenant Seeber "Denny" Denmark who would later become the company executive officer. Careful reading of the book might reveal other details.

    Rutgers recorded an interview with Johnson.

    http://oralhistory.rutgers.edu/interviewees/30-interview-html-text/497-johnson-frankyn
     
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  16. JBR

    JBR New Member

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    Wow, thank!! I ordered the book immediately and cannot wait until it arrives!

    I'm still trying to get around to uploading everything that I have!

    -John
     
  17. Cadillac

    Cadillac Member

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    Wow this all sounds pretty cool! Anti-tank warfare has always been an interest of mine, and I've read several accounts by such soldiers with the 28th Division in the Bulge. Unreal what these guys went through. It makes sense that he would be a T/5, being trained in a technical specialty and all. Good luck with your research!
     

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