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    • 4 hours ago, theron said:

      Hi..

      1.  While Your GGF's records may have been destroyed in the St. Louis fire, the UNIT records are located in College Park, MD.  I suggest you contact the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) via the internet and ask for unit records that match the dates on his discharge...arrival in the TO and departure from the ETO.  the records usually include S-3 journals (message and incident logs), After Action Reports (monthly summaries) and other things.

      2.  I suggest you also try the VA.  Their records are sometimes distinct from the Military's.  The files focus on health related issues:  and every time a solder transferred units, he got a physical and a dental check up.  Using that information, you can trace your GGF from unit to unit.    sometimes the discharge record lists the most recent unit the soldier was in, not necessarily the one in which he spent most of his time.   So,  the VA records noted above might shed some light.

      3.  According to the discharge and to the Campaign & Citation Register, he earned credit for Northern France and the Rhineland Campaigns.  The Discharge also notes he entered service via the National Guard.  So, he served in more than one unit before getting to the 1173rd.  I suggest you contact the State (where he was living at the time) National Guard HQ and see what they can tell you, if anything. 

      4.  If you not already done so, I suggest you check out the US Army's WWII history series, "the Green books."  There are two volumes covering the Engineers listed in the "Technical series" sub-set and a number of campaign volumes in the ETO sub-series covering the actions of the Third Army.  The volume "The Last Offensive" by Chas. MacDonald lists the VIII Corps in the index.  I THINK these books are all on-line with free access.

      5  Finally, if you haven't tried it, I suggest you look at the options Ancestry.com offers.  You can check veterans records for free, if I am not mistaken.

       

      Remember that any Engineer Combat Group was an umbrella headquarters that controlled a group of Engineer smaller units, Company and Battalion sized.  Engineer Groups were usually controlled by the Corps Engineer...and could be used near the Front or behind it, supporting combat operations.  These Groups managed the smaller units necessary, like truck companies, engineer (C) Battalions, bridging companies etc...and were then attached to whatever Divisions in the Corps that needed these units.  Oftentimes, Combat Battalions maintained roads, cleared minefields etc, built bridges or defensive positions too.

       

      Theron,

      This is immensely helpful. I have reached out to the archives for unit records and will be follow up with some of the other methods suggested.  

      In regards to the hierarchy, I have a few clarifying questions... 

      • Would an engineer combat group serve as part of the same corp for the duration of the war?  Or would they shift?  
      • As a member of the engineer combat group, rather than one of the smaller groups making it up, how would your actual job differ?  I'm assuming it would be more logistics and planning oriented?

      I was previously able to find 3 engineer battalions that served under the 1173rd.  They were the 20th, 1340th & 146th combat engineers.  In November of 1944 they were committed as Infantry and tasked with operations in the Hürtgen Forest.  It seems as though that at the very least would be providing reason for Rhineland campaign accreditation.

      It seems like finding unit records specific to the 1173rd would be a step in the right direction for learning more.  

      I am also including another record of service document we found. 

        IMG_2244.thumb.jpg.13ae6b8780bc2c513e06c5e529fc3625.jpg

    • Hi..

      1.  While Your GGF's records may have been destroyed in the St. Louis fire, the UNIT records are located in College Park, MD.  I suggest you contact the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) via the internet and ask for unit records that match the dates on his discharge...arrival in the TO and departure from the ETO.  the records usually include S-3 journals (message and incident logs), After Action Reports (monthly summaries) and other things.

      2.  I suggest you also try the VA.  Their records are sometimes distinct from the Military's.  The files focus on health related issues:  and every time a solder transferred units, he got a physical and a dental check up.  Using that information, you can trace your GGF from unit to unit.    sometimes the discharge record lists the most recent unit the soldier was in, not necessarily the one in which he spent most of his time.   So,  the VA records noted above might shed some light.

      3.  According to the discharge and to the Campaign & Citation Register, he earned credit for Northern France and the Rhineland Campaigns.  The Discharge also notes he entered service via the National Guard.  So, he served in more than one unit before getting to the 1173rd.  I suggest you contact the State (where he was living at the time) National Guard HQ and see what they can tell you, if anything. 

      4.  If you not already done so, I suggest you check out the US Army's WWII history series, "the Green books."  There are two volumes covering the Engineers listed in the "Technical series" sub-set and a number of campaign volumes in the ETO sub-series covering the actions of the Third Army.  The volume "The Last Offensive" by Chas. MacDonald lists the VIII Corps in the index.  I THINK these books are all on-line with free access.

      5  Finally, if you haven't tried it, I suggest you look at the options Ancestry.com offers.  You can check veterans records for free, if I am not mistaken.

       

      Remember that any Engineer Combat Group was an umbrella headquarters that controlled a group of Engineer smaller units, Company and Battalion sized.  Engineer Groups were usually controlled by the Corps Engineer...and could be used near the Front or behind it, supporting combat operations.  These Groups managed the smaller units necessary, like truck companies, engineer (C) Battalions, bridging companies etc...and were then attached to whatever Divisions in the Corps that needed these units.  Oftentimes, Combat Battalions maintained roads, cleared minefields etc, built bridges or defensive positions too.

       

    • Hello all,

      My name is Brendan and I am the great grandson of Wilbur B. McAllister, a combat engineer who served in WW2.  Having heard stories of his service from my childhood I have always been interested in knowing more.  Unfortunately, I never had the chance to meet my grandfather and what I quickly learned from family is that he never spoke a word about his service and would typically leave the room if such conversation came up.  This left a large blank space as to his experience in WW2.  My goal from the start has been to uncover more about his service, primarily to share with my grandfather so he can finally know what his dad did in the war.

      Before I was born, my great grandfathers uniforms were donated to a local historical society.  As the story always went, the uniforms and 'a medal with a star' were donated. Unfortunately after several months of display outside of a case, with easy public access, the 'medal with a star' was stolen.  As years passed and the historical society moved, all hope seemingly was lost that the uniforms had been preserved.  After months talking with the historical society... 3 uniforms from my great grandfather have been found and they have been the source of more questions than answers.

      As for information, I am attaching a few pieces to start with.  Some of the uniform and some of paperwork found in storage. I have not been able to reclaim the uniforms at this time, so I am working solely with photos they provided. 

      A brief overview of information I have so far is..

      • He served in Europe with the 1173 Engineer Combat Group as an officer.
      • 3 uniforms have been located.
        • One early jacket (field jacket?) displays a First Army patch and a VIII (8 Corp) patch. Hash marks are present on sleeve. No other pins, patches, etc.
        • One dress jacket displays engineer collar pins, 3rd army patch, hash marks on sleeve, ribbon rack of WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-african-middle eastern campaign medal with 4 bronze campaign service stars, American Defense Service Medal & Silver Star.
        • One tan dress uniform. Displays First Army Patch on one shoulder and 3rd Army Patch on the other. Hash marks and ribbon rack representing all medals listed previously. I had been told this uniform is what he wore while heavily involved in retired officer activity.  
        • Military Certificate of Service from 1946 only lists 2 campaigns and doesn't mention the silver star. 

      What I am currently trying to determine is what campaigns did he take part in and what are the circumstances of the silver star.  I sent out a request for records last year, only to hear the ever so common 'the records were destroyed in the fire'.  I sent a separate request recently requesting history of medals.  Any information would be EXTREMELY helpful. All my research of engineers has been a huge learning experience and I know there are many differences that come with researching their service.  

      Thank you all!

      McAllister_Jacket.thumb.jpg.289dbcac33f7fe6433485df37d2a2865.jpgIMG_7783.thumb.JPG.445170b5228addf0065c4e6d519779c6.JPGIMG_7787.thumb.JPG.4daa042b9cbb49122272e89e8dc2e149.JPGIMG_7730.thumb.JPG.427ca28099500985ac6d8543c7430bb4.JPGIMG_7731.thumb.JPG.2ea5ef768da7894e6fd2bb8f28b74574.JPGIMG_2238.thumb.jpg.cfd6c726248b77463e4bed3fd1c0c36f.jpgIMG_2239.thumb.jpg.10a7434a59afc028531ff9e268f93109.jpg

    • Good afternoon all!

      My name is Brendan and I am the great grandson of a WW2 combat engineer.  For the past many months I have been digging into researching my great grandfathers service in the war.  Between the documents held on to by my grandparents and online research, I have learned many new things but  many new questions have arose after locating uniforms that had been presumed to be lost by a local historical society.  I will be posting up specifics to the 'Looking For' section and look forward to tapping the knowledge of the members!

      Best

    • These are so obscure, you'd have to have one made, unless you can find one on Ebay, etc. (which is a shot in the dark). 

      I'd contact places such as:

      https://www.militaryvetspx.com/

      https://www.armysurplusworld.com/military-rank-patches

      https://www.ebay.com/bhp/military-insignia
       

      Best of luck. Keep us informed.

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