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Posts posted by laurenbeagregory

  1. I know AFTER the war ended soldiers sent spoils of war home, but during the time they were fighting, was is commonplace for a soldier to send home packages? I know they sent vmail, but I am talking about boxes of things. My head is telling me no bc it would have been easy for a soldier to have sent home items telling family where they are... like a newspaper or a magazine or something that the censors wouldnt like? I am not saying it never happened, but am I wrong in thinking this or was it more common than I think?

  2. Marion & Jean.... Here is another posting with a small excerpt regarding the 324th engineers... According to my notes with Mr. Christensen from almost 3 years ago, my grandfather was 1st platoon the entire duration of the war (a fact that was checked against a letter written to my gr.aunt-grandfather's sister by another war buddy and it is confirmed) and his platoon was one of the ones mentioned in this article that was cut off. They essentially mowed down a couple hundred Germans and kept right on going building their road and pulling marooned vehicles out of the snow... as if nothing happened I had been trying to post this previously, but for some reason the link wouldnt attach to my post.


    The article mentions other units getting distinguished unit badges and other recognition, but this unit is not mentioned for anything. The information for the article comes from Gen. Lauer's camp and was written back in '44-'45. Dont know if this is of any use to you or Jean, but its here for you to look over anyway.


    Jean, I have a few things Mr. Christensen sent to me a few years ago including a company roster and a list of command posts for the duration of the war. Do you have copies of these/would you like a set? I have them scanned to my laptop in PDF files. Message me your email and I can send them to you if you need them.





  3. I am still hanging out there on this issue. I have 2 letters out to the VA-- one to the local office and one to records. Hoping for a bite. I did some digging to try to figure out how many points he had and from what I KNOW he had at least 52. There may have been some other things that I don't know about that gave him more points... I think the book said they needed 85.


    I plan on going to College Park in January to pull the morning reports, the field orders and general orders to check it out and see what I can find.


    I found a GREAT book that has been SO helpful (bc I am not a seasoned pro at this)-- called Finding Your Father's War: A Practical Guide to Researching and Understanding Service in the WWII US Army by Jonathan Gawne. Its been a good source of information, sources and a refresher from HS history class!

  4. OK, So I have some information from the gentleman who was in granddad Burke's unit... I can post the entire timeline in another area showing exactly where they were and when, but I see here at the end of it, they were in Konigsberg Germany on 18th May 1945. There is nothing after this. A conversation I had with him, he said after the war was over, the men were allowed to come home. So I will get the discharge papers from the VA to be sure that grandpa came straight home since the gentleman who provided this information from the same unit stayed on in Paris for a year. He said that they went thru Camp Lucky Strike in France and were processed to come home. Perhaps grandad didn't have enough points to be discharged until end of war +6months? Anyway this is huge for now.

  5. I will look at how to pull VA records. I really need to know if the date is correct, if its perhaps an error due to records being destroyed. I am looking at him to have been home about 4 months prior to his discharge date... home home, not on base in Texas which was where he trained. Maybe he was home, didn't have enough points and was discharged because the war was over... anyway I am going to have to find out and hopefully the VA will have the answers. I think the gentleman who sent me the pile of stuff would know when the unit disbanded. I am going to contact him. I know he stayed in Paris in an apartment for a year after they disbanded. I guess it would be a likely conclusion that they disbanded and he was sent home then, whenever it was. I need a shovel for all this digging.

  6. He WAS wounded, but I don't know how badly. That is one of the big reasons why I wanted to pull his records. I know he was hit by shrapnel but where on his body, how badly, etc is anyones guess. I spoke to a very kind man who served alongside him and knew him (found him by accident while performing another search for work and oddly the computer froze then pulled up search results for a previous search for grandpas unit and there was an interview with this man and he is still living and sent me a whole mess of information... I think i have a ghost) and he told me that everyone in their unit received a Purple Heart. They were in the battle for the twin villages- krinkelt and rocherath... anyway the discharge date was November 8th 1945... thanks for responding. I really hope this was some sort of an error from when they recreated the file in 1974 or he was home before he was discharged

  7. Ok... so I was contacted by the Archival Records and they said that Grandad's records were infact destroyed in the fire. A file had been reconstructed but it didn't contain anything I didn't already know. The very nice man said that since they charge for copies, he was advising me that it wasn't worth my money. He was able to give me a discharge date for Grandpa over the phone which I did not have. This date is fishy to me for several reasons. I am wondering now, was it at all possible for a soldier to be home for sometime before being discharged and given his papers? I am going to contact the VA as he said they would have a copy of his original discharge papers when (if) Grandad filed for benefits, but in the meantime, if someone can answer that question for me, it would be most appreciated. Thanks!

  8. THANK YOU! :)



    I recieved a letter from a lovely gentleman who was in the unit with my grandad and they knew each other, tho they were not together. He said my grandfather was on the front lines in Krinkelt while he was at Headquarters in Elsenborne. He sent me a roster of the unit as well as replacements with addresses for these men in 1945. It also has a brief history of where the company (co A, 324th combat engineers 99th infantry) was, and approx dates. I have not scanned this into the computer yet, I dont know if he is ok with me posting it yet, I will have to ask but I am sure if he is sending it to me-- a total stranger-- he will probbaly say its ok to post here. He also directed me to a video that he is in talking about the Battle of the Bulge and it documents a reunion in Belgium. I am late in finding my information, so forgive me if this video is common knowledge, however you can order a copy of it here: http://www.wetbirdproductions.com/films-mom.php


    He said many vets took part in the making of this film including himself.


    Marching Once More


    When WetBird Productions learned that veterans of the Battle of the Bulge were returning to Belgium and Luxembourg for the 60th anniversary of that infamous fight, there was no question: we had to go. While the itinerary was well-scripted, we had many questions about what would happen once we arrived. Would the memories be too overwhelming? Would the people of Belgium and Luxembourg remember or even care about the events of 1944 and 1945? Could the veterans – now in their 80’s and 90’s - withstand such a difficult and emotional journey? It didn’t take long to find out.

    In many cases, the memories were overwhelming – some had never really gotten over the horrors of that brutally cold winter when Hitler launched a massive surprise attack against a thin and often inexperienced American frontline. But thankfully, the people of Belgium and Luxembourg not only remembered, they embraced the American senior citizens – treating them like rock stars, complete with ceremonies, royalty, medals, autographs, fireworks and finally, a moving parade in Bastogne. We are proud to bring you their incredible journey.

  9. I skimmed this posting, but i wanted to say,.... I sent a request to the St Louis office asking for any records that can be released to me about Grandad. They sent me a form letter and a buncha forms stating that most of the information was destroyed in the 1970s by fire but will send what they can and needed more info, which i dont have which was why i was asking in the first place. So i send what I had all over again, and then pulled what I could from Derrick of Dauntless, some info from ancestry about his enlistment (if that is in existence, wouldnt the rest of his file be also?) and some bits and pieces from family folklore. Hoping for the best now. But, I see here you say that an office in MD has more information? Where in MD?? I live in MD and might plan an little field trip.

  10. How appetizing! We really don't know how lucky we have it until we get a look at this... God Bless the soldiers past, present and future!


    "Salute the ones who died, so we don't have to sacrifice all the things we love.... like our chicken, fried. Cold beer on a Friday night, a pair of jeans that fit just right, and the radio on!"

  11. What a fantastic journal! I wish my grandad kept one. Grandma did but it stopped in 1942 shortly after my dad was born.


    24th Armored Engineer-- I have my copy of Band of Brothers finally, so I will be sitting down with a big cup of tea and disc one tonight to get stuck into it! Very much looking forward to watching it. I have had just the opposite of luck with the vets I know. None want to talk. I understand they saw horrible things, hard to think on it these days. They will talk about other portions of their life, but the battlefield seems to be off limits. Sadly, my other grandad.. a Navy vet wouldnt really talk about it either. He would pull out a globe and show you everwhere he went, show you the money he kept from various places he had been to, but many questions were just unanswered. He went from the far east, westward toward the end of the war and post war delivering supplies. He saw the aftermath, and that could not have been picturesque.


    Thank you for your responses. I will probably have more questions soon... :)

  12. Oh interesting... thanks for the quick response. I just ordered the first DVD from the library of Band of Brothers and its supposed to be in soon (tomorrow, actually). I have been dying to watch it and its off HBO where I am so fortunately our awesome library had a copy of the series. I think my grandad was one of the unfortunate ones who came home, wife died VERY young in 1949 age 25 to cancer and he ended up a pretty heavy alcoholic. I have just been wondering about what life was like returning home after BoB... can only imagine. Now it seems "they" have fairly sophistocated programs for soldiers coming home to adjust to normal life and cope with PTSD, but back then? Was anything available like this? I know of some vets who dont speak of what they saw and experienced almost 70 years after the fact. They were made of tough stuff this I know.

  13. This is my first post (after my introductory post). I had a bit of luck with a question that seemed to generate some interest on, and hopefully this one will get some good responses as well.... I am interested in hearing about what life was like for our boys when they returned home. Specifically, the boys in Europe. (BoB if possible, but really, anywhere in Europe would do). I wanted to know if it was like we see in the movies with big ships docking and floods of people waving and cheering and parties in the streets etc, or if it was more of a quiet affair. Did these boys have loved ones waiting on them the second they set foot on home soil or did they find their way home for surprise homecomings? If it was a big party, what was life like once the party was over? I know they were left to look for jobs and the GI bill came into effect which helped, but what was a typical day post WWII like? Mentally, was it difficult to adjust from war to quiet home life or was it easy because war was over? Details and stories if possible!

  14. Oh my goodness! Thank you for this information!! I started reading derrick of dauntless but I think im going to print it out. Its interesting my grandad went thru England! I kinda had a feeling about that. I've kinda had a feeling about alot of things that have turned out to be true.. Kinda weird!! So.. Technical sergeant?? They worked the radios, no?