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mikel

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  1. Like
    mikel got a reaction from Walt's Daughter in Our River - help needed   
    Our River experts or information needed! As the historian for my father's WWII 284th Engr. C. Bn. - who served as Infantry at the Our, I've always been curious of the details of this crossing / battle (I feel it is fair enough to call it that) as they're severely lacking. I'm working with a 17th AB veteran (they took the hills), a 249th veteran (they build some bridges here), several 284th veterans (they replaced the 17th AB DIVISION as a BATTALION to guard Skyline Drive) and the 6th AD historian (they build more bridges and the 284th was assigned to). Does anyone else have any photos, information, documents, stories or help???? A book is needed on this subject as information is very very lacking (my end goal of this quest - some day - collaboration / credit is for sure an option). I will be at the Our in 3 or 4 weeks with a 284th veteran to go into the hills to try to find their foxholes and the pillbox they faced 100 yards to the East......

  2. Like
    mikel got a reaction from Walt's Daughter in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    Okay, I'm super excited to report that I have exact locations for each of their stops on the trip south from Nuremberg to Marseilles and that tells us where all the rest stops were on the way. I have some of their maps and after carefully reviewing a map of France I discovered that it was actually marked!!!! I edited to add a image of the map cover just in case someone was looking for the exact same map (and I did see one on posted eBay).
     
    Hopefully this will also help others who might be researching this topic!
     

     
     

  3. Like
    mikel got a reaction from Walt's Daughter in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    Okay, I'm super excited to report that I have exact locations for each of their stops on the trip south from Nuremberg to Marseilles and that tells us where all the rest stops were on the way. I have some of their maps and after carefully reviewing a map of France I discovered that it was actually marked!!!! I edited to add a image of the map cover just in case someone was looking for the exact same map (and I did see one on posted eBay).
     
    Hopefully this will also help others who might be researching this topic!
     

     
     

  4. Like
    mikel got a reaction from Walt's Daughter in Morning Reports related to my father - 540th Engineer   
    Really really cool information to have Marion! Woot! Did you know that he was an Automotive Mechanic (MOS 014) or was that new information?
  5. Like
    mikel reacted to Walt's Daughter in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    Ah, now if I only got paid to do this stuff.
     
    Hey, Mike, had a chance to take a good long look at your original map from the 284th and indeed, it looks like I'm on the right track for "Joe's", as they made a few stops on their way back west right around the German/French border. So much fun.
  6. Like
    mikel reacted to CaptO in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    Wow - great detective work!!
     

  7. Like
    mikel reacted to Walt's Daughter in Morning Reports related to my father - 540th Engineer   
    I recently hired a private researcher, Norm Richards, to find all the morning reports related to my father. I actually learned several things from these documents and I'm so glad I took the time and effort to finally pursue this.
  8. Like
    mikel reacted to CaptO in Morning Reports related to my father - 540th Engineer   
    Wow, that's pretty cool. I hadn't been able to look over all of the documents in detail, but I'm sure there is a lot of information hiding in plain sight. As one who has to make a lot of judgment calls from service records alone, you would be surprised at what you can learn from the written word alone.
  9. Like
    mikel reacted to Walt's Daughter in Morning Reports related to my father - 540th Engineer   
    And the cool thing is, there are of course, other names within the records. And there's even mention of my dad being temporarily transferred to another engineering unit during the occupation of Germany. Maybe he was sent over for his expertise? Nonetheless, it was a fascinating fact. Holy cow!
  10. Like
    mikel got a reaction from Walt's Daughter in 284th - Silent Heroes   
    Thank you Marion!!
     
    This fourth edition has a ton of new "stuff" added to it!
     
    New stories, maps, details, photos and somewhere around 30 new soldier photos added to the yearbook style roster! It is amazing to me how my little book about the 284th keeps on growing!
     
    NOTE: It is only the paperback that has been updated, I haven't had a chance to update the Kindle version yet.
  11. Like
    mikel reacted to Walt's Daughter in 284th - Silent Heroes   
    It's on it's fourth reprint. Check it out!
  12. Like
    mikel got a reaction from Walt's Daughter in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    It is very time consuming, but will be such a blessing the families! Keep up the great work
  13. Like
    mikel got a reaction from CaptO in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    Wow, this is wonderful news! Great work and thank you so much for the help! This is thrilling.
     
    Marion I can't get to your map link though, access is denied
     
    Here are some details about the 284th's trip south from Nuremberg to the Marseilles area.






  14. Like
    mikel reacted to Walt's Daughter in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    I plan to do this for the entire 540th travels through the ETO. Of course, this will take time, but it will be so worthwhile.
  15. Like
    mikel got a reaction from Walt's Daughter in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    That map is awesome, I've been meaning to finish up the ones that I have been working on for the 284th. I do have their original maps though but the interactive ones are fun because I can add notes / photos and etc.
     
    http://284thcombatengineers.com/map.cfm
  16. Like
    mikel reacted to Walt's Daughter in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    Try again. Ya, the map was private. Ooops!
     
    Thanks for the morning reports. Will look at them now.
  17. Like
    mikel reacted to Walt's Daughter in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    Helping out Mike Shilling this week, who is looking for answers regarding where these photos were taken in Europe, during the war.
     
     


  18. Like
    mikel reacted to Walt's Daughter in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    Oh my God, that is just great. Wow, never expected an answer, let alone an answer so quickly. Thank you Todd and thank you grandpa!
  19. Like
    mikel reacted to Walt's Daughter in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    I'm going to look up this set of dates in my archives. Let's see what else I can find out...
  20. Like
    mikel reacted to Walt's Daughter in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    Okay, this is what I am finding for this period. This should help us narrow down where "Joe's" was located.
     
    Mannheim was battalion HQ for the 2832nd (originally 1st bn for the 540th). For those reading this, John C O'Brien was C.O. of the 2832nd. Looks like several officers and enlisted men were being sent to the 14th Reinforcement Depot at Neufchâteau, France on their way to the states.
     
    Todd, your grandfather states that he left Thionville (and was heading back to Mannheim for forgotten documents) and stopped at GI Joes about an hour and half later. Of course depending on driving conditions, etc., that would put him approximately in the location of Saarbrucken, Germany, which is near the French and German border. Of course it could be anywhere in French/German vicinity, but again, we are narrowing down the location for the greatest cup of coffee. Now that we know the route, that limits the area.
     
    Here's a revised public map I made up, so everyone can follow along...


  21. Like
    mikel reacted to CaptO in 284th photos - where were these taken   
    Hmmmm. . . As soon as I read this I recalled my grandfather's log of his trip home.


     
    How cool is that?
     
    And if they are suggesting that's the best coffee between there and the China Burma India theater, it must have been great coffee!!
  22. Like
    mikel got a reaction from Walt's Daughter in 1111th Engineer Combat Group   
    The 284th Engineer Combat Battalion was also part of the 1111th for a while. (April '45)
     
  23. Like
    mikel got a reaction from Walt's Daughter in Conversion of map coordinates   
    Wow, that is very impressive Alsatian! The 284th started out in Luxembourg with General Patton using them as infantry on the Moselle and Our rivers, then into Germany for the Roer crossing, down to Remagen, then to Nuremberg and finally ending up in Landshut to finish the war in the ETO.
  24. Like
    mikel reacted to Alsatian in Conversion of map coordinates   
    That's my hope. Reipertswiller was 7 days. Each map is a single day. I have half done. After that I want to do the grid overlays in google maps for the entire route of the 45th from southern France to V-E day; not the units, just the grids. Then everyone can use them.
  25. Like
    mikel reacted to Alsatian in Conversion of map coordinates   
     
    Mikel, it's possible. If you give me more info about your documents, I can extend the map I've started to cover the area you're interested in. I used echodelta.net to make the map, now I use the map as a quick reading reference without having to translate every point all the time.
     
    I've been working on it for about a year. Brian is right to point you to echodelta.net. It's the only source for World War II coordinates that I've found. Most web references for the grid system refer to the Cold War era grids which are different. Brian's explanation of how to use the system is good too. By using the grid translator at echodelta and some original maps I created an overlay of the north east corner of wQ on a google map. The longs/lats produced by echodelta have a margin of error 150 to 1000 meters, but I cross referenced the results of the translator with some original field maps I have access to and added my own calculation to correct the margin of error. It works very well for me: Nord de Guerre Grid wQ
     
    This is for my interest in the Battle of Reipertswiller (Jan '45) which happened to include the 36th Engineer Regiment. It's on the same map grid that Brian mentioned above. The Facebook group for the 45th in WWII has collected hundreds of documents from the Archives; monthly journals, S-2 reports, war room journals, after action reports etc. They're like minute by minute diaries, most with grid references. The map I made is a handy reading reference as I'm reading the documents. One of the documents, the 36th Engineer sitrep for Jan'45, is also hosted here at the VI corp site and the grid locations in that document can be found on the google map I made.
     
    I made the map by using the translator at echodelta to plot the edges of the area I'm interested in in 1000 meter intervals. I then used the google map line function to snap lines between opposite points giving me a grid of 1 kilometer squares. In the area of battle, I subdivided further in 200 meter squares.
     
    The six digit numbers are precise to 100 meters. To find coordinate 839413 I have to find the intersection of easting 83 (vertical line) and northing 41 (horizontal line). That gives me the zero point for grid 8341. The zero point of grid 8341 is the southwest corner of the square. Then it's 9/10ths to the right and 3/10ths up. I've now located 839413 and within 100 meters of the spot being referenced. 835415 is in the center of grid 8341. Sometimes you'll get an 8 digit number which means the location is trying to be precise to within 10 meters. Four digit numbers were used to locate assembly areas for large units, depots and headquarters without being too precise. You find the most use and most precise grid numbers in artillery reports. When a unit moved from one grid to another, like from vU to wQ you usually see a mention of that in the journals, because it meant you needed a whole new map, but it's a one time mention as the unit is moving.
     
    There are obvious cautions about plotting document entries absolutely. Coordinates were generated in the field, sometimes under fire, so mistakes were made. One of the problems in the battle I'm studying is that a key company's CO was killed and the company was completely lost. For two days they said they were at a certain coordinate, but they were actually 2 kilometers off. You're also following a game of telephone. By the time a coordinate worked it's way up from an artillery FO to battalion, to Regiment, to Division, the number might have been mixed up. I've seen plenty of just plain typos that obviously transposed digits to a location 20 kilometers away.
     
    So yes, possible. And neat.
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