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Brendan

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About Brendan

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  1. That would definitely be helpful to have. Right now I am waiting on a medals and citations request with the national archives. I am told I should have a verdict by January 1st on whether or not they located appropriate documentation. Once there is a verdict on that, I likely will go the morning report route to learn more.
  2. Unfortunately no success with the town clerks office or state Veterans office. Through just a bit of research, that seems like a fantastic resource. Accessing these reports can only be done in person or by a hired researcher, is that correct? Some of the researchers offerings seemed very enticing for gathering these reports as well as any unit rosters, etc to try and piece together my great grandfathers day-to-day, month-to-month.
  3. His uniforms bear a ribbon for a silver star, in addition to the campaign stars on his European-African-Middle Eastern campaign medal. The other discrepancy being the 2 campaigns listed on his DD record (Northern France, Rhineland), but the 4 campaign stars on the uniforms. I was always told there was a corresponding 'star medal in a blue box' which was donated to the historical society with the uniforms. It was stolen before I was born, but the ribbons on the uniforms corroborate with it being a silver star.
  4. Received the duplicated files for the 1173rd combat group from the National Archives. They found two folders, both relatively small, and sent my copies. While learning a bit more about the unit, I unfortunately still lack clarity on the context of my great grandfathers Silver Star, the type of operations that were conducted or the units comprising the combat group. What I learned... On May 30, 1945, the 1173rd was given orders to move from Rheinhausen back to Epernay, France where they were initially activated in September 44. This provides a bit of context as to where the unit was to earn Rhineland campaign accreditation. Unfortunately, this is the earliest document and the period from Sep 44 activation through May 45 remains a void. Just over a month ago I received confirmation from the National Archives that they had my medal/awards inquiry. That is my next hope for gaining clarity, because unfortunately his records were destroyed in the fire and the certificate of service I have, does not document the silver star. While somewhat discouraged with the documents I received, I am still pressing onward! It did provide some interesting pieces to combine with the rest of what I know.
  5. An exciting update... National Archives MD has notified me that they have located 1943-1947 unit records for the 1173rd. My duplication order was submitted yesterday and I can't wait to see how many documents turn up as part of the process!
  6. Marion, Very helpful! It has been a learning process for military organization as a whole, being someone who hasn't served. I did speak with the Army Corp of Engineers a little while back and I quickly learned that the same 'rules' didn't apply to how the Engineers were organized. Unfortunately they were not able to provide any information on the combat group specifically. I am anxiously awaiting my response from Maryland as the online directory does show a unit records file for the 1173rd.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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
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