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Hingham History seeker

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Hingham History seeker last won the day on October 29 2018

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  1. Hingham History seeker

    H & S Co., 204th Engineer Combat Battalion

    I’ve been doing research for the family of the late WWII Samuel A. Villani (photo attached), who, as a member of H & S Co., 204th Engineer Combat Battalion (he became a 1st Sgt.), was activated at Fort Devens in MA and then deployed from NYC on January 2, 1944 for WWII service in Europe, for which Sam would be recognized with a Bronze Star. I’ve already gathered quite a bit of info but one puzzle — and two other questions — remain. 1. Sam had enlisted, early in 1942, near his home in Croton-on-Hudson NY. But he met his future wife, Violet Nystrom, when his unit was stationed that spring in one of what I have been told were two army unit camps on Prospect Street here in Hingham, MA. (They had a USO dance where the couple met—dance was at one of the camp’s buildings. Violet was a USO hostess—as a high school senior.) There had been considerable Navy presence in Hingham at the time due to the historic and then-expanding Navy munitions depot as well as Naval ship building yard built here as the war got underway. But why was Sam’s army unit here, before they were sent to Fort Devens? 2. Is there a record of how Sam earned his Bronze Star. (The family has the medal and his wife tells a story she remembers from what her husband told her—but I’d like to reference an official record if such exists.) Photo I took of Sam's Bronze Star attached. 3. My final question is whether any records exist of the reconstruction work that Sam’s unit did in Nuremberg, Germany — in the months after Germany surrendered in 1945. That work delayed Sam’s return to the US until October 1945, and his wife—a now full-of-life 94-year-old—told me that the work they did in Nuremberg related to the then-upcoming war trials. She said that Sam's unit was building housing units there. I wondered if there were records that document that work. Thanks very much for any light you may be able to shed!