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Everything posted by Custermen

  1. Custermen


    I thought I would a thread just on uniforms that are your favorite. Or maybe you have a photo of a terrific specimen from a musuem---maybe Patton's own outfit. If you are an expert on combat uniforms and gear, please post a photo with details of each item. Steve Tunic-- 15th Air Force NCO - Gunner After talking to a Veteran who flew 50 missions as a tail gunner, I bought this 4-button tunic just "as-is"but missing the wings. I added the Gunner wings and a patch for the 15AF(which flew out of Italy). Details: 4-botton enlistedman's tunic with Army Air Corps collar insignia. Gunner Wings - depicts a bullet on it. A bomb signified a Bombadier. Ribbons include the Air Medal with oak leaves, and campaign ribbons. Right pocket is the Distinguished Unit Citation ribbon. RH Sleeve has 6 bullion overseas stripes and one re-enlistment stripe. [in the background is a shirt with the TRUST Forces patch]
  2. Custermen

    WWII Army Photos

    My local town library has a thin book on the 2nd Tennessee Army or something to that effect and it covers the maneuvers in middle Tennessee. They also trained some armored units there and a portion of the Rangers. There are not a lot of info as to exact history and what units were there. The book is written more as a local story. I recently bought an aerial photo map that was near McMinnville, TN. The area contained in the map may be part of the area used by the maneuvers. I would like to read more about the Tennessee Maneuvers. I'm more familiar with the Louisiana Maneuvers but there is still not much out there. Steve
  3. Are they Father and Son? Buried next to each other?!! I looked back through the posts and didn't see their unit or date of death info. I am interested in their details and their story. Steve
  4. Custermen

    "Doings of Battery B"

    CaptO Actually my Dad only reached the rank of Staff Sergeant. So he did not go to Fort Sill for training. I know some of the officers in his artillery unit did go to OCS there. Thanks for the info. Steve
  5. Custermen

    "Doings of Battery B"

    About 6 or 7 years ago, I started uploading photos and info on my Father's unit that he served in during WW2: the 328th Field Artillery Battalion. And he was in Battery B of the 328FA. Over the years, I've made contacts via my website and have added more info and photos. I believe I have the most detailed website of an Artillery Battalion that you will find anywhere on the web. What a surprise it was to find this book!! I wasn't sure if I should get it as it is about World War I --- not 2. But it was written about the very same Battery as my Father's. Crazy---as my daughter says. “Doings of Battery B: 328th F.A., A.E.F.†“Humorous Happenings and Striking Situations in the Experiences of its Members†By Edward W. Barry Published Dean-Hicks Co. Grand Rapids, MI, 1920 Format: 11 X 8-1/2 inches. Glossy paper, 175 pages. Illustrations, photos. 1 Map. No Table of Content nor Index. While awaiting combat in France during WW1, two soldiers decided to record and publish the story of the men in their unit and their experiences. They would leave out all the technical details of how an artillery battery functioned. They returned back to the States and began work on the book about Battery B, 328th Field Artillery Battalion. The book contains a brief intro history and a timeline of important events, including the transfer of troops into or out of the unit. Most of the book is organized into short biographies and stories listed under names of each of the soldiers in their unit. There are many photos included as snapshots of their training at Camp Custer, MI and groups of officers and NCOs. There are large group photos of the men with each man in the unit identified. To round out the humorous stories, there are cartoon drawings of various activities. Some pages have groups of panels, similar to the Sunday comics. Then there are some nice landscape drawings in fine detail. This is a portion of one group photo, that lets you meet these Doughboys up close. Some look scared, some serious, some have a broad grin. Some of the smaller cartoons sketches. Note the details, such as the "CD" shoulder patch for the 85th Infantry Division(their parent unit in WW1 & WW2). Artist included the name of the soldier printed on bottom of boot. ..... A.E.F. stands for American Expeditionary Forces. Crazy, huh!! Steve
  6. Custermen

    "Doings of Battery B"

    I got my latest book on the 328FA. The Red Guidon: 328FA This is another book printed for the Veterans who returned from service in Europe with the 328th Field Artillery Battalion. It is 8-1/2 by 11 format with 129 pages and includes some photos of officers and fold-out group photos of each battery---but almost too small to identify a soldier. The quality is nice but not as good as the above-mentioned book. The pages are glossy but the binding is flimsy and pages are coming loose. The book contains names of officers and Roster of each battery that was recorded in 1919 before the unit was deactivated. The book was probably published within a year or two after that. It has many poems and stories and a little bit of history written as short news articles. In the front is a chonology of events in short one-line entries. I'm having a difficult time scanning images from the glossy pages. I may try to photograph them instead. A nice little addition to my collection on a WW1 unit. Steve
  7. Custermen

    1st Special Service Force

    This link has a map of the entire Italian Front at the time of the Spring Offensive on 11 May 1944. Gustav Line I agree with Rocky about the movie "Anzio". This 1968 movie stars Robert Mitchum as a war correspondent who joins up with Peter Falk, who plays a corporal in the 1st Special Service Forces. They borrow a jeep and drive to Rome and back without meeting any German forces, but their report on this absence of the enemy is discounted. Robert Mitchum is a tough guy. If he had REALLY been there in 1944, then I'm sure the Allies could have waltzed into Rome. Ha! If you read the history books and the Monday-morning Quarterbacks, they say that Lucas could have pushed directly into Rome without any heavy resistance. Maybe. My opinion is that if he had done that, then the battle would have been fought in the streets of Rome and someone would have resorted to shelling or bombing of the Eternal City. I do believe he should have pushed out of the beaches and into the Alban Hills. The above comments are my personal opinnions and do not reflect the opinions of the management. Steve
  8. Custermen

    Types of Engineer Units in WWII

    Marion, Great info! That table is full of useful info. Especially good to know the differences in size and function of the Map Depot and the Photomapping units. I recently found a unit that was a QM General Service that was set up to support a large area with general things such as washing clothes and such. I have always wondered about those other rear echelon troops. Also, there were Railway Engineers. Was that part of Engineers or QM? I guess they operated the rail network and they were "engineers" as the term applies to trains. But what kind of unit were they? Question: You have "Light Ponton Company" . Could that be Light Pontoon Company?? Steve
  9. Custermen

    "Doings of Battery B"

    Here is another item related to this WW1 Artillery Battalion that I picked up on eBay. A Yard Long Photo of HQ Battery, 328 Field Artillery Battalion, dated 1919. Compare that photo with their WW2 counter-parts: HQ Battery of 328FA taken at Camp Shelby, MS in 1943. Of course, this image is too small to see details. To view these Doughboys up close, click on: HQ Battery, 1919 Soon, I will have another book about the 328FA that is dated 1919. I will post photos when it arrives. Steve
  10. Custermen

    1st Special Service Force

    I think I picked up a copy of "Devil's Brigade" in one of those bins of DVD's at $5. I used to have a book about them called: "The Devils' Brigade" - by Robert Adleman and Colonel George Walton. It was more of an oral history than a real history. So, I gave it to someone who wanted some books to read. This unit was founded by Colonel Frederick and the trained in Helena, Montanna. Their first assault was the scaling of the 200-foot cliff of the Monte la Difensa in Italy, as depicted in the movie. Later they commanded a 10-mile portion of the Anzio front where their nightly patrols earned them the name Schwartzteufeln, or "Black Devils." The book seemed to tell more about their underground club they built at Anzio then the fighting they did. Their patch is a red Arrowhead with point down and word CANADA and USA. A very desirable patch for collectors. They had a unique branch collar insignia of 2 crossed arrows forming an X. Steve
  11. Custermen

    Memoribilia and Collectibles

    Yes, I got a PM from her and we have made contact. She has evidence to believe that her Uncle was a member of the 339th 'Polar Bear' Regiment. I wrote the current historian of the Polar Bear Association to see if he finds the name on a roster. He has finished a manuscript on the history of the 339th Regiment but can't get it published. {Edited to add Update} I sent the info about Judy's uncle to two of my friends and asked for help. The first person is a genealogist who is good at finding families, burial sites and interestingly, WW2 Enlistment Records. She found a reference that identied the soldier was a member of HQ Company, 3rd Battalion, 339th Infantry Regiment. She also dicovered the soldier had a famous uncle---his uncle was Big Louie who stood at 8 feet and 4 inches tall. Of course, Judy knew this bit of family history. The second person is the Historian of the Polar Bear Association. John located a WW2 roster that listed this soldier as a member of the HQ Company of the 3rd Battalion and included his full Name, Rank and Serial Number. So, I consider the case closed as they confirmed that her Uncle was in fact a member of the Custer Division. Now Judy has info that will allow her to do much more research into his unit and look for General Orders that may tell about what he did. BTW, when I was reading GO's at the Archives, I found some Bronze Star Medals issued to clerks in the HQ units who were written up for their dedicated service. Nothing mentioned about being in combat. Steve
  12. Custermen

    9 mm Beretta

    Keeping on Topic, I bought my first modern hand-gun that didn't shoot black powder. Nice, eh? It is a modern Beretta Model 96D, .40 caliber that is single shot without a safety. Kinda strange for me but it still will do its job. Steve
  13. Custermen

    Anzio by Lloyd Clark

    Ah, but he is a British author. I have a problem with those Brits. I know this is my Mother Tongue but they just don't write the same as Americans. And where did they dump all of those punctuations? There must be a pit somewhere in the North Sea where they toss all of those commas. Steve
  14. Custermen

    Memoribilia and Collectibles

    Here are two items that I picked up that are more recent history but interesting. This is an overseas cap worn by the Polar Bear Association of veterans of the 339th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division. The cap probably first appeared at their reunion in 1962. The second item is a pin that was attached to the hat on the opposite side. It is a copy of the DUI of the 339th Infantry Regiment but a nice quality piece. The enamel color should be royal blue and not so purple. Speaking of this unit, I just finished reading a book on them; "FIghting the Bolsheviks". This was the memoirs of PFC Donald Carey who served with the 339th Regiment from 1918 to 1919 on the North Russian Expedition. This book has details of the soldier's life during WW1 and it is interesting to hear how they survived in Russia during the winter months. This soldier joined the army and within 2 months he had completed training and shipment to England. He returned back to Detroit within 1 week of the day he left home to join the Army. Amazing. Steve
  15. Custermen

    9 mm Beretta

    Here are a few items that my Dad brought back. Lugar 9mm and a Walther 9mm(.380 Auto). Just above them is the Police helmet. (Oops, it grabbed a different photo without the helmet) I'll see if this Attachment thing works. Steve
  16. Custermen

    Lt Stancy Lewis

    This veteran's son has compiled the records about his father's experience in Italy. His father didn't talk much about it so most of what he knows is from the records of his promotion and citation for the Bronze Star Medal. As you read this, be praying for Mr. Lewis and his entire family, as he has been diagnosed with a fatal disease. Lt. Stancy Lewis, Co. B, 310th Combat Engineer Battalion, Stancy was born in Marshalburg, North Carolina. He was inducted at Ft. Bragg N.C. and after basic training, he transfered to Camp Shelby, MS, and began training with Company B, 310th Combat Engineers of the 85th "Custer" Infantry Division. He entered the war in North Africa, as a Staff Sergeant and was later promoted to an officer during the campaign in Italy. Sgt or Lt Stancy Lewis in Italy Recommendation for promotion to Officer. General Order dated 12 Sept 1944. (Quoting only a portion of it.) On or about 20 May 1944, Sgt. Lewis' platoon accompanied a force on an amphibious operation from GAETA, ITALY to SPERLONGA, ITALY. During the voyage the amphibious vehicle in which Sgt. Lewis and approximately half of his platoon were riding sank. Sgt. Lewis kept the group together, encourage and sought assistance for the poor swimmers and was largely responsible for the lack of panic which prevented a large number of casualties. On or about 21 August 1944, his platoon was engaged in clearing the streets of EMPOLI, ITALY for the passage of traffic, when his platoon leader stepped on a mine. Sgt. Lewis saw to the evacuation of the officer, took over the platoon and completed the task at hand, despite the presence of numerous mines and intermittent artillery fire. A Bailey Bridge installed by 310th Engineers to span a portion of a blown bridge. I should have more photos of Lt. Lewis' company that I will post on his biography page that I'm building. Steve
  17. Custermen

    MARNE's Collection...

    Great little booklet. But what is it with the page of photos of the Dogs???
  18. Custermen

    This Day in History - Civil War Begins 4-12-1861

    Okay....Don't go showing off how smart you are. I don't understand a thing you said. Actually, I think I do but I'm not too sure. Are you saying that my Webpage should have all the files on that page placed in a sub-folder? I've always created my webpages with the photos in the same directory as the HTML file. Why is that a problem with displaying the photo on your forum? Are you saying it is poor web design? (If so, why? security? slow load?) We can take this "off-line" if you wish. Steve(confused)
  19. Custermen

    This Day in History - Civil War Begins 4-12-1861

    Well, I would if I knew what is wrong. Too large? When I posted my reply, the photo was there. Then when it reverted back to the page, it disappeared. It is only a landscape photo with a cannon or two. And maybe I will look up how to spell "controversay"??. Steve
  20. Custermen

    This Day in History - Civil War Begins 4-12-1861

    Another event happened on April 12th ---but in 1864. On this day, General Nathan Bedford Forrest lead an assault on an earthen fortification and a Union-built inner redoubt, overlooking the Mississippi River about forty river miles above Memphis. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked the fort with a cavalry division of approximately 2,500 men against a small outpost that comprised 295 white Tennessee troops and 262 U.S. Colored Troops, all under the command of Maj. Lionel F. Booth. The fortification was called Fort Pillow. After the assault, the Union lost 40% killed, mostly black soldiers and the Confederates lost 15 men and another 60 wounded. This was such a small battle in the light of other losses in the Civil War but it has always been controvesal. Because of the high percentage of black soldiers killed, it is referred to as the Massacre of Fort Pillow. I visited the fort yesterday to enjoy the a Spring day out in the park and to watch muskets fire and the cannons belch smoke. But when the reenactment was over, I bowed my head to listen to the lone bugler play Taps for those who fought and died for their country. At that moment, the battle was no longer the subject of forum discussion and controversay. I only reflected on my Great-Great-Grandfather Richard W. Cole who died at that battle in 1864. Steve Gr-Gr-Grandson of Pvt Richard W. Cole, Company A, 5th Mississippi Cavalry, Muccolk's Brigade, Chalmer's Division Killed in Action on 12 April 1864 Photo of inner works of Fort Pillow
  21. Custermen

    Where did they keep uniforms and medals??

    I've always wondered about that, too. My Dad brought home some souvenirs and I presumed he had a few items all during the time he was in Italy. I know he had the German camera with him from May 1944, as he sent home photos he had taken. Later, I learned that he didn't pick up the helmet and 2 pistols until the last day of the war. Also, I guess being in an Artillery unit was a big advantage: i.e., he had heavy trucks and command cars to store away objects. I read a journal of a cook who hide special treats in his truck. I knew this was the case for most awards, especially the Campaign ribbons. But there was the occassional lucky chap who was called out in front of a General to get his medal pinned. Of course, that medal was probably not engraved with his name as officially awarded ones were. I'm still puzzled about where they kept their Class A. I'm sure there was a duffle bag somewhere but how did they keep up with it?? I thought it was mandantory to be decked out when going on Leave to Rome or such places or the MP's would fine you and haul you back to camp. That is why the MP's were hated by the average GI---they required too much spit & polish when all the GI wanted to do was to get away from the Army life for a few hours. Steve GI's of the 5th Army wearing IKE jackets and getting their boots polished while on leave at Monte Cantini Rest Area near Florence. (Note; GI wear patches, ribbons and CIBs.)
  22. Custermen

    Patton and His Pistols

    According to the movie, Patton said, "There's only one proper way for a professional soldier to die: the last bullet of the last battle of the last war." Steve
  23. Custermen

    MARNE's Collection...

    NO. I want a closeup photo of the Radio equipment in the Peep. I'm trying to learn about the types of radios and especially how they were mounted in the vehicles. Love the photos. I might want to use one on my website. Very cool. It is amazing that it survived. I made contact with someone whose father brought home the regimental flags of my Dad's unit. If he had not done that, then it would have been destroyed or thrown in some large storage warehouse in Colorado----did you see the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark"? That warehouse at the end of the movie is a real place. Anyway, the family has decided to donate the flag to a museum. I'm trying to find a museum that will display it. BTW, flags and tanks and artillery, etc. are considered property of the US Gov't. Only personal equipment and weapons could be kept by the soldier. So, if a museum receives a flag, it has to notify the Gov't and they can claim it if they want. Just thought you might want to know. Steve Flag of the 328 Field Artillery Battalion, 85th Division
  24. Custermen

    Hello, from John Taylor's proud daughter

    Welcome. Glad to see you are interested. Let us know if you have any basic questions about something you may find in his "kit", especially help identifying those crazy Army acronymns. My interest is in the old Army maps. I'd be glad to see what those looked like. Steve
  25. Custermen

    New York Tribune dated August 18,1863

    Jim, Still is a cool find. I remember someone brought in a local Memphis paper that was printed a few years after the Civil War and we were all excited to see it. I thought they were be very rare. Steve