Jump to content
tiamariawithkaz

WWII Northern Ireland

Recommended Posts

Hello, My name is Karen and i am doing research into units who were stationed here in Northern Ireland. Specifically African American soldiers (colored units) as they were called then. Any help would be appreciated. :pdt34:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THE 34th Inf. Divn.,(RED BULL), arrived in North Ireland ON Jan. 26, 1942.

the 34th trained there for the invasion of North Africa on Nov. 7,1942.

Volunteers from the 34thI.D. provided 80% of the men for a newly formed

1st. Ranger Battalion and many of them participitaded with the British

Commandos in the famous raid on Dieppe,France. The only African American

divn. I knew of was the 92nd. and they were in Italy for a short time.

Hope this can be of little help. Roque Riojas 1st. Bn. 135th Inf. Regt. 34th I.D.

j3rdinf.,JOE any help from your end? How you doing ddogface!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Rocky for supplying some info.

 

Hi Karen:

 

Saw your post in the guestbook and have been meaning to respond, but so darn busy. So here I am tonight.

 

Thanks for joining, it's great having another member. I hope we can help you out. I'm sure you've seen the links regarding black GI's on my main site, but if not (and for the benefit of others too), I will post them here. Here's are few...

 

Let's see how much we can find out and please if anyone has anything at all, please share it with Karen.

 

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jan1997/n0...97_9701154.html

 

http://www.redstone.army.mil/history/integ...ate/chron3b.htm

 

http://www.jamesmcbride.com/info_about.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The only African American divn. I knew of was the 92nd.

 

There were several smaller black units, such as the tank battalion that served with Patton. There was a black signal corps that was used early in the landings at Salerno, I believe. Then there were many blacks in the logistics support units. I'm not sure of the history of these units. Will require some digging.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Karen I know several of the links I supplied were general to England, etc. Will try and narrow it down to Ireland for you. :pdt34:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just happened to be surfing eBay----Duh!

And here are some units that have their DI pins listed for sale.

 

94th Engineer Regt (Colored)

95th Engineer Regt (GS) (Colored)

97th Engineer Regt (GS) (Colored)

I don't know anything about these units; i.e. if they were sent overseas or if they were in Ireland.

 

BTW, eBay had DI pins of many other Engineer units. Here is some of the interesting ones.

88th Heavy Pontoon Engineer Bn

85th Heavy Pontoon Engineer Bn

84th Engineer Camouflage Bn

80th Engineer Water Supply Bn

108th Engineer Bn

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found some more independent colored units that I found on the internet>

 

333rd Field Artillery Group, consisting of 333rd Field Artillery Battalion

and 969th Field Artillery Battalion: These were "colored" battalions,

attached to VIII Corps, supporting the 106th Infantry Division when the

German offensive in the Ardennes began.

11 members of the 333rd were captured and then murdered by the Germans

at Wereth, Belgium.

On 20 December, they moved to the defense of Bastogne, where the 969th

became the first "colored" unit to win the Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation.

 

771st Field Artillery Battalion: at Sibret, a "colored" battalion.

 

I hope this info is accurate.

STeve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Custerman's April 5--Afr. Amer. signal corps at Salerno. With all due

respect, but we never saw any when we (34th) landed there. Maybe they

wre on duty at night, don't know. But we were in Salerno a very short time

acc. we were on the move to the town of Benevento. Interesting to hear about

them after 60 some odd years. Roque

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah. I thought it was odd, too. I saw some photos of black signal corpsmen somewhere. I'll have to go find it, again.

Of course, I don't know when the photos were taken. Maybe 6 weeks after the landing or 6 months. But if it was later, then why set up a signal station there in the flat lands surrounded by mountains?? I'm sure these guys were not with the front-line troops but rather with a HQ unit.

When did the 34th Division land there? I know the 45th Division was a floating reserve and came in on the 2nd day, I believe.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Custermen; Here is quite a bit of typing for this hot tamale.

The only 34th Divn. unit to land at salerno on "D" Day, Sept. 9,1943 was

the Minnesota 151st Field Artillery Bn. under command of Gen. E. Dubois,

Boone Ia. The 151st went ashore in support of the Texas 36th Divn. The

Germans struck hard and fast,their armor driving the 36th back to the

beaches. Knowing that if the Germans reached the beachhead all was lost,

the bravemen of the 151st Field artillery LOWERED their high angle fire 105

howitzers and BORE SIGHTED down the tubes and in rapidity of fire for

that weapon that would not have been believed to be possible but in the heat

of battle they knocked out tank after tank.

The 151st fired 10,504 rounds during the battle compared to 7,900 rounds

expended during the entire No. African and Campaign. The 34th Divn. Chief if Staff

quoted "if it hadn't been for the 151st the beachhead would have been

destroyed.

The entire 34th Divn left Oran Africa and landed in Salerno on Sept. 22, 1943

and all hell broke loose when WE hit Benevento.

There is a lot more to say but maybe I'll continue at a later date. OH one

thing I must add. On Oct. 13th my outfit the 135th Regt. launched a crossing

of the Calore River. using a guide rope and engineer assault boats we got

across and the krauts were waiting. In the Benevento area is where I got

the Bronze Star. NUF SAID. Roque J. or Marion Rocky r-----n.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The 151st went ashore in support of the Texas 36th Divn.

Hey! I knew that. Really, I did.

The book by Wilmer "Bud" Wagner entitled "And There Shall Be Wars" mentions this. His book is a journal of his experience in the war along with editorials added later during publishing. He also carried a forbidden camera and many of his photos are included in his book. He was a member of the 151st FA and served first as a cook then was assigned to a .50 caliber AA gun. But he finally got what he wanted which was to be a liason messenger for the artillery HQs. He drove a jeep all over the place and carried orders, maps and overlays, mail and Starts & Stripes. The journal is more of a love-affair with his jeep than it is about fighting Germans.

Also, I think it was the 151st FA that lost one or 2 of its 105mm Howitzer's during the landing when the DUKW capsized.(or was it an LST?).

The last time I contacted Bud's son was about at leat 1+ year ago and he said that Bud had just driven half-way cross-country by himself. His son sent me a disc of some of Bud's photos.

Steve, the Nephew of

PFC Jimmie Hill, 142 Regt

captured on 1st day at Salerno

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:o WOW GUY'S YOU ARE A WEALTH OF INFO! UNBELIEVEABLE REALLY. Ive been ofline for nearly a week now and i never expected this much info. Ive read through it all, though very quickly as i wanted to post back a reply asap for all you help. I shall reply later again when i get through this amount of info!!!! Thanks from Belfast, Karen :drinkin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, can you tell me anything about a colored unit. 4192d Quartermaster Service Company. They were in NI Feb44-May44. I believe they were also stationed in Huyton, Liverpool in Oct 44. I have asked for any info from the Quartermaster Museum but they cannot track this unit. They explained that many broke up and reformed with other names etc. Were they part of the 544th QM Service Battalion and was it colored. I get confused they had so many different names but yet seem to be the same units. Ta!!!! :pdt20: Karen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quoting from "And There Shall Be Wars"

(Remember, this is the words of Bud Wagner who was a witness.)

 

Journal account:

Our DUKWs left the 356 {LST number} at 4am. {I guess he is saying the first wave left at this time; he would disembark later.} Firing some this morning. Jerry hasn't opposed much yet. At 10am the coast of Italy is in plain sight; it looks mountainous. Our pontoons are lowered. Nothing but ships around us. I counted 76 from our position. . . . Lef the LST about noon. Tom and Lynn rode with me. Though 2 feet of water came over the hood{of his jeep}, she never missed once. . . . Came about 1 mile inland; moved again to some ancient ruins. .... C Battery lost a 105 and a DUKW. A Battery knocked out 4 tanks. Things are going faily well for us. Air activity; mostly enemy.

 

Then he added these additions at publication in 2000.

We lost one DUWK from Battery C. It got hit by some other equipment while getting off the LST out at sea. Though all equipment was lost, including a 105mm and 46 rounds of ammo, all the crew was saved by other DUWKs in the area. The night was extremely dark, but the general direction could be told by the glow of fires in the crater of Mount Vesuvius {I never heard of that before}.

The first DUKW carrying Col. DuBois, Maj Surdyk and 160 rounds of ammo landed on Red Beach at 7:25am with leading elements of the second wave of infantry which had also been delayed by the heavy hostile fire. Guns were unloaded from the DUKWs and sent to battery positions without any attempt being made at reorganizing by battery, because the situation demanded immediate supporting fire. Three guns of the 36th Division Artillery landed and did not know where to go. Capt. Constant took them and sent them into position with his other guns. They were later sent back to the 36th Division when Capt. Constant had to relocate to an anti-tank position.

Capt Stewart, the Liason Officer, continued on with the forward infantry elements and was the first to reach the crest line on the western extremity of Mount Soprano.

At 9:30 seven Mark IV tanks attacked the position. The battery destroyed 2 tanks and drove off the remainder, but the gun crews were forced to evacuate the positions under heavy machine gun fire. . . .

At 3pm, permission was given to fly our Piper Cubs off of the LST 356. Lt. Fleinbert flew off without an incident from the flight deck that had been especially constructed above my peep and other equipment---that is if you could call a 50-foot strip a "flight deck". {Bud had a photo of his jeep parked under this flight deck installed on his LST, which was used to launch L-4 Cubs for airborne forward artillery spotters.} Lt. Fleming didn't do as well as Lt. Feinberg. As he neared the end of the runway, the LST rolled, and the aircraft struck the Bofors AA guns in the bow of the ship. The plane pitched over the bow and fell into the water. Lt. Fleming managed to slip his safety belt and kick his way out of the cabin just before the ship ran directly over the airplane. (This is the way I heard the story.)

 

Credit to "And There Shall Be Wars".

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, we have a great team here. Guess you found that out! :D;)

 

Delighted that we could get ya started. Hopefully we'll be able to add even more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AMEN TO THAT MARION. AND WE USED THE COMBAT ENGINEERS AS

FORWARD ELEMENTS WHEN WE CROSSED THE CALORE,RAPIDO, AND

ARNORIVERS!!!!!!!!! THE INFANTRY SALUTES THE COMBAT ENGINEERS!!!!

Got my feet wet once and afterwards we walked across pontoon

briidges. RJR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Rocky! MY ENGINEERS will be happy to read your words. I tell you the more I read about them, the more awed I am about their feats. I salute you too boys! :pdt34::pdt34:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×