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SonofaMP

Hello from the son of a 6th corp MP

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Hello, my name is Larry and i`m from Kalamazoo, Mi. First, a heartfelt thank you to all the vets on this board and everywhere.

My father, Stanley Duzal, Pfc 706th MPEG Det, passed away last august, I`ve been piecing together the story of his wwll service. He never talked about the war when i was growing up and it was only in the last year that he would talk about bits and peices that he could remember. I`ve managed to trace most of his movements from North Africa where he was a supply train guard in 1943, then moved to Italy assigned to the 706th MP POW Escort Guard det. in early `44. He was in the Naples - Cassino area with the 36thID & at times with the 3rdID. (his unit was not attached to any division) He moved to Anzio with the 36thID for the breakout from the beachhead in the spring. His unit the got assigned to the 8th Naval Beach battalion for the invasion of southern France. Dad said he sailed from Italy in a LCM with engineers supporting the 36thID. From my research i believe must have been the 540th Engineers. He landed at St Raphel in the the second or third wave of the assault troops of the 141st Reg. He helped secure the beach area from sniper fire and assisted evacuating the wounded back to hospital ships. By noon on the 15th he was handling POWs coming back from the front.

I havent found much information yet on his movements from there to Germany with the 7th army but i know he was around Bretzenheim, Germany at the end of the war.

I want to thank Marion for this awesome website where i have found a lot of info on my research. i figured you would like to hear about a GI who did a job that had to be done and that i am sure proud of.

Thank You

Larry

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Welcome aboard Larry!! :pdt34: Glad to see you made it to the board. Hopefully we can be of service to you here and look forward to any and all update about new info you may find. Please keep us informed and maybe we can help you fill in any gaps.

 

Welcome aboard!!!

 

 

:pdt34:

 

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Hey Larry:

 

First off I love your username - SonofaMP! That is a great handle!! :pdt12: Very catchy and one I won't forget.

 

Sorry to hear about the loss of your dad, but happy to hear how much you have learned in such a short time span. Good for you. It's very satisfying isn't it?

 

I'm sure we'll be able to fill in some blanks for you, and yes it was the 540th at San Rafael. I will have to look through some of my NARA files for that info, and see if his unit might be listed in the "S" reports. It would be great if I could give you more detail.

 

Oh, and it's nice to have another Michigander amongst our ranks! Yeah! :armata_PDT_01:

 

Smiles,

M

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:armata_PDT_37: Lordy. Lordy, Your Dad Must have been in the same area as the 48th Engineers in Italy and Maybe on the same ship for the invasion of South France. WE landed with the 36th Div. I fed several MP units as WE moved up thru France. Welcome aboard. AL Kincer

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One big happy family. The 36th Inf Div, the 48th and 540th Engineers and your dad's unit!

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:armata_PDT_37: Lordy. Lordy, Your Dad Must have been in the same area as the 48th Engineers in Italy and Maybe on the same ship for the invasion of South France. WE landed with the 36th Div. I fed several MP units as WE moved up thru France. Welcome aboard. AL Kincer

 

Hi Al, & Marion, thanks for the welcome. Dad was in such a small detachment, usualy only 3 to 10 men, that records or info about a unit that small are almost non-existant. I can only go by what he remembered & a few dated documents that he had as to where he was at those times and the divisions that were in the area.

in Italy i believe his parent unit was CO.A 504th MP Battalion. When he arrived in Naples in Jan `44, he was

assigned to POW Det 4086 G, at some point it was redesignated as the 706th MPEG POW Det. that he was in till the end of the war. The unit probly operated out of VI Corps HQ and went whereever they were needed, usualy guarding supplies going to the front lines and escorting prisoners back so he could have been in the area of

any division units fighting in the area.

As for the southern france landing, he definitley went with a 540th Eng unit, The one thing i cant figure out and

dad didnt know is why he was assigned to go in with the assault troops. I figured since being blind in 1 eye

he would have basicaly been limited- service personal, which is how he he became an MP guard in the first

place, instead of coming in later in the day.

Larry

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Hello Larry from the daughter of a 6th corps MP! My dad was T4 Sgt Francis J Howard with

VI corps 206th MP Co. In VI corps, there were two MP groups - your Dad's 504th MP Battalion and my Dad's 206th MP Company.

 

My father never spoke about the war - he only spoke about the other fellows that were with him. I knew absolutely nothing about his army service. When he passed away in 1982, I

could never quite bring myself to go through his papers. Years later, it was something his

first cousin John told me that prompted me to finally read his war letters & diaries. He said:

"Your father went through alot during the war and I don't believe he ever told you dear.

The week that Francis came home, he came to see my father & said: "Uncle Marty, I saw

some terrible things and I want to talk to you about it today and then I'll never speak of

them ever again." True to his word, he never did.

 

After this conversation with John, I stayed up well into the night reading my Dad's War letters

and postcards. They were wonderful and I cried MANY a bitter tear over them, realizing

what he must've been through.

Since then, I've preserved all Dad's letters, photos and memorabilia. I have the diary he kept

in 1943 which records the Salerno invasion, the citation his unit received from Gen Mark

Clark for their actions at Anzio, and I even have the american flag armband that he wore

for the invasion of Southern France.

 

Here 's his Army history:

 

Drafted March 1941 into the 181st Infantry Yankee Division at Camp Edwards MA.

Moved to Fort Devens in preparation for Army's Carolina Manuevars.

He returned to Camp Edwards on Dec 6, 1941 and was scheduled to be released

from service Dec 8th, but Pearl Harbor made him "in for the duration".

He was selected to be part of VI Corps' new MP co and received his "6" patch.

1942 was spent mostly drilling & training, at one point he was sent to collect a huge

shipment of the army's newest vehicle - the jeep. (I have a great photo of him sitting

in one). He passed his exams for Officers Training School, but wasn't able to go

because he was scheduled to be sent overseas.

In February 1943, he went to Fort Dix NJ to ship out to North Africa. I believe some

of the convoy he was with was sunk. He was in Casablanca & Rabat North Africa until

preparations were underway at the Port Of Oran for the Salerno invasion Sept 9th.

(I have photos of him and his best buddy MP Corporal Bill Cunningham at Avellino).

January 1944, he was part of the invasion at the Anzio beachhead.

June 1944, the Rome-Arno campaign.

August 15, 1944, he was part of the invasion of Southern France.

He was in Besancon in Sept 1944 and Bruyeres in 1944.

In December 1944, he was in Alsace/Ardennes. (I have a picture of him taken on Christmas

day in a "commandeered German jeep").

In February 1945, he had enough points to go home, so just before VI corps was going to

cross the Rhine into Germany - he was sent home.

 

I'm so very proud of my Dad and I do believe that he receives my love for him in heaven.

Larry and Marion, weren't we blessed to be the children of such men!

Thank you for this wonderful website Marion!

Al, thank you for your service! We can never repay any of you guys. May God bless you &

everyone you love!

 

Mary Ann

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Hello Mary Ann, welcome to the forum, nice to hear from a sister unit of Dad`s. It`s great that you have your dad`s diary & letters to learn about his service even if it is difficult reading of his experiences. My dad never kept a diary (that i know of) nor have i seen any letters of his. There were only a few items of memoribilia that he had in a small canvas bag. We`d like to see any pictures or stories of your dad if you can post them. You have every reason to be proud of your dad, and the best way we can repay our vets is to teach furture generations of their sacrifices and let them know they will never be forgotten.

 

Larry

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Hi Mary Ann: You said it well. Yes, it is an honor being their sons and daughters. We have quite a legacy to tell the world about.

 

So nice having your here and I certainly enjoyed reading what you wrote this afternoon. Can't wait to hear and SEE more.

 

It's also great that Larry and you share some common ground. Makes it even better! :armata_PDT_37:

 

I'm tickled you became a member and thrilled that we have another daughter to tell her father's story. :wub:

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Hi Larry & Marion!! This is SO exciting! Tomorrow would've been my Dad's birthday!

He'd be tickled pink that we were talking. I have ALOT of stuff - so bear with me.

I'm attaching this photo of my dad with some special 5th army award that the company

recd for service at Anzio. You can see "206th MP co" at the bottom.

You can only upload under 100mb photos right?

 

It was such a blessing that my grandmother saved all my Dad's letters and photographs!

There are small scraps & pieces in them that give a special insight into what he & the

othe fellows went through. I also did alot of reading & research and was able to match

the letters & photos to war events & figure out where he was on different dates.

From WWW.army.mil, I got several great booklets on Salerno & Anzio. You might find them

helpful Larry. Also, a great book called "From The Riviera To The Rhine" by jefferey Clarke.

 

One of the greatest unexpected benefits that I got from doing the research on my Dad, was

a much better understanding of him as a person - as a son, husband, and father. What these

BIG, BIG men went through & sacrificed, colored the rest of their lives & they kept it to themselves - no one, even those closest, really knew anything about it. I think,in a way,this

silence was perhaps their greatest act of heroism. A daily act of valor, unnoticed during their

lifetimes, but now being witnessed by their sons & daughters so many years later.

 

The night that I read my dad's letters, I was up at 2am blubbering like a baby and

saying: "Oh Daddy! I'm so sorry that I didn't really understand!".

I think that's our assignment now - to understand, TELL, and appreciate.

 

Much more later!

All the best to you Larry & Marion!

BTW - Marion, my Dad's mother's name was Marion Josephine Howard nee Jordan

isn't that a funny coincidence?

 

Mary Ann

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Couldn't have said it any better than you did, so I won't! :pdt34::wub:

 

Yes, what a coincidence. It's funny how often I come across my name now that I am older. Years ago I couldn't find anyone who spelled it my way. B)

 

Riviera to the Rhine is an excellent book with fantastic maps and photos and is on my must read list.

 

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