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26th Infantry On Coastal Patrol 1942-1943

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This book is scheduled for publication next month.

It details the 26th infantry's assignment to Coastal Patrol duty for the New England

Coast and the entire Eastern Seaboard after Pearl Harbor.

 

The military was concerned about German invasions and the 26th ID became sort

of a "Homeland Security" - if you will.

 

http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-3142-7

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Thanks for placing this here. You're a peach! :clappin:

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WAHOOO!!! I finally got this book and it's FANTASTIC!!!! :clappin:

The author Dennis Connole wrote the book after researching his Dad's military service. His father "Joe" Connole was reluctant to talk about the war: "..whenever I approached him about his part in the war, he would become upset, sometimes angry, I stopped asking". Sound familiar? After his Dad died, Dennis said that even though he'd promised himself to chk into his military service - he never seem to be able to make time to begin (I can relate to that too!). He credits reading William Manchester's memoir of the Pacific War "Goodbye, Darkness" as a motivating influence.

 

Mr Connole's Dad and my Dad were both inducted into the 181st infantry (Joe Connole was 2nd battalion Company H and my father was 1st Battalion Company C) in january '41and both sent to Camp Edwards in March '41. This book gives incredibly detailed info from the selectees arrival at camp Edwards, their basic training, a 3 day public relations bivouac in Worcester, their advanced infantry training, VI Corps manuevars at Ft Devens, the Carolina Maneuvars,

and what happened when they returned to Edwards and heard the news of the attack on Pearl. In other words, for the first time I now have a detailed account of everything my Dad experienced from 1/1941 through 1/1942.

 

I'm SO EXCITED!!!! OK, I'll calm down!

 

More later...

 

M2

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Oh girlfriend I can relate to that. I am :bluejumper: for you! :nuts::wave2: I can relish in that feeling.

 

You will also love the new booklet I received (talked about it in this section too), because it talks all about the amphibious affairs at Camp Edwards. Can't wait to share it with all.

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Ny good friend M1! I KNEW you'd be able to relate to my book receipt excitement. When the UPS guy arrived, he probably thought I'd lost my mind because I kept saying: "YAY!!! It's the book!!" and thanking him profusely.

 

I LOVE detail - especially the specific detail of real people's stories and experiences. This book has alot of that in spades - compiled from many sources including the regimental historians of the 104TH and 181st. Some of the stories are a riot.

 

Apparently, when the "selectees" arrived on the train to Camp Edwards, they had to walk about a mile to their billets in mud up to their ankles. The area they saw was a bleak wilderness with no trees & there was ice & snow with the wind whipping across the camp flatlands.

 

A 104th historian wrote: "We left the train and carried our heavy packs the mile to the new barracks through much snow. So this was to be our home: what a desolate place....seemingly a dreary, forlorn, out of the way place."

 

There was a guy named Bill McCarter who arrived at Edwards after his basic training in Mississippi just after Pearl Harbor, he boarded an Army train "with covered windows and traveled for 2 1/2 days not knowing where he was going." When the train arrived, 6 inches of snow covered the ground & he asked the conductor where he was & was told:"Iceland".

 

:lol::lol: the conductor was clearly a comedian.

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Yes indeed, a comedian on board. Sure he heard that a few times from the men arriving...

 

Here are some bleak pictures from the book I just obtained. I am using some of these in the documentary too. They give a good feel for the times at Camp Edwards and Camp Gordon Johnson.

 

Improvised Mock-ups

 

Available Boats Were Used to Capacity

 

Outdoor Training Classroom. Ooo, how luxurious!

 

Headquarters were small

 

Essential Construction was Delayed

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Cool photos M! I guess there were an awful lot of "mock ups" including weaponry. This would continue even through the Carolina Maneuvers - the objective of which was to simulate real war as closely as possible, to test & train in near battle conditions, and "weld all US Army services into a unified whole".

 

An engineer with the Army Ordnance Dept - Capt Lincoln Christenson's mission was to "gather specific information for his superiors related to ordnance equipment effectivesness & reliability" reported that much of what he witnessed - tactical blunders, inexperienced leadership, severe shortage of weapons & equipment, and deficiencies of armored vehicles & weapons - "convinced him of the nation's inpreparedness". (and this just before Pearl Harbor!)

 

Christenson reported: "sticks in the hands of troops often served as rifles, stove pipes as mortars, wooden cannons on tanks, and trucks sometimse masqueraded as tanks."

 

He says: Occasionally, a soldier would jump out of the bushes, pointing a broomstick rifle at an opposing soldier and shout "Bang! You're dead!".

 

He related a humorous incident at a ceremony honoring the govenors of North & South Carolina in which the Army was suppossed to fire a 19 gun salute using "a motley collection of cannons - some of which dated back to the Civil War." When the officer in charge gave the order to load & fire, "the first cannon went off producing a veranda shaking roar. Each successive shot was less impressive, "the very last cannon released a feeble pop - about as loud as the sound of a tire blowout - which brought smiles and a few snickers to the less controlled onlookers".

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That last one got me :frown: I could hear the sounds (or lack thereof) in my head!

 

Oh lordy, those inadequacies would show up on the shores of North Africa. As one of our forum members would say, "Well Jimminy-Crickets"! Not enough equipment, especially for the engineers, unpreparedness for battle, lack of cooperation between the navy and army, poor planning and on and on...

 

But alas we are quick learners (thank God) and we learned a mighty lesson from the shores of North Africa, before we landed on the Sicilian beaches. By the time we reached Italy, we were damned seasoned.

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