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292nd Engineer Combat Battalion (New Member)

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Hello All,

 

My uncle, Cpl. Dean Belmonte, served in Co. C, 292nd Engineer Combat Battalion, XIII Corps, Ninth Army, during 1944-1945. His unit built bridges across the Roer River under fire during Operation Grenade, and supported the 84th, 102nd Infantry, and 5th Armored Divisions across the Rhine and Elbe Rivers.

 

I have minimal info about the unit, and I am hoping to learn more about his particualr unit and Engineers in general. I am a retired Air Force officer and the author of a book, Italian Americans in World War II (Arcadia, 2001). I look forward to participating in these discussions.

Thanks to all the veterans who are on this list, I appreciate your service to our country.

Sincerely,

Pete Belmonte

O'Fallon, IL

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Hi Pete:

 

Well we FINALLY get to chat via the forum. :pdt12: For our forum members, it seems Pete was fated not to become a member, or so it seemed, due to some very weird behavior with the administration section of my software. Well he was patient, I was persistent and it paid off. :pdt34:

 

So welcome to our humble home. I hope we will be able to shed some light for you.

 

Your book sounds interesting, especially since that is part of my heritage. My grandparents were from Sicily. Came over around the early 1900's. Part of my mom's brothers were born there. The rest of her brothers and sisters, in Detroit. How did you come to write the book?

 

Don't forget to look for assistance in the Research section, as it lays out several different avenues to pursue (many of them free), to discover info regarding your uncle's unit.

 

I will look up some data for you too, and place it here later.

 

Warmly,

M1

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Found some pages within my "green book", and have scanned the section which includes the 292nd, The Roer Crossings. Hope you enjoy it.

 

Specific pages within 497 and 498.

292nd_Engineers001.pdf

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Hi Marion,

Thanks very much for the info on the 292nd and the Roer. I'm very happy to add that to my small trove of 292nd history. I have the daily situation reports for the 1149th Engineer Combat Group for February, 1945, and these mention the autobahn bridge and the 292nd. The history you've attached show just how important that bridge was to the XIII Corps effort.

 

I'm glad to hear that you're a fellow Italian American. I wrote the book in the late 1990s. I was at that time in the American Italian Historical Association, writing and presenting papers and articles about Italian American history, hoping to get a job as a college instructor upon retirement from the Air Force. One of the members of the Association suggested that I write a local history and try to get it published by Arcadia Publishers. At that time I was corresponding with a number of Italian American WWII vets and collecting their histories, and I proposed such a book to Arcadia. They accepted the proposal, and I continued my correspondence and writing. The result, after corresponding with about 50 Italian American vets, is a nice collection of stories woven together with almost 100 photos that the men so freely shared. It was published in 2001 and it was a great, happy experience for me.

If there are any Italian American vets on this site who'd like to share their experience, I'd be happy to correspond with them (I cannot guarantee I will write another book, although I'd like to do just that some day).

 

Thanks again for the info, you work fast!

Pete

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Thanks very much Frank! I like browsing the messages, lots of interesting stuff.

Here are two web sites that contain some information on the 292nd Engineer Combat Battalion:

 

http://www.soldiersmuseum.com/pages/ww2/longacre/index.htm

 

 

http://forums.wildbillguarnere.com/lofiver....php/t8747.html

 

 

The first site has photos of some projects and happenings in the outfit in 1945 in Europe. The second, from Wild Bill Guarnere's forum, has some info which, I think, comes indirectly from a 292nd vet. I submit them here so that, if anyone else is searching, perhaps they can use the info.

Pete

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JEWELER, I'LL JUST ADD MY 2 CENTS--

WELCOME ON BOARD,YA HEAR!!!!

 

MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE COMBAT ENGINEERS WASN'T TOO MUCH, JUST

THREE RIVER CROSSINGS OF THE VOLTURNO RIVER ONE CROSSING OF THE

RAPIDO RIVER AND ONE OVER THE ARNO RIVER. JUST GOT MY BOOTS MUDDY

AND DIDN'T STEP ON ANY SHCU MINES. I GUESS YOU HAVE HEARD OF THEM.

AND OF COURSE THE BOUNCING BETTYS. I DO HOPE THEY GET THE MEDAL

I HAVE. THE ----C.I.B.----- ROCKY

 

THREE CHEERS FOR THE COMBAT ENGINEERS.--- :armata_PDT_19:

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Pete:

 

Three cheers for your line of thinking...Anyone doing a search will pick up on all the available links you've come across in your search, here and elsewhere. That is always my mode of thinking.

 

Rocky: Once again thank you for standing up for my engineers. Man, we need more folks like you. Guys who were actually there and can vouch for my men. Bravo! :armata_PDT_37:

 

BTW, Lee was reading some of your posts this evening, and was commenting on what a heck of a guy you were. Said he was glad that you and I got together. I was happy to hear that.

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Rocky,

Thanks for the welcome. I give you a big salute -- I have read about the Rapido (I think the book is The Real Tragedy of the Rapido) -- a grueling assault for sure. I've never been in that kind of combat, but muddy boots aren't bad, all things considered. :armata_PDT_01:

 

I know you are justifiably proud of the CIB. The vets with whom I've corresponded felt very proud of that award. In fact, Gen. Joseph Stillwell, who commanded US troops in the China theater during the war, desired that award above any other accolade (and he was actually awarded the DSC for heroism). He received the CIB award just prior to his death in 1945; I think an exception was made in his case since, if I'm not mistaken, it usually is not awarded to officers of high rank.

 

Thanks again Rocky and Marion!

Pete

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Pete,

 

Thanks so much for the information. As a proud Grandson of a 292nd veteran any information is appreciated. If you ever decide to post the after action reports you spoke of above then please let me know. I'd be truly interested in reading them hoping maybe they can expand the limited knowledge that I have on grandfather's unit.

 

Thanks so much.

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Hello, all,

I just found this site and am a bit overwhelmed with all the links, photos, etc. I won't be able to explore it all for a long time!

 

My father-in-law was Sgt. Sterling Sykes, who served in the 292nd from 1944-1946. I'm afraid I don't know which company. When he passed away several years ago, in the attic we found a posed panoramic photo of the 292nd, stateside so circa 1944. It's 35 inches wide. We have just recently had the courage to take it out of its aged frame and found it in excellent condition. It was professionally taken so I don't know what the copyright rules would be for posting it to the web, but if anyone knows what the copyright laws might be under these circumstances, I'd be glad to share if it's legal. We also have a map/poster of the 292nd's campaign through Europe, but it was obviously mass produced so I imagine it's pretty common among vets.

 

We also have candid photos from training camp stateside. I'll try to get them uploaded in upcoming months. We don't have names for other soldiers in the photos, but perhaps others will find a relative they're looking for.

 

Lisa Sykes

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Welcome!

 

There are no copyright laws and you may post whenever you wish. Those were given to each man in the unit, for their own personal use.

 

We look forward to seeing what you have and can't wait to discuss more with you.

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Hello, all,

I just found this site and am a bit overwhelmed with all the links, photos, etc. I won't be able to explore it all for a long time!

 

My father-in-law was Sgt. Sterling Sykes, who served in the 292nd from 1944-1946. I'm afraid I don't know which company. When he passed away several years ago, in the attic we found a posed panoramic photo of the 292nd, stateside so circa 1944. It's 35 inches wide. We have just recently had the courage to take it out of its aged frame and found it in excellent condition. It was professionally taken so I don't know what the copyright rules would be for posting it to the web, but if anyone knows what the copyright laws might be under these circumstances, I'd be glad to share if it's legal. We also have a map/poster of the 292nd's campaign through Europe, but it was obviously mass produced so I imagine it's pretty common among vets.

 

We also have candid photos from training camp stateside. I'll try to get them uploaded in upcoming months. We don't have names for other soldiers in the photos, but perhaps others will find a relative they're looking for.

 

Lisa Sykes

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Lisa,

 

Warmest welcome to the forum! It is always exciting to me to meet another family member of a 292nd soldier. My grandfather, PFC Arthur A. Clark, was in company A of the 292nd. I have been doing some research on this unit for the last few years and have a lot that I can share with you. I have obtained from the NARA the unit histories, after action reports, and journals of the 292nd. I have copied a number of the morning reports of company A from the NPRC in St. Louis. According to one of the morning report documents I have your father-in-law, S/SGT Sterling C Sykes ASN# 34454730, was also a member of company A. I have attached a copy of this document below, sorry it is not that easy to see but you can understand because of the age. Your father-in-law's name is listed in the first column, 6th name down. You will notice my grandfather's name is listed just four names down from your father-in-law. As Marion has stated there is no problem posting your photos, and I as well as others are really looking forward to seeing them. I have photos to share as well. Hope to hear from you soon,

 

Randy Clark

 

 

 

 

post-2432-0-18966800-1454256780_thumb.jpg

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Randy this is so cool!

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Welcome aboard Lisa! Been awhile since I've been here to work, but am glad to be back. As you may have read above, my grandfather served in both H&S and for awhile in A company as a mechanic. Anything you can provide for this little documented company would be appreciated by all whether it be photos, documentation or anything pertaining to your father-in-laws service. Thanks so much for joining and I look forward to continued dialog.

 

Randy, long time no see, my friend! I still am going to post the photo I mentioned a few months back and hopefully as you have time can forward the unit info we last spoke of.

 

The search for information continues, folks as does the desire to document our loved ones service and the history of this neglected unit. Forward, folks, and let's get out any and all info, photos and anything else relevant to honor these patriots!

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Three cheers to all of you!

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Randy this is so cool!

 

 

Yes Marion, this is all very cool! Our little 292nd family on this forum is growing, I like it a lot! I was so excited to see Lisa's post yesterday I had to call my friend Ralph right away, because I knew he would be just as eager to hear it too. Who's Ralph? He and I met on the ww2f.com forum 5 years ago and have remained in contact ever since, even meeting once in person. His father and my grandfather were both from Missouri, both served in Company A of the 292nd, and we think they may have been friends during their time in service. We are both anxious to see what photos Lisa may have to share. The panoramic photo she mentions has particularly peaked our interest. Neither of us has or has seen a photo like this for the 292nd. We speculate that it may be a company photo, not a battalion one, for It would be quite a challenge to capture 632 men in a picture. Since it appears that her father-in-law was a member of Company A, and if indeed this turns out to be a photo of Company A, our relatives could be in this photo as well. That would be amazing, and Lisa might just become our new BFF!

 

Randy

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Welcome aboard Lisa! Been awhile since I've been here to work, but am glad to be back. As you may have read above, my grandfather served in both H&S and for awhile in A company as a mechanic. Anything you can provide for this little documented company would be appreciated by all whether it be photos, documentation or anything pertaining to your father-in-laws service. Thanks so much for joining and I look forward to continued dialog.

 

Randy, long time no see, my friend! I still am going to post the photo I mentioned a few months back and hopefully as you have time can forward the unit info we last spoke of.

 

The search for information continues, folks as does the desire to document our loved ones service and the history of this neglected unit. Forward, folks, and let's get out any and all info, photos and anything else relevant to honor these patriots!

 

 

Hey Gary, glad to see you back! Ralph had asked me on the phone yesterday if I had heard anymore from you. I told him no I hadn't, but lo and behold here you are. Sorry that I have not sent the 292nd papers to you yet, I haven't forgotten about it. I will do my best to get that task completed soon. Forward indeed Gary, forward we march!

 

Randy

 

:14_2_107:

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Yes Marion, this is all very cool! Our little 292nd family on this forum is growing, I like it a lot! I was so excited to see Lisa's post yesterday I had to call my friend Ralph right away, because I knew he would be just as eager to hear it too. Who's Ralph? He and I met on the ww2f.com forum 5 years ago and have remained in contact ever since, even meeting once in person. His father and my grandfather were both from Missouri, both served in Company A of the 292nd, and we think they may have been friends during their time in service. We are both anxious to see what photos Lisa may have to share. The panoramic photo she mentions has particularly peaked our interest. Neither of us has or has seen a photo like this for the 292nd. We speculate that it may be a company photo, not a battalion one, for It would be quite a challenge to capture 632 men in a picture. Since it appears that her father-in-law was a member of Company A, and if indeed this turns out to be a photo of Company A, our relatives could be in this photo as well. That would be amazing, and Lisa might just become our new BFF!

 

Randy

 

Wonderful, thanks for sharing how you got to meet Ralph, etc.

 

Yes, it would be a company photo and I bet you and Ralph are waiting with great anticipation. I would be too!!! I have seen quite a few of these panoramic images and it's always exciting for others to get a glimpse of their loved ones.

 

I'm so happy that this post has multiple entries from family members of the 292nd. May the "family" continue to grow...

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Hey Gary, glad to see you back! Ralph had asked me on the phone yesterday if I had heard anymore from you. I told him no I hadn't, but lo and behold here you are. Sorry that I have not sent the 292nd papers to you yet, I haven't forgotten about it. I will do my best to get that task completed soon. Forward indeed Gary, forward we march!

 

Randy

 

:14_2_107:

Randy,

 

No problem, my friend. I assure you that I will never disappear from those that I have made contact with here. I look forward to anything you can provide in the way of documentation and will reiterate that as someone who owns a photography company and deals with media every day, I would love to get copies of any and all documentition and photos that ANYONE has to provide, welcoming the opportunity to scan this information with the very high quality scanner that the company has to distribute for any and all. We need to get this information out so that this one of many little documented units does not fade into history.

 

Randy, here's the image, most likely a company photo, that I spoke of earlier. My family believes that my grandfather started as a mechanic in "A" company and then later was moved to "H&S" due to a shortage of mechanics and then may have moved back to "A" company later. I imagine that this photo was taken before deployment in the Fall/Winter of 1944, but cannot be sure whether it is "A" company or "H&S" company. Clearly, it has some issued having an old burn hole that destroyed the faces of two members along with some fold creases. My grandfather is fourth from the left in the back row. Maybe any and all can take a look to see if you see your relative and this would in turn allow us to determine which company this was for sure. This photo is relatively small compared to the original scan. Here is a link to 4x size version of the image so that you may better zoom into faces:

 

www.photozealots.com/tempalbums/19440000_292dCombatEngineers_large.jpg

 

Keep in mind that the file is quite large at 5.5 megabytes. I actually have a version that is 4.5x larger that this one, but at 57 megabytes figured it would be more than what folks needed.

 

Thanks to all for there time in posting here. We an and should band together so that this unit and these men do not fade into depths of history.

post-2431-0-01044000-1454540857_thumb.jpg

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Awesome photo Gary! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. It is a shame it has a burn hole in it. I have studied the photo closely several times and I do not see my grandfather in it. However, the soldier in the back row just to the right of the burn hole to me resembles Ralph's dad from pictures I have seen of him. Hopefully Ralph will drop in on the forum soon and tell us yes or no. He is already a member but has not been active. He told me Sunday he would check in on us but so far has not done so. I'll e-mail or call him to let him now he needs to get on here. I count 47 men in your photo, do not think it is an entire company. I am not sure but it may be some kind of training photo. When the 292nd entered the war zone in Dec. 1944 it had a total of 631 men (599 enlisted, 32 officers) between four companies (H&S, A, B, C) and a medical detachment. The Dec 1944 Company A morning reports show it to be 159 soldiers strong. Thanks again for posting the photo Gary my friend and hope to hear again from you soon.

 

Randy

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Hello, all,

Feeling dumb, of course my photo is not of the whole battalion. I took a closer look and saw the "A" below the Battalion number. It appears to have been taken at the same location as yours, Gary, but of the entire company. No faults at all in mine. I hope to get back to the gallery that copied what I have to find out whether any of you who want a hard copy can order it from them. Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out how to show it to you here on the forum. Can anyone point me to instructions on how to upload my photos?

 

Lisa

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Hi Lisa,

 

To upload your photo click on the "More Reply Options" block located on the bottom right hand corner of the reply box. A "Choose File" block will appear on the bottom left hand side, clicking on this will allow you to browse for files on your computer to upload. Once you have found the photo you want, click on it, then click "Open". Then click on the block "Attach This File", once file is loaded look over to the right were it says "Add To Post" click on this to add your photo to your reply box. Hopefully this has helped , if not let us know and we will do our best to help you. Very much looking forward to seeing your photo, if there would be a hard copy available to order I would definitely be interested in having one and I'm sure my friend Ralph would too.

 

Randy

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Lisa,

 

I absolutely echo what Randy said concerning the possibility of getting a copy of the photo you speak of. I, too, look forward to seeing the photo and would love to be able to scan it in and post it as as high a resolution as possible.

 

Isn't this great hearing from folks that have the same regard and respect for the men of this unit and all that they sacrificed?!! I look forward each and every day to seeing if another message has been posted to this forum and to this thread regarding our common interests. Thanks so much to all of you for your time and efforts and I look forward to continued correspondence with any and all who look to honor these great patriots!

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Great words, Gary!

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