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292nd Engineer Combat Battalion (New Member)

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Thank you, Gary, for a very informative article. My father was wounded on June 3, 1943, so he may have been at Kasserine Pass, but not injured there. I must have misremembered what he told me. Attached is the bottom portion of his military

transcript that I posted previously. I've attached the bottom portion of his military transcript that I posted previou See section 27. Anyone know what "EAMET" means?

Makes you wonder where he was injured? All remaining Africa Corps troops surrendered on May 13, 1943 and the Invasion of Sicily didn't happen until July 10, 1943. Was he still in Africa when he was wounded or was the unit he was in at the time transferred elsewhere and this is where the wound happened? The 292nd wasn't even formed until November of 1943 and not deployed until the late fall 1944. Question would be this... what unit was your father with prior to joining the 292nd and from there see if there is a timeline for where the unit was located during it's service. Your documentation did say he was in the Battle for Sicily which would have been after his wounding. Interesting... hopefully more information will be posted or found that will shed light on this.

 

Gary

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Here's another article from Ft Benning written in 1947 about the Roer (Ruhr) River crossing and the Engineer units that made the crossing possible during the first day or two. Although it doesn't mention the 292nd, these engineer units were just a few miles from where the 292nd built the Bailey Bridge at the destroyed Autobahn crossing and gives some information on what the engineers encountered trying to do "their thing" under fire.

 

http://www.benning.army.mil/library/content/Virtual/Armorpapers/KeaseyCharles%20R.%20LTC.pdf

 

Gary

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Thank you, Gary, for a very informative article. My father was wounded on June 3, 1943, so he may have been at Kasserine Pass, but not injured there. I must have misremembered what he told me. Attached is the bottom portion of his military

transcript that I posted previously. I've attached the bottom portion of his military transcript that I posted previou See section 27. Anyone know what "EAMET" means?

 

 

Hey Dennis,

 

I didn't pick up on this the first time I looked at your father's discharge paper but now I see he was National Guard before active army. For "Component" in box #5 is typed "NG", which of course stands for National Guard. Under "Remarks" in box #34 is typed "In state service NG of Illinois 4 Apr 40 to 4 Mar 41". This gives us the time frame of his National Guard service and also tells us whatever Guard unit he belonged to was activated to regular army service on 5 Mar 41. Armed with this knowledge we might be able to narrow it down to which unit he initially belonged to. Guard units were typically assigned to a infantry or artillery regiment etc., then placed with a division upon being called to active service. I did a quick google search for Illinois Guard units activated on 5 Mar 41, elements of the 33rd Infantry Division was what it mainly showed. That dog isn't gonna hunt though because the 33rd was deployed to the Pacific Theater of Operations. We do have this track we can follow. I'll keep looking and maybe Gary can pick up the scent, see if we can find this bird! :woof:

 

Randy

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Gentlemen,

 

Maybe many units were "nationalized" on March 5, 1941? The Unit Randy speaks of, the 33rd Infantry, was activated on that day, but as he said they eventually ended up in the Pacific. Maybe he transferred to another unit between the time the unit was activated and the time they headed to the Pacific? At this point I do not see another Illinois National Guard unit being federalized. Here's a link to a book that lists all of the National Guard units activated during WW II:

 

http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00047651/00001/62j

 

 

Gary

 

p.s. Dennis, I located your father's enlistment record dated 5 Mar 1941 and for branch it lists the following:

 

Medical Department - For Enlisted Men of the Medical Department (includes Enlisted Men of the Medical Department on Duty with the Dental Corps)

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My grandfather in the photo is in the 2nd row on the far right, sorry had my right and left confused on first statement. He is standing right next to the staff sergeant.

 

 

Hey Ken,

 

I'll tell ya, looking at a photo of a large group like this you see so many similarities of faces. There are several men in the picture who I thought might be your grandfather, but the gentlemen in the center of this close up I thought to be the best candidate. Got my fingers crossed.

 

Randy

 

Randy,

After reviewing this with my grandmother, and my mother they both agreed that the man you found is the wrong one, they both said it is not his nose. LOL. Is there any others that may look like him?

 

Ken

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Randy,

After reviewing this with my grandmother, and my mother they both agreed that the man you found is the wrong one, they both said it is not his nose. LOL. Is there any others that may look like him?

 

Ken

 

Ken,

 

Well darn, I was hoping to be 2 for 2. I'll take another try at it. I'm assuming your avatar photo is of your grandfather as well, it that correct? I think I was going more by that than the other photo.

 

Randy

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Attached is a letter from my dad to his mom dated May 20, 1943 in which he writes that he was in 3 battles: Kasserine, Berzita and Gasfa...some misspellings there...(plus requests for Colgate tooth powder, tooth brush, flash light, gum, cigarettes and chocolate candy matches...ha!). An interesting nugget in there about his unit assigned to protect FDR "and all the big shots" in Casablanca!

 

There is another letter written after his being wounded, but he does not say where or how it happened so I did not take a picture of it. The handwriting on it is different from the attached letter, which makes me think that it was dictated. He did have a shrapnel wound to his leg is all I can say. Also attached is something I found that confirms that he was assigned to the Medical Department. I do have a memory of him saying that he drove an ambulance.

 

post-2501-0-61619900-1458917798_thumb.jpgpost-2501-0-94989900-1458917815_thumb.jpg

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Warrens Son, FDR was guarded at Casablanca by Units of the 3rd Infantry Division, The only unit I know for sure of was the 15th Inf. My Dad had a friend who was in the 15th Inf. and told my Dad about guarding FDR and seeing him there.....Ralph

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Attached is a letter from my dad to his mom dated May 20, 1943 in which he writes that he was in 3 battles: Kasserine, Berzita and Gasfa...some misspellings there...(plus requests for Colgate tooth powder, tooth brush, flash light, gum, cigarettes and chocolate candy matches...ha!). An interesting nugget in there about his unit assigned to protect FDR "and all the big shots" in Casablanca!

 

There is another letter written after his being wounded, but he does not say where or how it happened so I did not take a picture of it. The handwriting on it is different from the attached letter, which makes me think that it was dictated. He did have a shrapnel wound to his leg is all I can say. Also attached is something I found that confirms that he was assigned to the Medical Department. I do have a memory of him saying that he drove an ambulance.

 

attachicon.gif1dad3.jpgattachicon.gif1dad4.jpg

See, this is all starting to make sense since other info states he was a truck driver before the war. I wonder how that was related to the Medical reference on his enlistment paperwork? It's clear he must have been transferred to another unit before deploying to Africa. Maybe they needed medical personnel since North Africa was the first "toe dip" in the African-European theater for the U.S. I looked at the letter you posted and the address says Company B, 20th Engineers. Here's a website dedicated to the 20th Engineers and pretty much confirms what your father says in his letter:

 

http://www.20thengineers.com/ww2.html

 

We'll keep digging, my friend!

 

Gary

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Attached is a letter from my dad to his mom dated May 20, 1943 in which he writes that he was in 3 battles: Kasserine, Berzita and Gasfa...some misspellings there...(plus requests for Colgate tooth powder, tooth brush, flash light, gum, cigarettes and chocolate candy matches...ha!). An interesting nugget in there about his unit assigned to protect FDR "and all the big shots" in Casablanca!

 

There is another letter written after his being wounded, but he does not say where or how it happened so I did not take a picture of it. The handwriting on it is different from the attached letter, which makes me think that it was dictated. He did have a shrapnel wound to his leg is all I can say. Also attached is something I found that confirms that he was assigned to the Medical Department. I do have a memory of him saying that he drove an ambulance.

 

attachicon.gif1dad3.jpgattachicon.gif1dad4.jpg

Looks like he meant Kasserine, Bizerte and Gafsa. The above website states "On 24 April, Company B of the 20th Engineers was attached to the Free French Corps Franc d'Afrique and conducted the regiment's first assault. The attack went well." Pretty much in line with what his letter says.

 

I have to wonder since he was wounded in early June that maybe he was wounded while assisting the removal of mines which is what they did following the German surrender in North Africa. I am inclined to believe that maybe he never got back to the unit following his being wounded and was later assigned to another Engineer unit... the 292nd. No evidence for this as of yet.

 

Gary

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Here's another website that gives information on the 20th Engineers:

 

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/54eng-b.htm

 

Since the unit went in with the forces in the invasion of Sicily in July and your father was injured in June he may still have been recuperating and thus did not travel with the unit. Maybe this is how he got detached and subsequently reassigned to another unit... the 292nd. Speculation, but hopefully we'll get to the bottom of this.

 

Gary

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Ken,

Well darn, I was hoping to be 2 for 2. I'll take another try at it. I'm assuming your avatar photo is of your grandfather as well, it that correct? I think I was going more by that than the other photo.

Randy

 

Randy,

My avatar photo is him.

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Looks like he meant Kasserine, Bizerte and Gafsa. The above website states "On 24 April, Company B of the 20th Engineers was attached to the Free French Corps Franc d'Afrique and conducted the regiment's first assault. The attack went well." Pretty much in line with what his letter says.

 

I have to wonder since he was wounded in early June whether maybe he was wounded while assisting the removal of mines and such which is what they did following the German surrender in North Africa. I am inclined to believe that maybe he never got back to the unit following his being wounded and was later assigned to another Engineer unit... the 292nd. No evidence for this as of yet.

 

Gary

 

Gary, I believe you're 100% correct that the 20th Engineers was the probable unit that my dad was attached to prior to the 292nd. The website link you sent even mentions the 20th guarding President Roosevelt just as my father wrote about in his letter to his mom. And, it's entirely possible that he was wounded clearing mines. Here's the quote, "although the fighting was over, the bloody days for the 20th Engineers were just beginning. They moved into the Sedjenae Valley and began removal of the great minefields. Almost every day had its accident, with a cost of 7 officers and 19 men dead and many more wounded, as the engineers removed over 200,000 German mines".

Thanks so much for your help. I can't wait to share this news with my sister.

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Gary, I believe you're 100% correct that the 20th Engineers was the probable unit that my dad was attached to prior to the 292nd. The website link you sent even mentions the 20th guarding President Roosevelt just as my father wrote about in his letter to his mom. And, it's entirely possible that he was wounded clearing mines. Here's the quote, "although the fighting was over, the bloody days for the 20th Engineers were just beginning. They moved into the Sedjenae Valley and began removal of the great minefields. Almost every day had its accident, with a cost of 7 officers and 19 men dead and many more wounded, as the engineers removed over 200,000 German mines".

Thanks so much for your help. I can't wait to share this news with my sister.

Absolutely, my friend! I found myself excited as well that we could move you forward a step or two and placing a few of the puzzle pieces in the story of your father and his service. But then that's often the case... helping someone else has it's own rewards directly or indirectly. :)

 

Question... does your family know whether he was sent back to recover from his wounds? The Serviceman card I found on Ancestry has a date close to the end of June and I wondered if he had been sent back to recuperate? I wondered since his unit headed to Sicily with the invasion in July whether it is possible that he was not yet fit and was later reassigned to a new unit. Logic would dictate that since he was experienced with the Engineers that he may be assigned to a new Engineer unit and in November that would have been the 292nd. The "64 thousand dollar" question of the day! :)

 

Onward and upward, friends, in our goal to document the honored men of the 292nd and the unit that they served in!

 

Gary

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Happy Easter Everyone,

 

I had previously posted these images on another thread, but I thought the 292nd gang might like to see them. This is a Easter greetings card that my grandfather sent to my grandmother. It does not have a date on it but would have had to have been 1944 or 1945.

 

post-2432-0-83403000-1459112016_thumb.jpg post-2432-0-62115700-1459112038_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Happy Easter Everyone,

 

I had previously posted these images on another thread, but I thought the 292nd gang might like to see them. This is a Easter greetings card that my grandfather sent to my grandmother. It does not have a date on it but would have had to have been 1944 or 1945.

 

attachicon.gif009 (1697x2100).jpg attachicon.gif010 (1725x2300).jpg

 

 

 

 

Great, Randy!

 

What an Easter gift! I hope all of you had a safe and wonderful Easter with many, many more to come! :)

 

Gary

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Hello, all,

I haven't meant to be anti-social! I've been busy or sick for several weeks now. I've been reading the news post digests but didn't get online.

 

First, I am absolutely thrilled that the photo has pleased several of you. It really is a beauty! To be honest, the rest of my husband's family wasn't all that interested in it, but I'm an Army brat and know meaningful photos when I see them. (My dad was a Vietnam vet. He died 10 years ago.) I am so pleased to have found others who wanted a copy because it deserves to be remembered. My husband and I had the original framed with a simple black frame and dark khaki matting, and it just looks Outstanding! -- as my dad would say. Very military.

 

To answer someone's question, I'm afraid I don't have any information about the circumstances where Sterling acquired the panoramic photo of Company A. We found it up under the eaves in the unfinished attic after both Sterling and Hazel died. I'm horrified that we nearly missed it. Sterling was from North Carolina, so Camp Butner wasn't too far from home, so maybe he brought the photo home while other guys didn't manage to. He came home to Chapel Hill on a weekend pass to marry Hazel before shipping out from Butner. Assuming the photo was taken at Butner, which is not necessarily a good assumption, I guess.

 

I'm wondering whether this string should be transferred to a new string titled more accurately, so maybe more people can find it.

 

Anyway, I probably won't post much but will keep following the digests with interest. If anyone else wants a copy of the photo, Hampton House said they would keep the electronic file for three years. I'll get a copy of the file myself before that time is up but haven't gotten around to it yet. I'll post it at that point, but as several of you have found out, the Hampton House prints are a bargain.

 

Thanks, all!

 

Lisa

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Well, so much for not posting much! Went looking for something and once again found something else -- ain't the Internet grand? Anyway, just in case y'all haven't seen it, the Camp Butner Society has a Facebook page. They're trying to raise enough funds to restore the place. Here's the link. https://www.facebook.com/CampButnerSociety

 

Lisa

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Hello, all,

I haven't meant to be anti-social! I've been busy or sick for several weeks now. I've been reading the news post digests but didn't get online.

 

First, I am absolutely thrilled that the photo has pleased several of you. It really is a beauty! To be honest, the rest of my husband's family wasn't all that interested in it, but I'm an Army brat and know meaningful photos when I see them. (My dad was a Vietnam vet. He died 10 years ago.) I am so pleased to have found others who wanted a copy because it deserves to be remembered. My husband and I had the original framed with a simple black frame and dark khaki matting, and it just looks Outstanding! -- as my dad would say. Very military.

 

To answer someone's question, I'm afraid I don't have any information about the circumstances where Sterling acquired the panoramic photo of Company A. We found it up under the eaves in the unfinished attic after both Sterling and Hazel died. I'm horrified that we nearly missed it. Sterling was from North Carolina, so Camp Butner wasn't too far from home, so maybe he brought the photo home while other guys didn't manage to. He came home to Chapel Hill on a weekend pass to marry Hazel before shipping out from Butner. Assuming the photo was taken at Butner, which is not necessarily a good assumption, I guess.

 

I'm wondering whether this string should be transferred to a new string titled more accurately, so maybe more people can find it.

 

Anyway, I probably won't post much but will keep following the digests with interest. If anyone else wants a copy of the photo, Hampton House said they would keep the electronic file for three years. I'll get a copy of the file myself before that time is up but haven't gotten around to it yet. I'll post it at that point, but as several of you have found out, the Hampton House prints are a bargain.

 

Thanks, all!

 

Lisa

Lisa,

 

You are correct that this photo is a treasure and definitely a bargain. I can appreciate your being an "Army brat" since my dad served 25 yrs in the Army before an additional 20 years serving the U.S. as a member of Civil Service at his last posting (Fort Campbell, Ky) assisting retirees and widows/widowers of retirees to be sure that they received all of the benefits they deserved for serving their country. He's been gone a year in a half now, but there isn't a day that goes by that his service to his country doesn't inspire me. My Dad's Dad (Randall Gates) was not career military, but just another of the millions of "Normal Joes" who sacrificed for the greater good during WW II. He volunteered in December of 1943 at the age of 34 and with a family of six (including himself). He didn't have to go because of the size of his family, but chose to give of himself for all those who love freedom and democracy. This is yet another inspiration that drives me forward to honor these great men (and women) and is another of the millions of stories of those who gave of themselves. We can't tell every story, but we can do our part when it comes to the 292nd. Let us continue to honor these great men by preserving their memories, their experiences, their photos and their artifacts for posterity and for future generations. That is our charge, my friends!

 

Gary

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Hey Dennis,

 

I didn't pick up on this the first time I looked at your father's discharge paper but now I see he was National Guard before active army. For "Component" in box #5 is typed "NG", which of course stands for National Guard. Under "Remarks" in box #34 is typed "In state service NG of Illinois 4 Apr 40 to 4 Mar 41". This gives us the time frame of his National Guard service and also tells us whatever Guard unit he belonged to was activated to regular army service on 5 Mar 41. Armed with this knowledge we might be able to narrow it down to which unit he initially belonged to. Guard units were typically assigned to a infantry or artillery regiment etc., then placed with a division upon being called to active service. I did a quick google search for Illinois Guard units activated on 5 Mar 41, elements of the 33rd Infantry Division was what it mainly showed. That dog isn't gonna hunt though because the 33rd was deployed to the Pacific Theater of Operations. We do have this track we can follow. I'll keep looking and maybe Gary can pick up the scent, see if we can find this bird! :woof:

 

Randy

 

I discovered two more photos of my father, one standing in front of what looks like an ambulance and the other behind a sign for the 108 Medical Unit, which, as you point out, was part of the 33rd Infantry Division.

post-2501-0-69043300-1460392554_thumb.jpg

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OMG, he looks so young. Well he was!

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If that was taken in 1941 and depending on what month it was he would have been 20 or 21. A young guy, indeed!

 

 

I discovered two more photos of my father, one standing in front of what looks like an ambulance and the other behind a sign for the 108 Medical Unit, which, as you point out, was part of the 33rd Infantry Division.

attachicon.gif1dad6.jpg

Dennis,

 

Very cool my friend! Sometimes you never know what "treasures" you will find that you'd either forgotten about or never knew you had. :) So, we know he was with the Illinois National Guard's 33rd Regiment in Illinois before they were federalized. Now we need to figure out how he got from them to 20th Engineers before the 33rd deployed to the Pacific theater? And, of course, then how he got from the 20th to the 292nd CEB in Europe. Ahhh, the answers allude us for now, but I expect will be forthcoming.

 

Have a good one, my friend! Glad to be back in the saddle after a short hiatus! :)

 

Gary

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Hello everyone,

 

My uncle Charles Crawford served in "A" Company of the 292, and died February 18, 1945. He is buried in Holland, and after my Dad's passing, I have been trying to gather information on his military service. I was pleasantly surprised to see his name on some documents already posted in this forum, and would appreciate any information anyone has on his unit.

 

Thanks,

Steve Crawford

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Steve that is wonderful news. How exciting to see his name!

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