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janis337

337th Combat Engineer Battalion

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HI everyone.

 

I'm Janis, daughter of Alex Roguskie who was in Company B of the 337th Combat Engineer Battalion in WW II. Dad's campaign credits include: Naples - Foggia, Rome - Arno, North Appenines and Po Valley. Dad was first assigned to the 209th Coastal Artillery as a searchlight operator. His unit was then converted into the 337th CE Bn.

 

I found this site while researching the 337th. Sadly dad passed away 12 SEPT 2003. He always wanted to return to the Po Valley to see it in peace time but never got to realize to dream.

 

So here I am on the web trying to find out all I can about the units that my dad spent his military time in.

 

-Janis

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Hello Janis, welcome to the forum. Lets see what info we can find for you. I`m sure Marion can provide some more info on the 337th,

 

The 209th Coast Artillery Regiment (AA) was formed in 1940 at Buffalo, NY as a National Guard unit and was inactivated Oct 1943 in Italy.

They are listed as a II Corps unit of the 5th Army on 11 Jan 43

 

Here is an Association contact:

 

Ben Myers Associations and Alumni Database

209th CA (AAA)

 

Mr. John Merchant 716-482-7865

146 Strathmore Ln

Rochester, NY 15609-5622

 

here is a link about Coast Artillery Organization:

 

CAC Units

 

The 337th CE was formed, in November 44 from a searchlight Battalion and joined the 1108 th Combat Engineer Group and listed under IV Corps. They supported the 88th Inf Div & the 10th Mountain Div.

You can find the History of the 1108th Group on the Main Page

A contact source:

Ben Myers Associations and Alumni Database

337th Engr (Combat) Bn '42-45

 

Mr. Berna Compson 606-324-5407

2717 Hilton Ave

Ashland KY 41101-3065

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For clarification, the 1108th was comprised of the 48th and 235th Bns. The 48th left for Southern France in August of 1944, and the 235th remained behind in Italy.

 

As Larry stated, the history of the 1108th can be found on the main site.

 

Hope that helps.

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Some more info on the 209th CA, which is taken from the history of the 898th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion. The 898th was formed from the 2d Battalion of the 209th Coast Artillery Regiment (Anti-Aircraft) on 18 March 1944.

 

898th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons) Combat History

 

The 209th was a National Guard unit from upstate New York, primarily from the Buffalo area, and was augmented by personnel from the 121st Cavalry Regiment, from around Rochester. The original strength of about 1,400 Guardsmen—present when the 209th was called into federal duty on 10 February 1941—eventually grew to over 4,000 by early 1944, and included officers, NCOs, and junior enlisted men of the Regular Army and the Army of the United States as well as the NY Guard.

 

The 209th was a distinguished unit in several ways. From its ranks came 840 enlisted men who were ultimately commissioned as officers—more than any other anti-aircraft regiment. After additional training at Camp Stewart, Georgia, the 209th, including the 2d Battalion that was to become the 898th, was the first US Army anti-aircraft regiment sent to the European Theater. The Regiment departed the New York Port of Embarkation aboard the Queen Mary on 10 May 1942 and arrived in the Firth of Clyde six days later. There, it transferred to a smaller vessel and was transported to Belfast, Northern Ireland three days later. During seven months in Ulster, the Regiment conducted both anti-aircraft training (in the vicinity of St. John’s Point, County Down) and actual anti-aircraft duty for the Lough Foyle US naval base and the Lough Erne seaplane base, as well as the city of Londonderry itself.

 

On 10 December 1942, the Regiment was transferred across the Irish Sea to Liverpool. Shortly thereafter, the 209th left by ship for North Africa, and arrived in Mers el Khebir, in Free French Algeria, on 3 January 1943.

 

From January through August, the various elements of the 209th performed anti-aircraft duties at locations across French North Africa, including Oran and Algiers in Algeria and Ouijda, French Morocco. For these activities, the Regiment was awarded campaign participation credit for the Tunisian campaign, which ended with the capitulation of the Germans’ Army Group Afrika in mid-May 1943.

 

After training with the 1st Armored Division in Algeria in September and October, the 209th sailed with the “Old Ironsides” Division to Italy, where it arrived in Naples on 28 October. By mid-November, as the Fifth Army attacked the German “Winter Line,” the Regiment was deployed for anti-aircraft duty in the vicinity of Vitulazio, about 21 miles north of Naples. There, the men of the 209th encountered their first major German air raid. On 20 November, crews of the 209th shot three Focke-Wulf 190s out of the Campanian sky to tally the Regiment’s first kills of the War.

 

After II Corps penetrated the Winter Line and reached the southern banks of the Rapido River—the edge of the next major belt of German fortifications, the “Gustav Line”—the 209th displaced forward to occupy anti-aircraft firing positions in the vicinity of Venafro. There, on 3 January 1944, the 209th claimed four more German aircraft, this time Messerschmidt Bf-109s.

 

As the Fifth Army’s II Corps and British X Corps battled to breach the Gustav Line, US VI Corps landed at Anzio in late January in an attempt to outflank the formidable German defenses further south. However, the VI Corps was quickly bottled up and the main effort again turned to penetrating the Gustav Line. After four more months of ferocious and costly fighting across the entire Italian Peninsula, in mid-May, Allied forces south of Anzio launched Operation DIADEM, in which French troops achieved a breakthrough of the Gustav Line near Sant’ Ambrogio, and units of the Polish Corps did the same at Monte Cassino.

 

Throughout this period, the 209th provided protection against low-flying German aircraft in the vicinity of San Pietro and Mignano. On 18 March, elements of the Regiment’s 2d Battalion were detached and became the 898th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons), and the 209th was redesignated as the 209th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group.

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Exerpt from a page on the 225th searchlight batalion website:

http://www.skylighters.org/mainmenu.html

 

http://www.skylighters.org/history/coastart/index.html

 

When the coast artillery regiments were broken up in 1943; normally, the regimental headquarters being redesignated as an antiaircraft artillery group headquarters, its 1st Battalion becoming a separate Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion, the 2nd Battalion becoming a separate Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, and the 3rd Battalion becoming a separate Searchlight Battalion.

 

____________________________________________

From an AA Insigna link on the Skylighters site i found this story on the 355th AAA Searchlight Battalion

355th AAA Searchlight Battalion

(excerpt)

Towards the Fall and early Winter of 1944, with the bitter fighting for the Gothic Line and Apennines taking numerous temporary replacements, the 355th lost many personnel to front-line units. The 355th AAA Searchlight Battalion was formally inactivated on December 20, 1944, and its assets were transferred to several engineer units, including the 255th Engineer Combat Battalion and 1108th Engineer Combat Group. With the cessation of hostilities in Europe, the 1108th Group, assigned to the XXIV Corps, was deployed to the Pacific for the invasion of Japan.

 

So it looks like the 355th AAA Searchlight Battalion was one of the two SL Batalions that were converted to engineer units of the 1108, becoming the 255th ECB. I havent found which SL Bat became the 337th ECB yet but i`m still diggin.

M1, help me out here, i cant find anything about the 1008th going to the pacific but if they did maybe we can find the "dohdoh birds".

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Hello Janis, welcome to the forum. Lets see what info we can find for you. I`m sure Marion can provide some more info on the 337th,

 

The 209th Coast Artillery Regiment (AA) was formed in 1940 at Buffalo, NY as a National Guard unit and was inactivated Oct 1943 in Italy.

They are listed as a II Corps unit of the 5th Army on 11 Jan 43

 

Here is an Association contact:

 

Ben Myers Associations and Alumni Database

209th CA (AAA)

 

Mr. John Merchant 716-482-7865

146 Strathmore Ln

Rochester, NY 15609-5622

 

here is a link about Coast Artillery Organization:

 

CAC Units

 

The 337th CE was formed, in November 44 from a searchlight Battalion and joined the 1108 th Combat Engineer Group and listed under IV Corps. They supported the 88th Inf Div & the 10th Mountain Div.

You can find the History of the 1108th Group on the Main Page

A contact source:

Ben Myers Associations and Alumni Database

337th Engr (Combat) Bn '42-45

 

Mr. Berna Compson 606-324-5407

2717 Hilton Ave

Ashland KY 41101-3065

 

 

 

 

OUTSTANDING!!!! Thanks so VERY much.

-Janis

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Exerpt from a page on the 225th searchlight batalion website:

http://www.skylighters.org/mainmenu.html

 

http://www.skylighters.org/history/coastart/index.html

 

When the coast artillery regiments were broken up in 1943; normally, the regimental headquarters being redesignated as an antiaircraft artillery group headquarters, its 1st Battalion becoming a separate Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion, the 2nd Battalion becoming a separate Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, and the 3rd Battalion becoming a separate Searchlight Battalion.

 

____________________________________________

From an AA Insigna link on the Skylighters site i found this story on the 355th AAA Searchlight Battalion

355th AAA Searchlight Battalion

(excerpt)

Towards the Fall and early Winter of 1944, with the bitter fighting for the Gothic Line and Apennines taking numerous temporary replacements, the 355th lost many personnel to front-line units. The 355th AAA Searchlight Battalion was formally inactivated on December 20, 1944, and its assets were transferred to several engineer units, including the 255th Engineer Combat Battalion and 1108th Engineer Combat Group. With the cessation of hostilities in Europe, the 1108th Group, assigned to the XXIV Corps, was deployed to the Pacific for the invasion of Japan.

 

So it looks like the 355th AAA Searchlight Battalion was one of the two SL Batalions that were converted to engineer units of the 1108, becoming the 255th ECB. I havent found which SL Bat became the 337th ECB yet but i`m still diggin.

M1, help me out here, i cant find anything about the 1008th going to the pacific but if they did maybe we can find the "dohdoh birds".

 

 

 

Thanks to all so very, very much.

I've just secured Vol 1,2 and 3 of Engineer History Mediterranean Theater 5th Army. Winning bid........$53USD. Pretty darned good price considering I've seen them selling for bewteen $550 and $850.. I can't wait to get them and dig in.

 

You're all making me a very happy woman. I'm definitely gaining ground in my research.

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Janis:

 

Vol 1,2 and 3 of Engineer History Mediterranean Theater 5th Army

 

Darned good stuff there, gal! I too have all three. They were given to me by the late and great, Al Kincer, 48th Combat Engineer. One of the nicest gifts I ever received. You will see so many wonderful pictures. Congrats on your acquisition.

 

I am still trying to play catch-up on the forum, and once again apologize for not being here much lately, and not helping your out more, but you were and are in capable hands. We do have a great group here, and I applaud all of them for their efforts.

 

From one proud daughter to another...

M1

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[ I also should mention that I have an uncle named Walter C. Barlow who was with the 5th Field Arty of the Big Red One.

Uncle Walter was KIA on the Normandy Beach head 06 JULY 1944.

There were conflicting reports of how Uncle Walter bought it but some of his brothers in action told the family that a Jerry shell landed in his foxhole and scattered him to the four winds.

 

A secondary goal for me is to get access to after action reports of his unit from that fateful day.

 

Though I have seen many WWII photos in my life, the photos that I've seen in the past month have had a profound impact on me. I have been introduced on an intimate level to the destruction inflicted upon the lands of battle. I see photos of oh-so-young men and women who were thrust into the conflict. The vibrant, young faces, so full of life, that are captured in the war photos have grown old with the passage of time and now that generation is dying off.

 

It has been written that WWII was the last great "romantic war" I've talked with vets who have scorned at that moniker, "There's nothing romantic about killing people." Surely not. But taken in the proper context it was. War and conflict have been subject to technological innovation. Killing the enemy now is oft relegated to the pushing of a button that is located miles from the front lines. "End around" moves are captured in satellite imagery and infrared technology has negated the element of surprise that once came with night maneuvers.

 

An attack of the scope Pearl Harbor would not be possible with today's technology. Georgie Patton, no doubt, spins in his grave at what war has become. Cold, calculated, impersonal. One bomb can wipe out an entire city. A battle begins and ends literally in the wink of an eye. The dead reduced to shadows on the scortched earth.

 

It is said that by virture of the nature of the conflict that they were thrust into, my father's generation was the "Greatest Generation." Now more then ever, I'm inclined to agree with that assesment.

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Nicely spoken Janis. Truly nothing romantic about war and desolation, but it was the WAY it was carried out, which made it all different. And it's why we still talk about it and honor those WWII veterans, with a special reverence. I'll leave it at that. Sometimes less words are more, and you already spoke the right ones.

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Very well spoken, Janis. Thank You.

 

Seems we have something in common, my uncle, Junior Ely was with the 1st Div. Field Artillery in 1940 and i know he was in North Africa.. I dont know yet which unit he was with or was with the 1st at Normandy, but i`ve asked some cousins if they have any info. :wacko:

 

Another uncle Frank Duzal was in a Coast Artillery Reg. that was disbanded in North Africa

and i have no idea where he went from there, but he was in Italy till after the end of the war. the only records show his last outfit was the 6677th Disipilinary Training Co.

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