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      The Story of Q Trilogy - Marion J Chard   12/02/17

      Completed my tween trilogy! Please share with your family and friends. www.storyofq.com
Pam Marcus

324th Engineer BN WW11

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Hello my name is Pamela (Boatwright) Marcus, I am the granddaughter of the late Joseph Z Boatwright, he was in PFC324 Engineer BN WW11. My grandfather passed when my father was only 2 years of age, therefore we never really knew him. My grandmother remarried soon after his tragic death, would not discuss grandad and going threw life not knowing who you really are or your ancestors is really troubleing. That is why I am here, trying to gather any and all the info I possibly can concerning my late granddad. If you have any info on him please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

 

Thank You,

Pamela Boatwright Marcus

 

(706)581-8124

(email removed for privacy)

 

Please see attachment of Joseph Z. Boatwright

post-744-1236804758_thumb.jpg

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Hi Pam:

 

Welcome to the forum. Let me see what I can dig up this week. I've become a pretty good sleuth around here.

 

I'll try and help you out a bit today too. His unit would have been the 324th Engineer Battalion. PFC refers to Private First Class. That is not related to the Battalion (Bn). That was his rank in the army. :armata_PDT_01:

 

Oh, I have removed your email address. As you will discover, I strongly discourage placing email addresses anywhere on the internet, including this forum. It invites disaster (invites bots to send you scads of SPAM!). Any member of our forum can contact you by simply clicking on on your USERNAME. This also works in reverse.

 

Marion

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My buddy Jim, sent this to Pam in an email. Thanks Jim and aloha!

 

Hello Pam,

 

Jim Davis, Maui Hawaii - 1204th Army Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon - WW II here. Marian sent me your message to her website.

 

Here is what I can find on 324th Engineers:

1. it was an Engineer Combat Battalion

2. It was part of the 99th Infantry Division that entered combat in Belgium in early November 1944.

3. it was part of the 9th US Army and later the US 3rd Army.

4. It received Campaign Participation credit (tiny bronze stars (3) to be worn on the ribbon accompanying the European - African - Middle Eastern Medal) for these Campaign:

a. Ardennes - Alsace

b. Central Europe

c. Rhineland

4, It received credit for the occupation of Germany by having a "Germany" Bar attached to its Army of Occupation Medal.

5. it received the WW II Victory Medal.

 

I found a number of quite good websites on the 99th ID by going to 99th Infantry Division in Google.

 

Please contact me if you wish to dig deeper. Do you have your Grand father's medals, papers, stripes, etc.?

 

Help this is a bit of help.

 

Aloha,

Jim

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My buddy Jim, sent this to Pam in an email. Thanks Jim and aloha!

 

Hello Pam,

 

Jim Davis, Maui Hawaii - 1204th Army Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon - WW II here. Marian sent me your message to her website.

 

Here is what I can find on 324th Engineers:

1. it was an Engineer Combat Battalion

2. It was part of the 99th Infantry Division that entered combat in Belgium in early November 1944.

3. it was part of the 9th US Army and later the US 3rd Army.

4. It received Campaign Participation credit (tiny bronze stars (3) to be worn on the ribbon accompanying the European - African - Middle Eastern Medal) for these Campaign:

a. Ardennes - Alsace

b. Central Europe

c. Rhineland

4, It received credit for the occupation of Germany by having a "Germany" Bar attached to its Army of Occupation Medal.

5. it received the WW II Victory Medal.

 

I found a number of quite good websites on the 99th ID by going to 99th Infantry Division in Google.

 

Please contact me if you wish to dig deeper. Do you have your Grand father's medals, papers, stripes, etc.?

 

Help this is a bit of help.

 

Aloha,

Jim

 

 

Thank you so much Jim,and yes I would love to dig deeper, the problem is I have no records, medals strips, or anything except his headstone on his plot where he is burried, although I'd like to dig as deep as I possibly can, I don't even know where to start because of my grandmother not wanting to talk about him although I should have while she was alive ( I regrete it!) ............courious to know everything I can. Proud and ONLY granddaughter of Joe Boatwright. Pam Boatwright Marcus

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Thanks for you very nice PM this morning. It's nice to have you here. Our engineer family grows at an astounding rate each year. I'm sure your granddad is smiling down upon you, and guiding your hand. I wish you much success in your ventures.

 

:armata_PDT_01:

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Hi Pam!!!

Welcome!!! In doing family research, I found that obituaries are a good place to get info. Did he die in the war or in the U.S? I recently contacted a historical society that was able to get WWII era obits. They listed siblings, and where the person worked before the war, as well as the location of the persons death.

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Hello Pamela, welcome to the forum. I hope we can help you in your quest.

 

A quick search of NARA`s AAD enlistment records brings up 4 Joseph Boatwrights, here is the only one listed being from Georgia:

 

Field Title Value Meaning

ARMY SERIAL NUMBER 34575413

NAME BOATWRIGHT#JOSEPH

RESIDENCE: STATE 43 GEORGIA

RESIDENCE: COUNTY 313 WHITFIELD

PLACE OF ENLISTMENT 4344 FT MCPHERSON ATLANTA GEORGIA

DATE OF ENLISTMENT DAY 28

DATE OF ENLISTMENT MONTH 11

DATE OF ENLISTMENT YEAR 42

GRADE: ALPHA DESIGNATION PVT# Private

GRADE: CODE 8 Private

BRANCH: ALPHA DESIGNATION BI# Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA

TERM OF ENLISTMENT 5 Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law

LONGEVITY ### ###

SOURCE OF ARMY PERSONNEL 0 Civil Life

NATIVITY 43 GEORGIA

YEAR OF BIRTH 08

RACE AND CITIZENSHIP 1 White, citizen

EDUCATION 0 Grammar school

CIVILIAN OCCUPATION 525 Carpenters

MARITAL STATUS 2 Married

COMPONENT OF THE ARMY 7 Selectees (Enlisted Men)

CARD NUMBER # #

BOX NUMBER 0820 0820

FILM REEL NUMBER 3.242 3.242

 

If this is your granddad, the next thing you can do is request his military service record from the National Archives in St Louis.

How to Request Military Service Records

 

There is also much info on locating information & "How TO" in the RESEARCH section of the forum.

 

 

I found an Operation`s Report for the 99th Inf Div for Dec 1944, it has many mentions of the 324th Engineers whereabouts & attachments during Dec.

 

Extract of 99th Infantry Division G-3 Report of Operations.1 to 31 December 1944

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I am going to see if I can find a copy of the book somewhere. I will write to my historian buddies at the office of history in Alexandria and at Fort Leonard Wood. Will keep you posted.

 

Strongly suggest someone call or write to someone at NARA in Maryland to obtain the battalion's records for duration of the war. Please see my Research section in regards to this.

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Marion,

 

Can you help me understand what I'm seeing on my father's discharge

papers?

 

My father's name was Leonard H. McGarvey. He entered service 26 Nov.

'42 and was separated on 1 Oct. '45.

 

On his discharge papers, line 6, "Organization," shows Co. B. 324

Engr Bn, but on line 33, "Decorations and Citations," it shows his 5

bronze stars and Good Conduct "per SO 23 Hq 308 Engr Bn, 11 May 45."

 

Can you shed some light on why both these engineer battalions appear

on his papers? I can't find any information about if the 324th was

disbanded and the men were rolled into the 308th, if my father was

transfered at some point, or what the deal is.

 

I do see that he was awarded bronze stars for the Normandy and

Northern France campaigns that don't show on the posting by Jim

Davis on you Forum pages for the 324th.

 

I suppose I don't know the right questions to ask, or where to look

further.

 

Can you help...or point to where I might look further?

 

Thank you.

 

Bruce McGarvey

discharge - Leonard H. McGarvey.pdf

discharge front - Leonard H. McGarvey.pdf

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Good news!

 

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: NONE

 

Marion,

 

Yes, we have the Derrick of Dauntless book. It is a bound photocopy, but

legible. It is about 100 pages long. I can copy early next week and mail

it to you (or maybe scan).

 

Nothing else is in our except the distinctive insignia and coat of arms.

 

Best,

 

Dave

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Comparing dates on the discharge & dates of the unit records, i believe Leonard H. McGarvey was a member of the 308th Engineer Combat Bn. of the 83rd Inf Div. from enlistment thru the end of the war, then transferred to the 324th ECB after 8 May 1945 to come home with them.

The 308th Engineer Combat Bn has the 5 Campaign Credits for Normandy, Northern France,Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe and Rhineland.

From the Troopship Crossings website: http://ww2troopships.com/crossings/1944.htm[/color]

The 308th ECB departed NY on April 6, 1944 and arrived Liverpool, Eng on April 18, 1944.

These are the exact travel dates shown in Box 36 of the discharge.

 

The 308th ECB had Occupation Duty, Germany from 8 May 45 until 31 October 45

The 324th ECB (99th Inf Div)had Occupation Duty, Germany from 8 May 45 until 18 September 45

The 99th Inf returned to the US 17 Sept 45.

The discharge Box 36 shows return dates coresponding to returning with the 99th.

 

On the website of the 83rd Infantry Division Re-enacment Group: [url=http://www.atomic.pair.com/wwii/honor_roll.html]http://www.atomic.pair.com/wwii/honor_roll.html

The Honor Roll of Veterns lists Leonard H. McGarvey as a member of Company B, 308th Engineer Combat Bn.

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Well that certainly helps being able to find the honor roll. That answers many questions.

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I now have a copy of Derrick of Dauntless. In fact I have two copies. I will have to copy the one (scan) and place it on the site. It's a large book, so it will take me a while. Promise to share when ready.

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Believe it or not, I am FINALLY scanning the book. I am very sorry it has taken me so danged long, but my list of things to do for this site is growing exponentially, and unfortunately I am a one-person show.

 

Expect the document later today, if all goes well.

 

thanks,

M1

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As promised. These documents are also available on the HISTORY page on the main site. Both documents are large PDF files, so as I always remind everyone, they may take a while to download/open, depending on your connection speed.

Derrick of Dauntless - History of the 324th Engineer Combat Battalion - Col J R Neale

Derrick of Dauntless - History of the 324th Engineer Combat Battalion - Col J R Neale - part two

 

 

NOTE: I noticed while reading this, that page 57 is missing. I contacted my friend and asked if he could provide that page for us. Sorry about that!

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A friend asked to find info for Clayton Christensen - 324th Engineer. Gunter said Clayton is supposed to go to Belgium soon and he wanted me to see if I could find out anything about the silver star that Mr C was recommended to get.

Anyway while searching this evening I found an interview with Mr C.

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Thought I would post my findings here, in order to help others now, or in the near future. Here is what I told Gunter, this morning via email.

 

=================================

 

Dear Gunter:
Thank you for placing your trust in me in order to assist Clayton Christiansen, 324th Engineer, in his quest for his Silver Star. However, I want you to understand that this may be a long and difficult journey, and may or may not prove fruitful. Regardless, it is worth looking into, but will require a lot time and effort on everyone's part, including Mr. Christiansen's.
I spent several hours last night and today, trying to find as much as possible. I read several documents, including Col J.R. Neale's account of the war, (Derrick of Dauntless), numerous historical documents and finally an interview with Mr. C. dated June 2000, in which he talks about the recommendation for a Silver Star and the chain of command. Here's the portion of the interview:

CHRISTENSEN: Yes, I was doing radio operator work. Wherever the company commander was, I was always there and he’d gotten out of the jeep. He had seen some officers from regimental headquarters, infantry officers and he wanted to go talk to them about something we were going to do in this town and there was a large woman in size came out of one of those lines going to the rear and came over to us. We were kinda on the outside of that group of 5 or 6 infantry officers and she came over and I always carried my rifle with the lock on it and all you did is just push your fingers forward on that ______ and it was unlocked and ready to fire. I hollered out at her in my best German to “nein, nein, nein” like that to stop her. She kept on coming. I had to put a bullet through her or take the chance on having her to come over there with hidden explosives and wipe us out. But we went on in to that little town and it was almost dark and I heard some gunfire from a big apartment complex on my right so I went forward and I determined that there were down in a basement so I just took my rifle, the butt of my rifle, broke the glass, tossed in two hand grenades and about one minute later, 13 Germans walked out of there with their hands up and surrendered.

INTERVIEWER: Did you capture them? You personally or some other men?

CHRISTENSEN: To me personally.

INTERVIEWER: You personally captured 13 German soldiers?

CHRISTENSEN: Yes, so I had them stack rifles in two stacks and I saw this one that looked like a brand new rifle and I motioned for him to come to me and he handed it to me. He was a 19 year old kid who had been in the Air Force, but Hitler or whoever had brought him out of the Air Force and for this Battle of the Bulge operation, he was assigned to this infantry outfit and he told me, he could speak pretty good English, he told me that he didn’t want any part of fighting. Later on I stripped his rifle down and shipped it home to my dad and it was a rifle that had never been fired, still packed in Cosmoline.

INTERVIEWER: What did you do with these 13 Germans you captured?

CHRISTENSEN: Oh, after I had them stack rifles, I told them, I says I’m up here, I got no way to go back with you myself, I pointed down the road and I said beat it. Go see those MPs and they’ll take care of you. So I watched them disappear down the highway back toward our lines which was probably at that point about a half a mile back and we were up in the town because there was a bridge just beyond town. It had been dropped and we had to go up there and finish dropping it and take our bulldozers and push it out of the way so the infantry could move on up. That was pretty unique, capturing 13 Germans without firing a shot.

INTERVIEWER: Anybody witness it so you could get a commendation or anything?

CHRISTENSEN: No, I was, when the Battle of Bulge was over, my company commander did tell me that he had recommended that I be awarded the medal of the Silver Star and it cleared battalion headquarters, it cleared regimental headquarters, it cleared division headquarters. Our general, division general, he couldn’t stop the Purple Heart because they were given by the medical people, but he wanted to oversee and personally look at all medal recommendations and when he, my understanding from what the captain told me that he had friends in division headquarters, he said that the general told some officers under him none of my damned engineers are going to get any medals. Now if you can believe that. So this officer passed the word on to my captain and about 10 days after he told me he had recommended me for the Silver Star, he came back and said, “Sergeant, they turned it down” and then he told me the story about what the general had said.

INTERVIEWER: What general was this?

CHRISTENSEN: It was General Bert Laur.

INTERVIEWER: L-a-h-r? Like the comedian?

CHRISTENSEN: No Laur. Now I found out later, 20 years later, found out that General Laur’s son was living in California and he was a member of our 99th infantry division association which publishes this article here. Now I didn’t find out about this paper until, I don’t know, it must have been in the 80s, but anyway, I called his son 5 or 6 times to see if he was aware of the comments that his father had made on medals that had been recommended for the engineers and he never returned my calls.

 

 

 

As you can see, he states that the recommendation was turned down at division level. Now unless Christensen's actions the day of the German captures, were documented in the 324th's/99 Inf Div's records, I'm afraid this is a dead-end.
Of course there is a way to determine this, but this may take weeks and/or months, for the unit's records will have to be obtained from the National Archives in Maryland. He or someone else would have to go there themselves, or would have to hire a personal researcher or college student/assistant. This is all outlined here:
Now, if we do obtain those records, then they have to be perused for any reference to Christensen and that particular event. If anything is found, then it doesn't end there, but it would go to the next level, which is supplying the Army with any proof of evidence. This involves filling out a DD Forum 149:

Correction of Military Records

The secretary of a military department, acting through a board for correction of military records, has authority to change any military record when necessary to correct an error or remove an injustice. A correction board may consider applications for correction of a military record, including a review of a discharge issued by courts martial.

The veteran, survivor or legal representative generally must file a request for correction within three years after discovery of an alleged error or injustice. The board may excuse failure to file within the prescribed time, however, if it finds it would be in the interest of justice to do so. It is an applicant’s responsibility to show why the filing of the application was delayed and why it would be in the interest of justice for the board to consider it despite the delay.

To justify any correction, it is necessary to show to the satisfaction of the board that the alleged entry or omission in the records was in error or unjust. Applications should include all available evidence, such as signed statements of witnesses or a brief of arguments supporting the requested correction. Application is made with DD Form 149, available at VA offices, from veterans organizations or from the Internet (http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/formsprogram.htm).

 

 

 

As you can see, this is a very long and involved process.
I attempted to overturn/change my father's discharge documents and get his Purple Heart, but I was turned down. I had to wait a few months to get a response, for they have a queue of requests and they only meet at certain times.
So while all this is doable/obtainable, there is no way he would have an answer, whether it be yes or no, before he goes to Belgium next month.

Please let me know if you need further assistance, for I am willing to help him and you, any time.

 

With kind regards,

Marion

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Gunter put me in touch with Patrick Brion and here is his reply:

 

Dear Marion,

 

Thank you for your kind mail and information. I was also at that point (found the interview and book).

 

Let me update you on what actions I already took. As I work in the army (Belgian Army, Public Affairs) it sometimes helps a bit…

 

1. Contact with Fort Knox. They replied. Doris Davis is going to call them today. Easier for her.

2. Contact directly with one of the staff members I know from previous visits at NARA. They are now looking.

3. Colonel Dillard, VBOB president, lives close by NARA, MD and will push/check as well.

4. One Dutch guy, from the 99th ID Assn is also looking and mobilizing everyone.

 

So we are on cruise speed. Nevertheless, the US Embassy in Brussels got back with me, stating that he went to see the DAO (Mil Attaché) and it wasn’t going to happen when the veteran is here. But, that isn’t a drama. Important is, as you state as well, that we find a trace.

 

So thanks!

 

Let’s keep each other posted on this one. It’s running on the side, as I am fully at 200 Km/Hr working for the VBOB return. Finally, Bastogne got back with me…

 

Warmest regards,

Patrick

 

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This is one JOB I never get tired of performing. I literally do not know from one day to the next, what will materialize out of thin air.

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Marion & Jean.... Here is another posting with a small excerpt regarding the 324th engineers... According to my notes with Mr. Christensen from almost 3 years ago, my grandfather was 1st platoon the entire duration of the war (a fact that was checked against a letter written to my gr.aunt-grandfather's sister by another war buddy and it is confirmed) and his platoon was one of the ones mentioned in this article that was cut off. They essentially mowed down a couple hundred Germans and kept right on going building their road and pulling marooned vehicles out of the snow... as if nothing happened I had been trying to post this previously, but for some reason the link wouldnt attach to my post.

 

The article mentions other units getting distinguished unit badges and other recognition, but this unit is not mentioned for anything. The information for the article comes from Gen. Lauer's camp and was written back in '44-'45. Dont know if this is of any use to you or Jean, but its here for you to look over anyway.

 

Jean, I have a few things Mr. Christensen sent to me a few years ago including a company roster and a list of command posts for the duration of the war. Do you have copies of these/would you like a set? I have them scanned to my laptop in PDF files. Message me your email and I can send them to you if you need them.

 

Thanks!

 

http://www.lonesentry.com/gi_stories_booklets/99thinfantry/

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Received this letter from Lauren, yesterday. Posted this elsewhere on the forum too.

 

Hi Marion....

Am thinking you already know but just incase... I spoke to Chris Christensen just now and he told me when he was in Belgium this winter they awarded him the bronze star and the silver is coming!! I did a little dance for him im over the moon thrilled!!!

Lauren

 

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