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    • Walt's Daughter

      New Registrations   09/22/17

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John

1264th Engineer Combat Battalion

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Oh Sherrill, I realized now what you were referring to in your PM to me the other day. The "list of contacts" I was referring to, was simple the names of others who have emailed me or members of this forum who are/were interested in this unit, mainly sons and daughters. Unfortunately, I do not have a list of the members of this unit. Sure wish I did.

 

Happy to hear the news about your dad. Would be wonderful to hear.

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...

My father was drafted 29 March 1944, reported to Camp Bowie for training on 13 April 1944. On 1 May 1944, General George Marshall reviewed the trainees. On D-Day, the 1264th (at least C company, and likely the entire unit from what Rex Pierce has said), was training on the Brazos river.

...

I believe the commander of the 1264th was named Lahlum.

 

 

It is years later ... but this is the first time I am reading this post. What great info! Thank you for sharing.

 

My Dad was Kenneth Zino [1923-2002] who served as a Sgt in the 1264th Engineer Combat Battalion, Company B, 1st Squad, 1st Platoon. I can confirm that command of the 1264th was Arthur H Lahlum. I found copies of two orders (one for Company B, one for all 1264th) in my Dad's collection that are signed by Arthur H Lahlum Lt Col (commanding). These are from Germany from dates in May 1945.

 

My research turned up the following from the newspaper "The Hood County Tablet" of Granby, Texas.

 

  • Two articles of interest were reported on page 1 in July 6, 1944 when the 1264th was due in town for a week for the training on the Brazos River "700 will arrive Sunday for a week". They were coming from Camp Bowie, Brownwood, Tx. Arthur H Lahlum was mentioned in the articles, he was a Major at that time.

  • Same newspaper, page 1 May 24th 1945, there were highlights of a letter from Sgt Blandin from Germany on how the 1264th was doing. He mentioned that Major Lahlum was now a Lieut Colonel.

  • Going back to 1944, page 1 July 27, 1944 has a reprint of the letter from Major Lahlum to Mayor Keith, thanking the town for their hospitality. He signed it as Arthur H Lahlum, Major, Engr, C Bn, Commanding. Would the 1264th Battalion C have had 700 members?

My Dad was 1264th Company B and he was at Camp Bowie back in February/March 1943. He was studying Engineering at Purdue in Sept 1943. I'm still sorting out some details on the 1944 timeline.

 

-barbara

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... deleted ...

 

Here is where my info gets a lot spottier...

 

The 1264th was deployed to Eisenach, then relocated from there to Salach, located east of Stuttgart. Apparently, this was sometime in April or May of 1945, as my father was wounded somehow (the stories are vastly different...my oldest brother believes it occurred after cessation of hostilities, but I have no proof either way). My father had a gunshot wound to the right knee, and was sent to the 203rd General Hospital, Paris, France. He was there from May until August, 1945. He separated 19 January 1946 at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, MO.

 

...

 

-Sam

 

My Dad Kenneth Zino was 1264th ECB Company B and I can confirm that he & others did serve in Eisenach & Salach in that time period based on photos he saved and from records.

 

I have an official letter dated 22 January 1946 from Commanding officer, Captain Arthur N Hibbs. It certifies that Sgt Kenneth Zino was an enlisted man who served in the "Army of Occupation" with the American Force in Germany for the period 9 May 1945 to 24 January 1946 inclusive. (The 1264th ECB History book has a farewell letter from Arthur H Lahlum, Lt Col dated 26 August 1945).

 

Ken departed from Europe from Antwerp on the William & Mary Victory. They arrived in New York City 26th Feb 1946. The units listed on that boat were the 381st & 348th Eng Combat. My Dad separated 3rd March 1946 from the Separation Center at Ft Dix, New Jersey.

 

The 1264th ECB History book has an "Occupation" chapter. It says they were in Eisenach for "a long time", "longer than any other town in the ETO". It lists some of the work they did. Company B built a "two hundred ten foot, semi-permanent wood trestle bent, class 40 one way bridge across the Werra river west of Eisenach. In order to complete the bridge before the battalion moved, the boys in "B" Company were working in two shifts from 8am in the morning until midnight".

 

One item of interest I found from this time period in my Dad's box was the special order for a seven day fur to Switzerland dated 4 November 1945. It was signed by P. F. Bartow, 1st Lt Adjustant by order of Major Stickney.The men listed were:

S Sgt Lesley J Carlson

S Sgt Ernest L Redden

S Sgt Frederick W Olson

Sgt Kenneth Zino

Tec 4 Lloyd C Baldwin

Tec 5 Nicholas A Cavuto

Tec 5 William E Gerstberger

Tec 5 Cecil Young

Pfc Fred A Padgett

Pfc George Elfers Jr.

 

I have a memory of my Dad telling me he had been in the hospital at one point for pneumonia (?) and if I recall correctly the hospital was in Paris. I haven't tracked down the dates / facts on this memory but thanks for the tip on the 203rd General Hospital, Paris, France.

 

-barbara

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Hi Sherrill - I really enjoyed the Johnnie "JJ" Jones article you posted. I'm now sharing the group photo I recently sent you and your Pop.

Attached is a group photo of 37 members of the 1264th ECB Company B 1st Platoon. Last names are included.

Sherrill's pop is "Jones", 2nd row from the front, 3rd from the left! Photos are so amazing in their ability to tell a story and connect all these years later.

In the notes I mention a photo of my Dad Ken Zino taken in Brussels at that time. I will post that one at a later date.

-barbara

post-2529-0-10856100-1462945379_thumb.jpg

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Hello

My Father was also in the 1264th Combat Engineer Battalion. He also went through Fort Hood Tx. his name is William Edward Wells.

 

...

 

He was originally in the Army Specialist Corp which sent 200 men to the University of Dayton to study engineering for the rebuilding of Europe after the war. Once things escalated he was transferred into the 1264th. He was wounded in the Rhineland campaign and spent 14 months in the hospital.

 

...

 

If you want any info from the book I would be happy to get it for anyone. I would love to hear more about your dad.

 

Hello - Wow, that must have been a very traumatic war experience for your Dad. I'm sorry to hear he was injured. I'm glad he made it home. My Dad Ken Zino was also Army Specialist Corp before being pulled out in March 1944 to join the 1264th ECB Company B. He had been sent to Purdue University to study engineering. He was in his third 12 week term at the time the U.S. Army pulled them all out. Ken was Class of 1942 St. Augustine's High School in Brooklyn and I remember he mentioned the testing by the U.S. Army when he was drafted. I don't know how they determined who got sent to what university? Ken had a 2nd cousin who was drafted by the U.S. Army from the same place on Long Island, also in 1942, tested and assigned to the ASTP, but his cousin was sent to the University of North Dakota for engineering studies. From what I have read the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was also relying on interviews to get men who had experience in construction, heavy equipment or who were mechanically inclined. PS: I'm attaching a photo I am fond of from my Dad's Army Specialist Corp days, when he arrived in the summer of 1943 to Purdue. I added a label for the "sliderule" in his left hand because I wasn't so sure his grandchildren and great-grandchildren would know what a sliderule was (or how to use one)!! -barbara

post-2529-0-35080300-1462949691_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for these interesting posts. Always love seeing images of these guys during the war. This will make so many people happy.

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Sam    2

It's been years since I last visited this forum. I recently found it again while researching the 1264th ECB for a history paper at school.

Yes, I returned to college after being laid off from my job due to the company moving overseas. I mean, 55 isn't too old to graduate with a degree, is it?

Anyway, I have been doing a LOT of research into the 1264th for this paper - I even found the notes from my meetings with Rex Pierce from 7 years ago. Sadly, he passed away a couple of years ago.

I haven't yet turned in the final copy of this paper, but I have been asked permission for the college to retain an electronic copy of this paper as a resource. If you happen to spot any mistakes, PLEASE let me know ASAP.

The sources are listed at the end - with the vast majority of the information was found via personal interviews or from the unit history itself. I tried to include as much information as possible - I even called the National Weather Service to obtain the weather information for Brownwood, Texas (Camp Bowie was located just south of Brownwood), on April 1, 1944.

Enjoy...I hope this is informative for you. Do not copy without permission, please.

 

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Nice to have you back again. I will check out the doc when I get a chance. Looking forward to reading it. And no, you are never too old to graduate. Happy for ya! 

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Had a chance to read it this morning. Nicely done. Wouldn't change a thing.

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Sam,

I enjoyed reading your Bastard Battalion story. Weston-Super-Mare is not far from my home in Wiltshire, UK and is a famous seaside resort these days as it was before WW2. I was interested to know of it's connection to the Bailey Bridge training. Thank you for posting.

Colin. 

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