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Walt's Daughter

243rd Engineers

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Received this letter this morning:

 

My Dad was in this outfit (243rd Engineers) - Battle of the Bulge and lots more.

 

ever hear of any web sites or people with this outfit?

 

r.

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Hi:

 

I've only found a few references but it is a start:

 

This is in relation to St. Goar and the engineers crossing the Rhine. "The 168th Engineer Combat Bn was to support all assault crossings, the 188th Engineer Combat Bn to construct rafts an take charge of all ferry equipment, and the 243rd Engineer Combat Bn to build a treadway bridge at St. Goar."

 

"243rd Engineers launch a Bailey Bridge across a gap in Italy, 1944. IT was painted y Ludwig Mactarian a world war II artist/correspondent serving with the 337th Engineers, Fifth Army. An incredible 200 miles of fixed Bailey Bridge was manufactured for WWII."

 

I have a photo in one of my engineer books that shows some engineers at St. Goar connecting bridge sections. I will scan it later and send it to you. Sorry I can't do it this morning, but have to get ready for work.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

I suggest that you contact the Army Corps of Engineers who were an immense help to me when I began my search. They keep folders on each unit. Some units have much for info than others. Hopefully they will have something to get your started.

 

(Updated link - January 2012)

http://www.usace.army.mil/Contact.aspx

 

Please visit my forum here to find other research tools. To save you some time, I have already searched the association contacts and there are no listings for the 243rd. If you go to the WWII Connections site and do contact Richard Horrell, please tell him that I sent you. He is a friend of mine and fellow colleague.

 

http://www.6thcorpscombatengineers.com/engforum/index.php?showtopic=23

 

Let me know what else you find out. I will post your letter and my answer to you in the forum, so all can see it. You never know. You may also want to sign our guestbook so people can also see your quest there.

post-3-1110907399_thumb.jpg

Edited by Walt's Daughter
updated link

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Here is the Ludwig Mactarian:

 

Launching the Truss for a Bridge

243d Engineers, Italy, 1944

 

6_111_45.JPG

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Hi: I too tried the link and its "caput"! I will see if I can find an update for it.

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Marion-

 

The picture you posted very well may have my grandpa in it, or at least surely has people he was with in it! Based on the fact that I know he helped build that bridge by St Goar (thanks to the other member who reminded me of his memoirs). Where did you acquire that picture?

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If you are talking about the crossing photo, I believe I simply found that on the internet, or someone may have sent it my way. Some are hard to remember because I have a few thousand in my inventory now.

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I have a booklet entitled, "Crossing of the Rhine River by Third US Army" which includes a map which shows all the crossing sites and lists the 243d Engineers at Saint Goar. My father was there in the 188th Engineers. I have the entire booklet scanned and if anyone wants it I can email it to them. My email is "don at prasse dot com".

Crossing of the Rhine River by Third US Army (Map).pdf

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Wow, thanks! Sure appreciate that. Great informational map. I will have to include that on the main site too. Very helpful.

 

Oh and warm welcome to you.

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My Dad was in the 243rd Engineer Combat BN. Originally called the 983rd Engineer Battalion, they were activated 15 Oct 1943 at Camp Breckenridge, Ky. There is a book on file which has been digitalized and available over the Internet. Google "243rd Engineer Combat Battalion." My Dad was with Company A, 2nd Platoon and was there at S. Goar, tying knots to bind the rubber rafts, which were used for the Treadway Bridge over the Rhine in late March 1945. Today there are no bridges across the river to St. Goarhausen. I f anyone has an interest, I can share some additional information. Most of what I know came from the aforementioned book,plua a little from old letters and an old journal.

 

TW

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Fantastic. Always like to hear good news. I will google that and add to our site. Great info. Yes, please share whatever you can. People all over the world come to this site for info on the engineers. :pdt12:

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Hmmm, I just looked it up and it says they do have an E-copy but it's copyrighted and not available to the public.

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Regarding the crossing of the Rhine operations by the 243rd, here is is what took place: On 25 March, at 1700 hrs, CO's of Companies B and C met with officers of the 1010th Treadway Bridge at a house near the river's edge to discuss how the bridge was to be built. Company B was assigned the actual construction and stood ready to act soonafter the assault by the 89th Infantry. This began at 0200 hrs on 26 March. Due to enemy resistance, it took 18 hours to secure the bridgehead. At this point bridge construcion began immediately. Company C constructed the pontoon rafts. Current was swift and 2 powerboats were swept away. Company A was called in to assist in placing the pontoons by hand. A and B Companies set up kitchens along the river bank to keep the construction going. Despite sporadic enemy fire, no damage was done. At 2700 hrs on 27 Mar, the bridge was completed. Company A was used for bridge security and set up machine guns along the bridge. St. Goarhausen lay directly across the river. A consideraqble amount of wine was discovered in the cellar of a local Gasthaus. (Later, the troops were celebrating). My father was with Company A. He said that General Patton's tanks crossed that bridge. His unit was proud that not a single knot tied to the pontoons had failed.

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I love reading this. Find it oh so fascinating.

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I just got around to reading this. Once again the Engineers come through.. and in style. Was it Piper who said "Those Damned Engineers"? As Marion says "no bridge too far". Thanks for sharing.

 

Parker

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Yup, the German's pegged the phrase, "Those Damned Engineers". That occurred when Pieper encountered Pergrin's 291st Engineers during the Battle of the Bulge.

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