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j_riederer

1010th Engineer Treadway Bridge Company

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My grandfather recently passed away and I am trying to get any and all information regarding his company as possible...I have already contacted the national archives and hopefully they will be able to get some information for me....but I was hoping anyone here might have any information...we have several photos my grandpa took during the war including one of his group...I guess my first question would be, how many people would you expect were in his company? There's a picture of about 10-12 people, is that his company possibly? Or are they a lot larger? There is absolutely ZERO information on the 1010th on the internet...several other treadway companies have their own websites or there's tons of information on them, but not the 1010th...does that mean they were less significant, smaller, etc? Again, I appreciate any help at all you may be able to provide!

 

Jeff Riederer

Grandson of James A Riederer

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Hi Jeff, welcome to the forum, there`s not much about the 1010th probably because of the late date they arrived in europe, which appears to be around March 1945, only 2 months before the end of the war. They have Campaign Credits for Central Europe & Rhineland and Occupation Duty, Germany 20 May - 14 August 1945.

I found a mention of them in a veteran`s memoir who was in the 1010th but was transfered to another unit. He says the 1010th was training at Camp Ruker, AL. in 1943 at the time he was with them.

There is 2 mentions of them in 12th Army corespondence available at fold3.com. the first is correspondence from 12 Army Group dated 13 march 1945, signed Bradley asking if the 1010th & other units can be eguiped and sent to the army areas by 31 March 1945.

http://www.fold3.com/image/#286802612

 

another followup reply dated dated 17 March 1945

http://www.fold3.com/image/#286803142

 

Judging by this correspondence the 1010th probably got to the front during or shortly after the Rhine River crossings.

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Wow that's more information than I have come up with after doing lots of searching thank you very much! For all the stories my grandpa had I would have definitely thought that he was there longer. I did find one document that congratulated all the groups that helped cross the Rhine and his company wasn't mentioned, but for some reason I thought he said that his company was there...I have a picture he took of the bridge over the Rhine but maybe he got to it after it was already set up.

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Hi Jeff, the document you mention probably just lists the units participating in the assault crossings of the Rhine. After the intitial assault crossings and the bridgehead expanded clearing the east bank of the Rhine, the front lines were many miles from the crossing sites and many more bridges were built at sites closer to the front to shorten supply lines & move followup units across the Rhine. These bridges got little or no mention or credit given to the units that built them, the assault bridges got all the ink and photos. So it`s entirely possible the 1010th did build a bridge accross the Rhine. If you can get the unit records from NARA, they`ll show the bridges built by them & where they were.

 

You`ll find information on the orginization of an engineer treadway bridge company in Field Manual 5 -5, Engineer Troops

http://www.6thcorpscombatengineers.com/docs/FieldManualsWWII/FM%205-5%20%20Engineer%20Field%20Manual%20Engineer%20Troops.pdf

 

Normaly treadway bridge companies were assigned or attached to armored divisions for river crossing working with the armored engineer battalions. In the case of the 1010th`s arrival dates they may have been under the command of ADSEC, ( Advance Section, Com-Z) but 12 Army Group Hqs would issue orders for bridge building.

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Hey Jeff, a warm welcome to you. Sorry I didn't post earlier but it's been one busy week for me. But you are in good hands with Larry, so...

 

Yes, do try getting in touch with NARA in Maryland to obtain any unit reports. Please see our research section for further suggestions on where to gather more info:

 

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

 

:pdt12:

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Jeff,

 

Would you be able to share that picture of the bridge? Sure would love to see it.

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Fantastic. Thanks.

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Hi Jeff, your grandfather wrote his memoirs of the war, ask your parents if they know about it or have a copy.

An article with some of his memoirs appears in the Watertown Daily Times Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2009.

In the article it states "Riederer remembers that his company's biggest effort was the assembly of a bridge over the Rhine River from St. Goer to St. Goershausen, Germany."

 

http://www.wdtimes.c...f93aa63576.html

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Oh holy cow. Isn't it amazing what you can find on the net. Nice catch there, Larry!

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Ya, sometimes you just have to use different search paramaters, the article didnt show up on a search for "1010th Engineer Treadway Bridge Company" but did just using '1010th Treadway Bridge Co."

 

The 89th Infantry Divison was one of the units that crossed the Rhine at St Goar, i`ll see what i can find about that crossing.

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What i got from a 89th Div website, VII Corps assigned the 1107th Engineer Combat Group to support the 89th`s crossing at St Goar.

No mention of the individual units that built the bridges.

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You know the funny thing, I have a copy of those...and EVERYONE my grandpa ever met got a copy of it...and he was constantly asking before he passed to make sure everyone got a copy of it...and for some reason I actually have yet to read it...I completely forgot about that until you brought it up...thank you for that! The one thing I do remember is that he was very mad the newspaper put his full name in it..he only wanted to be referred to as "Grandpa Jim" because he always said "I'm no damn hero" and didn't want the publicity. That is one of the many fantastic qualities the greatest generation had was humility.

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HI, my father, Michael E Dunfee, was also with the 1010th. I have a few photos that I will post as soon as I get them out of storage. I don't know anything about his company, just that he built Treadway and ponton bridges in France and Germany. I will eagerly read anything about his unit. My dad only rarely spoke about his service, although I know he did lose several close friends. His generation, as you know, just did what they were expected to and did not discuss it. He told me about building a bridge while under enemy fire, once while we were watching "The Bridge at Ramaggen". He talked a little about sleeping in church basements, and stealing a keg of beer from the Germans. He was a sargeant, and extremely proud of his service, if not very verbal about details.

 

His father, also Michael E Dunfee, served in the army in WWI, and was disabled after he came home due to the effects of mustard gas. He was constantly in and out of VA hospitals. Unfortunately he died while my father was in France; my dad requested leave but was denied. He was angry about that, but it did not effect his patriotism or his love of country. His wish was to be buried in a veterans' cemetery, and thanks to the work of Harry Reid, when dad died in 1994 we were able to do that. My mother joined him in 2008, at the Southern Nevada Verterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, Nevada.

 

Shari Dunfee, Denver, CO

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Hi Shari. Thanks for joining our forum. We're happy to share anything we have with you, and look forward to seeing the photos.

 

Yes, movies have a way of triggering memories and opening doors. I'm glad he shared that much with you.

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My father, Leo Welz, who passed away in 2005, served in the 1010th Engineer Treadway Bridge Company. Enclosed, please find a 15-page 1010th history document – because of the level of detail, it could be ‘official,' but the document does not include an author or date, and it is not on letterhead. Fascinating read, filled with names, dates, locations – written with a proud sense of accomplishment.

 

I hope that the children/grandchildren of Riederer and Dunfee are still following this topic – this is a fascinating read but also thrilling to see our father/grandfather’s place in history:

 

“At 2200 on June 5 [1944] the company of 150 enlisted men and five officers hiked nineteen and a half miles from Camp Rucker to Newton and back. . . Welz's endurance and Riederer's exuberance were outstanding."

 

 

As info, a copy of this document was donated to the WWII museum, a chance to honor the 1010th and their role in WWII.

 

Thank you,

M Welz

1010 Engineer Treadway Bridge Co.pdf

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Hello:

 

It was nice chatting with you briefly via email earlier today and great to see your first post, above. Thanks for sharing that wonderful document with everyone here. I will take a few moments to read it after I have some late lunch. :pdt12:

 

Welcome!

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My father, Leo Welz, who passed away in 2005, served in the 1010th Engineer Treadway Bridge Company. Enclosed, please find a 15-page 1010th history document – because of the level of detail, it could be ‘official,' but the document does not include an author or date, and it is not on letterhead. Fascinating read, filled with names, dates, locations – written with a proud sense of accomplishment.

 

I hope that the children/grandchildren of Riederer and Dunfee are still following this topic – this is a fascinating read but also thrilling to see our father/grandfather’s place in history:

 

“At 2200 on June 5 [1944] the company of 150 enlisted men and five officers hiked nineteen and a half miles from Camp Rucker to Newton and back. . . Welz's endurance and Riederer's exuberance were outstanding."

 

 

As info, a copy of this document was donated to the WWII museum, a chance to honor the 1010th and their role in WWII.

 

Thank you,

M Welz

 

Hey that's awesome thanks!!! The things I got from the National Archives ended up being quite the disappointment, really nothing even worth sharing.

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Yes, isn't it exciting to actually see their name in print. I saw two instances of my father's name in the NARA archived docs from the 540th Engineers. I was just thrilled beyond words.

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Regrettably, I do not recall how my father obtained the document. I wonder if it is missing a cover page, or something, to indicate the author.

 

Sorry that you were not aware of this document when your grandfather was still alive – could have been a great springboard for further discussion.

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Many of the army documents do not have authors. These were often simply histories depicting the actions of the unit. Many of the units have these.

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Almost every unit of company size or larger designated an officer or qualified NCO to keep a history of the unit as an extra duty. Copies of these unit histories would be sent up to higher HQs, ie: Co > Bn> Reg > Div> Corps etc, and used to assemble their histories. This narative of the 1010th was probably written by the company historian from his notes of the companies activities. It`s an unofficial history but factual in it`s content.

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My father, Richard Baker was part of the 1010th. He enjoyed training at the camp in Alabama, then crossing to Great Britain, then France. He drove a truck carrying pontoon bridge parts across France to St Goar. He stood on the French bank watching tanks liked up and bombarding the German side as infantry crossed the Rhine under fire. His bridge parts were used to construct the pontoon bridge at St Goar and then he crossed and traveled with a tank battalion across Germany and Poland where he found the war ending.

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