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    • Walt's Daughter

      New Registrations   09/22/17

      Attention New Registrants - Please take a moment to read the section on REGISTRATION. This will inform you regarding the entire process and hopefully answer all your questions. Too often I receive emails either asking why you can't post yet, or I why I haven't approved your membership?  Thank you for your time, M1
Frank Gubbels

309th engineers, 84th Division

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To all,

I haven't posted for quite some time and normally I didn't post a lot regarding engineers. A few days ago I received this picture. On the backside of the picture is the text: 84th division, 309th engineers at the Roer, you can see the patch on the shoulder of the trooper who is up front and it's definetely the "Railsplitter" patch. So this picture must have been taken in 1945 just before or after these men crossed the Roer river in Germany.

I thought it could be a small and nice addition to the website. If someone wants the better quality picture, just let me know and I can e-mail it to you.

 

Regards,

Frank

 

84thdivision309thengine.jpg

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I see they have their inflatable belts on. I hope they didn't have to get in the water - it looks pretty darn cold! I know that as safety conscience as everyone is in the military, if a pontoon bridge were built now, they would have to have all kinds of safety equipment. I suppose this was just a precaution so if anyone fell in the water during construction, they wouldn't immediately sink. You just don't see many of those sorts of safety precautions in most WWII pictures. I wonder if that was a common SOP (and how wide spread it was - battalion, regiment, division, etc.) or just a particular commander.

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Todd, they had to cross the Ruhr river. Sometimes engineers build (foot)bridges and sometimes the troops had to cross by boat. I think the engineers had to cross by boat but I am not sure.

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Oh Frank, don't know if you realize it, but Todd's grandfather was an officer in my dad's unit. That is how we met. Pretty neat, huh?

 

Good to hear from you again. Sorry I didn't answer sooner, but have been very sick with the flu. Getting better each day, and slowly answering emails and posts.

 

Love the photo. It's so clear and yes it's interesting to note that they are wearing the inflatable belts. Damn good idea, since they had to deal with so many cold, swift river crossings and many lost their lifes by drowning. So sad.

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Oh and yes, would like a high-res photo so I can put it up on the Gallery.

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I really didn't know that Marion. Small world it is. I am happy you're feeling a bit better now. Thank you very much for your reply. I just e-mailed the picture to you.

All the best,

Frank

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I think they crossed the Rur river (on Netherlands: the Roer river) left of the Rhine on the photo. I'm not shure whether they later (in '45) also crossed the Ruhr river on the right.

 

Christoph

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My guess would be before the crossing during the training of all units involved in the crossing since the actual crossing was at night/early morning.

 

Basic procedure of an assault river crossing is 1st an assault boat crossing of infantry followed imediately by infantry footbridges, then an infantry support bridge, then M2 Treadway bridges.

 

One account of the crossing can be read here:

TITLE:

An Engineer`s report of the Roer River Crossing at Linnich, Germany.

http://www.benning.a...rles R. LTC.pdf

The 84th Inf Div of XIII Corps crossed the Roer at Linnich, crossing began at 0330 on the morning of 23 February 1945. The 309th engineers had the responsiblity of assault boat crossing. The 1149th Engineer Combat Group was placed in general support of the 84th Infantry Division and the 171st Engineer Combat Battalion was placed

in direct support of the division with responsibility for the assault bridges. 74th Light Ponton Company and the

989th Treadway Bridge Company was assigned to the 171st Engineer Combat Battalion by the 1149th Engineer Combat Group for the operation.

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Oh, don't place your email on the forum out in the open,or anywhere for that matter. Not good practice. You don't want spammer bots getting a hold of your private info. Please delete.

 

Forum members can contact each other directly after logging in and clicking on usernames. You can send Frank a PM and give him your email addy if you wish.

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I received this request last week and forwarded it to Marion, maybe someone else can help as well.

 

Hey! I'm doing a little research for a friend locally whose Dad was captured Dec 23, 1944 and held in a stalag in Germany until May 1945. (He was 29.4 kilos when he was liberated!)-- Anyway; from some preliminary searching, I think he was with the 309th Combat Engineer Bn, 84th Infantry...

I found the thread you posted about the 309th here: http://www.6thcorpscombatengineers.com/engforum/index.php?showtopic=7815

Did you ever come across any POW rosters or have any info on which Stalag they were taken to when captured?
THanks!!!

smile-emoticon

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I’m trying to  find more detailed information regarding my grandfathers whereabouts in 1944/1945.


His name was Sargeant Joe Belche and he was in the 309th Engineer Corps Battalion. Unit “C”.
I’m specifically trying to find where he was posted in England after his troop ship arrived in Scotland on 1st October 1944.
Where was he sent? And for how long before being posted to France to join the battles.

I would really appreciate any information...we have a very interesting family puzzle that we are trying to solve.

Many thanks
Brimstone

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Welcome to the forum. Glad that you joined. Maybe we can help you solve the very interested family puzzle.

Till later...

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 Thanks Walt’s daughter for redirecting me here.

Since my last post I have received this photo of Grandpa from my dear long lost Aunt.

I’m really hoping that someone here will recognise him and be able to share some information.

I have written to several military bodies but have unfortunately not had any response, it’s very disappointing...

I really need to find out where his unit was when they landed in the U.K. so that I can start to fathom where to start looking for my Grandmother.

I would really appreciate any information no matter how small.

Thank you for any information.

Also if there are any photos I would be keen to see them.

Many thanks.

 

250BBC2C-4340-47F7-AC68-D020CDDF65C3.jpeg

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So you've already contacted NARA in Maryland?

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I’m not sure, but think so...to be honest I have no record of some of the organisations that I contacted because I think some contact was through their websites.

I have a copy of his discharge papers.

What I need is information about where he was once he got off the troop ship in October 1944.

 

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Then pursuing NARA in Maryland is the way to go.

 

Look under the section labeled Obtaining Unit Records.

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Thanks Walt’s daughter.

I just went to email them again and realised that I had already emailed them before a while ago...

...but I haven’t ever heard back from them so I’ve just emailed them again. You never know things get lost...

I think my Aunt is trying to chase up some information too.

I think in some instances next of kin status may be key.

anyway we’ll see.

Thanks for posting the links for me.

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I never tried emailing them. Everyone I know who had any luck, either called or wrote to them at the designated address, and included all pertinent info, such as specific name of unit and the dates of service.

 

  • Modern Military Records: Records that originated in military agencies of the Executive branch of government. Most of these records were created after 1900 and include documents created or accumulated by the various components of the Department of Defense and its predecessor, the War Department.
Contact the Textual Records unit at: The National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001

Telephone: 301-837-3510

 

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I would also contact Fort Leonard Wood. They were of tremendous help when I first started my journey. Please tell them that I sent you.

 

Fort Leonard Wood - Office of Engineer History
Historian, U.S. Army Engineer School
320 MANSCEN Loop, Suite 043
Ft. Leonard Wood, MO 65473
573-563-6365

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