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glen blasingim

160th Engineer Combat Battalion WW II ( new member)

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Michael, this is great. The names you have fit mine when they are identified by both of us. We have one disagreement, that is you call number 96 Pfc Corley and Dad called him Pfc Korol. I remember that Dad even spelled his name correctly. I sent an e-mail to James Corley"s son and asked him if he could identify his Dad as engineer number 96, and James Young as number 121 ( his Dad and James Young lived close to each other and were acquainted after the war). I would think that the other names are correct and we should probably add them to the identified list. Still digesting. There is a picture of James N. Corley in our post dated Dec. 13, 2015. See if you can find a match. I will let you know as soon as I hear from his son.

Glen Blasingim

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I wondered when I was typing list if some of the names might be nicknames as happens a lot in military. I did not try to check anything as I did the list, just copied as written. Thanks for all you do for this group of Veterans. As I have spent some time checking the pics I see that my Dad also identified #83 as Pvt Corley and I could not rule out that is James Corley. 

 

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Michael, I have not heard from James Corley's son. I am going to start adding the names of the engineers that your Dad has identified. I have searched through them and cannot find any reason why they would not be accurate. I appreciate that these identifications were made by your Dad while he was around these guys on a daily basis. Thanks so much for the contribution and the interest. Stay in touch. Anything that I learn and can add, I will. If any of your relatives or friends remember anything your Dad might have told them we are interested so please share it with us.

 

Glen Blasingim

 

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Thanks, I do believe that the James Corley identified as #83 is the one in the picture you referenced. I have heard back from National Archives a couple of weeks ago and unfortunately they said his records were lost in the fire they had some years ago. It seems at some point he was transferred to Co K 104th Infantry Regiment that is listed on his burial record and a shoulder patch of the Yankee Division is part of the Military keepsakes we have. I'm afraid this is all I will ever know as so much time has passed. Thanks again and be sure to let me know of any new developments.

Michael

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This memory of my Dad's comes to mind occasionally. It is something he remembered after so many years so I will share it. Harold G. Baxter, Tec5, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was the only man that could get B Company together in one place. When the brass called the company together Dad said they usually got about 75%, or less. The engineers didn't have a lot of interest in words from the top, company news or attaboys. But when word got around that Harold was calling the get together, 600+ engineers gathered around ( the Colonel learned to take advantage of this ). His secret word was mailcall. Letters and packages from home were what every engineers heart needed.

 

Harold is shown in this picture with some of his friends. He is kneeling in the front on the viewers left.

 

1210119357_Tl-rPrinz-Landrith-O.G.sCousinBl-rBaxter-O.G.Anderson.thumb.jpg.8dc65cd7fc5c776f1d7076462c6662b4.jpg

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I found my Dad's discharge papers and enlisted record. In researching his military history I found this site. His name was Dominick Tedesco from the Bronx, NY. He passed away in 2001. He was a Tec 5 in Company B of the 160th Engineer Combat Battalion. In researching the site I don't see his name on the company roster or his picture in the Company B group shot. He didn't talk much about his experience in the war but thanks to this site I learned a lot of what he and his fellow soldiers experienced. I've been sending some of the accounts of the war from this site to my son so he now knows what his grandfather experienced. I've attached my Dad's picture in the event that someone out there might have known him.

DTedesco.jpg

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On 12/17/2017 at 11:54 AM, glen blasingim said:

That is a great way to remember people you have served with. Your photograph quality is better and being digital it won't fade. That will be appreciated, I already do. I noticed that their are several weapons configurations in the Photograph. I am just curious, what is standard issue? Do Marines have a choice? There is so much available for that gun, I wondered what the Marines found useful and reliable.

So when this thread became active again, I started reading through it and found I hadn't answered this question. How careless of me!! So here we go:

Accounting for the difference in weapons and configurations . . . So let's start with the basics. The Marine Corps fire team is made of four members (caveat, the USMC has been toying around with different configurations, but what I am going to talk about is the still standard for rifle company organization). There is a FT leader who carries an M-16 with an M203 grenade launcher; a machine gunner who carries a light MG (M249 SAW in the past and is pictured here, now an M27 IAR); an assistant machine gunner who carries extra barrels if required and ammo who carries an M-16; and a rifleman who carries an M-16 and is normally the junior member of the team. So right there you have three different weapons systems - M-16 (or sometimes an M-4 carbine, a shorter version of an M-16 with a collapsible stock), an M-16 with the grenade launcher and the LMG. Add to that, that the M-16s we carried at the time were actually not the typical M-16A2s that I was familiar with (semi-auto or three round burst only - the A1, which I never used, was capable of full auto). We actually were using M-16A4s (not to be confused with M4s which are different). These had the Picatinny rail system that allowed attachment of all different kinds of accessories. I didn't see any obvious ones in the pictures, but some of the guys carried night vision IR laser aiming devices, IR flood lights, visible wavelength flashlights, etc. One of my guys, who was an avid shooter in his normal, back home life, had the scope that is readily visible. That was a civilian addition his dad sent him and was not military issue, but it was designed to be mounted on his Picatinny rail on his M-16A4.

Now to your second question, did Marines have a choice: In 2004, I would say they certainly did in most cases. Typically, only infantry Marines who have passed sniper school and are serving in a sniper or recon position have scopes of that sort. Now at that time, we were just getting fielded the Advanced Combat Optic Gunsight (or ACOG) which is barely visible on some of the A4s. This is very different than the large sniper type sight the Marine has and is designed for quick acquisition of targets (i.e. from the time you lift the rifle to your eye to the point you can see the target and engage) and only magnifies vision up to 6 times. The Marine in question had a civilian purchased, probably up 20 times magnified sniper scope. This was certainly not "standard issue" and as the platoon commander, I certainly could have said he couldn't carry it. Of course as far as I was concerned, that would have been stupid because it gave the platoon an asset that we didn't have without it. No one higher up than me had an issue, so it stayed. I would say that at that time there was probably a fair amount of non-standard issue items being carried. My drop holster and three point sling were purchased at a tactical supply store in Jacksonville, NC because the USMC didn't have any to issue. You will also notice in pictues of me at that time that I have a desert Camel Bak but everyone else had a green one. This is because 3/24 (Third Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment - the reserve unit to which I was assigned to augment their personnel) had been given green ones, but I had purchased a desert one personally the spring before.

Here are some more pictures of that deployment.

Hopefully that was interesting enough to be worth reading!

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On 10/24/2019 at 1:56 PM, Gekko said:

I found my Dad's discharge papers and enlisted record. In researching his military history I found this site. His name was Dominick Tedesco from the Bronx, NY. He passed away in 2001. He was a Tec 5 in Company B of the 160th Engineer Combat Battalion. In researching the site I don't see his name on the company roster or his picture in the Company B group shot. He didn't talk much about his experience in the war but thanks to this site I learned a lot of what he and his fellow soldiers experienced. I've been sending some of the accounts of the war from this site to my son so he now knows what his grandfather experienced. I've attached my Dad's picture in the event that someone out there might have known him.

DTedesco.jpg

That makes me extremely happy. That's what this site is all about- sharing information with the world, so none of this will be forgotten. Thanks for writing and letting me know. Hope the exchange continues. :-)

 

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On 10/24/2019 at 12:56 PM, Gekko said:

I found my Dad's discharge papers and enlisted record. In researching his military history I found this site. His name was Dominick Tedesco from the Bronx, NY. He passed away in 2001. He was a Tec 5 in Company B of the 160th Engineer Combat Battalion. In researching the site I don't see his name on the company roster or his picture in the Company B group shot. He didn't talk much about his experience in the war but thanks to this site I learned a lot of what he and his fellow soldiers experienced. I've been sending some of the accounts of the war from this site to my son so he now knows what his grandfather experienced. I've attached my Dad's picture in the event that someone out there might have known him.

DTedesco.jpg

The large group picture was taken in Alabama before deployment to Europe. I believe that the platoon pictures were taken in Europe so you might be able to spot him in some of those pictures if he was assigned after stateside training. 

 

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Gekko, thanks for your post and the picture of your Dad. I have looked in my copy of the 160th ECB book and cannot add any information to yours. I know that there were men in the 160th that were not included in the book.  I know there are pictures from France, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria that are included in the book, but I do not know when the group pictures were taken or when the rosters were made up.

For most of his life my Dad did not talk about his time in the service either. I was blessed that he lived to be 100 years old and in the last few years we talked a lot about those days.

If I learn anything about your Dad, Dominick Tedesco, I will share it. If you learn more please share it with us. Find out everything you can about your Dad's service and put something together for his grandson. Let's never forget what those guys went through for us.

Thanks again, Glen Blasingim.

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CaptO, thanks for the reply. I didn't say anything else about my questions because I thought I might have touched on a sensitive subject, maybe something classified. That does answer my questions which were more curiosity than anything else.

I loved the pictures, very interesting. Thanks for adding those.

All retired, you certainly do look young in those pictures. Thanks for your service.

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No, nothing sensitive or classified. Only one time (actually, on that first trip) was I ever involved in something secret squirrel-like. And I only was providing security while other, actual secret-squirrel types did the work in question. Further, if I told you what went on you would kind of go, "oh" as opposed to be hanging on every exciting word. Not all secret things are James Bond exciting. Even the US secret network (SIPRNET) isn't that exciting when you look around on it.

As far as looking young there, you're right about that. That was 2004 so 15 years ago as I type this. I really can't believe it's that long ago.

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I love the secret squirrel comments. :D

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