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Cynthia Sandor

1280th Engineer Combat Battalion

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I am searching for more information about my father, PFC Robert Sandor - Army Serial # 31326199.  This is what his Honorable Discharge papers say (I received from funeral home):

Separation Center: Ft. Devens, Mass. Entry into Active Service: 1943 (he would have been 16 years old). Place of Entry into Service: Hartford, Ct. Date of Enlistment is blank meaning he was drafted? His Military Occupation Specialty and No Reads: "Sj. Traly Clerk C'65 - Military Qualification say "Combat Infantry Badge." Battles and Campaigns read: "Rhineland." With an: V pointing upward. I believe that means he was there at the beginning? Decorations Received: "Good Conduct Medal," "Victory Medal," "European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon." Date of Departure: July 41 - 25 July 43 - Destination:  ETO. Date of Arrival: 30 Jul k3 10, Sep lj-5.  He served 6 months and 18 days Continental Service and 1 Month, 10 days Foreign Service.  Highest Grade: PF - 1 Sep U5 - USAC. Well, that's all I can read from those records.  I am attaching them herewith.  From what I could understand, I am thinking he served in the XX Army Corp, 65th Infantry Division, 1280th Army Corp. of Engineers (I know he was there because his best friend, Willis G. McLeod  was there with him), Battalion - Company "C."

Then, I contacted the National Archives (NA) and they sent me this information:  Two Final Payment Work Sheets -

The First Final Payment Work Sheet - Army Component - RA 817th Engr. Avn Bn, March ARB, Calif. Grade: (6th p.g. Pvt) Home Address: Sound Vie Ridge, Glenville, Conn. (same on Discharge Papers). Enlisted or Inducted at: N.Y. City, N.Y. 16 Nov. 46. Discharged on 5 March 1949 - Station March AFB, Calif. Arrived in US: 16 Nov. 1948. 3 years in service. Last Pay to include: 28 Feb. 1949 By H.C. Nichols, Capt. FD. Honorable Discharge by Reason of: AR 615-353 (CG-PETS) & Par. 3bDA Cir 335/48.  The rest of the document talks about his deductions and pay.

The SECOND Final Payment - Work Sheet includes:  Enlisted/Inducted at: Greenwich, Ct., Name of D.O. EA NY (and I cannot read the rest - it is in pencil). Discharged on Nov. 12, 1945. Station WDSC Ft. Devens. Arrived in US: Sept. 10, 1945. Previous Organizations:  1280th ENGINEER BN. Nov. 3, 1945. Then, the rest of the document talks about his pay. 

In accessing the Archival Database ( AAD) on the National Archives (NA), I found this information: Name, Serial # and State match. Residence: County:  Middlesex, Place of Enlistment: New York City, Date of Enlistment: 3/16/1946.  PFC, No Branch, Branch Code: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA, Term of Enlistment:  Hawaiian Department.  Civilian Occupation: Laboratory technician and Assistant (my father was a carpenter and so was his entire family - so, I think this is wrong). I found the Ft. Devens Book with his name and address in it. 

My parents told me that my father was stationed in Linz at the Nibelungen Bridge. He called it their "Checkpoint Charlie" and he told me that he had to protect Austria from the Russians.  I remember seeing the United States Forces Austria patch on his uniform.  I also remember seeing his uniform decorated the Army Corp. of Engineers pins, patches, service medals, Here are some photos of him.  I was told by the National Archives that all of my father's records were destroyed in the "Fire."  I am trying to search Roll Calls to verify the documents I received from the N.A.

I just wrote a letter to the National Archives yesterday requesting information and records on the 1280th Engineer Combat Battalion 1945.

I need help in figuring out this information. I cannot seem to find information (Roll Call) for the 817th or the 1280th. Besides the Ft. Devens booklet, I believe my father fought in the Rhineland Campaign but can't find what Infantry he was in. I did find some information yesterday from a Len Drucker who was in the 1280th staying they were attached to the VI Corps. Combat Engineers and that is why I am now on this site. 

I would appreciate any help/guidance that anyone can share with me.  I thank you for your time.  Sincerely, PFC Robert Sandor's daughter, Cynthia. 

Please note: All photos are copyrighted and some are contained in a book I wrote about my mom when she was in the BDM. (PS:  I found her personal journal 4 months before she passed away and wrote her biography entitled "Through Innocent Eyes - The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth."  Many of my readers are now encouraging me to write a fictional story about my dad and also include a 'love story' in it where he met and married my mom, Gertrude Kerschner from Kleinzell, Austria). 

Honorable Discharge Page 1.jpg

Honorable Discharge Page 2.jpg



Robert Sandor and Franz Kerschner WWII Linz Austria.jpg


Robert Sandor USFA standing in front of building with friend.jpg



Gertrude and Robert Sandor.png

Robert Sandor with friend from 3rd Army.jpg


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Hi: Just replied in your post elsewhere on the forum regarding your mother and father, meeting in Austria and the book you wrote. Thanks!

As I stated there, I was in the middle of sending you and email, when I saw both posts from you, so thought I would continue here...

Hi Cynthia:
Thanks for joining and for filling in what you know of your father's history. 
The documentation you received from the funeral home, would have been the same as from NARA in St Louis, so you already have copies of his DD214's. NARA wasn't the only place to find copies of discharge papers, as it was not unusual for DD214's to be filed at the veteran's local county courthouse. Also the veteran's admin would have copies, so this is probably where the funeral home obtained theirs.
And unfortunately, it wasn't that uncommon for mistakes to be found on said paperwork. This kind of thing has been brought to my attention more than once, and I also believe that a mistake or two can be found within my father's papers. When you come to realize that millions of soldiers were being discharged within a few months of each other, you can see why this occurred. The out-flux of men was simply overwhelming. 
As you've probably already discovered, there's quite a bit of information on the forum regarding the 1280th. I will post more in a few, but have some things I have to tend to this morning, that need my immediate attention.


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I'm back. The 1280th was NOT under a division. Units such as his (and like my father's), were "bastard" units and served under an ARMY or CORPS. These units were placed where needed and often were attached to other units, such as infantry, as temporary measures. This was something I learned years ago, when I first began exploring my father's history. I was very familiar with the layout of armies, but had no idea at that time, that independent engineer units, even existed.

Infantry units had their own (organic) engineer battalions. The 65th Infantry's engineers would have been the 265th Engineer Combat Battalion, not your father's unit.

For instance, when the 540th landed on the beaches of southern France, my father's engineer regiment was under the jurisdiction of VI Corps/7th Army. When they were in Italy, it was the 5th Army. 


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Great information!  Thank you for sharing. Since posting this, I found out that my father was first in the 87th Infantry Division, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 345th Infantry Regiment.  I found the paperwork on the 87thInfantrydivision.com web site and that is when he received his Combat Infantryman's Badge. I am still learning about all the different divisions, infantries, regiments, battalions, etc.

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Happy to hear all this. Cool!

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