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John Cherry

Cape Cod Military Museum

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Hello,

My name is John (Jack) Cherry. I am an unofficial Internet sleuth for the Cape Cod Military Museum, I am disabled and spend a lot of my time tracking down the Military History of Cape Cod. One of focal points is the Engineer Amphibious Command formed at Camp Edwards, on 15 June 1942. We are in search of accounts, photographs and memories of any and all of those that spent time on Cape Cod, as part of their Military service, in this or any other Commands here. In my short time here as a member, I have found a lot of material and am very thankful to M-1 for accepting me as a member and providing a great site to utilize in my search for information.

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I am so happy that you have found my website helpful so far. That pleases me to no end. I have quite a bit of info on this time period and in fact, you will find more info online in my documentary No Bridge Too Far, part one, which refers to the the area on several occasions. www.nobridgetoofar.com

I will see what I have on my hard drive and/or in my library that hasn't made its way to the web.

All the best, M1

 

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Hello Marion.

I am most appreciative of anything that you may find to assist me in this endeavor! You have really done a Yeoman's work in bringing the History of the Engineers in WWII. Your Father's Service Hostry is very interesting, just as your story of how you explored your Fathers Service is..

Many Thanks,

Jack

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Thank you again, Jack. I look forward to working with you. Have a good night. Getting ready for a late dinner and some relaxation. Till later... ;)

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Hello Marion,

I hope that this note finds you well. I am still in search for any photographs, literature or any connections to  Camp CANDOIT, in Cotuit, MA 1942-1945.  We are doing a presentation for the Historical Society of Cotuit. I am also interested in your video as well.

Thanks in advance,

Jack Cherry

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Sorry about that. I have so many research projects going, that I lose track of myself. :o Let me go look right now! Smiles!

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Okay, here we go... I will post more during the day as I come upon photos and files of interest....

These are from the collection of Wilbur Thomas Dickens, 540th Combat Engineer (my father's unit)

 

WilburDickens Color Photo001_000_000.jpg

WilburDickensCampEdwardsAugust1942001.jpg

WilburDickensCampEdwardsAugust1942002.jpg

WilburDickensCampEdwardsAugust1942003.jpg

WilburDickensCampEdwardsAugust1942004.jpg

WilburDickensCampEdwardsAugust1942005.jpg

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Here is the script from No Bridge Too Far - This is in regards to Wilbur Thomas Dickens as it relates to Camp Edwards

Wilbur Thomas Dickens – Chapter One - Slides 82-84.pdf

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Here's an video clip derived from an interview with Clifford Duncan, also from the 540th. He speaks of Camp Edwards. 

Chapter_one_-_Slide_78_-_Cliff_Duncan_-_Camp_Edwards.wmv

Clifford Duncan 540th Combat Engineer Stills_1.jpg

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This is taken from documents provided by Rene Rousselle and Bill Vanderwall, both of the 540th. This is a script from the documentary, speaking of Camp Edwards.

Rene Rousselle and Bill Vander Wall – Chapter One - Slides 69-71.pdf

ReneRousselle.jpg

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This was provided to me by John H. Dieken. "The following is a compilation of handwritten notes made during an interview with my Dad, Henry John Dieken, in 1975 I think.      John H. Dieken"

 

Henry John Dieken was sworn into the U.S. Army on February 13, 1942.  However, his records show February 12th.  His serial number was 37144222.  He was sworn in at Sioux Falls, South Dakota and from there he was shipped to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

At Fort Leavenworth he spent 5 or 6 days, received a physical, clothing, etc.

Following Fort Leavenworth he was shipped to Camp Forrest, Tennessee where he was assigned to the 123rd Field Artillery, 33rd Division, “A” Company.  This was still in February of 1942.

On the 3rd or 4th of August 1942 he was sent to Camp Edwards, Massachusetts on Washburn Island where he was assigned to the 540th Amphibious Engineer Regiment of the 1st Amphibious Brigade.  He was assigned to “F” Company in the 2nd Battalion. Note:  5 platoons of 70 men made up a company

           3 companies made up a Battalion

           2 Battalions made up a Regiment

           4 Regiments made up a Division

           2 Divisions made up a Brigade

 

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The first paragraph refers to Camp Edwards - Bill VanderWall - 540th Combat Engineer

Chapter One - Slide 36.pdf

Bill_001_001_000_000_000_000_000_000.jpg

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This was taken from a 36th Engineer's Newsletter that mentions welcoming the 540th Engineers from Camp Edwards, MA.

Welcome New Battalions Chapter One – Slides 92-93 - Marion.pdf

Welcome 540th001.jpg

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Taken from Captain John Fallon's memories - 36th Combat Engineer

 

Seahorse Soldiers by Captain John Fallon – 36th Combat Engineer

During the 1930’s the various branches of the military thought they had their assignments straightened out.  Among other things the Marines were charged with making assault landings from the sea.  This seemed straightforward enough but as a probable war seemed imminent the army brass realize that a really big landing in Europe could not be handled by the marines with their limited manpower.  The decision was made to organize train and equip an engineer amphibian command made up of brigades of boat regiments and shore regiments.

Planning went ahead and the command was based in Camp Edwards Massachusetts under general Daniel Noce.  This went ahead for a while and soldiers were trained in small boat handling as well as beach maintenance.  The first brigade was in England in the second in the Pacific and when the third brigade of the command was being formed the navy called a halt to the project claiming the landing as their turf.  However naming them engineer special brigades mollified the navy.  The third and fourth went to the Pacific and before the landing in Normandy the fifth and six brigades were formed in England from existing regiments to participate in the landings.

Several engineer regiments were destined to be part of the command and were converted to combat regiments.  At that time engineer regiments were being gradually converted two groups but several of them maintain their regimental structure to almost the very end of the war with the theater commander having the option of timing.  Among the regiments being organized was the 36th engineer combat regiment.  It was organized and Plattsburgh barracks on 1 June, 1941.  It was a three battalion regiment and remained so during the war.  The seahorse shoulder patch and the regimental crest were approved in the men wore then proudly.  The seahorse represented the amphibious landings that were planned and the motto “rugged” is from an aphorism recited by many engineer soldiers at that time in barracks and barrooms.

 

John Fallon 3.JPG

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Here is my brief history of my dad's unit (540th), which mentions Camp Edwards

Marion's WWII Article001.pdf

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Here's a post I found on the forum. It's titled, Camp Edwards 1940-1945

Here's another post that mentions Camp Edwards - please scroll down until you see one by 206thmpco dated June 30, 2009

This post talks about an Edward W Lawson - please scroll down to Jan 14, 2017

Hmmm, this post is from 2011. Don't know if we can reach her, but it would be worth a try, if you are interested. She never did post any of the Camp Edwards photos. 

Charles J Nuccio (540th) had documentation that shows he was at Camp Edwards from 7-15-42-9-11-42 

 

Found this also:

 

591st Engineer Boat Regiment

 

15 JUNE 1942 Activated at Camp Edwards Mass

5 AUG 1942 Departed New York P/E

17 AUG 1942 Arrived in England

2 NOV 1942 Departed England

8 NOV 1942 Assaulted Oran (Operation Torch)

6 DEC 1943 Arrived in Italy

1 NOV 1944 Deactivated with assests to 1185th Engineer Group

Campaigns: Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, North Appennies

 

 

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Photo of Charles Bryant -540th Combat Engineer

18.jpg

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I'll keep looking, but I hope this helps you! B)

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Lots of good stuff, M1!!

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Thank you. It's amazing what you can find when you put your mind to it!

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Oh My Gosh! Where do I start to thank you for all of this information! I had both eyes dilated this afternoon and then had eye surgery at 4 PM. So, things are a bit blurry right now. I am VERY excited to go through all of the postings that you put up here. Tomorrow, I will be up early to dive into this information. I purchased your DVD. I also tried to call you using the number,which didn't go through. (Not a problem).I am so energized by these postings. I also have some ideas about utilizing your production company in the future. I will post more, very soon, re things that I have found and what you have posted here. Again, Thank you very much!

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You have also made my day. I look forward to hearing from you after you have had a chance to digest all the info. Hope you are feeling better. :-)

 

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Hello Marion,

I received my copy of "No Bridge too far", in today's mail. I just finished viewing it a few minutes ago and have one word to describe it. MAGNIFICENT! You are totally amazing. All of your work in assembling every detail has my darn near speechless.

I spent most of today in Fall River, MA at Battleship Cove. They have an LCM there on shore that I went onto and took several photos of. The LCM (Landing Craft Mechanized) was what the Amphibious Engineers used to transport Tanks or Trucks to shore from the transports. They were also used with the early Landing Craft Personnel (LCP) and the Landing Craft Personnel Ramp (LCP-R of LCPR) that preceded the Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) that were built by the Higgins Boat Company in New Orleans, as well as many other boatyards all over the USA. We have a WWII DUKW Amphibious Truck at our Museum and they have one as well. I made some really good contacts there, which I will be working with, on future projects, beneficial to both Battleship Cove and the Cape Cod Military Museum. I have been going over all of the links that you posted here for me and cannot thank you enough. You have put faces and identities to the brave men like you Father, that trained and served overseas during WWII. As you know, many people today do not know of the Engineers pr their service. Like you, I see it as my mission to help to educate people as to the service and sacrifices that men like your Father made during WWII. Their story needs to be promoted as you know. I can't wait to see your next installment of their story and look forward to contributing to it in any and all ways that I can. Thank you again,

Jack

 

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Dear Jack:  Once again you have made my day, oh heck my week! I read your review twice and then read it out loud to my husband. All I can say is thank you and you are very welcome. It was a complete labor of love, done on a very small budget and took over a year to complete in my home office. May I use your review on my site, etc? I would be honored.

I am receiving financial backing this year, in order to complete the documentary, so am quite thrilled and excited about the prospects. It has sat in limbo for far too long.

Would love to visit your museum one day and will look forward to it.

Kindly,

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Marion, it is I that would be honored to have you post my review! I look forward to assisting you in any way possible. I have an e-mailed Cape Cod Museum Newsletter that I want to share with you. I will send it to you for your interest. We are on Facebook (Cape Cod Military Museum) and are online (WWW.capecodmilitarymuseum.org). We share our Museum with the Bourne Historical Society here in Bourne, MA (right on the Cape Cod Canal).

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