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#1 Adaughter

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 11:50 PM

Hi to all. I am new here. My Dad was a WWII veteran. From all of the reunions he attended and memories he shared he always referred to the 87th Engineers Heavy Ponton Battalion. His discharge papers reference Company C 280th Engineers Battalion. He was from Michigan. I was referred to this site from the Wild Bill Guarnere site. Sadly, my Dad died in December. He saved everything -- every piece of paper from that time, letters and some pictures. He shared a few stories over the years, but not much. Anyone out there know anything about the 87th? His service record states the following battles and campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe. Thanks! I can post the photos he saved if anyone is interested.

#2 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 11:58 PM

Hello proud daughter. Delighted to have a fellow daughter of a WWII engineer.

First off my deepest sympathy and condolences are extended to you and your family. I know from personal experience how hard it is to lose a father. To be honest, my heart has never quite healed and sometimes I still get all choked up when I'm writing or talking about him. He is ALWAYS in my heartpump.gif

I will see what I can find out for you. We would love to hear all about your dad. Please feel free to share anything about him. Let's consider creating a page for him in the near future. If you've had a chance to check out the main site, then you've see the Memoirs Pages that I did for many of our vets.

Welcome to our FAMILY. I hope you will feel right at home amongst our vets and other contributors. So many wonderful folks here.

Smiles cool.gif
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#3 Walt's Daughter

Walt's Daughter

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:15 AM

March 22, 1945
XII Corps made the first assault crossing of the Rhine in the Third Army area at Nierstein, starting at 2200 hours. More than 200 assault boats operated by the 204th and 249th Engineer Combat Battalions shuttled the troops across, and by dawn a substantial part of the 5th Infantry Division had crossed. The 87th and 88th Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalions constructed and began operating heavy ponton rafts by 0930 hours. Approximately 65 tanks and tank destroyers, plus hundreds of other vehicles, were ferried across during the day. DUKWs from the 453d Amphibious Truck Company made 220 trips with ammunition, rations, and gasoline.

March 23 —
In the Oppenheim area, Third Army, the 87th and 88th Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalions, and the 249th Engineer Combat Battalion constructed a 1,280-foot, Class-24 heavy ponton bridge in 13 hours.
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#4 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:19 AM

Several references to the 87th Heavy Ponton Engineers on this page, the 89th Inf Div.

http://www.lonesentr...ntry/index.html
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#5 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:26 AM

Here's a contact name for you:

280th Engineer Combat Battalion (WWII)
Mr. Marlin Kreighbaum
1726 W. Bel Aire Avenue
Peoria, IL 61614-5628
(309) 691-9410
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#6 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:28 AM

Found that the 280th Engineers were contributors to the National WWII Memorial

http://www.wwiimemor...subpage=vetssts

You can find there name under the heading, Other Contributing Veteran Groups.
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#7 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:37 AM

Here's another mention of the 280th at the Battle of the Bulge.

http://members.aol.c...bulge/index.htm

They are listed here:

Units at Unknown Locations

There are many units that received recognition for participation in the Ardennes-Alsace campaign. This is a list of some of those units so recognized but for which I have yet to determine their geographic location during the Battle of the Bulge. If you have information on these, please let me know.

260th Engineer Combat Battalion
275th Engineer Combat Battalion
280th Engineer Combat Battalion
281st Engineer Combat Battalion
285th Engineer Combat Battalion
286th Engineer Combat Battalion
289th Engineer Combat Battalion
290th Engineer Combat Battalion
293rd Engineer Combat Battalion
294th Engineer Combat Battalion
297th Engineer Combat Battalion
298th Engineer Combat Battalion
301st Engineer Combat Battalion
303rd Engineer Combat Battalion
304th Engineer Combat Battalion
305th Engineer Combat Battalion

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#8 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:18 AM

Here are a few pages from an engineering book that I have. The 280th are mentioned on page 518. This is in reference to crossing the Rhine in the spring of 1945.

Attached Files


Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#9 chambers

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:43 AM

Dang lady!! You're quick!


Brooke
God bless those heroes who suffered and died, for plain folks, like you and me.

War is a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead.

#10 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:48 AM

Just call me super sleuth sweetheart. heartpump.gif laugh.gif
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#11 Adaughter

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 02:31 AM

You really are quick! Thank you for all the information. Thank you also for your kind words. It is a very strange time now that both parents are gone. The world seems different somehow. My Mom, who was 17 years younger than my Dad, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and died two months later in 2001. My Dad never recovered from that loss. He went from being the youngest 83 year old his Dr. had ever seen to literally willing himself to death over a 4.5 year period. I think the grief will stay with me for some time.

My Dad did mention Oppenheim when telling me about building the bridge accross the Rhine. I look forward to exploring this site and reading about all the Engineers.

Thanks again.

#12 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 11:05 AM

Ah sounds like we are in the same boat. My mom just passed away in January, and as my girlfriend says, I am now an orphan. Yes, a very strange feeling in life. Once in a while I catch myself saying something like, I should call mom today...

You still have many options open to you as far as getting more info on your father and his unit. Please check out the Research and Reference section in the forum. Here's the direct link:

http://www.6thcorpsc...hp?showtopic=23


I would contact the Army Corps of Engineers first. Michael Brodhead is the head of the history department and was a big help to me when I first began my research. Their department has info on MOST units. I cannot guarantee they will have anything on the 501st, but it's a great place to begin.

Secondly you can contact Richard Horrell of WW2 Connections. He is a private researcher and has over 5000 books in his collection. He has provided help for many of my visitors.

You can contact NARA in Maryland too. This is something I did beginning last year. I hired a researcher (they have a list of names on their site) and she copied all the records for my dad's unit and mailed them to me.

You have to write to them first to determine if they have any records on his unit. From there you have three choices if you get a positive response. One, go there yourself and copy the records. Two, if there are only a few records, NARA will copy and send them to you. Three, hire a professional researcher or college research assistant to copy the records for you. Note: This is not cheap, but it was well worth it for me in the long run.

I'll be happy to assist should you have any questions while trying to pursue this. I've gone down virtually every avenue in 2 and 1/2 years and done a lot of stumbling, but then you find that one piece of info and everything starts falling into place. It's such a fantastic high when you do. You'll feel very connected to your father. It's almost like they are sitting in the room with you and rooting you on...
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#13 Adaughter

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:25 PM

We are in the same boat. I'm so sorry. It's such a profound loss.

Thanks for the tips. We'll see where they lead.

#14 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:26 AM

Received this letter today.

Hello Marion,

I'm trying to find info of the 280th Combat Engineer Battalion in 1944 and 1945. Erwin, a fellow WW2 US militaria collector from Belgium suggested I contact you in the hopes that you might be able to help. I'm aware that they fought through Normandy, France and the Bulge. But aside from that I've found very little info. I'm particularly trying to find which unit or units they were attached to in Normandy and the route they followed and the actions they saw there.

The reason for my search is a piece I added to my militaria collection recently, which is a sign made in the field, in Normandy, which reads "Mines Not Cleared Beyond This Point - Co B 280 ENG". It was recovered by a friend from a house in Montebourg in Normandy a year or so ago during renovation. I'd really like to find out more about the unit.

Hope you can help. Regards,

Chris Hogg

===============

I wrote back right away and directed him to this post. Here's what he wrote back, along with photo. Cool! 60 years later, and people are still finding items the GI's left behind.

=========

Hi Marion,

Thanks for the fast reply. I've attached a photo of the sign. As I said, it was recovered from a house in Montebourg. It had been used to cover up an air vent behind a bath for 60 odd years. It amazes me the things that are still found in Normandy and places they are found.

Regards

Chris

Attached Thumbnails

  • 280th_CEB_Sign.jpg

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard