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36th Engineer Combat Regiment


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#1 Peanuts

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 11:02 PM

Hello everyone, hello.gif

My father, David A. Lapp, was in the 36th Engineer Combat Regiment from its activation in June, 1941 until the end of the war. I've read all of the information about the regiment found here on the VI Corps site. Thank you Marion and veterans for providing it. I knew very little starting out since Dad didn't talk much about the war. Finally getting around to the forum, I enjoy all of your recollections sharing a sense of what it was really like.

In the book Fatal Decision: Anzio and the Battle for Rome, Carlo D'Este states: "Before the war ended the 36th Engineers had more combat time than any unit in the ETO except the 34th Infantry Division."—Page 489, Note #43. I was astonished to read that. What are your thoughts? Could it be true?

If anyone knows where to find additional information and stories about the 36th Engineers, please let me know. Thanks.

Peanuts,
Another Proud Daughter


#2 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 05:21 AM

Hey Sandra! So nice to hear from you.

QUOTE
In the book Fatal Decision: Anzio and the Battle for Rome, Carlo D'Este states: "Before the war ended the 36th Engineers had more combat time than any unit in the ETO except the 34th Infantry Division."—Page 489, Note #43. I was astonished to read that. What are your thoughts? Could it be true?


Captain John Fallon has told me this on several occasions. It makes it easier to fathom when you think that they were in the war right from the beginning (Med/European Theatre) and landed in North Africa in November 1942.

As far as more stories, I am sitting on a ton of them. I just don't have the time to compile and share them with everyone on the web. I am focusing my attention on the documentary right now, so probably won't be publishing a lot to the web during the next year. Unfortunately I only have so much time...

So you'll have to stay tuned for the documentary and then later the accompanying book. drinking.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 Peanuts

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 07:07 PM

Hi Marion!

In correspondence from Captain Fallon he did say "Our own regiment spent more than 50% of our time in WWII fighting as infantry and you rarely see mention of this even in the official histories." I don't know how many replacements there were, but the 36th Engineers that were in the entire war should be entitled to the CIB based on their combat time. I came across the thread with some controversy over that and don't intend to offend anyone.

I've been doing a write-up just for family to better understand Dad's role in the war. It's six pages and the best I can do with info at-hand. Wow, do I envy you sitting on all those stories and information. Did you find lots more in the national archives? The Adjutants History linked on John Fallon's page is very good for a timeline of activities, however colorless and incomplete. I really like Carlo D'Estes' compassionate style of writing—got me crying several times.

Can't wait for the documentary and book. I know your work will be excellent. The book will be well worth the wait if it contains the rich detail that I'm craving. Do you know where I can find data on the 36th Engineers KIA, WIA, MIA and total number of bridges built during the war?

Peanuts,
36th Engineer Daughter


#4 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 11:59 PM

If you would like a sneak-peak of the documentary, just drop me a line and I will send you the private link. I don't want to post it out in the open because it is incomplete, etc.

It is 16 minutes long right now and will be several hours in length when complete.

I will try and make more records public over the next year, but have to focus my attention on the documentary. As you can imagine, "the boys" are getting antsy to see it, as the timeline draws ever nearer. I sent it to about 30 vets this Christmas and they are very, very pleased so far.

As my husband joked this evening, "Maybe you should temporarily change the name to 'No Bridge So Far' until it's completed!" I thought that was hysterical. I like that!!!
clapping.gif

Make sure you look at the photos page on the main site. Many wonderful docs including bridges!

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 Peanuts

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 01:18 AM

M: Thanks for offering the link. I have it from your email but use an old Mac with compatibility problems viewing it. I understand having a priority for the vets, as it should be. Your husband is funny! Good thing he makes you laugh through a BIG project. If you ever have the data handy that I'm looking for I sure would appreciate a post or PM. Want to be sure information I'm sending family is factual vs. rough figures calculated from the Adjutants History.

Peanuts
36th Engineer Daughter

#6 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 01:28 AM

Hey Peanuts! Send me your address and I will mail you a copy this week!!! I'll be sure to share anything with you as things progress.

Sorry about the Mac problem. Right now the particular media isn't compatible, but I hope to rectify that in the near future.

Smiles,
M

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 roque_riojas

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 01:30 AM

QUOTE (Peanuts @ Dec 29 2007, 07:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hello everyone, hello.gif

My father, David A. Lapp, was in the 36th Engineer Combat Regiment from its activation in June, 1941 until the end of the war. I've read all of the information about the regiment found here on the VI Corps site. Thank you Marion and veterans for providing it. I knew very little starting out since Dad didn't talk much about the war. Finally getting around to the forum, I enjoy all of your recollections sharing a sense of what it was really like.

In the book Fatal Decision: Anzio and the Battle for Rome, Carlo D'Este states: "Before the war ended the 36th Engineers had more combat time than any unit in the ETO except the 34th Infantry Division."—Page 489, Note #43. I was astonished to read that. What are your thoughts? Could it be true?

If anyone knows where to find additional information and stories about the 36th Engineers, please let me know. Thanks.

Peanuts,
Another Proud Daughter


_Peanuts; Thats' what I call my granddaughter, she's about 4'5'' about 80lbs. and goes
to the Univ. of So.Cal. Anyway to your above--page 489 #43. The 34th Inf. (RED BULL) Divn. had over 600 days of combat, North Africa and Italy. And was the first Divn in the
E.T.O. I was with the 135th Inf. Regt. MY HATS'(Helmet) is off in salute to the engineers
for they also deserve the C.I.B. Marion is A #1 on info of the engineers. Rocky
Roque J.(Rocky) Riojas

#8 Peanuts

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 03:20 AM

Hi Rocky: Yeah, the 36th Engineers were at times attached to RED BULL, so I looked into their history too and read and bookmarked your VI Corps webpage as well. Handsome! My Dad nicknamed me Peanuts. Maybe because I was the runt of the litter—about 5'-8" now and still skinny. Anyway, I like your posts and stories. You guys went through hell so we could remain Americans. heartpump.gif Yup, Marion is awesome.

Peanuts,
36th Engineer Daughter


#9 Walkonis 36th

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 07:31 PM

hi Peanut,

my grandfather served with the 36th combat engineers. S. Sgt John J. Walkonis, Co. "c" 1st batallion. I too am trying to find as much information as i can to bring more of him to light for my family to aknowlege. I have been around the forum in various discussions asking for information. I have sent for his service records. is there any more recources that I can use to find out more about him?

thank you for your time,

-Frank
Grandson of an engineer.
-Frank De Jesus

Grandson of S. Sgt, John J. Walkonis
   36th Engineer Regiment (combat)
1st Bn. Co. "C"

#10 twobisquit

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 01:10 AM

Welcome to the Forum , Frank. You will find plenty of info here and plenty of good people to help you out. Looking forward to those pictures.
good luck
Chris
Son of Francis "Combat" Stephens- Co. C 36th Combat Engineer Regiment

#11 Peanuts

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 04:33 AM

Hi Frank,

My Dad's records from the archives were disappointing because so much important info was faded-out, charred from the fire, or missing. He was in Company "A." You might be lucky but it does take at least four months to get anything. Otherwise, for specific information about your Grandfather, contacts through M1 and veteran John Fallon are the only resources I know.

The history of the 36th Engineers in context of the war is impressive. They spent more days fighting as foot soldiers (much of it on the Anzio beachhead) than building bridges or mending roads. They were among the first combat engineering regiments to enter the war and had one of the longest continuous records of service of any unit in WWII. The 36th Engineers made five major amphibious assault landings in the course of ten campaigns and were used so frequently as a shore party that they came to be regarded as Amphibian Engineers.

If you read everything about the 36th Engineers on this website and want to learn more in general through WW2 books, I would be happy to recommend some good ones. But rest assured that your Grandfather belonged to one of the finest units that served. Best of luck in your search.

Peanuts

#12 Peanuts

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 02:06 AM

Here are some Anzio maps showing positions of the 36th Engineers on the Moletta River line and Mussolini Canal. Other links in the series would also include the regiment but the maps have been deleted.

Expanding the Beachhead, 30 Jan 1944
http://www.ibiblio.o...A-A-Anzio-6.jpg

Expanding the Beachhead, 31 Jan 1944
http://www.ibiblio.o...A-A-Anzio-7.jpg

Allied Counterattacks, 11-12 Feb 1944
http://www.ibiblio.o...-A-Anzio-14.jpg

Enemy Offensive, 16 Feb 1944
http://www.ibiblio.o...-A-Anzio-15.jpg

Enemy Offensive, 17 Feb 1944
http://www.ibiblio.o...-A-Anzio-16.jpg

Enemy Offensive, 18 Feb 1944
http://www.ibiblio.o...-A-Anzio-17.jpg

The Breakthrough, 23-24 May 1944
http://www.ibiblio.o...-A-Anzio-21.jpg

#13 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 03:30 AM

Those are fantastic! Thanks for taking the time to show the links. Those will come in handy for a lot of people, including myself.
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

#14 Peanuts

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 04:37 AM

Those are official situation maps and the website has some good photos too. I didn't get through all the history accounts there yet but the Allied Counterattacks section says: "The commitment of two regiments of the 45th Division in the 1st Division sector resulted in a depletion of VI Corps reserves. To offset this loss the 36th Engineer Combat Regiment took over a portion of the Moletta River line, relieving all but one battalion of the 157th Infantry. Although the engineers had had no experience as infantry and were badly needed for construction of defenses and road maintenance, by holding a relatively quiet portion of the front they released infantry troops needed to bolster the critical central sector. In the succeeding weeks while the regiment continued to maintain the Moletta River line the engineers were to prove themselves able to handle machine guns and mortars as capably as they handled bulldozers and road graders."

However, the 36th ECR did have some experience as infantry during the prior Salerno operations. There are contrary accounts in details of the regimental history when you study the Adjutant's history, Gen. Gardes' Salerno report, Gardes/Chubbuck interview, personal accounts, and situation reports, etc. Many gray areas still remain.