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  Melbourne "Mel" Henry Mouw - 540th Eng
Posted by: Walt's Daughter - 08-28-2004, 11:29 AM - Forum: LOOKING FOR... - Replies (2)

Found the info below that was listed on a genealogy site. Contacted the webmaster but he has no futher info on this man. Maybe someone from his family will see it and contact me in the future. You never know and it's always worth a shot.


Melborne "Mel" Henry Mouw was born on November 4, 1910 in Holland, Michigan, the son of Henry and Grace (DeWeerd) Mouw and died at age 89, on Friday, October 27, 2000. He worked at the Orin B. Hayes Oldsmobile dealership in sales and service for 31 years. Mel was a decorated Veteran of WW II, assigned to the 540th Engineers, serving with both the Third and Seventh Armies. He was awarded 7 Bronze Stars, and 1 Bronze Arrowhead. He served in Africa, Algeria-French Morocco, Sicily, Naples, Foggia Rome, Southern France, Rhineland and Central Europe as well as Anzio Beach. He was a member of the American Legion Post 475 and a lifetime member of the VFW. He was survived by his daughter Alice of Zion, Illinois, sons John of Dade City, Florida and Michael of Galesburg. Mel was buried in Mt. Everest Cemetery with full military graveside honors provided by American Legion Post 475 (an abbreviated transcription of his obituary from the Kalamazoo Gazette, contributed by Marie Mackey).

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  Vets! Want to be interviewed?
Posted by: Walt's Daughter - 08-26-2004, 06:05 PM - Forum: INSTRUCTIONS FOR RESEARCH - No Replies

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Posted by: Walt's Daughter - 08-26-2004, 05:57 PM - Forum: INSTRUCTIONS FOR RESEARCH - Replies (9)

Completely revamped August 2015


Resources at Your Fingertips - Advice for Family Members Seeking Info/Documentation Regarding WWII Veterans


Years ago, while still living in Detroit, I began my quest to discover my father’s WWII history. I was only twelve when he passed away, and now I wanted to find out as much as I could, putting the various puzzle pieces back together. While he was one of the veterans who were willing to share his experiences, a long time had passed and those stories I treasured so much as a child, began to fade. I retained a box which held his keepsakes from the war, including photos and army patches; nonetheless, I could no longer recall various details including his unit designation.


One of the first things I was advised to do, was to contact the National Archives in St. Louis, but it took three successive tries, and many months before I finally received a letter at our new home in northern Michigan in autumn 2003. Sorry, they informed me, your father’s records burned in a huge fire in 1973. That was it. There were no instructions on what to do next. Was this a dead end?


I was so distraught it took me almost three weeks before I could show the letter to my husband. I then began to feel angry and that anger led me to one conclusion; I would not give up and this would not defeat me. I had the Internet didn’t I? Without going into a long diatribe, my research led to a happy ending, even though the path proved arduous at times.


However, it is not my intent to share my entire story today, but to provide you with a helpful guide. I’m hoping that my knowledge and experience will facilitate your research into your loved one’s history and save you from all the headaches and red-tape that so many of us have experienced.


Note: this article/advice is intended for families of veteran’s who returned home from the war. Also please be aware that during World War II the serial number was NOT the same as the veteran’s social security number. Many people often get this confused.





Obtaining a Copy of Their Discharge Documents - DD214

These documents contain various information, such as the veteran’s unit, campaigns/battle info, discharge date and more. Please see this link for further explanation.


There are numerous ways to obtain copies and contrary to popular belief, NARA is not the only place to acquire this documentation.

· The National Archives - St Louis, MO - This can take weeks or months so be prepared to wait. I strongly suggest going another route first and using this as a last resort. Also many of the personnel records WERE destroyed in the fire of ’73, so...

· The Veteran’s Administration - This is how I obtained a copy of my father’s discharge papers. Within three weeks, I had received a copy of his DD214’s.

· Court House of the County that the veteran resided in after WW 2

· Many Town Clerk’s offices have discharge documents on file

· A copy may have been filed with estate records at the county Probate Court

· The funeral home that handled burial arrangements will have a copy if the veteran had a military funeral or applied for a government headstone


Obtaining Unit Records

These are actual archived records from each branch of the service. Again, many facilities have these records, but it may vary from place to place. Some units, (i.e. infantry and airborne) will have more information than others. Smaller/lesser known units (i.e. an engineer mapping company) may have little to none at all, so there are no guarantees. Nonetheless, my research has led me to discover, that most people are successful with this part of their hunt.



· National Archives - College Place, MD - This is how I obtained my father’s unit records. I hired a private researcher who painstakingly copied each document and mailed them to me. While this was not cheap, it was well worth the cost and effort for I gathered hundreds upon hundreds of daily journals, after-action reports, maps and more. Please read the page carefully for it is very detailed. It also explains how to arrange to copy the records yourself.

· The Dwight D Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum

· The Army Corps of Engineers Office of History - (If your veteran was an army engineer)

When filling out the form please select the History Dept., as your recipient. You may also call them at 703-428-6563. They played an instrumental role in my early research, for my father was a member of the 540th Engineer Regiment.

· Fort Leonard Wood - Office of Engineer History
Historian, U.S. Army Engineer School
320 MANSCEN Loop, Suite 043
Ft. Leonard Wood, MO 65473

· The United States Army War College

· Center of Military History

Other Helpful Links

How Do I Request Military Awards and Decorations?


· Military Awards and Decorations - The National Archives
They will provide the medals for FREE, however, you may have to wait several weeks or more to receive the medals, once they receive your application.

· My Military Medals
However, if you KNOW which medals your loved one should have, you can also buy replacements for a small sum of money.

If you would like a copy of this for your records, you can download the PDF version. This version also contains a short bio and photo of me, plus my website links, for it was written for a friend's blog.

Resources at Your Fingertips August 2015.pdf

Attached Files
.pdf   Resources at Your Fingertips August 2015.pdf (Size: 542.1 KB / Downloads: 0)
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  Memories WW2
Posted by: Cadetat6 - 08-08-2004, 08:12 PM - Forum: The Papa Art Section! - No Replies



Memories WW2


Ice man, put in front window sign with 25 lbs, 50 lbs, 75 lbs, 100 lbs

He would bring that amount to back porch ,put it in “ice boxâ€

Milk on porch, in winter cream would freeze and push up over top of bottle

Coke for fuel, or coal , Ford employees could buy coke from foundry. Delivered like

You now get top soil

Coke ,you put down wood boards on lawn , push wheelbarrows full of coke to basement

Coal window and dump it through the window

Waffle man in wagon pulled by a horse, selling waffles

Make push cart with 4 foot 2x4 board, an old skate, empty orange crate, empty can with

Candle for a head light

Rubber band gun using two pieces short wood and inner tube cut up into rubber bands

Burn potato in camp fire too long and get little white potato in middle

Empty cans, step on two and they clamp on your shoes and you walk making noise

Film projector, Mickey mouse, in your garage. Charge to see it was pin,bottle top, paper

Clip,stone or any thing

Pumpkin seeds 5 cents for a cup full

Awrey bakery man came door to door with basket of baked goods. If you were near

Tireman and Ironwood you could buy them from the home of Awrey

Good Humor man in his truck selling Good Humor ice cream on stick. If you lived near

Martin Street and Willette Street you could go to their factory

Theater Friday night gives dishes, always hear one break during show

Doctor comes out to your house if you are sick

Stores closed on Sunday, but the butcher lives in back of store, and he answers door bell

Men wear spats on their shoes

School is a mile away and you walk to school

Jewel Tea Company sales man comes to your house

Elephant rides on Belle Isle

Oh, don't the memories come flooding back. Yes, I remember so many of the ones you wrote

about, Art. A few more..... remember the "Sheenies" that would come thru the alleys with

horse and cart, the hollyhocks and morning glories on the back fence, stoking the coal

furnace, having to go down and light the hot water heater and wait for it to get hot to take a

bath, daddy bringing home a bag of Hershey Kisses or English Toffee was a real treat, Stella

Dallas, listening to the Lone Ranger and The Shadow and Gangbusters while laying under

the upright radio, rushing outside after dinner to play Hide and Seek, Hopscotch or Jump Rope,

playing dress up, paper dolls, cowboys and Indians, jumping off the roof of the garage,

banking up the snow and flooding the yard for an ice rink and getting frostbitten

fingers and toes, upright player pianos that you would pump with your feet, and music

lessons, and beating the rugs with a rug beater, rubbing down the wallpaper with Climax.,

P&G bluing, wringer washers, the old Ironrite, pulling curtains over the pins on a curtain

stretcher, Rumble seats, burying your dear pets in the back yard, Mustard plasters,

being rubbed down with Wintergreen for a fever (Scarlet Fever!), the smell of sheets dried

outdoors on the clotheslines. sodas at the corner drugstore, the iceman tossing chips of ice

to you in the summer, the horse drawn vendors calling "Straaaawberriees", Rosie the

Riveter, Blue & Silver &Gold Stars in the windows and everyone's unabashed patriotism,

the Sunday morning that lived in infamy, FDR's fireside chats, Sunday School, Big Brothers

(home on leave) letting Little Sisters stand on their toes to dance to 'Sentimental Journey',

'My Devotion', 'Ole Buttermilk Sky' and hundreds more of the most beautiful "MUSIC" ever

to be, the 12 th Floor at Hudsons at Christmas, the red carpet and brass handrails going up

the staircase at the Michigan theatre, the stars on the ceiling of the Riviera theatre, the

Bob-lo boat, Sanders ice cream, watching them bottle Vernor's ginger ale down on

Woodward (or was that Griswald?) near the river, meeting under the clock at Kerns... the

Grande Ballroom, Jefferson Beach and Edgewater Amusement parks, the Walled Lake

Casino, remember Crystal Pool?, the family going on picnics in the summer, horseshoes,

burning leaves at the curb.....and on and on and on. There really was a time when one could

ask "Who needs a TV set?" No wonder Norman Rockwell's paintings are so beloved.

Whew, that was some trip.....better say Bye Bye for now and God Bless, Dee

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  Air Corp. Cadet
Posted by: Cadetat6 - 08-06-2004, 03:53 PM - Forum: The Papa Art Section! - No Replies

This is also true story


Army Air Corps, 3 Things Not To Do


I had my pilot’s license before I enlisted in 1943 and found 3 things not to do.


1. On take off, do not drop the flaps and think your instructor did not see it.


2. Do not put your instructor's flight suit on, take his car key's, drive to the post office and mail a Christmas package for his wife to his mother-in-law.


3. On landing do not shut your radio off, do not watch the tower, do not land on the black top runway when they want you to land on cement runway.



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