344th or 334th Engineers?
#1

My uncle Morris "Murray" Magnes served in either the 334th or 344th Combat Engineers Brigade (my records on him from the USA vary and are inconsistent) from 1943 through 1945, in Naples, Foggio, Rome, Arno, Po Valley, Rhineland and Central Europe. I have had no luck in tracking down any Web sites with information on either 334 or 344 and would appreciate any help that some one could give about either/or both units.

 

Thanks!

 

Josh

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#2

Hi:

 

Will see what I can come up with for you. Stay tuned... B)

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"
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#3

Marion,

I thought you had a link to the 5th Army. I finally found it:

5th Army Org Table from 34th Division Site

I searched for "344" and "334" and the only thing listed that is close to that is:

343rd Engineer Regiment (General Service) [u/c MedBaseSect].

I'll check some of my reference books, too, to see if I can find anything on it.

 

Steve

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#4

Yup, I am going to have to go into my engineering books. Someone had inquired about the 243rd recently and I posted an answer here:

 

http://www.6thcorpscombatengineers.com/eng...p?showtopic=662

 

So many engineering units, and so many have little info regarding them. The 540th had a distinct history, so I got lucky when combing for info on my dad.

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"
Reply
#5

I found info and will be posting it here later today! :pdt34:

 

Okay, I'm back. It's not much, but it's a start. The following info is in regards to the 344th General Service Engineer Regiment.

 

This is during December of 1943 in Italy. Bridge building was very difficult at this time due to enemy fire and the weather. Some of the engineering companies tried building bridges at night, while some still preferred the daylight so they could be protected as much as possible by counterbattery fire that aerial reconnaissance directed.

 

The winds and floods were causing havoc on December 30 and a company of the 344th Engineering General Service Regiment was building a Bailey bridge across the Volturno near Raviscanina. While the engineers were putting concrete caps on the stone piers of the demolished span, a high wall of water plunged down the river and quickly washed away concrete and equipment. On the 31st, high winds and subfreezing temperatures ended all the work for several days. The gale ripped own company tents and blew away, buried and destroyed personal equipment.

 

NEXT

 

During June and July much of the 5th Army forces departed to prepare for the invasion of southern France being planned for mid-August. The army lost VI Corps and the French Corps. That loss amounted to seven full divisions and also the loss of non-divisional engineers units that included the 540th Engineer Combat Regiment, the 48th Engineer Combat Bn and the 343rd and 344th Engineer General Service Regiments. These units would now be under 7th Army control.

 

NEXT

 

This takes place in southern France on October 2, 1944. The 344th repaired a 410-foot single-track structure over the DOUBS River at Dole, using thirty-foot high timber bents, with standard Bailey forming the the span. Opening the Dole route brought railheads north to Vesoul and Bescanon.

 

NEXT

 

Seventh Army engineers divided the responsibility for rail rehabilitation after October 30th. At various times, the work continued to involve the 40th, 94th, 343rd, 344th and the 540th Engineer Regiments and also the 1051st Engineer Port Construction and Repair Group.

 

The following info is in regards to the 334th General Service Engineer Regiment

 

This takes place in North Africa in January of 1943. The newly formed 5th Army was operating eight training schools. The 17th Armored Engineer Bn, the 334th Engineer Combat Bn, the 39th and 540th Engineer Combat Regiments, and two separate engineer battalions, the 378th and the 384th, took part in training exercises with live fire, the object being to make men battle-wise in the shortest time frame possible.

 

Well this is a start. I strongly urge you to look under my RESEARCH SECTION in this forum. There you will find other resources such as the Army Corps of Engineers. They have folders on each engineering unit. Please note that some units will have extensive info, while other units might only have a few pages. They were extremely helpful to me when I began my search.

 

Here is a contact for the 344th, but please note that it says, Headquarters and Service Co, but I'm sure he'd be able to assist you.

 

-----------------------------------------------

344th Engr Regt, H&S Co

 

Mr. Robert Gilch 919-968-3335

740 Williams Cir

Chapel Hill, NC 27516-1526

 

---------------------------------------

 

Let me know if I can be of further assistance. Trying to find engineering units can be a very tough assignment. :pdt34:

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"
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#6

Well, well, well. Look what I found.

 

Link to eBay DUI pin for 344th Engineer Battalion. It says it was made in Japan, so that definately means this is a post-WW2 pin---and maybe pretty modern. There is a possiblity that the unit and pin has changed since the WW2 days but sometimes they have not. Might be a good item for one of the VI Corps friends.

 

Item No. 6519992148

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#7

Thank you everyone for your help so far. This is an amazing start.

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#8

You are quite welcome. I really enjoy performing searches on engineer units. It's almost become an obsession now and I really love being a sleuth! :D

 

Let us know if you come up with anything and please share your results here. Who knows who else we may help.

 

Continued success and check back frequently to see what we can come up with.

 

Essayons! :pdt34:

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"
Reply
#9

I checked a few of my books.

The US Army History "Salerno to Cassino", page 167, describes the restoration of Naples after the Allies arrived and the Germans tried to destroy it with delayed mines:

“The task of restoration belonged to the 5th Army Base Section, which was redesignated at the end of October as the Peninsular Base Section. … Two engineer regiments, the 540th and 343rd, assisted by Italian laborers, cleared the streets of obstruction at more than two hundred separate location, mended breaks in the sewers at some 50 places and repaired the Napoleonic aqueduct, the major source of water for the city.

 

Index also lists:

540th Engineer Combat Regiment

540th Engineer Shore Battalion (Hmm? maybe that was an earlier name for of same unit?? It is mentioned early in the front of the book.)

 

The next volume, "Cassino to the Alps", doesn’t mention the 540th or the 334th or 344th.

 

Also, Reference “15th Army Group; Dec 1944- May 1945â€

Did not find any unit like that under the 5th Army or the II Corps nor the IV Corps. It appears that the 334th or 344th Engineers left Italy by then, just like the 540th Engineers.

 

Steve

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#10

Thanks again. Another uncle was with the 20th CBE so, it's cool to see their units were in the same theater of operations.

 

On a separate note, what is the difference between a General Service Regiment and a Combat Engineers Battalion?

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