Son of 405th Battalion Water Supply, Company A, Tolralf Dahlin, Pvt

Already this has been very worth while getting signed up. Thanks for the direction. I know little of this unit or my father's daily work while in ETO from 4/1943 through 4/1944. I know there where difficult and tragic times but I know no details. This unit was my father's first military assignment and ultimately he went on and made a career in the Army retiring in 1964 with his last assignment as a Warrant Officer at Ft Bragg in the qartermaster office. His name was Toralf Anders Dahlin (died 2003) known by his friends as Dahl or Tad from Pittsburgh area, Allegany County Penn. I believe he did basic at Ft. Belvoir starting in Aug. 1942. He graduated high school in June 1942. He emigrated from Norway to the US in 1930 as a 6 year old. For basic he attended 13 weeks of OCS at Ft Belvoir but did not graduate and I don't know why.


Once again I'm interested in this site because I'm doing research on the my father who served in the Combat engineering 405th Battalion Water Supply, Company A from April 1943 until April 1944. I'm looking for the time and place the unit was formed. I'm looking for the unit's experience and training in North Africa prior to going into Italy. I would like to know if this unit participated in the Sicily operations. I'm looking for information as to what his unit was specifically doing during all the combat operations. I'm interested in knowing the chronology, orders, what units his company was assigned to I'm interested in the casualty lists of the his unit and when and how. I'm interested in knowing if his unit participated in both the Selerno and Anzio operations, I'm interested in finding out their role if any in the Cassino Messina or other mountain operations. Also I'm interested to know if they were used as a full combat unit. I would like to know who consisted of the chain of command and the commanders of his unit specifically.. It would be great but highly unexpected if there was some documentation about him in some unit files that have been locked away.


I will continue my search in NARA and the Combat Engineers historical records--as I find stuff I will post--thanks to you all, I'm finding this exciting. --Chris Dahlin


5/4/2012--Following instructions I contacted NARA had not heard back yet but I was told by Michael J. Brodhead Ph.D. Historian of the Office of History US Army Corps of Engineers to contact a Jennifer A. Nichols who is knowledgeable about Engineer units--her e-mail An additional source may be the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis--e-mail that holds records like morning reports. I'm passing this info on in this site. Like I said I'm passing this on as I get it. I'll pass any response I get from these orginizations when I get a response. Thanks everybody who has so far assisted. I'm still very excited.


Michael J. Brodhead Ph.D. Historian of the Office of History US Army Corps of Engineers reported that there is no history on the unit but the 405th Battalion was formed , according to Orders of Battle, US Army, World War II,


on " 20 November 1942 at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky; left the Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation

10 May 1943; North Africa, 2 June 1943; Italy, 26 November 1943; redesignated the 405th Engineer

Service Battalion 18 May 1945; August 1945 (end of war) location was Verona, Italy; credited with

participation in the Anzio, Naples-Foggia, North Apennines, Po Valley, and Rome-Arno campaigns."


Hi and welcome. I'm sure you've read my email reply by now. If so, then you know about this topic post:


If we come up with anything else, I will post it there, so it's all in one spot.


Glad you are going to follow up on my suggestions. Let us know what pans out.


All the best,


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"

Hi Chris, welcome to our forum.

You`ll find a lot of information on the 405th Engineer Water Supply Bn. in the document: "Engineer History, 5th Army, Medditerrenean Theater" availably in the documents tab on the main page.


What they did & where they were is given in the unit operations sections.


From Appendix H. unit histories:


"405th Engineer Water Supply Battalion

The 405th Engineer Water Supply Battalion was activated at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, on 20 November 1942

from a cadre supplied by the 85th Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalion.

From the time of activation until 1 May 1943, when i t moved to the staging area at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia, the battalion

was busy organizing and training. On 10 May, the battalion departed from Hampton Roads, Virginia, for overseas.

It arrived at Oran on 23 May, and was assigned to the Fifth Army s ix days l a t e r .

Headquarters, Headquarters and Service Company and Company "B" were attached to the Atlantic Base Section at Casablanca,

French Morocco; Company "C" was attached to the Eastern Base Section at Bizerte, Tunisia; and Company "A"

went to Oujda, French Morocco. The period from the time of arrival overseas until the initial landings

by the Fifth Army at Salerno was spent in securing equipment, further training and normal water supply operations."


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