1254th Engineers
#1

The Bailey Bridge.pdf

Starting this topic for a new member. Am posting his letter and my initial reply. Already found some info and will post it here too, shortly...

 

 

 

Hello,

I was researching Gilbert M. Bush, Co. H, 2nd Battalion, 313th Regiment, 79th Infantry. I found correspondance on your web site. I wanted to ask a question about a Bailey Bridge that appears in a photograph of my father-in-law (also 313th - taken sometime between 1944 and 1945 in the European Theatre. The bridge has a sign on it that says, "CATFISH BUILT THIS." I've learned that CATFISH was a name for the 1254th Engineer Combat Battalion. There is a large circular sign about the Corp of Engineers sign that has the number "40" on it. I am wondering if the number "40" refers to the bridge itself or if it is a highway sign. My interest is to identify where this particular bridge was located.

 

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Ken Brown

Linden, Michigan

 

Hello Ken:

 

Nice to chat with you.

 

First off, "40" refers to the load bearing of a bridge. Most common types which you'll run by are "40" and "70". Please see attachment for further clarification.

 

I will start a topic on the forum, and you can join in. I will post whatever I find on it, so you and everyone can benefit from the research.

 

Warmly,

Marion



Attached Files
.pdf   The Bailey Bridge.pdf (Size: 18.44 KB / Downloads: 0)
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
#2

Yes, they were referred to as Catfish.

 

 

History of the 1254th Engineer Combat Battalion

 

http://www.xixcorps.nl/XIX_Corps_Units_(ND)_ENGR.htm

 

http://www.fallennotforgotten.nl/8thADhistory.htm

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
#3

An obit for one of the engineers from this unit

 

Here's another link to the 8th Armored, for the 1254th were attached to this division.

 

http://www.vetfriends.com/veterandirectory/?member=726510

 

They were also attached to the 95th Inf Div

 

http://www.twofortyforth.org/9thto.htm

 

Here's another obit - John (Jack) Robert Gulbranson - scroll three down...

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
#4

Hello Marion,

 

Thanks for the bridge information. I sure won't be looking for "route 40" all over Europe!

I've attached two images, the catfish image is a map of the area of operation for the 1254th ECB. The second is the bridge in question. The men on the bridge are from H company, 2nd Battalion, 313th Regiment, 79th Infantry Division. Time and place are unknown other than sometime between 1944 and 1945.

Thanks for all your help.

 

Ken Brown

Linden, Michigan

 

 

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

 

Hello Ken:

 

Nice to chat with you.

 

 

First off, "40" refers to the load bearing of a bridge. Most common types which you'll run by are "40" and "70". Please see attachment for further clarification.

 

 

I will start a topic on the forum, and you can join in. I will post whatever I find on it, so you and everyone can benefit from the research.

 

 

Warmly,

Marion

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

Hello Marion,

 

Thanks for the bridge information. I sure won't be looking for "route 40" all over Europe!

I've attached two images, the catfish image is a map of the area of operation for the 1254th ECB. The second is the bridge in question. The men on the bridge are from H company, 2nd Battalion, 313th Regiment, 79th Infantry Division. Time and place are unknown other than sometime between 1944 and 1945.

Thanks for all your help.

 

Ken Brown

Linden, Michigan

post-2-0-06895100-1336658769_thumb.jpg

post-2-0-53075500-1336658773_thumb.jpg



Attached Files
.jpg   catfish bridge.jpg (Size: 51.84 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   catfish1.jpg (Size: 131.32 KB / Downloads: 0)
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
#6

Ken, make sure you get in touch with "angelabchristian" on our forum. She's the one who posted all the info on her father, Gilbert, whom you speak of above. If you are logged in, simply click on her username, and send her a PM. I know she is looking forward to talking with you.

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
#7

CEB

 

Here's a link to a nice article about the 1254th's participation with the "Monuments Men" during the war:

 

http://www.cecildaily.com/features/arts_and_culture/article_9af5d4e5-a47e-5642-9bb2-4e88f672b664.html

 

Separately, speaking of Bailey bridges, you might like to know that the 1254th CEB received a unit citation for their successful construction of the first TWO-WAY, double-carriage Bailey bridge. This bridge was capable of simutaneously carrying traffic to/from both sides of the river. My dad and I found this out when we visited the national archives building in Maryland to review the unit history of the 1254th. He had forgotten about the citation, but remembered it when we saw a copy of it in the unit history. My dad, Cpl. John F. Hurley, was from Brooklyn, NY and was with the 1254th from basic training through the end of the war.

 

Keep the trivia coming. Until my brother-in-law sent me the link to this site, I've had a great deal of difficulty finding much info on the battalion outside of a unit history book that I have a copy of. Shelby Stanton's book on the order of battle in the ETO during WW2 lists some critical dates for the unit and some division attachments. Among the few things that my dad told me about his experiences with the 1254th was that, on V-E day, he was billeted in a churchyard in the german village of "Zoest" (I believe that was the name). In 1999, he and I traveled to europe to retrace some of the units marches and to visit other battlefields that neither of us had seen. Unfortunately, he and I never made it to "Zoest' because he was feeling poorly and the weather was lousy. I'll never know whether or not he would have recognized the churchyard, but if anyone else has a relative that might have also been there, please post your contact info.

 

John

Reply
#8

John, so nice to have your here. Glad you found this site and the info within. Thanks for sharing the stories about your dad and the 1254th.

 

Ya, it's too bad the two of you didn't make it to the churchyard. I'm sure it would have brought back so many memories for your father. But at least you got to go to Europe together. How I would long to do something like that with my dad, had he lived long enough to do so.

 

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"
Reply
#9

Ah, just read the article. That was a cool perspective on the war. Really enjoyed reading it. Hope our readers will take the time to do so, also. :pdt12:

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
#10

Here are a couple of files that I found interesting. Two of the files contain maps. One was of the 1254th in the ETO. Another copy of this was posted previously, but I think this one has better image quality. The second file is a map of 1254th positions in the Ruhr pocket close to the end of the war. Another file discusses Major R. W. Crump' assumption of command of the battalion. He was the vet that was feature in the "Monuments Men" article I posted previously.

 

My father was in 3rd squad, 1st Platoon of A ("Able") Company. One of the files contains an image of an autograph page created at a 1254th reunion at some point. My dad's signature ("John Hurley") features prominently in the dead center of this page for "A" Company. My dad chuckled when commented to me that he got that spot because he was the first member of Company A to sign the page.

 

I have the entire 1254th history in a scanned PDF file. However, it's 66mb and I don't know if it's too big to upload. I'm going to try and see if it works in a subsequent post.

1254th CEB - Maj R W Crump.pdf

1254th CEB in the ETO - 1945.pdf

1254th CEB Positions - Ruhr Pocket - Apr 1945.pdf

1254th CEB Reunion- History A Co Autographs.pdf



Attached Files
.pdf   1254th CEB - Maj R W Crump.pdf (Size: 1.94 MB / Downloads: 0)
.pdf   1254th CEB in the ETO - 1945.pdf (Size: 1.29 MB / Downloads: 0)
.pdf   1254th CEB Positions - Ruhr Pocket - Apr 1945.pdf (Size: 1.56 MB / Downloads: 0)
.pdf   1254th CEB Reunion- History A Co Autographs.pdf (Size: 911.32 KB / Downloads: 0)
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