Book showing Photographs of work of the 157th Engineer Combat Battalion
#1

I was given information about a book titled "Photographs of work of the 157th Engineer Combat Battalion" and after several emails, and a lot of waiting, I was able to track it down! I knew the book was 1000 miles away from where I live so I asked if I could see it via an inter-library loan but I was told I could not due to the fragile condition of the book. Fortunately, they were happy to scan the book for me and send me a digital copy! While I prefer to do my own scanning, they did a good job and last night I received the first of likely three installments.

 

This first batch was 25 pages long and had approximately 39 photographs and needless to say, I have poured over them! The photographs do not appear to be in chronological order and the labels, which seem to have been an afterthought, that were included in the book do not give the best information. I added dates and additional information where I could and I hope to find the information for the other photographs soon.

 

Page_01-A_zps313b9a17.jpg

 

The first pages were labeled "Putting extra transoms on bridge to strengthen to Class 70" These are from the Seine RIver Bridge at Mantes Glassicourt, Fance. There is a lot written about this bridge as it was the first time that a Bailey Bridges was used in this way: four river barges were used to support the Bailey Bridge. One of the gentlemen, T/5 Richard Purcell, who was in Company C with my grandfather said that the night before the work began on the bridge, Company C unloaded 29 truckloads of Bailey Bridge. After finishing unloading in the early morning, Mr. Purcell was told to get some chow and some sleep. He opted for the sleep but as soon as he laid down, he was told to get up as it was time to start the construction of the bridge. Mr. Purcell has some great stories about this bridge, partly due to the fact that his birthday is August 21st, the same day construction of the bridge began.

 

This is also where my Grandfather was shot through the leg by the straffing ME-109s, temporarily taking him out of the war. I understand in talking with another 157th, Company C soldier, Sgt. Alton Heimbach, that my Grandfather helped to bring the barges down to the bridge site.

 

Page_03-A_zpsa38baf93.jpg

Putting extra transoms on bridge to strengthen to Class 70 (1 of 5)

 

 

Page_03-B_zps0ba1325a.jpg

 

Putting extra transoms on bridge to strengthen to Class 70 (2 of 5)

 

 

Page_04-A_zpsccb8c6c8.jpg

 

 

Putting extra transoms on bridge to strengthen to Class 70 (3 of 5)

 

 

Page_04-B_zpsa8058449.jpg

 

Putting extra transoms on bridge to strengthen to Class 70 (4 of 5)

 

 

Page_05-A_zps72cdaa43.jpg

 

Putting extra transoms on bridge to strengthen to Class 70 (5 of 5)

Reply
#2

The next set of photographs were labeled "First vehicle fell in with no vehicles on bridge" This was likely in mid-late July, 1944. In his “History Sketch 157th Engineer © Bn.” memoir, Major, CE Harry C. Davis wrote about the bridge: “The only engineer work done so far in this move was the installation of a Bailey Bridge over a blown span of a multiple arch bridge. The bridge withstood traffic all night and collapsed the following day with no vehicle on it. Reason: No provision had been made for horizontal forces and the dead weight on the bridge caused it to collapse. A lesson was learned here that was never forgotten; an arch bridge (keystone), once the series of arches are broken, must be braced against itself to prevent its collapsing from its own weight on a horizontal movement”.

 

Page_06-A_zps3b31eedc.jpg

First vehicle fell in with no vehicles on bridge (1 of 4)

 

Page_06-C_zps8bb1061f.jpg

First vehicle fell in with no vehicles on bridge (2 of 4)

 

Page_06-B_zps14f7a6ea.jpg

First vehicle fell in with no vehicles on bridge (3 of 4)

 

Page_07-A_zps4d94affc.jpg

First vehicle fell in with no vehicles on bridge (4 of 4)

Reply
#3

"Highway bridge, Neufchatau, Company C" No additional information at this time.

Page_08-A_zpsb9fb4459.jpg

Highway bridge, Neufchatau, Company C (photo 1 of 3)

 

Page_08-B_zpsc44d4d0e.jpg

Highway bridge, Neufchatau, Company C (photo 2 of 3)

 

Page_09-A_zpsae634c58.jpg

Highway bridge, Neufchatau, Company C (photo 3 of 3)

 

Page_10-A_zpsad09ebec.jpg

Blown railroad bridge not reconstructed by 157th Engr Const Bn. (No additional information at this time)

Reply
#4

Next up "Bridge as taken over from 163rd Engineers" (No additional information at this time)

Page_11-A_zpsdecf1a9c.jpg

Bridge as taken over from 163rd Engineers (photo 1 of 5)

 

Page_11-B_zps3806fd2b.jpg

Bridge as taken over from 163rd Engineers (photo 2 of 5)

 

Page_12-A_zps966beb4b.jpg

Bridge as taken over from 163rd Engineers (photo 3 of 5)

 

Page_12-B_zpsc2f9f396.jpg

Bridge as taken over from 163rd Engineers (photo 4 of 5)

 

Page_13-A_zps04f7f529.jpg

Bridge as taken over from 163rd Engineers (photo 5 of 5)

Reply
#5

"Rebuilding of Motor Park 11th Evacuation Hospital, Bayon". As of November 1, 1944, Company C had as one of their secondary missions - Graveling Motor Park for the 11th Evacuation Hospital near Bauon. This was ompleted by Company C on November 6, 1944.

 

Page_14-A_zps40ea8a0b.jpg

Rebuilding of Motor Park 11th Evacuation Hospital, Bayon (photo 1 of 2)

 

Page_14-B_zps123bb0b2.jpg

Rebuilding of Motor Park 11th Evacuation Hospital, Bayon (photo 2 of 2)

 

"Lamath, Company A" Note in the first photograph, the jeep is part of the 79th Infantry Division which the 157th was with for a good while.

Page_15-A_zps549c3d41.jpg

Lamath, Company A (Photo 1 of 3)

 

Page_15-B_zps0e33a886.jpg

Lamath, Company A (Photo 2 of 3)

 

Page_16-A_zpsb8554aa7.jpg

Lamath, Company A (Photo 3 of 3)

Reply
#6

"Bridge at Luneville, Company A and 163rd Engineers" (No additional information at this time)

 

Page_17-A_zps3f2182d7.jpg

Bridge at Luneville, Company A and 163rd Engineers (photo 1 of 8)

 

Page_17-B_zps0e30ca1d.jpg

Bridge at Luneville, Company A and 163rd Engineers (photo 2 of 8)

 

Page_18-A_zps779e9f82.jpg

Bridge at Luneville, Company A and 163rd Engineers (photo 3 of 8)

 

Page_18-B_zpse93b531d.jpg

Bridge at Luneville, Company A and 163rd Engineers (photo 4 of 8)

 

Page_19-A_zpsb271ddf4.jpg

Bridge at Luneville, Company A and 163rd Engineers (photo 5 of 8)

 

Page_19-B_zps8c9c389d.jpg

Bridge at Luneville, Company A and 163rd Engineers (photo 6 of 8)

 

Page_20-A_zpsd48fa2bd.jpg

Bridge at Luneville, Company A and 163rd Engineers (photo 7 of 8)

 

Page_20-B_zpsfd4bb567.jpg

Bridge at Luneville, Company A and 163rd Engineers (photo 8 of 8)

Reply
#7

"Bailey installed within 4 hours of receipt of orders. Hirschland, Company C (near Sarrebourgh)" This was an 80 foot double single bailey Bridge constructed on November 29, 1944.

 

Page_21-A_zpsda82f29c.jpg

Bailey installed within 4 hours of receipt of orders. Hirschland, Company C (near Sarrebourgh) (Photograph 1 of 1)

 

 

At La Frohmuhl, Bitche Sector (near Rohrbach) Company B (No additional information at this time)

Page_22-A_zpsf1ccf3e9.jpg

At La Frohmuhl, Bitche Sector (near Rohrbach) Company B (Photograph 1 of 1)

 

 

"Company C steam roller" (No additional information at this time)

Page_23-A_zpsfba81c8b.jpg

Company C steam roller (photo 1 of 1)

 

 

"Hospital east of Sodd (sp.) Union" (No additional information at this time)

Page_23-B_zps748d7981.jpg

Hospital east of Sodd (sp.) Union (Photo 1 of 1)

Reply
#8

"Company C, Rahling - Bitche Section" Beginning in the morning of December 9, 1944, Company C removed one of the two treadway bridges and completed construction of the one half bridge in 7 hours (they worked on one half the bridge at a time in order to not impair the flow of heavy traffic). Removal of the second half of bridge began on December 9th and construction of the bridge was completed on the 10th.

 

Page_25-B_zps1f6fd054.jpg

Company C, Rahling - Bitche Section (Photo 1 of 4)

 

Page_24-A_zpsfecf9bf3.jpg

Company C, Rahling - Bitche Section (Photo 2 of 4)

 

Page_24-B_zps679dea66.jpg

Company C, Rahling - Bitche Section (Photo 3 of 4)

 

Page_25-A_zps37765a34.jpg

Company C, Rahling - Bitche Section (Photo 4 of 4)

Reply
#9

That was all with this installment, 25 pages worth. I was told that the book is 85 pages all together so I should be getting some more great photographs! I would welcome any information on the places, bridges, people or any other details observed on the photographs.

Reply
#10

Man, these are extraordinary pictures!!!

 

What great research you are doing and willing to share with us!

 

Do you have a summary of town/city locations where the outfit was in the War? Maybe a map?

 

Thank you for letting us look at these,

Jean J

Reply


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  The 187th Engineer Combat Bn PDP2020 0 193 12-05-2022, 04:48 PM
Last Post: PDP2020
  250 Engineer Battalion Company Research R Eric 0 222 11-08-2022, 03:27 AM
Last Post: R Eric
  2827th Engineer Battalion Walt's Daughter 3 7,900 11-19-2019, 08:56 AM
Last Post: Walt's Daughter
  245th Engineer Combat Battalion, U.S. Third Army 1874thhistorian 5 9,359 08-21-2019, 01:01 AM
Last Post: mikel
  174th Engineer Combat Battalion Wendy 4 8,222 04-22-2019, 08:41 PM
Last Post: Walt's Daughter
  1274th Engineer Construction Battalion cincinnatikid 3 3,076 03-25-2019, 02:57 PM
Last Post: Walt's Daughter
  291st Engineer Combat Battalion Roster EngineerReenactor 9 13,490 02-01-2019, 02:42 PM
Last Post: mikel
  169th Engineer Combat Battalion angatti 15 14,411 10-07-2018, 11:41 AM
Last Post: angatti
  Camp Gordon Georgia 551 heavy engineer pontoon battalion photos Georgejohn 12 7,098 09-20-2018, 01:23 AM
Last Post: Georgejohn
  Jack Frank 1142nd Combat Engineer Group Frank Gubbels 4 3,289 05-27-2018, 03:11 AM
Last Post: Frank Gubbels



Users browsing this thread: 2 Guest(s)