160th Engineer Combat Battalion WW II ( new member)
#11

I have recently learned that the 160th Engineer Combat Battalion was formed at Fort Meade, Maryland on April 27, 1943. The full battalion consisted of 638 men. If the first anniversary celebration was held on April 27, 1944 then it would have been held at Camp Rucker, Alabama. The first picture is of eleven men taken at that celebration. I have no names and would appreciate any information that anyone could share. The second picture talks to me. The way that I see it, Private Irvin Krum is a long ways from his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These two ladies are enjoying pulling this shy homesick soldier out of his shell. He will remember this event for a long time. Private First Class Krum will later be awarded the Purple Heart in Europe. I believe that is all of the pictures that I have from this first anniversary celebration.

 

Glen Blasingim

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Attached Files
.jpg   160th A.jpg (Size: 124.26 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   160th A back.jpg (Size: 156.29 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   160th B.jpg (Size: 89.72 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   160th C.jpg (Size: 151.7 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   Krum.jpg (Size: 101.19 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   Krum back.jpg (Size: 150.3 KB / Downloads: 0)
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#12

Makes me smile!!!!!

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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#13

This is a picture of a schoolhouse that Dad remembers staying in just north of Thionville, close to the Luxembourg border. There were about 75 men staying in the upstairs, no furniture, but they found a couple of bails of straw and used it to pad their bedrolls. It was November 1944, very rainy, lots of mud, and the men were glad to have a dry place to stay for a change. A French family lived downstairs. Their son was gone someplace fighting with the resistance ( Dad said that the 160th often gave rations to the French fighters, let them in their chow lines when they had them, and sometimes gave them clothes ). The family had a special wine stash that they were saving for a celebration when their son returned, but they served it to the men that were staying upstairs instead. Our artillery was a short ways behind the school and they fired all night every night. The gun explosions and screaming shells made it difficult for the 160th to sleep, mostly because the men could not hear the incoming for the noise our own guns made. This made them very nervous, especially after their long stay across from Metz with the shellings they took every day. Dad said they were able to bunk in the school house for two or three weeks. My Dad is the soldier just above the spare tire, the women and child are part of the family downstairs and the other two soldiers are unknown to me, but from the 160th. Notice the hook on the front of the jeep.

 

Glen Blasingim

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Attached Files
.jpg   Thionville-1944.jpg (Size: 99.39 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   Thionville 1944 A.jpg (Size: 243.49 KB / Downloads: 0)
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#14

Glen, welcome aboard! You do have some interesting stories there. I was curious to see what the story is about "Olive's Old Man" on the side of the Jeep but that one may be lost to time, I guess.

Maj Todd O. USMC, Retired
Grandson of LTC John O'Brien
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#15

That is a good question CaptO, I will be talking to my Dad in the morning and I will ask him.

 

Glen Blasingim

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#16

Very interesting story. Love the fact about the S hook on the front of the jeep. Engineers are always so enterprising, aren't they?

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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#17

CaptO, I just finished talking to my Dad and he does not remember anything about the " Olive's Old Man " sign painted on the jeep. He said the jeeps were assigned to them but occasionally they would go in for repairs and get swapped. Maybe someone else will recognize the name or have another picture with that jeep in it. Marion, they were, their job was to do what it took and evidently they were pretty good at it. Thanks for that.

 

Glen Blasingim

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#18

I would be surprised if he remembered that unless it was personally tied to him somehow. I know that I would remember few details about my HMMWVs over the years I've been in (and that was no more than 20 years ago!)

Maj Todd O. USMC, Retired
Grandson of LTC John O'Brien
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#19

 


The 160th Engineer Combat Battalion lost twenty four men in its battles across France, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria. Chester P. Rydelski, Pfc. and Joseph S. Rydelski, Pfc. served with my Dad in B Company and are two of them that I especially remember. I had never even seen a picture of them until a few months ago but for years my Dad told me about them. B Company was on the west bank of the Moselle River, across from Metz close to Arnaville, France, attempting to build a  treadway bridge.They were taking an intense artillery barrage that lasted for hours. They were dug in and Dad was sharing a foxhole with Joseph. A ways away a call came out for medics but they were not able to get near because of the shelling. When the medics did get in word spread that it was Chester and it was bad. Men advised Joseph not to come over to him so my Dad and Joseph stayed away. The men thought that an artillery shell had hit a tree not very far away and exploded in air spraying shrapnel. The next day they came and got Joseph and took him back to a field hospital to see his brother. Chester died shortly after that.That happened in September, a few months later in February, every platoon in B company was involved in the assault crossing at Echternach. It was a bloody and costly battle and Joseph did not come back. A few days later Joseph was declared Missing in Action. These pictures of Chester and Joseph had been packed away in an album that had been given to Dad years ago. He was moved when he saw these pictures for the first time and quickly named Chester and Joseph. Dad says that they were good men, good soldiers and good friends. Dad hasn't forgotten these brothers and we haven't either.


Chester and Joseph's other brother, Walter, passed earlier this year, he proudly served his country in World War II in the U.S. Navy.


Robert L. Nichols, Pfc., 160th Engineer Combat Battalion, B Company, gave his life at the Echternach crossing also. His nephew, Wayne, has been searching for information about his Uncle Robert, with Marion's help. Marion has some detailed accounts of that crossing linked to her website.


I cannot post this without thanking Edie and Sue who helped me get in touch with the Rydelski family. They took some risk replying to a strange person asking for help with this and in no time they connected me to the family. They were so kind to take the time and trouble and I thank them.


Glen Blasingim


 


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Memorial page from Battalion Book.


 


 


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List of men From 160th ECB lost in WW 2.


 


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Chester Rydelski, top row, right end, Tennessee maneuvers Winter 1943/44.


 


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Chester Rydelski shaving, Tennessee maneuvers Winter 1943/44.


 


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Joseph Rydelski, Tennessee maneuvers, Winter 1943/44.


 


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Joseph Rydelski, Camp Rucker, Spring 1944.


 


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MIA Memorial, Luxembourg.


 


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Close up of MIA plaque showing Joseph's name.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 



Attached Files
.jpg   160th Dedication.jpg (Size: 146.97 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   1a Chester Rydelski top row right end, Tennessee.jpg (Size: 104.01 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   1b Chester Rydelski shaving, Tennessee.jpg (Size: 60.45 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   Joe Rydelski-Tennessee 2.jpg (Size: 131.14 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   2d Joseph Rydelski, Fort Rucker.jpg (Size: 38.4 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   3a MIA Memorial, Luxembourg.jpg (Size: 20.94 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   3b MIA Memorial, Luxembourg.jpg (Size: 113.33 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   img507 - Copy.jpg (Size: 223.98 KB / Downloads: 0)
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#20

Such a sad story. Was thinking of the brothers' parents. It's awful to lose anyone during the war, but to lose two sons like that.

 

Again, thank you for this account. So many bittersweet memories for your dad to bring back to life.

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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