160th Engineer Combat Battalion WW II ( new member)
#21

 


Like many of the U.S. Army's Engineer Combat Battalions that were destined for Europe, the 160th went on maneuvers in middle Tennessee. My Dad was from middle Tennessee and he had traveled most of the main roads and knew quite a few people in the area. This area was picked because of its close resemblance to France, Belgium and Germany.The 160th traveled by train from Camp Ethan Allen, Vermont to Nashville, Tennessee in the fall of 1943. At Nashville they formed a convoy and Dad said they went all over Tennessee. Their first assignment was to catalogue bridges. They would drive all the roads, mapping bridge locations, inspecting them for condition and load bearing capabilities and taking pictures for the records. They would occasionally stay in squad tents. Squad tents would sleep 10 and they had a small wood burning stove but they usually stayed in pup tents. When they were someplace that didn't have a blackout they would build a bonfire. The fires were great for warming up and drying clothes but embers would sometimes come down on the canvas pup tents and make small holes in them that leaked rain. The 160th maneuvered all over the state, sometimes they would camp for as little as one day. They camped for a few weeks close to Camp Forrest by Tullahoma, they camped in the Manchester area for several weeks of training. They camped at Murfreesboro where they were able to load up in trucks and go to Nashville for R&R on weekends. They spent several weeks at Watertown where they were able to stay in a public building. They ate a lot of rations but often they would be close to a rolling kitchen that would set up close to large concentrations of men and serve hot meals. They had little contact with civilians when they were on maneuvers and they did not eat any food that didn't come from the U.S.Army, except when they were on R&R. The 160th learned to build bridges and roads and to be sufficient with what they carried. They learned to shoot .30 cal and .50 cal machine guns but mostly they toughened up and got used to the cold and the living outdoors. Dad said he thought that conditions on the Tennessee maneuvers were harsher than when they were trying to get across the Rhine. Except that in Tennessee they weren't taking enemy fire.The 160th left Tennessee in the spring and convoyed to Camp Rucker, Alabama. These are a few pictures taken on those maneuvers.


 


Men in the first picture, top row left to right:


Yewey W. Lambert,Pfc. Trenton, Fla.


Roby D. Turner, Tec5 Royboro, N.C.


John F. Terry, Sgt. Rural Hall, N.C.


Joseph W. Bolek,Sgt. Hammond, Ind.


Chester P. Rydelski, Pfc. Erie, Penn.


 


Bottom row, left to right:


Ralph L. Smith,Pfc. Chambersburg, Penn.


Dale E. Miller,Pfc. Pleasantville, Ohio


Harry A. Cannon,Sgt. Nzssa, Ore.


Joseph P. Seuss,Pvt. Pittsburg, Penn.


Paul J. De Micheal, Pfc. Louisville, Ky


Wymer ( Dad sure of this last name, no other information)


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Second picture, B Company camp on maneuvers in Tennessee.


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.jpg   Maneuvers in Tennessee.jpg (Size: 464.65 KB / Downloads: 0)
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#22

A few more pictures of the 160th Engineer Combat Battalion on maneuvers in middle Tennessee.


 


First picture, four soldiers, left to right:


unknown


unknown


Joseph P. Seuss,Pvt. Pittsburg,Penn.


Paul S. De Micheal,Pfc. Louisville, Ky.


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Second picture, four with 50cal., left to right:


William J. Campbell, Pfc. Philadelphia,Penn.


Edward J. Dawgiello,Pfc. Pittsburg, Penn.


Thelbert O. Kallam,Sgt. Stonefield,N.C.


Neoda S. Howard,Tech5 Terre Haute, Ind.


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Third picture, two with ,50 cal., left to right:


James P. Guinnessey,Pfc. Louisville, Ky.


Joseph W. Bolek,Sgt. Hammond, Ind.


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Fourth picture:


Thelbert O. Kallam,Sgt. Stonefield, N.C.


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Fifth picture:


Joseph S. Rydelski, Pfc. Erie, Penn.


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Sixth picture:


Chester P. Rydelski, Pfc. Erie, Penn.


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#23

I was in an Army Surplus store the other day and I picked up a couple of shoulder patches that I had seen in pictures of men from the 160th Engineer Combat Battalion. I have not seen this patch in any pictures of my Dad and he does not know what it is. Can anyone tell me something about it?


 


Glen Blasingim


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#24

That's a 3rd Army patch

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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#25

Thank you, Marion. I knew that was an easy question for the right person. I have seen that patch here and there but could not determine exactly what it was. Wearing it must have been an option. I'll tell Dad tomorrow.

 

Glen Blasingim

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#26

Easy-peasey! :14_2_107:

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
#27

Account from Edwin N. Blasingim,First Sergeant, B Company, 160th Engineer Combat Battalion, as told to his son.


From Utah Beach, August 12, 1944, it took the 160th Engineer Combat Battalion eleven days to reach Fontainebleau, about 270 miles by their route of march. They went through towns where the 5th infantry division had just been, there were destroyed buildings and burned out vehicles that were still smoldering. When they reached Fontainebleau they were with the 5th facing the German front. Company C was in Fontainebleau getting the 5th across the Seine. B Company was about ten miles south of Fontainbleau completing a treadway bridge across the Le Loing River ( a tributary that flowed into the Seine just east of Fontainebleau ). It was August 24, 1944. A new Sherman tank, temporarily assigned from another outfit, was parked just above B Company guarding them as they built the bridge. This crossing was in the vicinity of Nemours and the 989th Engineer Treadway Bridge Company was working with B Company. There was a small deserted town across the Le Loing, up a gradual hill and about a half mile or so away. The town consisted of a few houses, a couple of buildings and a church. B Company was taking fire from a mortar position somewhere out of sight behind the town. They couldn't spot him but they figured that there was a forward observer in the town because the mortar fire was very accurate. Good ears could usually tell when the mortar fired but the fighting in Fontainebleau sometimes made it difficult to be sure, sometimes the whistle was the only warning but when you heard "incoming" you scrambled for the nearest foxhole. This was the first time these men had worked under fire and they were nervous, they were scared. Suddenly there was a huge explosion and everybody hit the dirt, scared to death and expecting the next blast. Men close to foxholes crawled in and men too far away hugged the ground in the lowest places they could find. There was silence until a 76mm shell casing rattled off of the side of the tank and fell in the dirt. The church and and it's steeple were gone, the old highest point in town. The tank crew had zeroed in on the church and fired one round, without telling anybody. The mortar fire stopped, for a while.


 


Pfc.James N. Corley, classified as a Demolition Specialist, was working on the bridge that day. He was assisting the 989th with inflating ponton bridge sections. Pfc. James H. Young was nearby when James Corley was hit with shrapnel. James Young told his son that there was a loud explosion and he turned to see James Corley on the ground. James Corley took a piece of shrapnel in the shoulder that resulted in the loss of the use of his arm. James N. Corley and James H. Young were awarded Purple Hearts, they have both passed but this account is remembered and shared by their sons. James Corley's son Keith has been trying to learn all that he can about his Dad's service in World War II. We made contact through Marion's website. Keith sent this picture of his Dad.


 


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James N. Corley, Pfc.


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.jpg   160th across Le Loing.jpg (Size: 118.94 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   160th Utah-Fontainebleau.jpg (Size: 789.9 KB / Downloads: 0)
.jpg   James N. Corley.jpg (Size: 19.36 KB / Downloads: 0)
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#28

Great recounting of that incident. Gives us a good perspective of what they saw and felt.

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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#29

Fort Ethan Allen was the nicest place that the 160th Engineer Combat Battalion was stationed and trained. The fort was just inland from the west coast of Vermont, close to Burlington and on the Winooski River. The 160th was there in the Summer-Fall of 1943. The river was a great place to train for assault crossings and bridge building. Dad said that he took the longest march that he took in the Army while he was at Fort Ethan Allen.These are a few pictures of the fort in 1943. In this case, it was something to write home about.


 


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Thelbert O. Kallam, Sgt., Herman S. Landrith, Ssgt., and unknown in front of barracks, Fort Ethan Allen summer 1943.


 


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Barracks from front door.


 


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From front porch.


 


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B company barracks. Came from Fort Meade where there were no lawns, only sand.


 


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From front porch.


 


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Robert N. Weigand, 1stLt.


 


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Edward J. Dawgiello, Pfc.


 


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Unknown at Fort Ethan Allen.


 


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Frank W. Prinz, Tec5.


 


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O.G. Anderson, Tec5.


 


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O.G. Anderson, Tec5.


 


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O.G. Anderson, Tec5.


 


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O.G. Anderson, Tec5.


 


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Winooski River.


 


 


 



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#30

Great to see the pics from training camp too. Merry Christmas!

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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