Robert J. Burns Jr., John S. Dahl Jr., and United States Army
This will be the record of the 68th Tank Battalion's participation in successive campaigns from the historic breakthrough in Normandy to "VE" Day in the heart of Germany. Before beginning this narrative, however, there are some remarks we must make.
Firstly, this history was made possible by the heroically spent blood and sweat of American men, who gave their best for their country. They did well, these men, and though some of them are no longer with us, their deeds will never be forgotten.
Stanley Waldo Carlson
YOU'RE IN THE INFANTRY
Those of us who can say those words ... let's say them with pride, but softly. Let's not shout them. Let's not stick out our chests. Let's say them with a kind of awe.
We can't tell much about it ... and wouldn't if we could. Maybe we'll say it's "rugged." Maybe we'll get across the idea that you have to be quick in the head, as well as quick with your hands, to get along in the infantry. And that, even so, your chances aren't too bright. But that's about all. Few will ever know what it means in a war like this, to be "in the Infantry," the knockout corps, the Army's infighters. But we can make the world remember at least ... that a doughboy has to master a dozen weapons ... that skill and smartness count for as much as muscle;
... That he may have to live for days on end on congealed food, in mud and slop halfway to his waist, where the rain is iron, the wind is cordite and the light is liquid fire ;
... And that, at the end, he comes face to face with a personal enemy ... another Infantryman whose ten inches of cold steel snake out for his belly, and whose gun butt swings in a short quick arc to crumple his skull.
Face to face ... that's the Infantry's war. They're out where that thin black line moves forward on the map . . . to kill or be killed.
Edward H. Castens
"This book is a record of the part the 446th Bombardment Group played in World War II -- it is a record of the period that witnessed the growth of the Group from a handful of men who left Tucson, Arizona in April 1943, to the force of over three thousand men who helped end the war in Europe on May 8, 1945. During that time we trained for and participated in the softening up and final smashing of Hitler's Fortress Europe.We saw our Group reach the greatest heights in bombing accuracy, morale and air and ground efficiency -- the things necessary in winning the war.
The pictures and story show the conditions under which the ground and air echelons lived, worked and died. We watched a number of crews fly their missions, complete their tours and return to the states-- some, not so fortunate, are buried in foreign soil. They flew and fought hoping that their efforts would shorten the war, save lives and aid their country's cause.
The men on the ground -- the men behind the planes -- also showed great resourcefulness, loyalty and devotion to duty. For every plane our Group put in the sky over Europe there were the cooks, clerks, photographers and a score of others on the ground working to put it there. These men did not receive any of the honor or glory, but the work they did was essential for the success of the Group.
As a member of the 446th from the time of its organization until it was deactivated in Sioux Falls, it is my desire to say that the cooperation and devotion of these men to their tasks was exemplary. My association with the men of my command will always remain an unforgettable highlight in my life.
This photographic log of the Group is a book to be treasured always. As we look through it in the years ahead it will help revive memories of our eventful days at Denver, the journey overseas, the first mission to Berlin, D-Day, V-E Day and a host of other memorable events that played so vital a part in our lives."
William A. Schmidt, Lt. Col. A.C., Commanding Officer
Audley F. Connor and United States Army
One of the war's famed Engineer Light Ponton Companies was born on paper in Washington, D. C. on 14 January 1943, a full five months before its first soldier opened the door of the orderly room at Camp Hood, Texas.
Never then realizing what a great part he would play in World War II the 549th Engineer knocked the dirt from his spikes and got ready for the great race across the States and half way 'round the world. It was indeed to be history · and now the curtain opens on the big show ...
Hugh C. Daly and United States Army
The first Rainbow Division was composed of National Guard units from 27 states and it was this collection of men which inspired General Douglas MacArthur, its most famous member, to declare. "The 42nd Infantry Division stretches like a Rainbow from one end of America to the other."
Major General Harry J. Collins, then Brigadier General, recalled the words of General MacArthur on that activation day when he told the veterans of the old Rainbow and the cadremen of the new: "The Rainbow stretches across the land and represents the people of our country. This Division cannot fail because America cannot fail."
Robert Ellsworth Elder and United States Navy
Throughout the months of war stevedores kept the supplies in constant movement toward the front-transferring them from ship to shiploading, unloading, impelled by the exigency of war, in the days and in the nights at Pearl Harbor, on Hilo, Maui, and Guam -- these names signify the dock locations worked by the 34th stevedores. From December 1944 to August 1945 the 34th stevedores handled 410,882 tons of cargo, and at the close of the war the men were waiting, at long last, on Guam -- still stevedoring.
We present our stevedores who supplied their portion of sweat, blood, and tears, and who kept the hook moving. They performed the rugged, tedious, physical activity that is stevedoring, lived out of their seabags, followed their cargo, and were still smiling, enjoying their beer, their liberties, while in the States, which had become so precious to all of us. They played ball when they had the time, wrote their letters, and in the hours of their days and nights thought about home, and continued to do their job under the tension of the military, and in the heat of the tropics, thousands of miles, and endless months from home.
Eugene L. Green, Paul A. Keane, and Lewis E. Callanan
"The Sky Lancers have established an enviable record in combat against the Japanese in the Southwest Pacific Theatre of Operations. We have advanced twenty-five hundred miles since debarking at Cape Sudest, New Guinea; we have delivered destruction to the enemy over every mile of it and part of our great task still lies ahead on the road to Tokyo. Our gains have not been made easily and the price has been paid in both men and equipment.
It is to our gallant comrades who made their last flight with our organization that The SKY LANCER is dedicated, for it was they who contributed so greatly to our success and to the ultimate peace we are to gain through their courageous efforts."
Milton W. Johnson, Lt. Col., Air Corps, Commanding
Robert R. Herring
To the Officers and Men of the 308th Bombardment Wing and all Tactical Air Units which took part in the Wing's Operations: The long list or 308th Bombardment Wing combat operations, to which this Year Book is eloquent testimony, reflects a degree of loyalty, teamwork, and unselfish devotion to duty or such high order, it is a deep personal satisfaction to me to have been privileged to serve as its commanding officer.
During the Wing's operations there were many grim days when our planes were obliged to take the air repeatedly outnumbered by enemy aircraft. The men in the planes and the men on the ground met tests of endurance and fortitude which tried their patience and courage to the breaking point. Yet, they met those tests unfalteringly, refused to be daunted by a numerically superior foe.
The fighting spirit and combat know-how which the Wing developed set a standard for operational effectiveness that won the respect and admiration or the entire AAF, a standard that was splendidly maintained throughout the long combat history of the Wing. Air-ground operations were brought to a new high in efficiency. Enemy shipping was smothered and sunk with a speed which exceeded the most optimistic estimates. Japan's extensive network of air bases was progressively rendered impotent. Nip airplanes were driven from the air over every target until their only tactic was the sporadic, ineffectual Kamikaze strike. In the final phase of the war, the intensity of American air power rose to such a terrific pitch the Japanese were pounded beyond human endurance, their capitulation constituting the supreme achievement of AAF men and the planes they flew.
Thus, of our gallant airmen who did not come back, we may say, the time they bought with their lives saved thousands of fellow soldiers who would have been lost in the final great invasion of Japan. Because of them and their comrades in the air who carried on, the enemy was forced to surrender before the huge invasion force was launched. Their deeds in speeding the final defeat of the world's last despot nation will never be forgotten, their record will forever remain bright on the historic walls or American Democracy.
D.W. Hutchison, Brigadier General, U.S.A., Commanding
Ralph G. Hewlett, W. A. Myers, and United States Navy
In this book of words and pictures is a compilation of the work, accomplishments, and activities of the Twenty-Sixth United States Naval Construction Battalion (Second Section) which on July 15, 1945, was redesignated Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit Six Hundred Thirty-Five. It is dedicated to each officer and man who gave his' best for the one and only cause, and each can be justly proud of the part he played.
The Staff wishes to extend its appreciation to each and every member of this Battalion who helped in procuring and compiling the necessary information, for without your moral support. interest. and actual aid this book would have been impossible. We sincerely hope that in years to come you will refer to this book often in remembrance of the part you and your comrades played in the achievement of the final victory.
Eugene G. Hines USNR
The story of the United States cruiser San Juan is, in reality, the chronicle of a relatively small group of men, and of ships, bound together in allegiance to a common flag -- the colors of a free nation whose peacetime borders boast no fortifications, save the guns of a salt water fleet. It is the story of a Navy which arose from staggering defeat to "bring the fleets of two aggressor nations to their knees, receiving their surrender within four months of each other."
It is the saga of a sleek anti-aircraft cruiser whose graceful lines and latent power won for it the affectionate nickname "Panther" -- a nickname which matured, as the San Juan itself matured, through fifteen major engagements against an enemy victorious in every war since 1596. The sobriquet gained material being by way of a signalman's sewing cunning and under Captain J. E. Maher, U.S.N., the San Juan's first commanding officer, the "Panther Flag" gained recognition as a battle flag and from that time on flew from the foretruck during the "Panther's" strikes against Japan.
E.G. Hines, USNR
Erdie O. Lansford and United States Army
The Seventy Fourth Field Artillery Battalion, when activated, was the Second Battalion of the Eighteenth Field Artillery Regiment 75 mm. gun horse-drawn. Its parent unit was the Fifth Field Artillery Regiment. Place of activation of this battalion was Fort Bliss, Texas. Date of activation June 1, 1917 and it was first commanded by Colonel A. J. Bowley. Shortly after activation it was ordered to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where it served as school troops for the Field Artillery School until July 1, 1940.
As you well remember, 1940 found the world in a very unsettled condition. Italy was on the march, Germany had occupied, by force, the greater part of Europe and Japan was frantically preparing for a war with our country. Uncle Sam decided it was high time to make a few preparations of his own.
Harold E. MacGregor and United States Army
From History of the 28th Regiment, page 22:
On July I, 1944, a convoy of four troop ships and twelve motor transports steamed out of Belfast Harbor carrying the 8th Division to the continent of Europe. On July 4, twenty-eight days after D-Day of the Allied invasion of Normandy, the Regiment began debarking at Utah Beach on the Cherbourg peninsula.
Next day it had assembled in the vicinity of Montbourg where final preparations for battle were completed. Allied invasion armies at this time held only a few square miles of the territory of France. The city of Cherbourg had recently been taken, and the Germans had been driven from the northern tip of the peninsula to a point just north of La Haye du Puits. From there the enemy line extended through Carentan and St. Lo eastward to Caen and Orne River estuary. German resistance in most sectors was heavy even against already achieved air superiority.
On July 6 the Regiment moved to an assembly area near the town of St. Sauveur Le Vicomte, the following morning orders were received to take over a section of the line, one kilometer south of La Haye du Puits. The plan for the Division, was to attack to the south, passing through the 82nd Airborne Division, taking over the center of the Corps front. The main effort of the drive was to be made in this sector.
Warren P. Munsell
This is the military history of the 179th Regimental Combat Team. As a component of the "fighting 45th" Infantry Division, its story is a revealing one. Through its history can be seen a major portion of the Sicilian and Italian Campaigns, much of the French and German Campaigns -- in other words, the war in Europe. Through its history weave the gallantries of the men who made the Regiment; yet by changing names and dates and places, this becomes the story of any combat infantry regiment. Thus, through its history must inevitably flow the life blood of the American soldier.
Karl W. Scheufler and United States Army
While the title "355th AAA Searchlight Battalion" dates back to May of 1942, the actual history of the unit, and the personnel in it, dates back to fifteen months before that -- February, 1941. At this time there were four coast artillery regiments in training at Camp Stewart, Georgia. The 207th and 212th were from New York City, the 209th from Western New York State, and the 214th from Georgia. These units had been sent to Camp Stewart for one year of basic training. The A batteries, or searchlight batteries, of these regiments were the units which later formed the First Provisional Searchlight Battalion. Such terms as "DEC," "azimuth," "elevation," "orientation," and "slant range," soon became familiar to the men of these batteries. In addition to their specialized training in searchlights and searchlight tactics, the men received regular basic military training. The study of subjects, such as convoy discipline, first aid, communications, map reading and aircraft recognition, became a part of the daily routine. The men were also given calisthenics, infantry drill and manual of arms to build their bodies.
U.S.S. Lunga Point, CVE 94: a pictorial log covering the ship's career in the War against the Axis, 14 May, 1944 - 14 May, 1945
S. Linton Smith USNR
It has been regretted for some time that, because of Wartime restrictions, personally owned cameras are not allowed on board, and it has been impractical for the Photo Lab to attempt to furnish all hands with pictures of the places we have visited and of the many interesting, thrilling, exciting and even hair-raising experiences that we have had during this, our first year as an integral, fighting part of our Fleet.
Considerable thought also has been given to devising some means whereby the memories of our many experiences, and our everyday life aboard, might be preserved in a definite and concrete form, because, regardless of how anxious we are to get back to our families, and regardless of how arduous, trying, and nerve racking our experiences have been, when the time comes for us to leave the Lunga Point, it is confidently believed that our happiness in returning to our families will be mingled with a genuine feeling of regret in having to leave the many friends we have made on board, not to mention the regret we shall feel in leaving the Lunga Point, which has, after all, been our home for many months now. We feel that we can say without fear of contradiction that the Lunga Point and those who have served in her will have a very warm spot in the heart of every Officer and man who has been privileged to fight her, and that place in our hearts will ever increase as the years roll by.
.... Every officer and man should, therefore, receive due credit for the part he played, and for that reason, the name, rank or rate, and home address of every member of our Ship's Company will appear in this book, except for some few who have been transferred without leaving their addresses.
In the above paragraphs, this book has its genesis. It is not a perfect book by any means. There have been many obstacles, some of which it was impossible to surmount, but it has been our earnest endeavor, as nearly as possible, to completely and faithfully chronicle our first year for you. If this book achieves its purpose of preserving those friendships and memories of the past year, we will have been well rewarded for our efforts, because, as your Editor, we will have that deep sense of personal satisfaction that can come only from the knowledge of a job well done.
It's been a grand cruise, Shipmates. Au revoir ! And God Bless you all.
S. Linton Smith, Lieut., USNR
A pictorial record of the combat duty of Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred Nine in the Western Pacific, 20 April 1945-15 August 1945
Theodore Manning Steele
Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred Nine was reformed on 5 October 1944 at Naval Auxiliary Air Station Camp Kearney, San Diego, California, as a streamlined Patrol Bombing Squadron with fifteen PB4Y-2 planes (Privateers), and a normal complement of eighteen flight crews of twelve men each. On 6 December 1944 command of the squadron was assumed by Lieutenant Commander George L. Hicks, USNR, former Executive Officer of old Bombing Squadron 109, with Lieutenant Commander John F. Bundy, USN, as Executive Officer.
The squadron trained initially under Fleet Air Wing Fourteen at Camp Kearney, flying its planes to Naval Air Station, Kaneohe, T. H., in February for an advanced training period under Fleet Air Wing Two.
On 10 April 1945 the squadron moved into the combat area, and active operations against the enemy were begun on 20 April 1945 with a special reconnaissance of PAT ANI Roads, Gulf of Siam, flown from Pala Wan, Philippine Islands.
The primary mission of the squadron was long range search, patrol, and armed reconnaissance, but special patrols, strikes and assorted duties often engaged all the squadron's attention.
Estley K. Surridge, Edward C. Dooley, and United States Army Air Forces
Published as an unofficial history of the Group's activities from activation to completion of 258 Combat Missions in the European Theatre of Operations, through the courtesy of the Officers' Club, whose Board of Governors made available funds to apply against publication costs on copies for distribution to members of the 447th Group who were on its rosters as of the dates of departure from the E. T. 0. for the Z. of I.
This pictorial, and unofficial, history of the 447th Bombardment Group is not as complete as its editors would have liked it to be, due to the fact that the work of preparing and assembling it had to be done by the very limited staff on hand at Drew Field, Florida, whose primary task was the job of deactivating the Group.
So it was prepared amid considerable confusion by the short handed staff and using as much of the material as could be found among the Group and Squadron records.
The editors have used every possible photo whether of personnel, combat crews, ground crews, social activities, etc. that could be found. Without doubt, many other photos exist, but these were not on hand at the time the history was prepared.
-The Editors [Captains Surridge and Dooley]
United States Army
The history of the 1288th Engineer Combat Battalion has been well recorded on film. It is not a story of heroic deeds and battles but it is never-the-less a very interesting one because of the many historic and picturesque places that were either occupied or visited by the personnel of the Battalion. The history of some of the scenes and buildings pictured on the following pages dates back to the Medieval and even Roman eras while in others you see the settings so familiar as the backdrops for the greatest epic of all times, World War II, in which you, the members of the 1288th, had a hand in the making of history.
United States Army
In editing this, the history of the 13th Airborne Division, we hope that we have not committed the grievous error of considering our commission as merely a personal honor. We feel that the honor and the high responsibility entailed therewith allows us an opportunity to render a real service to our comrades and to our beloved Division. It is our most sincere hope that in the years to come, when the memory of recent days fade, you may take this book in your lap and recall memories of friends -- of trials and triumphs -- of days we spent together in the 13th Airborne Division.
The Editorial and Management Board
United States Army
Few military organizations in the United States can trace their history as far back as pre-Revolutionary War days. One such organization is the 156th Field Artillery Battalion whose Battery A many believe to be the oldest military unit in the United States. A Kingston outfit of the New York National Guard, it dates back to 1658.
303rd Signal Operation Battalion: an informal unofficial history, April 17, 1943 to February 25, 1946
United States Army
April 17, 1943 was officially activation day for the 303rd at Camp Crowder, Missouri. Shortly before that, Lt. Clyde Burch had herded a wild and wooly cadre crew northward from the 17th Sig. Opn. Bn., which was then on 2nd Army maneuvers in Tennessee. Officers then began to trickle in, more cadre men, and the inevitable lesson plans and course outlines started to take shape.
The bulk of the "fillers" arrived around the first of June, and training took hold with vigor, if not with a great deal of vim. Basic training, hikes, calisthenics (TC-87!) and rain, rain, rain occupied our days, always under the fierce scrutiny of Col. Rinaldo Coe who ruled the 2d Army detachment at Crowder with the aid of Capt. Cohen and an assorted staff,guaranteed to give trouble. Col. Coe was a real soldier, and though we groaned under him, later we were damned proud of our state of training. He was aided in his inspections by his dog, which the men fervently believed came up to inspect our training on his own, and then scampered back to report our deficiencies to his master.
United States Army
This is a history made by the men of the 377th Infantry Regiment. It's a story of men who served their country and served it well. Men who underwent the toughest, most rigorous, most backbreaking training that the Army could hand out. And men who, after two hard years of this training, went across to the field of battle in Europe, met the enemy, and defeated him at his own game -- war.
It all began on the sandy flat of the recreational area at Camp Swift, Texas, a typical Army camp located about 30 miles from Austin, with the usual training-center panorama of red-and-white water towers, white wooden barracks, and green recruits. There, under the blazing hot sun of July 15, 1942, the 377th Infantry Regiment was activated, along with the rest of the 95th Infantry Division.
United States Army
This is your book, and we tried to put it together so that it will bring you equal pleasure today or fifty years from now, when you'll probably have a grandson on one knee, and you'll want to tell him how it all was.
The pictures are yours, and so is the writing. Not much of it relates to armies and corps. Our story -the one we all know -- it how about 750 officers and men got along for two years, training and fighting together to help win a big war.
United States Army
The first companies of the Regiment entered combat on the twenty-third of October, 1944. They relieved elements of the 315th Infantry Regiment of the 79th Division east of Luneville, France, in the vicinity of Embermenil. The Regiment occupied dug-in positions in Le Remabois and in the eastern part of the Foret de Parroy. In the last week of October and the first weeks of November, with a series of night attacks, the First Battalion drove the Germans from their remaining strongholds in the forest. By continued and active patrolling, the Germans were kept from any effective offensive action in this part of the line.
One of the more daring patrols of this time was made on 31 October by four men from Company E: S/Sgt. R. B. Lawrence and Harold L. Hunt and Pfc. Collie R. Martin and John F. Larkin. These men volunteered to investigate a patch of woods that was suspected of concealing a mortar position. The patrol moved into the woods and, upon discovering more of the enemy than had been anticipated, withdrew and directed an artillery concentration on the area.
United States Army
The 20th Armored Division cannot point to a long record of heroic slugging or dashing achievement on many of the battle fields of World War II, it made its weight felt by serving for two years as a replacement training division, properly climaxed by active participation as a unit in the final drive in the defeat of Germany.
The 20th did not write a great deal of combat history, yet it joined valiantly in the knockout punch against a desperate Nazism, throwing its infamous legions back to and breaking them at its citadel, the National Redoubt in the Alps. No, the 20th did not have a long history of battles and campaigns like so many other units; it wrote only a few paragraphs in the total book but it does know how history was written, and it was there to see the dramatic moments, causes and effects that will write the history of the future.
We at Bangor Public Library believe our collection of World War II regimental histories to be one of the largest in a library in the world. We are proud to share with you this collection. We feel presenting these books will open up a new means of studying and experiencing the Second World War for scholars, the curious public, descendants of the soldiers who served, and our surviving servicemen and servicewomen. If you have any questions about a book showcased here or have technical difficulties, feel welcome to contact Patrick Layne by email at email@example.com
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