United States Army and Evert C. Larson
On March 22, 1943, at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, the paper work of organizing a new Engineer general service regiment was being completed in accordance with AG 320.2 (3-5-43) B-1-SPOPU dated March 8, 1943, subject: "Activation of 398th Engineer General Service Regiment," and General Order No. 34, Headquarters, 8th Service Command, Dallas, Texas, dated March 15, 1943.
United States Army, Wayne Robinson, and Norman E. Hamilton
A Battalion truck was driven hundreds of miles through Germany to locate and haul a linotype machine so that type could be set for this book. This is just one of the sometimes fantastic difficulties overcome during the manufacture of these pages in the bomb-devastated city of Frankfurt-on-Main in July 1945. That the book did get printed at all is astonishing to its author. 1st Lt. John D. Hess, aided by German-speaking Tech Sergeant Frank Gartner, looked after the considerable details of publication. The 21 chapter illustrations are by Pfc. Norman E. Hamilton. The writing is by Pfc. Wayne Robinson, who here wishes to acknowledge the great help given by so many, from tank commanders to cooks to personnel clerks, in getting the facts for this combat story.
United States Navy
Tossing the first sixteen-inch shell to open the European offensive and firing the last big naval bullet in the Pacific campaign -- these are the outstanding mileposts in the 39-month fighting career of the U. S. S. Massachusetts.
The Japs have capitulated; details for carrying out the formal surrender ceremonies have been arranged for the official end of World War II. The stories that make the war history can now be released and "Big Mamie" has one of her own. It may not be spectacular, but it reveals a ship manned by resolute and efficient officers and men who turned in a workmanlike job and who more than once received "well done" from the Admirals. It wasn't always easy going and the grind was monotonous but ... here's our story.
When peace came to the Pacific, Mamie could look back on a long and action-packed career. From the time of commissioning on May 12, 1942, until the end of the war in mid-August, 1945, she had logged over 225,000 nautical miles, her journeyings taking her all the way from Casablanca to Tokyo and the China coast. She had taken part in some thirty-five engagements with the enemy. She had sunk or damaged five ships, including the mighty French battleship, Jean Bart. She had taken part in nine bombardments of enemy territory, three of which were directed at the Japanese home islands. She had destroyed or assisted in the destruction of at least eighteen Japanese aircraft. Her scout Kingfisher planes had rescued seven aviators downed by enemy fire, often performing the rescues within sight and range of Jap guns. Thanks to her fire-power and speed, she had lent invaluable support to the fast carrier task forces as they carried out their mission of crippling Japanese air-power and seizing control of Pacific skies.
Our ship has been a workhorse of the Fleet. She was always in there pitching when there was fighting to be done. She went about her tasks without ostentation and with a high degree of competence and skill gained from long hours of practice and of combat.
United States Navy
"... The accomplishments of the Seabees have been one of the outstanding features of the war. In the Pacific, where the distances are great and the expeditious construction of bases is frequently of vital importance, the construction accomplished by the Seabees has been of invaluable assistance. Furthermore, the Seabees have participated in practically every amphibious operation undertaken thus far, landing with the first waves of assault troops to bring equipment ashore and set up temporary bases of operation. In the Solomon Islands campaign the Seabees demonstrated their ability to outbuild the Japs and to repair airfields and build new bases, regardless of conditions of weather. There can be no doubt that the Seabees constitute an invaluable component of our Navy."
From the official report by Admiral Ernest J. King, Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, and Chief of Naval Operations
United States Navy
The U.S.S. New York, whose career spans a thirty-one year period embracing a volume of tradition which might well be the envy of any ship of the Fleet and whose name has been borne of six vessels of the United States Navy through 170 years of naval history, has the unique distinction of having played a noteworthy role in two world wars.
United States Navy
"U.S.S. Missouri. Over this spot on 2 September 1945 the instrument of formal surrender of Japan to the Allied Powers was signed, thus bringing to a close the second World War. The ship at that time was at anchor in Tokyo Bay. Latitude 35° 21' 17" North -- Longitude 139° 45' 36" East"
United States Navy
It was my good fortune and high honor to be entrusted with the command of the Birmingham from 11 August, 1943 to 22 November, 1944. Those were months filled with action, excitement, and high adventure. The trials and triumphs which we shared together; the knowledge that the success of the ship and the safety of all depended upon the devotion to duty of each; the understanding that the team was more important than the individual; the mutual respect and affection amongst us all; all these things made us "shipmates" in the finest sense of the word.
In the face of exhaustion, danger, and grimmest tragedy there was no grumbling, no shirking, and no flinching. Young America need concede nothing in fortitude to other races or other generations. Our steel ships, too, are served by iron men.
Never in history had a Captain the good fortune to command a finer crew.
Rear Admiral Thomas B. Inglis
United States Navy
From "The Story of the U.S.S. Boston" by Henry G. Leader, SP (X) 3/C:
Built for speed, maneuverability and tremendous fire power, the USS Boston is the second ship of the Baltimore class. Ordered July 1, 1940 prior to the outbreak of the war, her keel was laid June 30, 1941 in the Fore river yard, Quincy, Massachusetts by the Bethlehem Steel Company.
On August 26, 1942 Mrs. Maurice J. Tobin, wife of the Honorable Maurice J. Tobin, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, sponsored the launching, and on June 30th of the following year, the ship's ensign fluttered in a gentle breeze as she was officially commissioned and accepted by her first commanding officer, Captain John H. Carson, USN.
Slipping smoothly through Atlantic waters, the Boston began her maiden voyage on August 13, 1943 en route to the Gulf of Paria, between Trinidad and Venezuela, for the shakedown cruise designed to accustom her crew to the sea and enable officers to detect any possible wrinkles in her makeup. A month later the Boston returned to her home port. a fighting ship with her crew well trained to fight the enemy. On the record of her engineering trial, she was established as one of the fastest heavy ships in the fleet; on the record of her gunnery exercises she was established as a good gunnery ship.
After a few more weeks in the port of Boston and some trial runs off Rockland, Maine, the USS Boston set out on November 18 to fulfill the job for which she was designed and built-the defeat of this country's enemy in the Pacific. After passing through the Panama Canal, followed by a two day lay-over in San Francisco, she arrived at Pearl Harbor on the eve of the second anniversary of the Japanese sneak attack. Six weeks were spent in Pearl Harbor waters engaging in more of the exercises that are so essential to the maintenance of the fighting qualities of a First Class Warship.
United States Navy
This so-called War Diary is an honest attempt to record a brief chapter in the young life of a gallant ship.
No effort has been made to glamourize her deeds; no claim has been made that she fought the war single-handed; no single incident or group has been intentionally emphasized or omitted.
The Monty was a workhorse from the Solomons, through the Marianas, the Philippines, the Nansei Shoto, and into Japan proper -- for thirty-six long months she successfully fulfilled her missions.
So for posterity we preserve herewith her experiences, as seen from her decks and from her spotting planes.
United States Navy and Eugene G. Hines
"Naval warfare is one of civilization's oldest sciences; its axioms modified as progress in propulsion and armament dictate but fundamentally unchanged in doctrines and concepts. The successful naval strategist and tactician must be a keen student of history in order to understand the precepts under which his potential enemies, guided as they may be by geographical limitation and political aspiration, must design and deploy their fleet.
It was fortunate indeed that far-sighted naval officers salvaged from the Washington Arms Conference of 1922 the right to convert two battle-cruisers, then under construction, as aircraft carriers. These two carriers, the Saratoga and Lexington, formed the nucleus of a new naval unit, the Fast Carrier Force, which was to weave a vast network of air power over the tremendous reaches of the Pacific in World War II.
Prophetic too, the decision to name this, new-type ship for great and decisive battles in the rise of American Democracy and for famous and gallant ships which fought for American principles. Thus the new Hancock became another in the long line of vessels to bear the name of the great statesman for whom the original Hancock, one of thirteen frigates authorized by the Continental Congress on December 13, 1775, was named. Her namesake, John Hancock, was chairman of the committee which authorized our first Naval vessels in October of the same year.
On January 26, 1943, the keel was laid for the U.S.S. Hancock CV-19, eleventh in the proud line of carriers which made their debut with the commissioning of the U.S.S. Essex CV-9 on December 31, 1942.
The new Hancock was originally laid down as the U.S.S. Ticonderoga while the Ticonderoga was laid down as the Hancock. A prominent insurance company is understood to have offered to sell enough War Bonds to pay for the entire cost of the ship if it were built in Quincy, Massachusetts, instead of Newport News, Virginia. As a consequence the names of the two sister ships were exchanged while agents of the insurance company commenced a highly successful War Bond drive. As a resut of this drive the total reached was sufficient not only to cover the building costs, but to pay operation costs for the first year of service."
E.G. Hines, USNR
Pictorial Handbook of Military Transportation. Operational Photographs of the U.S. Army Transportation Corps, European Theater of Operations. 1 August 1945
Based on the premise that one picture is worth a thousand words, the photographs of this Iittle volume will tell a long, long story. That story will prove a fertile field for research and for study in military transportation.
These are pictures of operations -- they depict the highlights of the greatest transportation mission of all time. Back of these photographs is the monotony, sweat, toil and death of War.
A study of these photographs will aid TC units in other theaters. They will reveal the ingenuity, the skill, the ability to create and improvise which characterized the TC soldier in the ETO as he met and conquered his problems one after another. They will offer and suggest new ideas, assist future training and shape programs of instruction ... and, too, they will record permanently the achievements of the TC in the ETO.
Perry S. Wolff
From Page 9, Two Years of Preparation:
The 334th Infantry Regiment was activated 15 October 1942 at Camp Howze, Texas. For a regiment which was later to grind its way through the Siegfried Line, disorganize three of Germany's finest divisions in the Ardennes, and spearhead the Ninth Army's drive across the Roer and into the German heartland, the beginnings were not sensational. In 1942 Selective Service began to look more carefully into the manpower pool, and the Army began to develop a reservoir of Infantry. Many original men of the regiment had been classified 4F by lenient draft boards who subsequently reclassified them when the quotas were made more stringent.
In October 1942 the War was nine months old, and while many men were convinced it should be fought, few were volunteering for the Army, and fewer for the Infantry. The Air Forces were called the Air Corps, a place for gentlemen and adventurers, and the Infantry was coolie labor, a tutored mob. The first men to join the regiment had a "raw deal" they told themselves around the beer tables in the PX. First, they didn't like the Army; second, they weren't physically fit; third, their talents were not being used. As the men looked around and listened, they invented a satisfying rumor, compensation for their "raw deal," a rumor that was going to last until we heard the first sounds of Long Toms and 240's outside Gulpen and Waalwiller, Holland:
"We're a replacement outfit. The 334th isn't going anywhere. If it does, we're Army of Occupation. Man, they can't send this outfit into combat!"
Eward W. Wood and United States Army
From the Introduction:
"This booklet is designed to give a general picture of the Second Infantry Division in its operations from the time it reached the Siegfried Line in Germany on October 4, 1944, until it arrived in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, its location on V-E Day, May 8, 1945.
A preceding booklet told how the Second, which was activated in France in 1917 and which probably gained more renown in World War I than any other division, opened its campaign in World War II when it came ashore on Omaha Beach in France, D plus 1, June 7. The story described the manner in which the wearers of the Indianhead patch fought their way through Treviers, Cerisy La Foret, and then, in one mighty effort, crushed the powerful Nazi defenses on Hill 192, grassy slope holding up the advance on St. Lo.
In the speedy breakthrough South that followed, the Second stepped out in front and pushed through St. Jean des Baisants, Vire, and Tinchebray in victorious but hard fighting. It was next ordered along with two other divisions to take Brest, heavily defended seaport which the Germans had used as a submarine base. After a bitter four-week struggle, in which the Nazis fought desperately to prevent the port from passing into U. S. hands, the garrison formally surrendered to Major General Walter M. Robertson, Division Commander, from Nelson County, Virginia, on September 18, 1944.
The division then moved by truck and train across France and Belgium to the Siegfried Line, where this story begins.
Howard L. Worner and United States Army
From the Introduction:
"Activitated 15 December 1941 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the 649th Engineer Battalion was assigned to the First Army and placed under the technical direction of the Chief of Engineers. In an Army the size of ours the activation of a battalion causes only the slightest ripple on the pool of available manpower. It's just another battalion with a number and that's as far as it goes. But this book isn't about numbers; you can find numbers in an arithmetic book. This is the story of a group of men and we'd like to tell you from whence they came.
At its inception, the battalion comprised three companies, viz: Headquarters and Service, including Photomapping; B, the Reproduction company; A, the Survey company. Today H. & S. company includes Survey, not Photomapping, and Photomapping is now A company. We would only confuse you if we were to tell you this, so we won't say anything more about it. We'll keep it simple and talk about the origin of the three companies as originally formed.
The official record says: "Companies A and E of the inactivated 44th Engineer General Service Regiment provided the enlisted personnel for the Headquarters and Service (Photomapping) and B (Reproduction) companies, respectively." That's a fair statement and one easy to comprehend. H. & S. company sprang from A company of the old 44th and B company came from E company of that outfit. Simple, what?
Let's go a little further into that record. We quote: "A thirty-nine man enlisted cadre supplied by the 29th Engineer .Topographic Battalion formed the technical nucleus for the Reproduction company." Ah, there you are. Thought the War Department was a bit daffy, didn't you? Well, some of us came from a Topo outfit and it's a darn good thing we did. Thirty-nine men from the 29th. Brother, those boys earned their dough.
Company A (Survey), (we're in the record again), was inherited in its entirety from the inactivated company D of the 30th Engineer Topographic Battalion. Now we're really getting down to cases. There's a whole company that was in the work before they came to the 649th. We were not all "basics," you see. We had a fair chance, from the beginning, to become an outstanding unit in the service of our country.
Unfortunately; the record didn't cover the origin of all the officers. It merely says: "The assignment of the commanding and commissioned officers was marked by the prevalence of officers from the 30th Engineer Topographic Battalion." There's the 30th again. They'll just have to bask in our reflected glory for they did furnish the nucleus of an outfit that stayed overseas.
Though the majority of us came from New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania, all sections of the country are represented in our ranks, and practically all the states. What better beginning can a battalion in this man's army have?"
The odyssey of the 411 Engineer Base Shop Battalion, 1943-1944: a pictorial narrative of the 411th Engineer Base Shop Battalion in Australia and New Guinea
Edwin J. Zufelt
This book was prepared for the members of the 411th Engineer Base Shop Battalion, as a pictorial record of its achievements in "The Land Down Under" during the period from 1943 to 1944 in the war against Japan. Although the book deals principally with the construction of power barges, the powerful influence of Australia is strongly felt in the background.
During the early stages of the war against Japan, when port facilities in the South-West Pacific Area were practically non-existant, and the problem of supplying troops in forward coastal areas of New Guinea posed a critical problem, the Engineer Amphibian Command was formed at Camp Ed wards, Mass. One of the organizations in this command was the 411th Engineer Base Shop Battalion.
Although the members of the 411th were selected for particular technical skills, further specialized training occupied the rest of the year. Some of the men were sent to various schools and industrial plants, principally in New England and the Middle West. In the fall of 1942 Company A was ordered to Caribelle, Florida, for training, and Companies B and C were sent to New Orleans, La., for a period of intensive training at the Higgins plant. By December of 1942 all the companies of the 411th had made the trip to the Pacific coast and were located at Ford Ord, California, awaiting orders to proceed overseas.
Company C had the distinction of preceding the remainder of the Battalion to service overseas; but on January 7, 1943, the 411th passed under the Golden Gate aboard the Dutch ship "Tabinta." Irresistably the great ship plunged into the gathering darkness, symbolic of the uncertainty; but confidence which we felt.
Now we were told. We were bound for the mysterious Island Continent of Australia, and our new home was to be at Cairns, in the tropical north. Our job was to build the LCV landing barge. Let us see just what happened.
42nd General Hospital
It is with the hope that your book will aid you in appreciating the part played by the 42nd General Hospital in this War that it is presented to you. A scarcely less important purpose is that of familiarizing each section with the work of other sections and of the unit as a whole.
In after years, its value will increase to each one of us, and it will come to form a tangible link with the comradeship we shared in working toward a common end -- the alleviation of suffering.
Wherever possible, the record is presented pictorially. If some group or department feels itself slighted, the editors can only plead pressure of time and the shortage of film and photographic service, trusting that any shortcomings will be graciously overlooked.
To all those whose kind cooperation made your book possible, we extend our sincere thanks, and to the Signal Corps of the United States Army we are indebted both for many of the pictures and much of the general photographic work.
The Staff: Major Theodore A. Schwartz, Major Walter E. Karfgin, Sgt. Clarence G. Luther, Sgt. Charles E. Church, Pvt. 1Cl. Julius Goldstein, Pvt. Burton V. Doyle
Philip G. Oliver
The story of the Hellbirds is the story of the B-29 Superfort, its debut and development as the most efficient strategic weapon to be employed by any military organization in the world. The chapters of this history tell a story, not only of the lives, the travels and the activities of men drawn from the comfortable surroundings of civilian life into the turmoil of war, but also of the many problems solved by these men and of their untiring efforts to prove the Superfort the most powerful weapon of the American Armed Forces. The B-29 project, launched at a time when a Superfort was still a novelty and gratifying success in two simultaneous accomplishments: the "de-bugging" of the Superfort and the proving of its power and effectiveness as a combat weapon.
Stars and Stripes
It is with pride and emotion that I indorse this story of the Transportation Corps in the European Theater of Operations. This story is your story: it is the story of your aching muscles, long and arduous hours of unsung labor, and your devotion to duty. It is the story of the unsung stevedore working in the holds and on the quay sides. It is the story of the weary truck driver with his load of precious cargo moving to the front along strange roads with lights blacked out. It is the story of the duck driver, ferrying vital supplies amid mine-infested waters.
It is the story of train and engine crews moving over unknown paths to strange destinations with that same spirit of American railroad man has shown for generations. It is the story of the weary but alert dispatcher, humble section hand, switchman, and dispatch rider, each doing a vital part.
It is the story of the back shop, round house and harbor craft crews; grimy, faithful, essential. It is the story of the tug boat crews in strange and dangerous waters, and the story of the RTO at outlying dumps, control points, and stations. It is the story of men and women working long and arduous hours at desks throughout the Theater. In short, it is your story; it is a tribute to you, and you may well take pride in it.
Major General, U.S. Army Frank S. Ross
United States Army
From Division Briefs:
"11th Airborne Division: activated February 25, 1943, at Camp Mackall, North Carolina ... Composed of paratroopers and glidermen who have been through the toughest kind of training, including full portions of double time hikes, guerrilla exercises, and bivouacs."
United States Army
United States Army
The 340th Engineer General Service Regiment was activated at Vancouver Barracks, Vancouver, Wash., March 5, 1942. The nucleus was a cadre of seven officers and seventy-two enlisted men from the 18th Engineer Combat Regiment, who arrived on March 9.
A cadre of 62 enlisted men from Fort Francis E. Warren also arrived on March 9. The remainder of the officers and men came from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, during the latter part of March and the first part of April.
The commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel F. Russel Lyons, arrived on March 27, 1942. Prior to that time the regiment was commanded by Captain John B. W. Corey, and later by Major Reinder F. Schilsky. The short period at Vancouver Barracks was spent in obtaining supplies and preparing for an overseas movement.
On the night of April 18, 1942, 35 officers and 883 enlisted men entrained for Seattle, Wash., and thence aboard the USS St. Mihiel to Skagway, Alaska, that famous boom town of '98, arriving there April 22. On April 23, the remainder of the regiment-10 officers and 343 enlisted men-entrained for Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, and thence aboard the SS Prince George to Skagway, arriving on April 25.
American National Red Cross
Excerpt from the introductory "Why Does the American Red Cross Give Relief Aid?":
Under the terms of the charter given it by Congress in 1905, the American Red Cross undertook to help the people of other lands in peacetime calamities. Through the aid which has been carried on under its banner since then to all parts of the world, compassion for suffering and a desire to help have come to be regarded as outstanding national characteristics of the American people.
That spirit of helpfulness is not limited to times of peace. When the second world war flamed from country to country, a great wave of sympathy for the innocent and helpless victims swept the United States. From coast to coast, the American people wanted to send aid to the women, children, and old people torn from their comfortable homes and deprived of the necessities of life, and to the fighting men made prisoners of war.
The American Red Cross expanded its activities to include relief and service to those suffering from this world-wide conflict. It was possible for the organization to act promptly and effectively because of its more than 6o years of service to suffering humanity, regardless of race, color, or creed, and its extensive experience in giving relief in national and international disasters.
United States Air Force
Basic Training Center No. 11 was activated at Gulfport Field on July 14, 1943. The center was in full operation by the time it was formally established. Raw recruits were being received in a steady flow from reception centers.
The Basic Training Center takes the recruits, lectures them on military customs and courtesy, on basic military principles and rules. These men are taught to drill. They become soldiers.
During his stay in the Basic Training Center, every phase of the recruit's civilian life is studied. His education, his civilian background, his aptitude for specific types of work-all are closely examined. His military classification is then determined after a study of these factors and in almost every instance the recruit's preference coincides with the scientific determination of his abilities.
Gulfport Field is located along the coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico. Here, beneath the semi-tropical sun of one of the nation's most famous resort areas, students and permanent party men alike divide their time with duty, recreation and physical training. Men who guide the destiny of Gulfport Field realize that soundness of body is essential to an alert, active life. Drill and calisthenics keep muscles toned and provide a refreshing change from the long hours of duty.
United States Army
Reminiscent of another era ... this book will mellow with the years -- and serve as a reminder of the days of our youth. It will enable us to turn back the pages that the years have tended to shroud in darkness and forgetfulnes, reviving dormant memories and clearing the haze from images and situations long since recorded and now stored away.
It has often been said that "time changes everything." Disagreeable details, fatiguing marches, and the "G.I." way of doing things will become vague and distorted in our mind's eye, and thence emerge in our fancy as being the good old days."
Our rehabilitation, necessitated by the war. has torn down barriers which formerly restricted our vision and understanding and has given our outlook a broader scope. This conflict accelerated the tempo of our lives and will influence the channel our careers shall follow when the war is over.
The staff. therefore, feels that the occasion warrants the publication of this book. We hope that we have successfully mirrored the aims and activities of the 507th Parachute Infantry. To the men of the regiment. good luck and -- Godspeed.
United States Marine Corp
It was World War II that brought to women their first opportunity to serve as an integral part of the Corps. The challenge came on February 13, 1943, with the announcement that the Marines had once more opened their ranks to women and now offered them full membership, including the chance for promotion to non-commissioned and commissioned grades and the privilege of serving in a wide variety of posts. Thus, scientific developments in war-making equipment, the global proportions of World War II, and the desperate need for a never-before-dreamed-of number of Marines, had made women's role in the Corps the most vital and important in history.
In response to the challenging ''Free a Marine to Fight'' women began to flock to the procurement offices.
Mrs. Ruth Cheney Streeter, of Morristown, New Jersey was appointed director of the new Women's Reserve and commissioned a major in the Marine Corps. Long active in public affairs, a member of the New Jersey State Relief Council, New Jersey Commission on Interstate Cooperation, and New Jersey Board of Children's Guardians, as well as former chairman of the Fort Dix, New Jersey, Citizens' Committee for Army and Navy, she was eminently qualified to take up her new tasks.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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