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US Artillery

Article about: Hello. I have been trying to find out what outfit my Grandfather trained with before he was put into the infantry and sent to France. I only have a few clues. I have his prayer book, in whic

  1. #1

    Default US Artillery

    Hello. I have been trying to find out what outfit my Grandfather trained with before he was put into the infantry and sent to France. I only have a few clues. I have his prayer book, in which is written-"St. Andrews Parish Christmas, 1943". I've found a parish in Pasadena, California that I think might be it. I also have pictures that he sent to his family showing them where he was training and the type of equipment his unit was using. Can anyone identify these guns that they are using in the photos?He drew marks above his head to identify his job in the artillery unit. Also, can you see any clues that I might have missed, or give me any tips on how I might be able to track down a unt like this? I've written to the Archives, but I understand that service records are hard to get because of the fire. I'd appreciate you thoughts or advice.
    Attached Images Attached Images US Artillery US Artillery US Artillery US Artillery 

  2. #2

    Default Re: US Artillery


    Well my knowledge is far better at small arms stuff but the gun the guys are sitting round in the top left picture looks like a 40mm anti aircraft gun, possibly a Bofors. Certainly the gun sights that are visible put it in this category so he was probably in an AA unit of some sort. He may have been attached to an airbase ? The terrain seems particularly arid so is almost certainly NOT England but maybe somewhere in America or possibly Africa or the Med.

    Do you have any clues as to where he served and/or when ?

    Any snippit of information may help us


    Steve T

    PS The weapon in the last photo is a baseball bat......deadly in the right hands

  3. #3

    Default Re: US Artillery

    Hi Steve. Thanks for your response! Here are some of the dates that I have: From his drafted into active service-March 24, 1943 in Roanoke, Virginia (Draft board 2), his place of entry into the service was Camp Lee, Virginia( got this info from his discharge). I do have his individual pay booklet, and his immunization records, but I don't see mention of any bases. I do have an officer signature from his pay booklet from 1943, but it is almost pure scribble. From this point on all I have as clues are 1. the pictures I posted-from conversations they had-my uncle tells me that he trained in California, and the pictures look like anti-aircraft-maybe a coastal anti-aircraft unit?? 2. A letter, dated Nov. 22 1943 that is very broad and only states that he thinks he will be getting furlough any time now and that it will probably take him 3 days to get home(to VA) and #3. a prayer book from Christmas of 1943 that is from St. Andrews Parish in California. There is a St. Andrews parish in Pasadena, California which would have been about 60 or so miles from Camp Haan, where some coastal artillery training was going on. At some point he was moved to the 8th Infantry Division, 13th Infantry Regiment where, as stated in his discharge, he entered Europe on Aug 11, 1944. I've done some research on anti-aircraft training atCamp Haan(as well as camp Irwin) and the training looks similar to what I see in my Grandfather's pictures. Do you think it is even possible from the dates to get an idea of where he was? I'm wondering if I can narrow it down to various AAA units that got started around the time period he was entered into service and then maybe scour some morning reports or other kinds of surviving records. maybe I am being a little overly ambitious. I'm probably lucky to know as much as I do about his combat in Europe, but I would love to find out more about his training. those stories that vets tell about basic and their early training are always great stuff. I appreciate you helping me and I look forward to hearing what you think.

    And the bat. Nice ID on that one!! I bet the boys of the 8th Division would have loved to beat some sense into Hitler with one of those. Spending the winter in the Hurtgen forest, being shelled all day long, they probably would have enjoyed whipping some sense into their own officers too- just for getting them into that mess!!

  4. #4

    Default Re: US Artillery

    ggent001 need to start doing some digging

    Here are some links for you. Some basic, some a little more in depth, some that you may wish to post on ! Hope they are of help.

    It looks like the 13th Infantry Regiment may have been attached to the fourth armoured division as listed here... (scroll down to the infantry section)...

    World War II unit histories & officers

    A forum....

    Military History: Fathers Service, 13th infantry regiment, 8th infantry division

    Maybe some useful info here ??

    World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial Blog Archive Goodwin, George - 8th Infantry Division

    Another link to the same forum as above...

    Military History: Battle of Hurtgen Forest, armored infantry battalion, field artillery battalions

    And lastly, could this guy have known your grandfather ? It may be worth asking !

    America's Greatest Generation: Army Heroes: Joseph Salzano

    Hope they help. Get any more info just let me know

    Steve T

  5. #5

    Default Re: US Artillery

    One last link....

    Maybe this will give you an route into finding out more about him

    WikiAnswers - How do you find an individual service record for navy personnel that served in World War 2

    Steve T

  6. #6

    Default Re: US Artillery

    Hey Steve. Thanks a lot for your help. Nice links. I've actually joined a yahoo-group dedicated to the 8th Infantry Division and their are lots of members who are very very knowledgeable and helpful on that topic. Anyone interested in finding out more about relatives who served with the 8thInfantry Division during the war should really check out this group.

    What I am trying to figure out is where my Grandfather was before being transferred to the 8th Infantry Division, which is what these pictures are of. I believe that he was training with an Army AA unit in California, which was deactivated sometime after Christmas of '43 in order to provide more infantrymen for Divisions in the ETO, as they did not need as many AA fellas after gaining relative air superiority over the Germans. I know where he was in Europe, I just can't figure out where he was in the states!! He was in a rifle company in Europe and did not use AA equipment there, which I'm sure he thought was fantasic after probably a year of training.

    I appreciate your help,

  7. #7

    Default Re: US Artillery


    I see now ! My apologies, I thought you were after info on his active service overseas, not the bit before

    Your best bet for that information will again be the national archives. I must say though I don't envy you your task........trying to trace someone through their training units is not easy at all.

    Hopefully the National Archives can provide you with his service record.

    The very best of luck to you.


    Steve T

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