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1st Infantry Uniform Research DUI

Article about: A little over a year ago I had the pleasure of buying an awesome WWII uniform. It was a really eye catching example patched to the famous 1st infantry division. What made this particular uni

  1. #1

    Default 1st Infantry Uniform Research DUI

    A little over a year ago I had the pleasure of buying an awesome WWII uniform. It was a really eye catching example patched to the famous 1st infantry division. What made this particular uniform quite interesting 'besides the unique shoulder patch' was the story the seller gave me. I know stories aren't usually worth more than a grain of salt, but when it comes to researching uniforms I find them to be worth listening to.

    The seller of the uniform claimed to be the veteran's nephew. He told me when his uncle passed he inherited a good deal of his belongings. After sitting on these belongings for awhile he decided it was time to go through them and sell off some of the pieces. He mentioned how he would prefer these pieces be with a collector who appreciates them, rather than having them sit in boxes in his garage. Everything I bought from this seller was uniform related. The items included- A full length 1st infantry patched dress jacket, an artillery piped garrison cap, a pair of wool gaiters, a pair of riding pants, and a Korean war era Ike jacket.

    Shortly after buying these pieces I asked the seller if he knew any history about his uncle. He didn't go into a great amount of detail, but what he did tell me really caught my attention. He told me his uncle's name was 'Adelard Armand Beauchene' but he commonly went by the nick name 'Frenchy'. The seller then went on to tell me his uncle was present for the infamous amphibious landings on Normandy beach, and the battle of the bulge. The only other bit of history he was able to recall was his uncle being awarded the purple heart at some point.

    Right after getting this information I went online to see if I could dig up anymore history about this veteran. My research led me to this veterans obituary in a 1996 issue of the Los Angeles times. The obituary confirmed the D-Day and Battle of the Bulge claims, but unfortunately it didn't go any further in depth about Mr Beauchene's service. Adelard A. Beauchene; 50-Year County Resident - Los Angeles Times After digging even deeper I managed to find a 'find a grave' profile for Mr Beauchene. This profile didn't contain any information, but it did have two really great photos of this veteran in uniform. I believe one photo in particular shows him wearing the same exact uniform I bought. Running out of leads I decided to message the person who uploaded the photos on find a grave. It turned out this person was another relative of the veteran, but didn't know much at all about his service. I was told this person simply found these photos in an old family album and decided to upload them online. Adelard Armand “Frenchy” Beauchene (1918-1996) - Find a Grave Memorial

    After this point I sadly hit a wall in terms of research. Despite having this veteran's full name, I cant find anything on him in the national archives enlistment records. Even though I have many articles of his clothing, I could find nothing marked with a name or laundry number. Ever since buying these pieces It's been killing me not knowing more history about this man. I know for a fact his dress jacket would have been covered in a beautiful array of insignia, and I would really love to restore it to its former glory. The photograph from find a grave shows the uniform with two DUIs pinned to the lapel area of the jacket. I took the liberty of zooming the photo to get a better look at them, but it's still too blurry for me to make anything out. Would it be possible for anyone to identify them based on the shape?

    I would be greatly appreciative of any bit of help anyone could provide when it comes to researching this veteran!

    P.S.- I took off the post war Air Force collar discs shorty after getting the uniform.

    1st Infantry Uniform Research DUI1st Infantry Uniform Research DUI1st Infantry Uniform Research DUI1st Infantry Uniform Research DUI

  2. #2

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    Luftwaffe 1941,

    I understand your frustration in trying to learn more information on Beauchene. Might suggest a couple of things. 1) Check the local library of the town he was born in. Many times they hold info on local citizens who saw service in WWII. 2) Might also want to check the local VFW where he was last residing. 3) Might also try the Mormon Genealogy section in Salt Lake. They hold a huge amount of genealogy on just about everyone ever born. Finally, I know there's a book out that covers the 1st Infantry in WWII. Might try Amazon or your local library. Could get lucky and find something out about him there. If all fails post your request for info on the US Militaria Forum.

    Hope this helps.

    Good Luck

    Gerry C.

    From the High Plains of the Midwest U.S.A.

  3. #3

    Default

    Luft,,

    In addition to the great reference sources that Gerry C provided,,,

    I would reach out again to NARA or get in contact with Golden Arrow Research (Geoff Gentilini). Sometimes when the NARA enlistment records do not have positive results the morning reports and other data that is sometimes not provided when NARA records are requested may reveal information.

    Second thing you can do..

    Look up the lineage and units assigned to the 1st Infantry Division during World War Two. Shelby Stanton's WWII Order of Battle Book is a very good reference for the units assigned to each of the Infantry Divisions and it also has extensive breakdowns of Armor, Artillery, Infantry and the units they were assign to as well as where they ended up at the end of the war. You may be able to identify the Distinctive Unit Insignia by the shapes also. It also appears in the photo that the DUI on the left side has a diagonal slash through the middle. IN addition to this search, you said there was a field artillery piped cap. This may also narrow down the DUI search to 1st Infantry Division Field Artillery Units...But the Soldier may not have been in the Field Artillery, so you have to broaden the search to include other possible units.

    It does get frustrating when you hit a dead end with the obvious search routes.. That is why we always have to expand the search parameters and to look in the not so obvious directions at times.. I have also taken a break on uniforms that have stumped me and moved on with another project and then I come back a few months or even years later and I find that it helps in bringing a new thought process and research potentials to mind and in many cases just leaving the item sit for a while and coming back to it has been very successful. Also keep in mind that records are constantly being uploaded onto the websites and ancestry sites so just think about these things..

    Best regards,

    Smitty

  4. #4

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    Might be an idea to get in touch with The 1st Infantry Division museum Home | First Division Museum , gotta be worth a go ?
    Regards
    Paul

  5. #5

    Default

    Looks like it could be the 5th FA BN. They were in the 1st ID. It also looks like it could be another FA BN but for the life of me I can’t pin down which one it is I can picture it in my mind but can’t find it.

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