Sunday, August 30, 2009

304th Port Company press release, c. 1945

Among my grandpa's old papers was a photocopy of an article, probably from the Schenectady Gazette. I have not found the original newspaper from which it comes, but I can tell that it was published some time between January and May 1945. The two paragraphs are a great summation of the work of the 304th Port Co. and the 519th Port Bn. It was also interested to learn that another Schenectady man was in my grandfather's company.

WITH UNITED STATES FORCES IN BELGIUM—— Supplies moving out of Antwerp to other war zones and supplies prepared for reshipment are now being guarded by the 304th Port Company commanded by First Lieutenant William C. F. Lawler of Boston, Mass. Since their arrival at the great Belgium port last Autumn, men of the veteran company have patrolled warehouses, guarded supply dumps and loaded freight cars with equipment for combat troops. Many of them rode to the front lines areas as guards on supply trains. For six months the port company men, who landed in Normandy with the first assault waves and wear the Bronze Arrowhead in recognition of their participation in the invasion, worked long hours to help move supplies for the final offensives against Germany, despite bombardment by German V-Bombs.

In Normandy men of the 304th unloaded guns, vehicles, ammunition and food from amphibian trucks and other landing craft, while under direct enemy fire. The unit suffered a number of casualties, and supply roads to the front were named for some of the men who fell.

Members of the unit include two Schenectady men:
Cpl. Cortland F. Hopkins - 454 Cedar Street
and Pvt. John Crupi - 1221 bay Street.

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