Friday, February 26, 2010

Belgian Order of the Day citation, 1946

In January and February I spent a lot of my research time tracking down a lead that my grandfather's 519th Port Battalion was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre (see my post about this award). The 519th certainly did receive the French Croix de Guerre for their efforts in Normandy, but none of the veterans knew of the Belgian award. I was intrigued at the possibility that the men might add this ribbon to their uniforms. This past Monday I got confirmation that no, the 519th did not receive the award. They were, however, honored in the Belgian Army's 1946 Order of the Day. This was an official thank you for the Americans that served in Belgium during WWII.

Although, my research did not result in a new ribbon for my grandfather and his comrades, the fact-finding effort itself was an interesting example of the study I do for my book. If you are at all interested in WWII research, then please read on:

In January I was emailed by Raf, an amateur historian living near Antwerp. Having an interest in American troops serving in Belgium, he got in touch with me. Raf makes frequent visits to the Antwerp city archives and photographed a document from the 13th Major Port (see image at right). He sent me this on January 2nd. The page is a listing of American units serving under the 13th in Antwerp during the war. If you look at the top paragraph it says, "The order awarding the Belgian Croix de Guerre to the 13th Port and attached units, fortunately gives us a list of those who were with us in Belgium during the long bombardment." Listed at the bottom is my grandfather's 519th Port Bn. I saw this and thought, "They were awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre?!" This was exciting, but I wanted confirmation from a primary source. This 13th Port document was a copy of the Belgian Army's order. I set out to find the original to a) confirm the receipt of this award and b) find a list including my grandfather's company. Although his battalion is listed, all it's company's except the 304th Port Company appear in the list. His company was definitely in Antwerp, so I assumed the American typist accidentally skipped the company when copying the Belgian list.

Raf again provided assistance. He told me a friend of his owned a 1948 copy of the book, Belgium Remembers and Honors the US Armies of Liberation, by Colonel A. Baene. This book is a civilian Belgian publication of the original 1946 Belgian Army Order of the Day. Raf's friend told him bout it, and Raf told me on January 23rd. I promptly bought a copy from a used book dealer. The 519th Port Bn. is listed as receiving one citation in the Belgian Order of the Day. It seemed that this meant that they did indeed receive the medal. Unfortunately, its listing also omits my grandfather's 304th Port Company. I wasn't too discouraged. Just like the American 13th Major Port papers, this book is a secondary source—it's an English translation of the original Belgian Army document. There was still room for a clerical error. It's very tedious typing out a list of names units (I should know). The company could easily be left out in the translation. I thought the 304th might still be listed with the Belgian Army archives.

I didn't know what Belgian office to approach, so I asked another Belgian internet buddy. Roger is part of a group that puts on public demonstrations of WWII artillery and vehicles (see their website). He has a friend that works in the Archives of the Belgian Army. On February 5th Roger asked his friend to look into it. His friend contacted the Belgian Department of Defense, General Information and Security Service, Archives Section. The commandant there provided us with a copy of some publication that does list the 304th. I received this on the 22nd. See bellow:

Finally, confirmation from the Belgian Department of Defense, that my grandfather's 304th Port Company was cited in the Belgian Order of the Day along with the rest of the battalion. However, the commandant explained that the 13th Port and attached units did not receive the Croix de Guerre. It seems the author of that 13th Port papers was as confused as I was. They did receive one citation in the Order of the Day, but this did not entitle them to the medal. Although there is no medal involved, it is an honor to be recognized in this official document. The Belgian Army decree #3254 on December 7, 1946 says:

"This unit displayed courage and devotion at the port of Antwerp by working without respite during the frightful period of the V-1 and V-2 bombings from October 1944 to May 1945. It contributed in the saving of the city and the harbor from all but complete destruction."

Belgian Croix de Guerre in WWII

In recognition of their war time efforts in Belgium many American soldiers received military decorations from the Belgian Army. The Belgian Croix de Guerre (War Cross) and the fourragère were awarded to American servicemen in the Belgian Army's Order of the Day, 1946. An English translation of this list was published in 1948 for the bennefit of American veterans. I bought a copy of Belgium Remembers and Honors the US Armies of Liberation, by Colonel A. Baene.

The Croix de Guerre was created for the first world war in 1915. In 1940 the medal was revived for WWII. Individuals recognized with the Croix de Guerre for extraordinary service received a medal from the Belgian Army. If a unit as a whole was recognized the men in the unit received a rectangular ribbon for their uniform (with no cross attached), and a Croix de Guerre insignia was added to the unit's flag. I'm not sure what this looked like exactly.

Individuals or units receiving the Croix de Guerre were cited at least once in the Belgian Army's Order of the Day. Da Baen's book adds, "Each citation in the order gives the right to a bronze palm [a pin] to be affixed to the ribbon of the Croix de Guerre." However, receiving single citation did not necessarily mean a unit also received the award. This is a distinction that confused me for a while. My grandfather's 519th Port Battalion was the object of one citation, but they did not also receive the Croix de Guerre. The ribbon or medal was worn on the left breast of the uniform. The ribbon is red with a threefold green line border on each side.

Created in 1945, the fourragère (often written without the accent: fourragere) was created by the Belgium "Wishing to honor, in a visible and permanent manner, the bravery which certain units of the Army exhibited during the present war [WWII]... To wear the fourragère an American serviceman needed to be cited on two occasions in the Order of the Day. Famous recipients include the men of the 101st Airborne Division, Patton's 3rd Army Division, and—pertinent to my study—the Antwerp Antiaircraft Artillery Command. The fourragère is a braided rope in the same red and green as the Croix de Guerre. It was worn on the left shoulder of the uniform. A badge of this decoration could be worn on civilian clothing. Although I have not see one, I'm guessing this was a lapel pin. Bearers of the fourragère might also have been awarded the Croix de Guerre medal.

Also check out this Wikipedia article on the Croix de Guerre.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

French girls greeting the GIs at Utah Beach

About an hour's walk inland from Utah Beach was an apple orchard. My grandfather's unit camped while unloading ships. A few people from the nearby town of Ravenoville came by to see the GIs. Some were interested in food, some were more interested in the boys.

My grandpa told me about some French civilians coming by their bivouac area to ask for food. The retreating Germans had stolen all the French people's supplies. He said that one of these French guys was actually an American ex-patriot that had gone AWOL during WWI. He had been living in France all the years since. When I asked another veteran of the 304th Port Co. about French civilians visiting their camp Dave told me two girls came by the orchard one day and were drinking calvados with the guys. It just so happens I have a photo of these girls. My grandpa snapped this shot, and it looks like S/Sgt James Dolan is in the background. This would have been between June 24 & November 15, 1944. They were camped on the actual beach before the 24th, and headed up to Antwerp in November.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

303rd Port Company roster WWII

This partial roster of the 303rd Port Company is based on an August 1944 list of Good Conduct medal recipients. The men were working on Utah Beach at the time. Officers were not eligible for this award, so they are not included in the list. If you recognize one of these guys, please get in touch.


first name? Bailey
C...? Dettloff
Raymond W. Villemure

Edgar H. Bedard
Frank E. Eastwood
Irving Hoffman
Edmund T. Long
Frederick J. Wiegand

Tec 4
Roy Bridges
Virgil W. Bruce
Russel C. Burns
Donald L. Clark
Clarence W. Craver
George Dowhy
George Fox
Nicholas Fusco
Thomas J. Jur
Patrick J. McCarthy
Raymond D. Mendini
Robert W. Milliron
Charles F. Plank
Dick E. Viar
Robert L. Vonier

Tec 5
Gilbert A. Brossman (may have been in the 304th at some point)
Howard R. Clark
Marvin O. Davis
Louis A. DeLuca
Charles R. DeRenzo
Raymond I. Dhesse
Harry R. Emanuel
Lincoln A. Frank
Maurice S. Giles
Isidore Goldberg
William H. Gramenz
Lawrence C. Hart
Ferd J. Hemmeter
Tony Horvat
Richard M. Icenhower
Martin J. Isaacson
Harry Israeloff
Russel F. Johnston
Walter Kaplan
Delos J. Kelley
Walter E. Lange
Clifford Lidskin
Paul E. Lytle
Edward McKiernan
Edmund G. Major
Norbert J. Moeller
Harold D. Moore
William L. Nusslein
Harold A. Peterson
Edwin M. Riedl
Clarence R. Strong
Robert J. Trainor
Edward J. Ulrich
Arthur A. Ware

James T. Burke
George Plummer (this name is from a 1945 document)
John J. Shaughnessy
Edward R. Wandtke
Edward F. Yahle

Walter J. Banaszak
Malcom F. Brenan
Edward T. Burns
Philip A. DeLuise
Peter A. Dottolo
Thomas W. Emerick
Walter F. Garlach
Albert DeLeonardis
Henry M. Gileta
Moe Gold
Edward J. Jasenovec
Arthur J. Jonuscis
Marshall O. Kenney
William Kumm
James C. Leone
Robert C. Letcher
Charles Lumer
Stanley J. Majeski
John J. McGee
Marvin B. Newman
Michael O'Kipney
Clifford H. Pickett
Robert M. Poeschl
Martin R. Pompa
John Rallis
Frederick J. Renner
Albert J. Ritta
Kenneth W. Roberts
Louis Rosenthal
Clyde E. Scott
Richard D. Skalecke
Frederick P. Tice
Vernon L. Warnes

Rosario J. Abbinanti
Harry Chernicoff
Aubrey M. Differt
Elmer J. Ewig
Hyman Goldstein
John E. Hehnen
Charles S. Hirschman
Fred J. Iraggi
Benjamin Korn
Isadore H. Lentz
Angelo A. Lofaso
Maurice D. Luther
Joseph F. McCaskill, Jr.
William J. Pelton, Jr.
Felix C. Whitaker
David L. Wollner

Unknown Rank
Lamar H. Parnell (This name was provided to me by his son.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Certificate from the City of Antwerp 1945

At the end of WWII the City of Antwerp's board of the Burgomaster and Aldermen presented all the individual soldiers serving in Antwerp a certificate of gratitude. This was in appreciation of the danger they risked from falling V-1 and V-2 rockets. Produced on September 4, 1945, these documents were highly valued by the recipients. My grandfather's certificate hung framed on his dining room wall for decades. Equally proud, the other veterans I speak to have treated their certificates similarly.

The engraving is quite nice, don't you think?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

302nd Port Company roster WWII

This partial roster of the 302nd Port Company, 519th Port Battalion is based on an August 1944 list of Good Conduct medal recipients. The men were working on Utah Beach at the time. Officers were not eligible for this award, so they are not included in the list. Unfortunately, many of the names on this document are unreadable. If you recognize one of these guys, please get in touch.

1st Sgt
Louis J. Finor

Emory J. Branning
Stephan Davis
Raymond D. Flaxman
Harry C. Hervey
John M. Vincent

Louis Bolas (or Boles?)
Paul S. Bova
Roa?d H. Buerger
Edward F. Connors (this name comes from a 1945 document)
Carlos M. Dixon, Jr.
Paul Pierce
Peter J. Connolly
Douglas Wilson

Tec 4
Claude D. Edwards
Thomas Edwards
Carl L. Hintzen
Lawrence A. Johnson
David J. Kitchen
Benjamin Manaseri
Alois A. Miller
Edward O. Moriarty
Leo A. Morin
Elmer F. Murphy
Elmer A. Peters
Daniel H. Rhinehart
John Sackman
Donald W. Schmelter (I pulled this name from a Feb. 1945 report)
Alvin J. Schultz
Thomas H. Simac
James F. Simms
Theodore Strini (this name comes from a 1945 document)
Robert L. Stevens
Ervin E. Weber

Richard P. Chambers
Herbert W. Clarke
Milton M. Fieger
Frank J. Kaszubowski
Emil H. Lindstadt
Anthony J. Notheis
Raymond W. Otto
William O. Schlobohm

Tec 5
George Ackerle
Bernard B. Beal
Robert A. Benike
Raymond O. Bicknese
John R. Bowman
Harold K. Davids
August F. Eichorn
Paul Ftak
Frederick D. Gore
John M. Higgins
Claude A. Hutson
Ren L. Hutzel
Carroll G. Jamieson
Lyle A. Kobs
Robert H. Lerche
Henry Loesch
Clarence F. Marenda
Leroy W. Martin
Clemente M. Moraga
William T. Morrissey
Anthony J. Omerzu
Henry A. Pawlak
Leonard H. Peschong
Virgil F. Radloff
Thomas Randazzo
Daniel Reeves
David Schaffner
John U. Schriner
Milton Schulman
Larry A. Schultz
Leo H. Sherer
Edward T. Speakman
Robert E. Stone
Samuel A. Sorbo
Theodore C. Strini
Richard W. Tisdale
Raymond W. Troumbly
Clifford P. VanDoren
Emil A. Vigilio (or Virgillio?)
Luke P. Walsh, Jr.
Robert F. Wiedenhoeft

Edward Ackley
Robert D. Alby
Paul V. Anderson
James H. Aahton
William E. Augat
Omar E. Barry
Bernie G. Boring
Perfecto M. Cervantes
Albert E. Clifford (or middle initial D?)
Noah L. Connolly
George A. Cool
Raymond C. Dasaro
Sam Dermer
Philip L. Erickson
Thomas Foster
Dale K. Garlits
David A. Gleason
George J. Haller
John T. Havens
Joseph J. Hlivko
Merle E. Hughes
Anthony G. Kusinski
Arthur M. Lee
John R. McCormick
Thomas J. McPartland
Raymond W. Meador
Richard E. W. Olson
Ralph A. Riepl
Irving (or Ervin) Rosenstreich
Lester Rosensweig
Courtney J. Sauter
Seymour Silver
Edward C. Skornog
Earl T. Taylor
James E. Tipp
John R. Turpin
George B. Wallis
Robert L. Ward
James E. Woods, Jr.

George F. Barnes
Thaddeus S. Bialkowski
Clarence E. Gabrielson
John Gialto
Frederick B. Gilman
Arthur E. Grosser
Florian D. Kujawa
Braden E. Moore
Frederick L . Poetz
Casimer E. Prusinowski
Arnold R. Roecker
Robert L. Schreier
Joseph W. Schubert
Kenneth M. Swanson
Edward L. Troy
John Vanyo
Robert J. Wick
Frank Vena (or Vona?)
John Vandel
John Vanyo

Update: August 27, 2011. William Schlobohm saved a list of home addresses of GIs from this company. His son made copies for me. There are so many names not seen on the August 1944 document that I suspect that Schlobohm's list includes replacements who joined the company at the very end of the war. It also include officers who would not have been part of the August 1944 Good Conduct Medal list:

Edward L. Mundy
Austin Clowdus
Albert H. Hill
Glen H. Cooper
Lionel Stover
Lawrence G. Bell
Alvin R. Klaudt (or Claudt?)
John B. Bramlet
Henry C. Noer
Isaac Zafrani (or Zafrini?)
Juan Lovato
Salvatore Di Ceiccio
Edward J. Osoba
Jesse F. Tribona
Salem E. Harris
Milton A. Brown
Dolphis W. Smith
Virgil Gipson
M. F. Cipriani
Isadore Z. Fleischman
Clyde Bennett
Herbert J. Vogel
William F. Campbell
Thomas G. Staples
Norbert V. Moore
Henry C. Brown
Gustef L. Arendt
Harry E. Williams
Lawrence H. Kindel
Robert E. Gaspard
Edward L. Cozine
Archie H. Griffin
Frederick H. Ax
James J. Hunter
Benjamin J. Prenkowski
Herman F. Royer
Robert L. Horstmann
George J. Heitland
Melvin H. Holtz
Vernon Christiansen
Nance Garold
Calvin C. Crum
Eugene B. Smith
Marion Tabor
John Hunt
Robert L. Moreland
Francesco DiDonato
William C. F. Lawler (Lawler was a lieutenant who commanded the 304th Port Company starting in January 0f 1945. It looks like he also commanded the 302nd for a time)
Emil H. Foucher
Dominic Coletti
Walter C. Yankauskas
William Mascowski
Frank Cooley
Lester R. Colberg
Arthur W. Anderson
Lawrence G. Frehler
Donald Timoney
Dan L. Haffner
David M. Cox
John M. Dillon
Clarence L. Nelson
Clauson Fowler
Joseph F. Kazimer
George J. Oshust
Robert P. Lynch
Patrick J. McGuigan, Jr.
Rudolph J. DeAngelo
George H. McGonigle
Butch Julis
John Gabowski
Montros L. Hartwick
Dalmont Ludlan (or Mudlan?)
Charles Narkiewicz
Rocco R. Raucci
Jose Santistevens
Abe Dodge
Chester P. Benben
Evett J. Baldwin
Alvarez Abraham
Murry Greenberg
Bernard Lippman
Edward R. Miller
Edward Santina
Benjamin Sherman
Murry Breslav
Alfred L. Cordaro
George Davis
Abraham Fishman
Sam S. Kreisman
Ralph E. Potter
Max Schaffer
Joseph V. Sciarratta
Richard B. Heist
Earl J. Loren
Joseph Maizlish
Samuel Devinsky
Carl T. Adams
Stephen Angelo
William Correa
George L. Hochberg
James Leverich
John Sachmann
Carlos P. Baldwin
Arthur E. Greco
Paonessa Salvatorie, Jr.
Thomas Conklin
Charles J. Cassaro
Edward L. Krajeska
Donald Patierno
Philip A. Rourke
Leon Andula
James H. Ashton
Gordon D. Leonard
John B. Serwatka
Dan Bracuto
Smith J. Adams
Marion Cole
Paul C. Angley (or Angely?)
Paul Powers
Elmo F. Hobbs
Marvin W. Lingle
Henry L. Stafford
William D. James
William H. Jones
Harold A. Stage
George W. Spronz
Jerome A. Shapero
Dale E. Allen
Martin J. Pietrivicz
Franklin P. Sterner
Stephen Vargo
John C. Brown
Joseph L. Markferding
Joseph S. Mardula
Richard R. Narciso
Philip Cohn
Michael A. DeLeonardis
Elmer J. Mullen
Leonard S. Ogredowski
Nicholas Bianca
John J. Starbanis
John D. Gibson
Hansel R. Ogle
Jose R. Barron
Adolph E. Seeman
John M. Lynn
Lavere A. Rees
Francis J. Tucker
Herman A. Stadtler
Robert Frye
James T. McNulty
Joseph A. Pohle
Russell O. Fitzwater
George Gruno
Ralph A. Reipl
Robert D. Morton
Doughlas C. Wilson
Howard F. DeBriyn
John C. Bancel
David White
Louis Koshir
Roald H. Buer?er
Bernard S. Keller
Edward J. Wanasek
Daniel J. Woppert
Monroy J. Biederwolf

Saturday, February 13, 2010

279th Port Company Roster WWII

This partial roster of the 279th Port Company, 519th Port Battalion is based on an August 1944 list of Good Conduct medal recipients. The men were working on Utah Beach at the time. Officers were not eligible for this award, so they are not included in the list. If you recognize one of these names, please get in touch.

William H. Jackson, Jr.
Mordecai L. Solomon

Henry J. Bachman
MIchael C. Benicky
Reburn A. Epley
Henry J. Koch
Andrew D. Leggett
Emile A. Liberatore
William A. Mahoney
Greg Parente

Tec 4
Robert G. Dycus
Earnest W. Haynes
Claude H. Hinson
Albert J. Kremers
Charles R. Lusky
Raymond J. Mazzone
Andrew Muir
Peter J. Munley
Harold V. Putland
William E. Scanlon
Michael J . Walsh

Anthony J. Barone
Harold Eisenberg
Winford H. Frick
Perry R. Hendrix
James A. Hindman
Harry Korslund
Benjamin Michniewicz

Tec 5
Albert J. Alogna
John F. Baer
Cosmo T. Barbaro
William R. Bennett
Solomon R. Bijou
Harry J. Blair
Tullio S. Brancaccio
Joseph W. Cervera
John J. Czinke
Clarence E. Evans
Alexander V. Feraro
Cager D. Finch
Rubin L. Gorewitz
Frank J. Gualtieri
Roy H. Hensley
Joseph M. Hunter
Howard M. Ingle
Sam Justice
John Koster
John Kowalski
Michael Krutz
Robert P. Lennox, Jr.
John E. Lucassen
Michael J. Maresca
Thomas C. McCrady
Frank R. McPike
Salvatore J. Moffa, Jr.
Joseph P. Neglia
Frank A. Nicholson
John J. O'Brien
Aloysius A. Pentony
George T. Ruggles
William J. Ryan, Jr.
Howard D. Stein
Murray Steinberg
Hugh J. Ward
William H. Welsh
Donald R. Wotton

Rocco N. Alesandro
Robert J. Berg
Darwin A. Blake
Frank Bonanzo
Thomas J. Boyle
Saverio Bruzzi
Romuald Chodkowski
Samuel J. Cubito
Walter Davis, Jr.
Victor J. DeSantis
Bernard Donitz
John S. Eassy
William R. Eisenhauer
Frederick G. ?
Milton J. ?
Harold M. Haabestad
Dorsey H. Hard??
Joseph G. Harr?m
Tommie D. Harrison
James B. Hawkins
William Hecht
Leon C. Herd
Charles I. Hummer
Fred A. Icard
Herbert G. Israel
John W. Martin
Fred Meditz
John J. Millman
Angelo J. Minuti
Anthony M. Nicholais
Benjamin C. Papa (Benny Papapierto)
Robert L. Ragan, Jr.
Pedro Rodon
Stanley Rethman
Gilfford E. Schmalia
Herbert Tepel
Joseph Trovato

Charles A. Arnone
Frank L. Areassa
MIchael J. Baiera
Joseph Barbitta
Joseph Belilos
William H. Binninger
Robert L. Bodarky
Edward J. Burns
Hector J. Consorte
James R. Dalton
Peter A. Del Greco
William Gibson
William T. Hagar
Robert W. Hankey
Virgile H. Harris
Julian C. Haselden
Cecil O. Hea?th
Paul M. Henderson
Claude H. Hendrickson
William H. Hunt
Walter N. Johnsen
Eli Kleiman
Jerome J. Manketo
Donald E. Mather, Jr.
Louis Nicotera
Mario A. Parisella
Arthur J. Savoy
Edward W. Szezecinski
Stanley S. Weir

Thursday, February 11, 2010

280th Port Company Roster WWII

(click here to see the full photo)
This partial roster of the 519th Port Bn., 280th Port Company is based on an August 1944 list of Good Conduct medal recipients. Officers were not eligible for this award, so they are not included in the list. If you recognize one of these names, please get in touch.

Leo C. Bemis
Louis Esposito
Ernest L. Kluttz, Jr.
Harry S. Nix
James E. Taylor
William J. White

James R. Arsenault
Edward S. Bettinger
Felix J. Chotkowski
Henry A. Ferrante
Edwin T. Ganung
William J. Millmore
Charles T. Padgett
Robert N. Palmer
Gerard A. Sullivan

Tec 4
Anthony J. Casalena
Arnold L. Gottlieb
Louis A. Grandjean
James G. Guariglia
Salvatore Ingoglia
Victor Kay
Warren F. Lollis
Raymond H. Maxie
Russell P. Moore
Mortimer J. Musnug
Howard Nelson
James F. O'Hara
Samuel I. Oster
Alvin H. Phillips
Enrico A. Starnadori

Donald E. Cooper
Robert J. Corbett
Jacob Grubard
Harry O. Krumsick (promoted to Sgt in August of 1945)
John H. McCoy
Steve M. McCracken
James E. Mosler
Samuel G. Paladino (promoted to Sgt in August of 1945)
Clarence D. Starr

Tec 5
Basil Auriemma
Fritz Bressel
Arnold A. Buehler
Emil G. Cappabianca
Alexander E. Carswell
Albert H. Christiansen
Fay E. Daley
Stanley J. Damulis
John DeStafanis
Raymond E. Fisher
John J. Fox. Jr.
Norman Gaiman
Anthony J. Galati
Nicholas Giardina
Thomas J. Ingrassia
Gustave H. Kahres
Louis R. Kinville
Charles B. Loving (or Loying?)
George J. Machosko
Peter J. Martori
Denis J. McCarthy
Frank G. McCleod
Joseph Miano
David Mittlemann
Henry J. Mongarello
??? Kelse?
James Parris
Harry Permitin
Eurl Pierce
Herbert O. Pierson, Jr.
Howard E. Pike
Thomas E. Pryor
Edwin F. Radel
Charley G. Revis
Robert S. Roberts
Philip Schwartz
Merchant D. Slocum
Ben B. Stockard, Jr.
Edward J. Walters
Howard J. Whaley

Robert E. Aydelotte
Irving Berkowitz
Sidney Buznitz
Stanley Caminiti
Louis P. Cici
Vincent J. Cordasco
Italo A. DeBartoli
Sam Dickson
Howard M. Donner
Stanley I. Dorsky
John M. Dunatov
Vito N. Ernest
Leonard F. Errico
Harry M. Fallick
Nat Feirstein
George E. Fox
William B. Freel
Charles Gallo
Salvatore Genovese
Francis J. Gesslein
John K. Gibbons
Norman Kalikow (transferred to the 280th in August 1945 from 734th Engr Hvy Shop Co.)
Charles Lee
Thomas Logan
Eugene A. Longhi
George S. Maggio
Carmin(e?) Maglia
Frank Magro
Harold Martin
Philip Martin
Conrad Masey
Edward Mathis
Anthony A. May
Thomas McCormick
Joseph Moscarello
Antonio C. Nunes
Willie R. Oakes
Ted J. Player
Nick Politakis
Isidore Primis
Peter C. Raffaele
Robert T. Rappa
William G. Ritzel
Anton A. Simmons
Peter Sloboda
Robert E. Stockland
Glynn R. Ward

Jules Beslowitz
Johnie T. Bowman
Wayne C. Bradbury
Benjamin B. Bucario
Robert W. Clemons
David Cohen
Tony Covello
Frank L. Delia
David Y. Dember
Salvatore J. Durante
John A. Eaton
Lewis E. Eckstein
Richard L. Edwards
Russell R. Everman
Mario Favara
Nicholas Ferrar
Albert Fine
Lloyd W. Fowler, Jr.
Charles Frankel
David M. Fromowitz
James J. Gallagher
Norman Kalikow
John J. Krushewsky
Edward C. Latimer
William E. Lazar, Jr.
Leland E. Leonard
Louis J. Lopez
John V. Miske
Jayroe A. Moore
Ra...? Moskowitz
Guy Neathery
James O'Donnell
Edwin B. Pisani
Marion E. Pittman
Jesse A. Pointer
William J. Pollard
John W. Rogers, Jr.
Morris Rubnitz
J. B. Smith
Romaine A. Smith
Dick VanderKlok
Travis L. Wells
Daniel Wincheter

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Hidden Reference

I was writing my book last night. This current chapter discusses how supplies were moved after they were unloaded from Liberty Ships in the port of Antwerp. I remember reading somewhere that the Allies preferred to send their supplies by train where possible. I think this was because it was more fuel efficient. What I need to do is find that short passage in one of the many reference books I collected. Or was it in one of the books I returned to the library? Is it in my notes from interviewing veterans? I don't know. Feeling rather frustrated, I was inspired to draw a quick comic about the situation. Maybe the source will reveal itself later.

Friday, February 5, 2010

American Anti Aircraft Artillery at Antwerp in WWII

The son of a GI in the 184th AAA Gun Battalion and I have been emailing recently. He had a question about one of his father's ribbons. So, I thought this would be a good opportunity to list the American anti aircraft units protecting Antwerp from German V-1 buzz bombs. I just bought a copy of: Da Baene. Belgium Remembers and honors the US Armies of Liberation. Published by Les Editions J. Rozez, S A. Bruxelles. 1948. This book lists all the units that received recognition in the Belgian Army Order of the Day. The 184th AAA Gun Bn., along with all the other units in Antwerp X, received two mentions. This granted the men the right to wear the Belgian Croix de Guerre ribbon and the Fourragère. A large proportion of the ant aircraft unit were British, and some Polish batteries were also attached. Unfortunately, my book is specific to the American troops only.

The listing of American anti aircraft units protecting Antwerp comes on page 68-69. This is under Section II. Book of Honor. Chapter 1, American units mentioned on two occasions in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army and honored with the Fourragere 1940:

Decree of June 17, 1946, no. 2509
Article one: The Antwerp Antiaircraft Artillery Command of the United States Army and the following attached units:

Headquarters Battery, 50th AAA Brigade
Headquarters Battery, 56th AAA Brigade
Headquarters Battery, 17th Group
Headquarters Battery, 30th Group
Headquarters Battery, 45th AAA Group
125th AAA Gun Battalion (Mobile)
126th AAA Battalion (Mobile)
136th AAA Gun Battalion (Mobile)
601st AAA Gun Battalion (Semi-Mobile)
184th AAA Gun Battalion (Mobile)
605th AAA Gun Battalion (Semi-Mobile)
405th AAA Gun Battalion (Semi-Mobile)
740th AAA Gun Battalion (Semi-Mobile)
407th AAA Gun Battalion (Semi-Mobile)
787th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion
494th AAA Gun Battalion (Semi-Mobile)
789th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion
495th AAA Gun Battalion (Semi-Mobile)
150th AAA Operations Detachment
519th AAA Gun Battalion (Semi-Mobile)

are mentioned on two occasions in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army and granted the Fourragere 1940 for:

1. The units of Antwerp X Command played a heroic role in establishing and maintaining the antiaircraft defense for the liberation of the port of Antwerp which permitted the opening of the port on November 28, 1944, by defeating the all-out attack of the German V-1 bombs launched from the Trier area, as well as from the area North East of Nijmegen. The destruction of property and loss of life of both Belgian civilians and Allied troops was held to an absolute minimum through the tireless efforts on the part of the members of these units. Fighting day and night, the soldiers accomplished their mission in an outstanding manner which had as result the liberation of the Port of Antwerp and permitted the flow of supplies and munitions* to the five Allied armies. The heroic action of the members of these units reflects the highest credit upon the Antwerp X Command and the Allied armed forces.

2. The units of the Antwerp X Command, at the time of the all-out offensive launched by the Wehrmacht [German army] on December 16, 1944 [Battle of the Bulge], established an unprecedented antiaircraft defense against the attempts to destroy the port of Antwerp. The results of this heroic action, the success of which was absolutely vital to the Allied cause in general, and in particular, the preservation of the liberation of Belgium, were so successful that the operation of the port was never interrupted.

The courage of the officers and men, combined with their tireless efforts and technical skill, closed the campaign with the unprecedented gunnery score of 97 per cent.

*Actually, the only ammunition coming through Antwerp was that used by the anti aircraft batteries. All other explosives were run through Cherbourg and Le Havre to keep them safe from V-weapons.

Decree of September 26, 147, No. 4309
The 152nd Antiaircraft Artillery Operations Detachment, attached to the Antwerp X Antiaircraft Artillery Command of the Army of the United States, has been cited on two occasions in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army with conferring of the Fourragere 1940.

Further Reading on Antwerp X:

A 90mm gun that was been used for the defense of Antwerp. At the Artilleriemuseum Brasschaat (near Antwerp). Photo was sent to me by my friend, Raf Boesmans.

Antiaircraft Unit Histories:
Antwerp X command produced a short history booklette before its deactivation. See scans of the book on

Individual unit history books for four of the Antwerp X battalions are available as free PDFs on The above 184th AAA Gun Bn (Mobile) is there, as well as the 125th AAA Gun Bn., 601st AAA Gun Bn., and 602nd AAA Gun Bn.