Monday, July 25, 2011

Civilian Conservation Corps: A Reunion and Materials in the Grems-Doolittle Library

There's going to be a reunion of Civilian Conservation Corps alumni in Schenectady on August 15th. The CCC employed thousands of out-of-work men during the Great Depression, building bridges, managing forests, running telephone lines, constructing dams, etc. What interests me is how this civilian organization unintentionally trained men for future roles in the US Army engineers during WWII (see my review of US Combat Engineer: 1941-45, by Gordon Rottman).

The Grems-Doolittle Library in Schenectady houses a sizable collection of CCC artifacts, photos, and other materials.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lamar Parnell in the 303rd Port Company

Lamar Parnell was a member of the 303rd Port Company, 519th Port Battalion. His son recently found my blog and sent in these two great photos. They show his dad (above left) in camp at Utah Beach. I like how they tacked up that little "The Virgin Inn" sign above their hut door. I wonder if they cut that from something, or if they painted it themselves. For more info on the GI's scratch-built huts in Normandy, see my post Living Accommodations on the Normandy Beaches

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Headquarters, 494th Port Battalion roster

In my continuing research in to WWII port battalions I requested the National Archives' historic report of the 494th Port Battalion. Among the papers was a May 1945 list of men receiving the Individual Service Award of the Bronze Arrowhead for their part in the Normandy invasion. The list offers a near-complete roster of the men in the battalion. I'm reproducing the names here in the hopes that family members find dad or grandfather. I want connect people with the remarkable service of the WWII port companies.

HQ Officers
Maj. Donald E. Campbell ( took command on October 7, 1945) • 1st L. Earl P. Campbell (took command on November 27, 1945) • Capt. Uriah H. Hunter • WOJG Johnnie A. Jones • Maj. Ashford T. Jordan • Lt. Col. Walter L. McKee • Capt. David Ornstein • CWO Russel L. Patterson • Capt. Alvin B. Rubin (took command on December 6, 1945) • Edward J. Tetrauls (adjutant) • Maj. Paul L. Warner

HQ Enlisted Men
Lawrence P. Amedee • Eugene M. F. Bash • Otis E. Battles • Clarence C. Carter • Joseph T. Flagg • Earney M. Hargrove • Leonard Harris • Walter B. Hollis • William R. Jackson, Jr. • James A. Jeter • Herman A. Jones • Alfred C. McGee • Ralph H. Micks • William M. Perry • Thomas Newton, Jr. • Duronza H. Reeves • Richard Sawyers • James A Turner • Z. T. J. Walker • Malcom C. Wells

Medical Detachment
James E. Baker • James W. Burton • William A. Dorsey • John L. Jenkins

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Meeting Cliff Van Doren in Denver

This morning in Denver I met 94-year-old 302nd Port Company veteran Cliff Van Doren. He lives in TX, but is in Colorado visiting. Also meeting us were members of his family (pictured above), the son of another 302nd Port Company GI, and the daughter of a 305th Port Company GI. It was great to meet everyone in person and share WWII stories. (That's me in the fedora)