Monday, May 27, 2013

Tony Farina in the 518th Port Battalion

Last month I got an email from Tony Farina. He found my blog while he was looking up his old unit from WWII. Tony served in an Army port company just like my grandfather. His 518th Port Battalion and my grandfather’s 519th Port Battalion were both on Utah Beach for the Normandy invasion. Tony's job was to drive trucks from the beach to supply dumps further inland.

By July the French port of Cherbourg had been liberated and made operational. Tony’s company was sent there where he worked guard duty until December of 1944. When  the Allies were surprised by the German’s Ardennes Offensive service troops were asked to volunteer for combat. Tony was on the front lines in the Battle of the Bulge for just two days when he got wounded. It was bad enough to send him to the hospital, but not so bad that he was sent home. After Germany surrendered Tony was shipped to Japan. He was in Okinawa in a military police (MP) battalion for just a few weeks when Japan finally surrendered.

The oddest thing about Tony is that he lives just a couple blocks from my grandfather’s old house in Rotterdam, New York. In fact, my mom remembers playing with Tony’s children. For decades these two men were in the same neighborhood, not realizing that they were both port company veterans who had trained in the same camp and served on the same beach in Normandy!

You can read more about Tony’s 518th Port Battalion in this post.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

238th Port Company, 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.

238th Port Company Officers
1st Lt. Justin B. Arnold • Capt. Harry L. Carpenter • 1st Lt. Francis D. Edes • John F. O'Malley

238th Port Company Enlisted Men
James H. Allen
Robert R. Baugh
Richard Barfield
Horace Bell
Robert Belton
Bishop J. Caldwell
Charles O. Campbell
Herbert W. Cheatham, Jr.
Robert J. Cheeks
Steve Clinkscales
John D. DeBardeleben
Ned Dennis
George A. Dillard
Booker Dorsey
Carey J. Douglas
Clarence B. Downard
Else Edwards
Arthur J. Fair
Samuel E. Fisher
George Garrison
Ed George
Edward L. Gilmore
Delmas E. Green
Alex Guest
Albert L. Gun
Tom Gunn
Herman Henson
Holmes C. Howard
George R. Johnson
James F. Johnson
George R. Meade, Jr.
Sheridan H. Murray
Roland Otway
Charles T. Owens
Notie L. Pate
William J. Payne
Roy L. Pleasant
Adolph Reed
Frank Reed
Clarence Rivers
Frank L. Robnett, Jr.
Herman Rose
Seymore K. Shepherd
Eric W. Smith
Evans S. Trigg, Jr.
Almond Truly
Frank A. Wallace
Willie C. White
Cleveland L. Williams
Clozell Williams
Milton O. Wood
Chester L. Wyatt