Monday, November 21, 2011

Father's War Stories Were Told Sparingly

Read the column here (30 May 2011),

I have striven for accuracy in reconstructing my father’s military service, but readers are advised that records are not always available and that sources do not always agree. Also, based on my further research, it appears that my dad received his training as a cook at Camp Butner, after returning from Europe, not at Fort McClellan as part of his basic training as I had originally supposed in my initial column back in January.

I would like to thank Rodney Davis for responding to that column about my father’s decorations with some helpful links to information on the Internet concerning the 4th ID.

Some of the resources I used in addition to my father’s papers were:

National Personnel Records Center - Family members of a deceased veteran can order copies of services records, which I did. In the event, the NPRC was not able to provide me with anything useful that I did not already have. Said its response to my request, “The [July 12, 1973] fire destroyed the major portion of records of Army military personnel who separated from the service between 1912 through 1959 . . . Fortunately, there were alternate records sources that contained information which was used to reconstruct some service record data lost in the fire. However, complete records could not be reconstructed.”

To order such records, see:

for replacing lost or damaged decorations, see:

U.S. Army Center of Military History - For organizational information concerning the 4th ID’s participation in the European Theater of Operations, consisting of wartime command and staff officers, statistics (chronology, casualties, individual awards), composition (constituent units), attachments, detachments, and command posts, see:

For the Combat Chronicle of the 4th ID, see:

For the 4th ID’s designation as a “liberating unit” by the U.S. Army’s Center of Military History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, see:

For the use of the Cunard Line’s Queen Mary as a troop transport, see:

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