Question on Serving Unit. US Army

Discussion in 'US Units' started by Wm Denegar, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. Wm Denegar

    Wm Denegar New Member

    Hello, this is a bit long and I apologize, but the question is quite involved and I don’t wish to string anyone out over a long period of time trying figure out my questions.

    I could use some verification here. I have been trying for about ten years to validate my father’s WW2 experience in the European Theater of Operations. Unfortunately, his records were among those lost in the St Louis fire. Also his name is not in the National Archive’s database. I have only three documents to provide me with any information. A final pay voucher (this document lists the names of 4 pay officers, units unknown), a shipping roster showing him returning to the US on the 31st of August 1945, and a copy of his DD-214.

    My dilemma is, that the DD-214 is in conflict with the family’s knowledge/experience of his military service. My father was initially assigned to the 385 Infantry 76th ID. The DD-214 on record in fact shows him being discharged from that unit. Per my mother, he was transferred out of the division in the spring of 1944 as a replacement, to unit unknown. My father recounted to me that he and his buddies would lay on the hillsides in the south of England and count the bombers crossing the channel prior to the invasion. This would place him in England in June of 1944. The 76th Division didn’t depart the states until December 1944. My mother told me that he passed through Paris where he accumulated some war souvenirs left by the Germans. Also based on other place names he related to me that he had served (Colmar Pocket, Saarbrücken), leads me to believe that he may have been in the 28th ID.

    Compounding my uncertainty, is the Advanced Service Rating (ASR) scoring system. The requirement to return to the States was 85 points. If my father remained in the 76th ID, his point total in August 1944 would have been 75 points (this is what is reflected on the DD-214). If in fact he was transferred to the 28th ID, his point total would have been 91 or 92.

    So the questions are, in the absence of records; Could he have been transferred/attached to another unit for combat duty without actually being transferred out of the 76th ID? Could he have been transferred to the 28th ID and upon return to the states with the division in August, and because of a lack of a complete record, a record was reconstituted identifying him with his original unit for purposes of discharge? (He arrived stateside 31 August and was separated 28 October.) He had no extenuating circumstances, so how could he have been rotated back with only 75 points in August?

    I don’t wish to put anyone to any trouble doing research, in the absence of morning reports, unit rosters, shipping lists, officer database, loss of his own records, I don’t expect there would be much value in such an attempt. I would welcome opinions on the information as stated or if anyone has encountered a similar situation.

    Thank you William Denegar
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi William

    I have to say you may well be better of asking this question on the US sister site here - WWII Forums - most of the this forum is based on British and Commonwealth aspects of WW2

    Sounds like you might have a 'job' on your hands finding those details, but good hunting

  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    I assume that by his DD-214, you mean a WD 53-55? It was the WWII equivalent of the DD214 and the form number is found on the lower left of the front page.

    If so, you cannot always take the unit listed on the 53-55 as indicative of the unit he may have primarily served with. When the war ended, men were swapped around to get the higher point men home earlier. Consequently, men were moved to different outfits to go home early. Shipping space was allocated by units, not individuals.

    There were large scale transfer of men from one division to another. An example is the 71st ID and 30th ID.

    Odds are good if you have long understood he served with The Bloody Bucket, then he probably did, and then returned home with the 76th ID following a point exchange.

    As TD stated above, you will have better results at, as it is more focused on the US experience than the good and knowledgeable members of this British & Commonwealth-oriented forum.

    I will look for you at the other, as I am a staff member there.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
  4. Wm Denegar

    Wm Denegar New Member

    Thank you, I will try that also.
  5. Wm Denegar

    Wm Denegar New Member

    Thank you. Yes you are correct on the form number. As I stated, he only had 75 points, so it would have been unlikely that would have been transferred that early. Also the locations and timelines of the two divisions as they fought across Europe differ and only the 28th matches what he related to us. Thanks again.
  6. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Men were essentially swapped wholesale.
    I mentioned the 30th and 71st ID above. The 30th was committed for most of the NW European campaign and had a large number of high point men. The 71st did not. The 30th was slated to participate in the invasion of Japan in late 1945-early 1946, while the 71st was to do some occupational duty, then come home and disbanded. Consequently, the high point 30th ID men went to the 71st and low point 71st men went to the 30th.
    The 30th then left for the States so they could get a 30 day leave before preparing for Japan. As it was, the the war ended as the 30th was assembled to leave France, so they came on home early and most of them were out of the service before the 71st made the trip in November. As a result, the low point men of the 71st (transferred to the 30th) made it home before the high point men formerly of the 30th, but now in the 71st,
    There is a well known photo of the 30th ID on the Queen Mary as it enters New York Harbor and the men are out on the deck. Interestingly, large numbers of those men never served with the 30th, except to come back home.
    Dave55 likes this.
  7. Wm Denegar

    Wm Denegar New Member

    That's good information, but it doesn't help with my Dads particular scenario. You see, if my Dad was transferred to the 28th for purposes as you describe, then his discharge would have indicated the 28th. It did not.Thanks very much.

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