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Here is some information.
The unit was constituted as the 1st Engineer Amphibian Brigade on 12 June 1942 at Camp Edwards in Massachusetts and redesignated the 1st Engineer Special Brigade on 10 May 1943. Following participation in four campaigns in the European Theater during World War II, the brigade was deployed to the Pacific, where it took part in the Ryukyus campaign; it was honored with the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for its actions during the D-Day landings and in the Normandy campaign.
Please use the information below for your search. This unit was attached to the 1st Engineer Special Brigade, or 1st ESB. The history of the 1st ESB can found in RG 338 and RG 498. It might give you an Idea of your fathers unit attached to this specific Brigade.
Record Group 338: Unit Histories, 1943 - 1967 (UD 37042) File Unit: 1st Engineer Special Brigade: History [NAID 1187452, Box 607]
Record Group 498: Organizational Unit Records, 1943 - 1947 (UD 494). File Unit: 1st Special Brigade 1944 [NAID 5819434, Box 3197]
Hope this helps,
Thanks so much for your prompt reply
So the entire brigade would have receive the Croix de Guerre?
Did the entire brigade participate at Normandy? If he arrived in France after the Normandy invasion would he have received the medal also
If the actual medal has 2 palms on the ribbon, does this mean it was awarded again?
Since you have been so helpful, what would be best way to investigate what he/brigade did in Reims
Thank you again.
Dear Mr. Cienki,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives online catalog and located the series Foreign Awards to American Units, 1945 - 1946 in the Records of Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, United States Army (World War II) (Record Group 498) that contains correspondence and memorandums related to citations received by American units from foreign governments for service. Included in the records are brief justifications for the awards and lists of service members to receive the honors. We also located the series Awards to Americans by Foreign Governments, 1944 - 1946 in Record Group 498 that contains correspondence and memorandums related to citations presented to American units by foreign governments for service and valor in battle. For access to these records, please email the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 and prior to 1958 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.
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For information about the 3939th Quartermaster Gas Supply Company, please see a previous posting at https://historyhub.history.gov/message/4232
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!