6 Replies Latest reply on Feb 3, 2021 11:15 AM by Ceri McCarron

    Seeking Information About Grandfather's Friends

    Brendan Walsh Newbie

      My Grandfather, Edward F. Walsh, serial# 31031752, served as a Staff Sergeant in the Anti-Tank Company, 101st Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry "Yankee Division" in World War 2.  The family story was that several of his friends in his unit were killed on Christmas eve 1944, while attending a church service that was hit by German artillery.  I have been unable to find much information that confirms this event.  I know it must have happened, but would like to find out more.  I have the Anti-Tank Company's Morning Reports from 12/24-1/12, and aside from 1 KIA 12/26, there is no mention.  2 men from F Company were killed 12/24, In Koetschette, Luxembourg, which has led my search to widen. There was only 1 Anti-Tank Co in the 101st, and based on the Morning Reports, their 4 Platoons (unknown which my grandfather was in) would be assigned to support different Battalions of the 101st, on a near daily basis.  The regiment had 3 Battalions, 12 companies, as far as I know.

       

      My Grandfather had been in the AT Co since the war started, and in his pre-Europe photos (I have none from wartime), his comrades were nearly all Sergeants by the time they deployed (confirmed by mentions of 2 of them in Morning Reports).  I have 1 postwar document that lists all his previous military assignments, and from 13 Sept 1944-3 July 1945, he listed his duty as Mess Sgt. for the AT Co.  His 2 pre-Europe comrades were both Squad Leaders.  This has led me to wonder, since the 26th took very heavy casualties in the Lorraine Campaign of Nov '44, if perhaps he was transferred to another unit as a Squad Leader.  I have read that they replenished their ranks with many non-combatant type MOS', like clerks and band members and cooks.  An experienced S/Sgt may be a valuable person at that time, and maybe he didn't mention in in his service record, because he'd rather forget.  He also didn't list the Bronze Star on his commendations, and I know for sure he was awarded it. Is there someplace I could easily look to see if he was transferred?  Is there someplace that would have a record of a casualty event like this?  Thanks

        • Re: Seeking Information About Grandfather's Friends
          Elliot Schneider Ranger

          Mr. Walsh,

           

          Do you have a list of the men in his unit that were killed. I have found a list from the ABMC American Battle Monuments Commission that might have some names you recognize. Also in reference to your grandfather being a mess cook it is possible that while he may have been a cook, he was most likely acting as a rifleman during that time as well since there were a lot of casualties. Men were all trained in weapons and this is most likely what transpired. They may have needed him on the frontlines. I know Mess Cooks that parachuted into Normandy so not uncommon.

           

          https://www.abmc.gov/db-abmc-burial-unit/101st-infantry-regiment-26th-infantry-division

           

          https://history.army.mil/documents/ETO-OB/26ID-ETO.htm

          • Re: Seeking Information About Grandfather's Friends
            Lisa Sharik Adventurer

            Mr. Walsh:

            The Morning Reports for the AT Company, 101st Infantry Regiment will list whether your grandfather was ever transferred to another unit.

             

            His friends could have been in another unit of the 101st, or one of the other Anti Tank units of the 26th, the 104th Infantry Regiment or the 328th Infantry Regiment.

             

            Are there any soldiers listed as wounded on the 24th? I have read a number of first person accounts where a soldier thought a comrade had been killed, only to find out later that they were only wounded and had survived the war.

             

            If they were in a Church during a service there could have been soldiers from various units not just the AT company. Those 2 soldiers with Company F might be the 2 soldiers the family story referred to, the AT Company would not necessarily have had to be in the exact same location as Company F since they were attending a Church service soldiers might have come in from a fairly wide area to attend( depending on combat conditions).

             

            Lisa Sharik

            Deputy Director

            Texas Military Forces Museum

              • Re: Seeking Information About Grandfather's Friends
                Brendan Walsh Newbie

                Would his OMPF also contain information about a unit transfer?  Also, does it contain information about commendations? Just trying to get an idea if that’s a better place to start, rather than get a bunch of Morning Reports.  Also the F Company casualties seemed possible because 2nd Platoon of AT was in support of 2nd Battalion that day. That may have put them in Koetschette as well, rather than the AT Co post one town over.  As far as other soldiers wounded, I don’t know.  I’d probably need a lot more company reports.  Thanks.

              • Re: Seeking Information About Grandfather's Friends
                Alice Lane Navigator

                Hi Brendan,

                Welcome to History Hub

                I found the 26th Division on Facebook

                (1) 26th Infantry "Yankee" Division | Facebook

                (1) 26th Yankee Division in WWII | Facebook

                (1) The 3rd Armored Division during WWII | Facebook

                 

                You might find what you are seeking from someone on these pages

                 

                Alice Lane

                Research Volunteer

                • Re: Seeking Information About Grandfather's Friends
                  Ceri McCarron Wayfarer

                  Dear Mr. Walsh,

                   

                  Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

                   

                  In previous posts, morning reports and OMPF were suggested.

                   

                  Morning reports for Army units (from November 1, 1912 to 1959) and Air Force units (from September 1947 to June 30, 1966) are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL). For access to these records, please contact RL-SL via email at stl.archives@nara.gov

                   

                  OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 and before 1959 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.

                   

                  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RL-SL. Also, the NPRC is closed except for emergencies. Currently, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels. Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for any inconvenience.

                   

                  We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!