2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 12, 2021 8:58 AM by Harold Finigan Branched from an earlier discussion.

    Seeking records of 76th Coastal Artillery Corps (AA) (colored)

    William Bennett Newbie

      I believe my father William Walter Bennett (DOB 9/15/1917) was in this unit. I remember him telling me his unit was stationed for a short while at the Philadelphia naval yard, shipped out of San Francisco in 1942, and arrived at Espiritu Santo that same year. He said when his unit arrived they were the only AAA unit on that island everyone was very glad to see them. The island had a big US airbase and naval base. There was also a large ANZAC (Australian - New Zealand) base. My father witnessed the sinking of the USS Calvin Coolidge, a troop ship, when it struck a mine in the bay while attempting to land at the naval base. I believe that unit received a citation for damaging a Japanese submarine that had surfaced and was shelling the island. My father said he was qualified on the 50 caliber quad mount, the 20mm gun and the 40mm gun. I would appreciate any other information you can find.  Thank you

        • Re: Seeking records of 76th Coastal Artillery Corps (AA) (colored)
          Shannon Kerner Adventurer

          Dear Mr. Bennett,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          According to the Coast Artillery Organizational History, 1917-1950 Part I, Coast Artillery Regiments 1-196, the 76th Coast Artillery Regiment Anti Aircraft (AA) (Colored) departed San Francisco and arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, 9-2-42. Manned AA defenses until inactivated 11-1-43. Headquarters & Headquarters Battery (HHB) redesignated HHB 76th AAA Gp; 1st Bn redesignated 76th AA Artillery (Gun) Bn; 2nd Bn redesignated 933rd AAA (AW) Bn; 3rd Bn disbanded and personnel reassigned.

           

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917-1985 (Record Group 407) that may include records of the76th Coast Artillery Regiment, the 76th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group, the 76th Anti-Aircraft Artillery (Gun) Battalion, and the 933rd Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AW) Battalion for WWII. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov. We were unable to locate specific records of the 76th Coast Artillery Corps (AA) (Colored).

           

          Copies of most of the monthly rosters from November 1912 - 1943 for Army units are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis, MO. For information about the non-digitized  records, please contact the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL) via email at stl.archives@nara.gov. Please note that the World War I rosters have been digitized and are available on FamilySearch at https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/3378445?availability=Family%20History%20Library

           

          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 RDT2 and RL-SL.  We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

           

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

          • Re: Seeking records of 76th Coastal Artillery Corps (AA) (colored)
            Harold Finigan Newbie

            Hi:

             

            I know for a fact that the 76CAA was stationed at historic Fort Mifflin, Soldiers Barracks.

             

            This is adjacent to the Ft Mifflin Ammunition Depot, run by the Navy, on land leased by the Army -- at what was the north end of Mud Island, where F. Mifflin was built.  Marines guarded this installation & it was separate from the Historic Fort, although adjacent.

             

            When restoring this building in the 1980's we found graffiti, letters, bus schedules, etc  traceable to this unit. Also, I spoke personally to  NY Judge who had been an officer (white) of this unit and visited the Fort. He told me of an incident where they dropped an artillery piece in the river while transferring it from shipboard to the dock.

             

            This unit was stationed at Historic Fort Mifflin at some time during WW2. Not to be confused with the adjacent Ft. Mifflin Naval Ammunition Depot, that was run in conjunction with he Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.  For safety reasons, ships in the PNSY did not have ammunition.  It was kept at the adjacent FMNAD.  Marines were assigned to guard this post. This is where the tradition of the Annual ball to honor the founding of the Marine Corps got started.