2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 11, 2021 10:10 PM by Alex Daverede

    What was military mission of Ordnance Company, 1st Service Battalion?

    Debra Scouten Newbie

      My father was in Ordnance Company, 1st Service Battalion, 1st Marine Division in Tientsen from August 23, 1946 to May 1947.  Hsin Ho was attacked in April 1946.  I have an article in his papers that discuss the attack.  I am wondering what the Ordnance Company, Service Battalion was doing months after the attack.  He also told me that he was the last one to take down the American Flag.  Could that have been in Tientsen? 

        • Re: What was military mission of Ordnance Company, 1st Service Battalion?
          Rachael Salyer Pioneer

          Dear Ms. Scouten,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          If you have not done so already, we suggest that you request a copy of your father’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and medical records of officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. Marine Corps who were separated from service after 1904 and before 1959 are located at NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002.  To request these records, please mail a completed GSA Standard Form 180 to NPRC. Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Records Relating to United States Marine Corps Operations in World War II, 1939-1949 in the Records of the U.S. Marine Corps (Record Group 127) that consists of records documenting the principal amphibious assaults and ground combat operations of the Marine Corps during the World War II era, as well as occupation of formerly enemy-controlled areas. We also located the series General Records, 1947-1957 in Record Group 127 that was created by the 1st Marine Division and which includes some records for 1946. The series Records of Ground Combat Units, Support Units and Other Commands, 1939-1950 in Record Group 127 contains 4 files related to the 1st Marine Division in Tientsin in 1946-1947 that may contain some relevant information, as well. Please note that these records generally do not include information about individuals; rather, they provide information about the actions and engagements of the unit as a whole. These records have not been digitized. For assistance with these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


          Next, we located the series Moving Images Relating to Military Activities, ca. 1947-1980 in the General Records of the Department of the Navy (Record Group 428) that includes the file Hsin Ho Incident. These records have not been digitized. Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Motion Pictures (RDSM) at mopix@nara.gov for access to and information about these records.


          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 RDSM. Also, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter, and those involving the VA Home Loan program. 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 this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


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

          • Re: What was military mission of Ordnance Company, 1st Service Battalion?
            Alex Daverede Adventurer



            Each Marine division had a large Service Battalion to provide logistical and maintenance support to the division.  The Service and Supply Companies performed supply, food service, laundry, barbering, and exchange services for the division.  The large Ordnance Company did the maintenance for all of the ordnance assigned to the division, from the small arms of the rifle regiments to the howitzers of the 11th Marines.  The Ordnance Company also maintained all division vehicles, including the 2 1/2 ton trucks of the motor transport platoons.


            As for your father’s service in the Ordnance Company, 1st Service Battalion, 1st Marine Division, please understand that for the entirety of the Marines’ post-World War II campaign in China was a confusing period in the division’s history.  During an extremely brief period the division had to move into a new theater, reorganize, perform a combat mission, and demobilize at the same time.  The negotiations between the Nationalist and Communist Chinese were not going well, and the Chinese Communists were aggressive in raiding Marine logistics facilities to add to their own resources.  So while your father was assigned to a maintenance organization, he was probably performing strictly military duties such as standing guard and participating in patrols—maintenance would not have been a priority with Marine commanders.


            With regard to the timing of your father’s service, a look at the Marine Corps Historical Pamphlet “The United States Marines in North China (1945-1949)" indicates that there were two raids on the Ammunition Supply Point (ASP) at Hsin Ho, the first on the night of 3-4 October 1946, while the second (and larger raid) occurred on the night of 4-5 April 1947.  The second raid cost the lives of five Marines and resulted in the rapid turnover of the ASP to Nationalist Chinese forces on 21 April 1947  Given this historical timing, I would suggest that your father took down the American flag at the Hsin Ho ASP when the Nationalists assumed control.


            I hope you find this information helpful in your research.


            A. J.