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Always good to see support units getting some attention. Once NARA College Park reopens, you can check if they have anything in the WWII Operational Reports from RG 407. I had never heard of the remount units except when going through my grandfather's unit's morning reports, I learned that three had transferred to the 6742nd Quartermaster Remount Depot in Italy.
Yes, I had never heard of the Remount Service until I started trying to figure out what my protagonist did during his deployment. I asked my husband (he's quite the military history buff) if equines were used during WWII and he said, no, it was entirely mechanized. I thought, no, I'll bet you just never looked into it because you're more interested in tanks and planes than horses and mules. I'm glad I didn't believe him and looked into it myself because the Remount Service is exactly what my character needed to do.
I'll also be writing an article for The Brayer, the quarterly publication of The American Donkey and Mule Society, about the Remount Service that will hopefully coincide with the publication of my novel.
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Not necessarily what you're looking for, but I digitized these a while ago from the collection of Major Baker D. Newton of the 805th Tank Destroyer Battalion. I like the sign labeled "The Speedway" though the unit that built it seems to be a mystery...there was no 8610th or 610th Engineer Regiment or Battalion in the U.S. Army at least. It would seem the mule handlers aren't American.
And a newspaper clipping from an unknown paper and another photo from the same location in an April 1945 letter he sent home. The article neglected to mention that they were not using towed antitank guns and had long since converted to the M18 tank destroyer.
Thank you, those are fascinating. Yes, the mule handlers and even the mules themselves don't appear to be American enlistees. The Remount Service only used dark-colored mules because light-colored animals were too visible and most of them got shot by snipers. Towards the end of the war some lighter mules were conscripted into service and had to be stained with dye from potassium permanganate that darkened their coats for about a month.
I got this info from a PDF copy of a Doctorate Thesis called REGRESSING FORWARD: ARMY ADAPTABILITY AND ANIMAL POWER DURING WORLD WAR II by JASON C. MARTIN. The WWII History Museum in New Orleans was kind enough to send me the entire document in response to my inquiry a couple of years ago.
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Dear Ms. Tressler,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 5 record series in the Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General (Record Group 92) that relate to the Fort Reno, Oklahoma, Quartermaster Remount Depot for before and after World War II. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at Fort Worth (RM-FW) at email@example.com.
We also located the Veterinary Historical Data Reports, 6/16/1943 - 9/7/1945 in Record Group 92 that are reports from the Remount Depot at San Angelo, Texas. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at Denver (RM-DV) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, we located Classified Correspondence Relating to Places, 1936 - 1952; General Correspondence Relating to Places, 1936 - 1945; Classified Correspondence Relating to Organizations, 1936 - 1952; General Correspondence Relating to Organizations, 1939 - 1954; General Correspondence Decimal Files, 1936 - 1961; Subject Files, 1921 - 1947;
and Unpublished Historical Studies, 1943 - 1946 in Record Group 92 that may have records pertaining to the Remount Service in Texas, Oklahoma, and Italy during WWII. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at Archives2reference@nara.gov.
Photographs of various U.S. Army activities dating from 1940 to 2007 are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at email@example.com to request a search for images of specific units or locations.
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 RM-FW, RM-DV, RDT2, and RDSS. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
We searched the Library of Congress Veterans History Project and located the Norman Victor Key Collection and the Ralph Oswald Whitcomb Collection that pertain to soldiers who served in remount units.
Finally, we suggest contacting the Oklahoma State Archives and Records Management and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission as well as local archives, libraries, history museums, and historical societies since these organizations often have additional information relating to military facilities within their areas.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
Wow, thank you for all the leads! I'm sure I'll find lots of useful information through those.
I appreciate the time it took you to pull them all together for me.