My dad passed away in 1984 and I so wish I would have known before then to ask him more questions about his service in the Army during WW2. All we have (my 93 yr old mom and myself) is his discharge record. The form is WD AGO 53-55 and titled "Enlisted Record and Report of Separation: Honorable Discharge." I found a document online "Reading and Understanding WW2 Discharge Document" which contains a lot of good information, but unfortunately does not reference any of the abbreviations used in my dad's document.
Below are my first questions that I would like very much to know. They have to do with Items 6 and 36 on WD AGO Form 53-55:
My dad always said he was stationed in Hawaii during the war.
- Item 6: "Organization"is listed as "544th Sig Base Dep Co."
- My internet search for information regarding this organization comes up blank.
- I want to know where in Hawaii he was based and anything about the base he was stationed at.
- If anyone knows anything about this, I would appreciate it.
- Item 36: "Service Outside Continental US and Return" contains the following information:
|DATE OF DEPARTURE||DESTINATION||DATE OF ARRIVAL|
|20 NOV 44||CPTO||2 DEC 44|
|27 NOV 45||USA||10 DEC 45|
Questions about Item 36 above:
- Hawaii was not yet a state and was outside the continental US when my father was stationed there but there is nothing about this in Item 36? Is this possibly because it may just show the last destinations and not all? Is there any way to find out where he departed the US for Hawaii and when?
- What does 'CPTO' stand for? I wonder if it means "Capetown South Africa?"
- It appears that my dad was at CPTO for almost one year before coming back to the US. Can anyone shed any light as to where he was, what was there, and why he might have been there?
Here are the rest of my questions:
- Items 22: "Date of Induction" is blank. Does this mean he WAS NOT drafted?
- Item 23: "Date of Enlistment" is listed as "9 OCT 41" - Does this mean that my father enlisted and WAS NOT drafted into the service?
- Item 30 - "Military Occupational Specialty and No." is listed as "Warehouse Foreman" which is self-explanatory, but what does the #"252" mean?
- Item 31 - "Military Qualification and Date" listed: "Pistol 45CAL MKM63 4-15-44' M1 RIMKM 128 8-31-44" ? It appears that these are firearms, but does the listed date tell when he learned how to use them? He started military service in 1941? Does this possibly signify that based on Item 36, he was certified or re-certified for use of these firearms because he was being sent into active duty in Nov 1944 ("CPTO")? Or are there other possible explanations, and if so, what?
- Item 39 - "Prior Service" is listed as 'AUS' 3 Days? I know that AUS stands for Army of the United States, but this seems odd - that it is listed under prior service with a time frame of 3 days?
What do the following abbreviations stand for?
- Item 3 - "Grade" is listed as 'T-SGT" ?
- Item 4 - "Arm or Service" is listed as "SC" ?
- Item 5 - "Component" is listed as "RA"?
If anyone can answer any of these question, I'd be grateful. Thank you.