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Dear Mr. DeGrendel,
Thank you for sharing your inquiry with the History Hub.
The Textual Reference Branch at the National Archives in College Park, MD (Archives II) has custody of the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917- (Record Group 407) and the Records of U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Organizations (World War II and Thereafter) (Record Group 338). Military unit files among these records consist mostly of historical reports, after action reports, unit journals, and general orders. The files are arranged hierarchically (i.e. by division, regiment, and battalion). They do not include personnel or medical information, however, and we do not have a name index to these records. We reviewed the finding aids for these records and were able to confirm that several files related to the 7th Armored Division, 48th Armored Infantry Battalion can be found in series World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 (Entry 427, RG 407). You can contact the Textual Reference Branch directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about accessing these records.
Also, although your grandfather’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) was lost in the 1973 fire, the National Archives at St. Louis has custody of morning reports which could help trace the specific history of your grandfather’s unit. You can contact them at email@example.com with questions.
Additionally, you may be interested in this book by W. Wesley Johnston (Combat Interviews of the 48th Armored Infantry Battalion, 7th Armored Division Poteau, Rodt, Malempré & Manhay, Belgium December 18-25, 1944) and in this organization (U.S. 7th Armored Division Association), which might be able to provide you with further useful information.
Finally, we also suggest that you contact the County Recorder of Deeds in the county where your grandfather resided following the war. Many veterans elected to register their discharges at the county level of government after their service. While they in no way replace a soldier’s personnel file, they do provide some helpful information.
Thank you, again, for sharing your question with the History Hub, and good luck with your ongoing research.
Hello again! I have followed your advice and have obtained my grandfather’s discharge papers through Wayne County and am very excited. I now have a new question. According to the papers in the decorations and citations it states “victory medal European African middle eastern theater ribbon w/1 bronze battle stars 4 overseas service bars good conduct medal”
I recently acquired what is supposedly his original uniform with his ribbons and patches and pins. Everything seems to match up and it definitely seems official and original. The only thing I noticed is he has 3 battle stars and there’s is a hole in which looks like a fourth battle star on the center rectangular ribbon. My question is if his discharge papers said 1 battle star, why would he have 4 on the ribbon? It makes me wonder if it was in fact his original uniform. Perhaps he put more stars than he actually earned? Is there a way his stars may have increased after he was discharged? I don’t believe he was active after ww2. Anyway does anyone have any thoughts? Thanks!!!
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I recently researched the 1st Armored Division in WWII, and it has been a great journey. In addition to all the excellent channels the Archives mentioned, one thing that gave me some immediate access was the digitized files at Fort Benning's library (reports on military operations written in hindsight as part of officer training).
It looks like there are two related to the battalion you are interested in:
Thank you so much!!!!
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