30 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2019 4:34 PM by Patricia Christopher

    Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII

    Patricia Christopher Wayfarer

      I have two brothers who were in WWII - cannot locate or find their military information - checked with St. Louis, MO and due to fire there is no information - am looking for anything that can assist - would like a picture of each of them and the regiments they were with - I do have their military ID numbers - Can you assist?

        • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
          joan stachnik Adventurer

          Hi Patricia, the fire at St Louis is definitely a roadblock in finding information on WWII veterans. I ran in to the same problem when looking into my dad's service. But I think if you post any information you have, there is likely someone on this forum who can assist. I have found this site very helpful in my search.  joan

          • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
            Patricia Christopher Wayfarer

            Thanks for your input.  My brothers military ID #'s are as follows: James L - 36644454 and Lawrence P - 36309558 -

              • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                joan stachnik Adventurer

                HI Patricia, I did find a listing for Laurence P Christopher (ASN 36309558) enlisted/drafted Jan 5 1942 out of CP Grant, Illinois. I think that was Camp Grant near Rockford Illinois, which appeared to be a large US Army induction center for WW II. No other information was listed. Not sure if this matches for you.

                 

                As posted by Dave Kerr, the county office where you brothers lived after their military service may have information, if they registered their separation papers with the county.  Did they ever talk about their service? joan

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              • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                Dave Kerr Wayfarer

                Patricia, your best bet is to contact the veterans' office in the county or counties where they lived.

                 

                They may have records if your brothers filed for benefits after the war.

                 

                The Army serial numbers do not provide any useable information in the search to identify the units they served in.

                 

                 

                Dave

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                • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                  Dave Kerr Wayfarer

                  By the way, do you have any letters they wrote home from the war?

                   

                  They often reveal the unit.

                   

                   

                  Dave

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                  • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                    Elliot Schneider Scout

                    Patricia,

                     

                    By any chance are you from Marengo, OH if so have information for you.

                     

                    Thanks,

                     

                    Elliot Schneider

                    • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                      Elliot Schneider Scout

                      Patricia,

                       

                      It would be helpful to know where your brothers were born and where they reside before entering the war. Camp Dodge, Camp Grant, Ft. Sheridan,  Camp Snelling, and IndiantownGap, these were a few of the processing centers used during WW2.

                       

                      Like Joan mentioned I too was only able to find one brother who was at Camp Grant with the same serial number.

                       

                      If they are from Illinois the state veterans office also has access to discharge papers.

                       

                      Please share any additional information you may have.

                       

                      If one bother was in Europe he could have been because you mentioned him talking about Patton. Patton was in charge of the 3rd Army in France, and Germany following the allied invasion of D-Day.

                       

                      Thanks,

                       

                      Elliot Schneider

                      • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                        Patricia Christopher Wayfarer

                        Elliot:

                         

                        I currently live in Nebraska.  My brothers registered and lived in Chicago, Illinois.  I have been looking through any on-line books with military training units or lists of musters or rosters of names. 

                         

                        Thanks for your question.

                        • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                          Patricia Christopher Wayfarer

                          One of my brother's was born in Italy and immigrated to the US as an infant (Laurence P) and my other brother, James L was born in Chicago.  They both lived in Chicago all of their lives.  I do not know if my brother James L registered for the WWII in Illinois - however my brother Laurence P was at Camp Grant in Illinois - I also understand that he remained state side for a year Interpreting for the POW's that spoke Italian that were sent to Camp Grant, IL - from there I am not sure - out of the two Laurence P was the quietest and least informative about where he was - my other brother James L was more informative with his stories.  At one point he took his men to visit his grandparents in a town outside of Lorenze, Italy. 

                           

                          I will write to the VA in Illinois and see if I can locate any information.

                           

                          Thank you for your assistance.

                          • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                            Elliot Schneider Scout

                            Patricia,

                             

                            Was Laurence married to Margaret Horvath.

                             

                            Elliot Schneider

                            • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                              Patricia Christopher Wayfarer

                              Yes, my brother Laurence married Margaret Horvath and they had two daughters.  I have been doing research for the past two years to complete the genealogy of our family, which I have traced back to the mid-1800's.  The missing area to complete is the military information on both Laurence P and James L, which is the most difficult.

                               

                              Thank you for your assistance - It is appreciated.

                                • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                  joan stachnik Adventurer

                                  HI Patricia, you may already know this, but have you contacted the Cook County Recorder's office in Chicago? They do have a veterans service office where veterans can record their separation papers. I'm not sure if there is overlap with the State of Illinois VA services. 

                                   

                                  Also, a bit off your question, but did one of your brothers live at 60th and Melvina? I grew up just a few blocks from there and still live in the area. Small world maybe? 

                                   

                                  Best wishes with your search. If I come across anything I will be sure to post to you. joan

                                • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                  Patricia Christopher Wayfarer

                                  Joan:

                                   

                                  My brother Laurence L lived on 60th and Melvina.  I have written to the  Cook County Recorder's office and the the Illinois VA Office.  I never heard back and plan on resending my letters.

                                   

                                  Thank you for the questions.

                                    • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                      Patricia Christopher Wayfarer

                                      Joan:

                                      Here is an update on what I have found.  Contacted my older sister and spoke with her on what I was trying to find.  She stated that James L was in Northern France in the 44th Military Division.  This leads me to believe he may made his way from the landing in Normandy on June 1944. 

                                       

                                      As for Laurence P he went from Illinois to Washington for Medic training.  She stated he returned to Michigan and then went to the Philippines.  He remained in Illinois and Michigan for a year due to his birth in Italy and not being a citizen. She believed it was due to the fact that he was not a citizen and this was the time frame for enlisted men/women who were not born in the U.S. (not sure of this information).  She did not know what division of the army he was with. 

                                       

                                      I have searched the Internet for the James being in the 44th or any other information - found nothing.  As for tracking Laurence's military path - found no information. I checked the Medical Units/Hospitals where Laurence may have been assigned.  Some of the units/hospitals I found have a list of names - others do not - so another dead end.

                                       

                                      I have resent my letters to the VA and the state of Illinois.  I also found the local VFW James L was connected too and sent them a letter hoping they would have more information for me.

                                       

                                      Any other ideas you or others may have I would appreciate it. 

                                       

                                      Thanks

                                        • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                          joan stachnik Adventurer

                                          Hi Patricia, there was the 44th Infantry Division, which looks like it did serve in Northern France and the ETO starting in Sept 1944.  Could that be the division? I've put a link to a site that describes the division; but it includes infantry regiments as well as artillery and other units. So a lot of personnel. Do you have anything at all from your brothers' service, such as a uniform insignia? 

                                           

                                          The VFW is a good place to check, especially if your brother kept in touch with them. Also, for Cook county Veteran's service in Chicago, I called them directly. Had to call twice but they did return my call eventually. Hope this helps a little. joan

                                           

                                           

                                          https://history.army.mil/documents/ETO-OB/44ID-ETO.htm

                                            • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                              Patricia Christopher Wayfarer

                                              Joan -

                                              I have nothing in regards to my brothers.  My sister has provided some information that she remembers.  She insists that James was in the 44th division where he was assigned duty in Strasbourg.  Some time after, he was hospitalized and that's where the trail ends.  I have taken your advise and sent a letter via email to the New York Library which holds a copy of the 44th with Rosters.  They have contacted me back and it will take some time for them to look through the copies they have.  I also wrote directly to the U.S. Army.  I worse they can say is they don't have anything.  I also noticed that the Eisenhower Library has kept records - I plan on writing to them too.  When I was a kid I do remember my grandmother telling me James went to Italy to visit his grandfather and the relatives.  This was in a village close to the Alps in the Piedmont area.  She also told me that he took a bunch of soldiers with him.  This would coincide with the location in France he fought in.  I believe he may have been reassigned from the 44th at some point, which makes it harder to track. 

                                               

                                              I have tried to locate verification of his service - however the NARA - AAD has nothing on him.  In my letter to the St. Louis I asked why he was not listed - they stated it was due to the fire - however, I did find verification of my brother Laurence on the site - however there is no indication of what unit he was assigned to in the Philippines.  I have gone through a total of 120 WWII division and unit books in the past several months.  I noticed that there is overlap in divisions and units and where they fought during the war.  I must say it is a maze and I know I am trying to find "a needle in a haystack" - but I will continue to try. 

                                               

                                              I sent a letter to Jame's VFW over a week ago.  I came across the name from his obituary in the Chicago paper.  I hope to hear from them soon.  He was active with the VFW as I remember.  I will let you know what if anything I hear back from them. 

                                               

                                              Thanks for the link.  I will investigate it.

                                               

                                              Pat

                                            • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                              joan stachnik Adventurer

                                              HI Patricia, one more piece of information which may be of value to you. There appears to be a book with the roster of the 44th Infantry Division for 1944-1945. If you think that was your brother's division it might be worth looking into. I found the listing on WorldCat, but its availability does looks limited. Hope this is of some help. joan (https://www.worldcat.org/title/roster-of-the-44th-infantry-division-september-4-1944-july-20-1945/oclc/5243681).

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                                                • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                                  Patricia Christopher Wayfarer

                                                  Thanks Joan for the information. I have written the two libraries to acquire access to the information.  I appreciate your assistance.

                                                   

                                                  Pat

                                                    • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                                      joan stachnik Adventurer

                                                      Hi Patricia, just wanted to let you know that I came across a Facebook page for the 44th infantry division. The administrator of the page has access to a copy of the 44th division roster. He found four men with the last name of Christopher. One was John J Christopher from Chicago IL. He was in the 114th infantry regiment, company H. Could this be your brother? Joan

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                                                        • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                                          Patricia Christopher Wayfarer

                                                          Joan -

                                                          Thanks for the information - I do not believe this is my brother.  I am aware that he 44th had fourteen units within the division.  I have been seeking access to the copies of the rosters from 1944-1945.  I have sent out letter(s) and am waiting for a response.  I also found out through my sister that he was in the hospital during this time frame and am trying to locate where he would have been taken. 

                                                           

                                                          I have not found anything on my brother Laurence as of yet.  I am hoping that the requests I have made will at least provide me with a unit and location they were both with.  I am also aware that men in the 44th were sometimes permanently sent to another division when fatalities were high which opens new units to investigate. As I go along I have been accumulating various military unit books which I have been saving to a USB.  I had no idea how many military units intertwined during the war. 

                                                           

                                                          i am sure at some point I will find the information I am looking for - it will just take some time.

                                                           

                                                          Again, thanks for your help you have been great!

                                                            • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                                              Elliot Schneider Scout

                                                              Patricia,

                                                               

                                                              What organization have you sent letters too, and what information do you have that might suggest that he was in the hospital was it a personal letter written by him. Also it's going to be very hard to find any Army rosters from 1944-1946  they were all destroyed in accordance to laws back then.

                                                               

                                                               

                                                              Thanks,

                                                               

                                                              Elliot Schneider

                                                                • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                                                  Patricia Christopher Wayfarer

                                                                  Elliot -

                                                                  Thanks for your response.  I have written to the following:  National Archives in St. Louis, MO - twice for both my brothers, my brother James' VFW in Chicago, the VA in Chicago, the U.S. Army, Camp Grant, Illinois regarding my brother James, the New York Public Library which has a copy of the 44th Division with Rosters as does the Library of Congress.  I also understand that the University Library I graduated from also has a copy along with other unit and division books.  My granddaughter and I will be checking out these books.  I also have another University in town looking up information regarding the medical corps which served in the Philippines were my brother Laurence served in WWII. 

                                                                   

                                                                  My information regarding my brother James being in the hospital came from my older sister. I do not have letters or any of his military information.  I never thought it would be so difficult to locate information regarding a WWII Veteran as I know the government has duplicate and sometimes triplicate copies of information. 

                                                                   

                                                                  The military books of units and divisions that I have been going through have rosters of the men that fought and died under their command.  Some of the books are quiet used and from the earlier part of the war - however most are are from 1943-1946.  The names of the men are usually in the back portion of the books and from what I have seen in the 120 books I have gone through, they seem to be complete.  I know that this is the "tip of the ice-burg" since I have a copy of all the infantry divisions - the infantry regiments, division/field artillery battalions, signal company, ordinance company, quartermaster company, recon troop, engineer battalion, medical battalion,and CIC detachment under each of the divisions.  I also have identified that several of divisions were in the same location at the same time along with their attachments, and that at times the division attachments would be sent to assist other divisions.  This being said, I am amazed and blessed with our military and its personnel.

                                                              • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                                                Patricia Christopher Wayfarer

                                                                Joan:

                                                                 

                                                                I have a few questions for you:

                                                                • My brother Lawrence P was born in Italy.  He registered and was called up in January 1942.  He did not go directly overseas due to his lack of being a citizen.  How long would he have stayed at Camp Grant, IL and Fort Lewis, WA before he was sent over seas?
                                                                • His original Registration shows the following - S -52 - If I am understanding this correctly the S = second Registration - the 5 = his Registration was in on of three states IL, Michigan, or Wisconsin (shows that he Registered in IL), and the 2 = his assigned National Guard assignment group was in Delaware, New York, and New Jersey. Since Lawrence left Fort Lewis and was stationed in Benton-Harbor Michigan would this have changed his National Guard assignment group?
                                                                • Since Lawrence's medical training was initiated at Camp Grant, IL and he was then transferred to Fort Lewis, WA for further training, how would he be assigned to a Division/Unit - through the Medical Corps Group or through the Division/Unit? 

                                                                This last question is important as I have been reading that there are various ways those who served in the medical field had other varied requirements and that those who were assigned through a Medical Corps group had a different HQ that managed their personnel records versus the Division/Unit HQ.  Tracking Lawrence is the most difficult of two brothers.

                                                                 

                                                                As for my brother James L., the New York Public Library, NYPL provided me with a copy of 114th Unit of the 44th.  He was listed as James L. Christopher - with our old Chicago address.  I also found a picture of him with three men from the 71st and sent the information to my older sister who verified that it was him in the picture.  I was born after he had returned from WWII so I never saw him when he was in his 20's. 

                                                                 

                                                                Thanks for your help Joan.  I appreciate it.

                                                                 

                                                                Pat

                                                      • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                                        Daniel Daugherty Newbie

                                                        Hello, Patricia,

                                                        I hope your research is going well. I have found some records for both of your brothers (I believe) that might be of interest to you. I will try to copy them to this email. If not, you can contact me at ddaniel-727@hotmail and I will send them via email.

                                                         

                                                        I am sorry but I am not allowed to download these images. What I have are the draft cards from fold3, as well as the obituary for James and a Silver Star medal information which he was awarded. If you would like this information I have loaded them onto a word document along with the URL connections for your own research.

                                                         

                                                        Good luck,

                                                         

                                                        Daniel L. Daugherty Jr., Genealogy student Byu-Idaho

                                                          • Re: Seeking service information re two brothers in WWII
                                                            Patricia Christopher Wayfarer

                                                            Hello Daniel:

                                                             

                                                            Thank you for your email regarding my brothers.  I do have the draft cards you are speaking of from Fold3.  The James L. Christopher that received a Silver Star is a gentleman that lives in Ohio, which I verified and found while I was going through the Army Military Books that are on-line.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness.  I sincerely appreciate it.  I will send you through your email account a list of all the Divisions/Units I have been able to view on line.  If there is an interest on your end to know where to locate them - I can provide that to you. 

                                                             

                                                            Also my brother Lawrence Peter Christopher - I am still unable to find his divisioin and unit.  He moved from one area to another before he finally ended up in the Philippines and then in Japan.  My older sister is 86 and between her an I we have been trying to piece this puzzle together. 

                                                             

                                                            Thank you again. 

                                                             

                                                            Pat

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