10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 1, 2020 10:28 AM by Leonard Cizewski

    Seeking general order awarding Combat Infantry Badge to John A Penich

    Leonard Cizewski Wayfarer

      We would like a copy of the WWII 45th Infantry Division General Order in which John A. Penich, Army Serial Number 13 011 063 Infantry Division General Order was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge. We do not know the company, battalion, or regiment  of the 45th Infantry Division in which he served.  He was transferred to a Signal Corps unit before discharge according to his discharge papers. His personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire at the NPRC in St. Louis. That will identify for the family the unit of the 45th ID in which John Penich served in WWII. Thank you.

        • Re: Seeking general order awarding Combat Infantry Badge to John A Penich
          Elliot Schneider Navigator

          Leonard,

           

          If you have received a  response in the past, here is what I would do. File another request for records to the NPRC in St. Louis. In the meantime I would try and look at the county recorder office where he lived prior and after the war. You may also try contacting the county veterans service office they may be able to work in conjection with County Recorder, worth investigating. It's how I got my grandfathers records.

           

           

          Thanks,

           

          Elliot Schneider

          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking general order awarding Combat Infantry Badge to John A Penich
              Leonard Cizewski Wayfarer

              Thanks, Elliot,

              The family has John Penich's discharge.

              He was among the soldiers of the 45th Infantry Division who at the end of the war in Europe because of his  Advanced Service Rating (ASR) score was transferred to another unit for discharge, Therefore his discharge did not include his 45th ID unit.

              He had a disability. His VA records have his dates of service but not his unit.

              Since the family has already been informed that his records were destroyed in the 1973 fire at the NPRC why do you think a second request to the NPRC will yield different results.

              With the GO that awarded him his CIB we can narrow down his unit to his regiment or battalion, we could retain a researcher to research morning reports at the NPRC to identify his company.

              Leonard

                • Re: Seeking general order awarding Combat Infantry Badge to John A Penich
                  Elliot Schneider Navigator

                  Leonard,

                   

                  First depending on timeframe when last requested its possible that they have found other information to recreate his service records. You may also want try obtaining final pay records. But you already have the discharge.

                  Morning reports will hopefully show what unit he transferred from. Remember to start backwards when requesting morning reports from the date of discharge.

                   

                  Thanks,

                   

                  Elliot

                  1 person found this helpful
                    • Re: Seeking general order awarding Combat Infantry Badge to John A Penich
                      Leonard Cizewski Wayfarer

                      Hello Elliot,

                      Since John A. Penich was discharged from the 984th Signal Service Company, would his final pay records be from the 984th?

                      Were medical records also lost in the NPRC fire? John A Penich had a disability pension. The records related to his pension the family has obtained only have dates of service but not his unit.

                      Were pay records kept separate from the records that were lost in the NPRC fire?

                      Would we need to know John A. Penich's 45th ID unit to request his 45th ID pay records prior to his transfer to the 986th? Or are only final pay records available?

                      We have been researching the informal rosters of 45th ID units but have not found John A. Penich.

                      We have one official roster but it was from June 1945 after John A. Penich was discharged.

                      Others have suggested that the family research hometown newspapers at a local library to see if John A. Penich and his unit are mentioned.

                      That may be about the last free source to identify his unit.

                       

                      If we cannot find his unit from free sources, I have suggested the family retain a researcher at the NPRC to research morning reports as you suggest.

                      Leonard

                        • Re: Seeking general order awarding Combat Infantry Badge to John A Penich
                          Elliot Schneider Navigator

                          Leonard,

                           

                          Pay records were kept separate and are not part of the service members OMPF, it is possible that it would show the Signal Company. Well the 45th had three infantry Regiment 157th, 179th, and the 180th. Have you tried reaching out to and of these to see if they have any association groups or yearly gatherings. Maybe they would have infantry yearbook worth looking into. Lastly, what was your fathers MOS, and do your family have any letters from him that he had written home?

                           

                           

                          Elliot

                          1 person found this helpful
                            • Re: Seeking general order awarding Combat Infantry Badge to John A Penich
                              Leonard Cizewski Wayfarer

                              Elliot,

                               

                              I co-administer a WWII 45th ID FB Group that assists families to research their WWII relatives. We are assisting John A. Penich’s daughter and granddaughter in their research.

                               

                              1. We have researched all the rosters and yearbooks of all three regiments in our collection with no luck.

                               

                              We have also been researching other documents in our collections which have names such as After Action and Morning Reports also with no luck.

                               

                              Families keep finding rosters and sharing them with our group.

                               

                              We have figured out how to make them searchable PDFs which makes searching easier.

                               

                              2. John A. Penich’s MOS was 745 Rifleman. His military qualifications were Marksman M1 Rifle and Combat Infantryman. His oral history was of serving in a rifle company.

                               

                              3. He received a disability pension. The records related to that only have his dates of service but not his unit.

                               

                              4. His Campaigns are identical to the 45th IDs.

                               

                              5. His discharge uniform as a 45th ID shoulder patch.

                               

                              6. He had what may have been a regimental history that has been lost.

                               

                              7. His letters have been lost.

                               

                              His family plans to research hometown newspapers in their local library to see if he and his unit were mentioned.

                               

                              They may need to retain a researcher at the NPRC to research morning reports.

                               

                              Unfortunately lost personal copies records and letters, lost records in the 1973 fire, and discharge from a unit other than their original unit is not uncommon in WWII family history research.

                               

                              Thanks for all your support.

                               

                              Leonard

                    • Re: Seeking general order awarding Combat Infantry Badge to John A Penich
                      Hannah Bingham Adventurer

                      Dear Mr. Cizewski,

                       

                      Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

                       

                      We searched the World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917-1981 (Record Group 407) and located general orders for 1943-1945 of the 45th Infantry Division. Unfortunately, the Combat Infantry Badge was awarded at the Regimental level instead of the Division. Therefore, we are unable to locate the particular general order without knowing what regiment he was assigned to.

                       

                      The staff of the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) will be pleased to make these records available to you or your representative in the Textual Research Room located 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, near the University of Maryland--College Park campus. The Textual Research Room (Room 2000) hours are 8:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, except legal holidays. The RDT2 consultation room hours are 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except legal holidays. No appointment is necessary. Prior to your visit, please consult College Park websites at https://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/college-park/https://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/self-service-copying.html, and https://www.archives.gov/research/start/getting-started.pdf.

                       

                      To determine the regiment, we suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 and prior to 1955 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.  As you are aware, in many cases personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, however, proof of service and sometimes the regiment can be provided using other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002.

                       

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

                       

                      2 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Seeking general order awarding Combat Infantry Badge to John A Penich
                        Dave Kerr Adventurer

                        John A. Penich belonged to K Company, 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, according to the 3 January 1944 Division Roster.

                         

                        I searched twice through my copies of the 157th General Orders and did not find a CIB for him.  Consequently, I have emailed Hugh to see if he has a record of his CIB.

                        1 person found this helpful
                          • Re: Seeking general order awarding Combat Infantry Badge to John A Penich
                            Leonard Cizewski Wayfarer

                            Hi Dave,

                             

                            I have forwarded your reply to John A. Penich’s daughter and granddaughter.

                             

                            They thank you.

                             

                            His family will be in touch with you via email as they would like a copy of the roster you cited.

                             

                            Now that his unit has been identified, a copy of the General Order awarding him his Combat Infantry Badge is less urgent.

                             

                            They were seeking that GO to identify his unit.

                            His family trust the accuracy of the awarding of his CIB on his discharge from the 984th Signal Service Company.

                             

                            They would probably appreciate the GO as all of John A. Penich’s other 45th ID documents have been lost and his personnel file was among those destroyed in the 1973 fire. Check that out when they get in touch with you.

                             

                             

                            Yours,

                             

                            Leonard