21 Replies Latest reply on Aug 2, 2020 1:23 PM by joan stachnik

    Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion

    Alisa Goetz Newbie

      I know my grandfather was in the 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion at Fort Bragg, NC in January 1943. I cannot find any further information on this unit, including any Division it might have been a part of. My dad says his father was with the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions at different times. His records were destroyed in the Archives fire. Does anyone have any information or know if Fort Bragg keeps records on this? Thanks!

        • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
          Elliot Schneider Navigator

          Alisa,

           

          Do you have any additional information pertaining to your relative. DOB, place of birth. Many individuals here have access to third party websites.

           

          Thanks,

           

          Elliot Schneider

            • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
              Alisa Goetz Newbie

              Hi Elliot,

               

              I do have personal biographical information about my grandfather, including his Serial Number. How can I use this information to find more on his military service? Thanks.

               

              Alisa

                • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
                  Elliot Schneider Navigator

                  Alisa,

                   

                  The reason I ask for additional information is because there are other ways to look for his records. Mentioned already that you have tried reaching out to NPRC and received a no records response.

                   

                  1. Additional information would help us here to help you find additional information pertaining to your relative. There are numerous sites that many of us use to help others out.

                   

                  2. Most soldiers when they came back from WWII had a copy of their discharge papers registered the county recorders office. Additionally, many state veterans service office can help you to obtain. This is because a soilder was able to apply for state benefits and stipends that were paid upon discharge by the State that they lived in.

                   

                  3. So try reaching out to local and state level veterans service office. They may have their own paperwork for you to fill out. But you may end up with something very beneficial.

                   

                   

                  Thanks,

                   

                  Elliot Schneider

                    • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
                      Alisa Goetz Newbie

                      Hi Elliot,

                       

                      I do, in fact, have my grandfather's discharge papers. The problem is apparently they don't reflect his service. My grandfather told my father that his papers reflect the actions of the unit he was sent home with, which was not the unit he was attached to during the war. He never sought to correct the paperwork and was just glad to be done with it all. The papers are also faded to almost illegible. Yet another stumbling block in my search. Thank you for your reply.

                       

                      Alisa

                        • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
                          joan stachnik Scout

                          Hi Alisa, my dad spent most of the war in the 320th GFAB/82nd Airborne. And I had always known that he was in the 82nd. But his separation papers listed the 681st of the 17th Airborne. When I began looking into his service, I thought it was a mistake. But he was transferred just before the end of the war and then home. I found his original unit by working backwards from his separation date.  And an organization for the 681st helped me to figure it out. Would you consider posting a copy of your grandfather's separation papers?  joan

                            • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
                              Alisa Goetz Newbie

                              Hi Joan,

                              I was mistaken about the separation papers. What I have is only three pages, begins sometime during 1944, and is mostly illegible. My grandfather was Jack Rosen, born September 23, 1918 in NYC. His serial number was 32095593. Family history says he was one of the early paratroopers who volunteered from a calvary unit. I've also been told he landed in Tunisia and was dropped into Sicily, was at the Battle of the Bulge, the liberation of Buchenwald, and the Eagle's Nest. He served with the 82nd and 101st (we have shoulder patches from both). From photograph and documentary records I know he was at Ft. Bragg at various times in 1941, 1942, and 1943. And that he was a member of the 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion at Ft. Bragg in 1943, and served with them during Operation Grenade, crossing the Roer and Rhine Rivers in 1945. Any insight you gained about doing this kind of search would be helpful. Thanks for taking the time.

                               

                              AlisaThree pages from Separation Document

                                • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
                                  joan stachnik Scout

                                  Hi Alisa, the papers you attached are a bit difficult to read (flickering for some reason), but these do not look like separation papers. Possibly part of a battalion diary? I'm guessing it's for the 215th FA, since it describes crossing the Roer River in Feb 1945. And being attached to several divisions (79th, 8th 75th). The 215th went were it was needed. The 82nd (AA shoulder patch) was at North Africa, Italy/Sicily, Normandy, Holland, the Ardennes, and finally Germany and the liberation of Wobbelin.  The GFAB of the 82nd traveled by air (glider or plane), rail, or truck. Eagle's nest I believe was the 101st (Eagle shoulder patch).

                                   

                                  Separation papers are a single sheet (white paper) with boxed information, listing enlistment and separation dates (including when they left and returned to the US), any awards, military occupation, etc. You might try your local county or state VA services. Some servicemen registered their separation papers with VA services for benefits. From the NARA online enlistment records, your grandfather enlisted 17 June 1941. He may have been artillery for the duration; l'm not sure paratroopers would have been transferred to glider or ground artillery units. All required special training.

                                   

                                  When I researched my dad's service, the best source of information I found was unit morning reports. They describe daily activities of the unit (personnel transfers, sick lists, location of camps, etc.). These are at the St. Louis archives, but I don't think you can request them. I ended up going to the Archives. If you know your grandfather was in the 215th FA when he left service, that would be the place to start, looking backwards through morning reports. Or start with 1943 (if he was definitely with the 215th that year) and work forward. Also see if the Archives can reconstruct his records (usually final pay voucher). Unfortunately, the Archives remain closed right now, so it might take some time.

                                   

                                  I hope this is of some help. If I find anything specific to your grandfather, I will post.  joan

                                  • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
                                    Elliot Schneider Navigator

                                    Alisa,

                                     

                                    Found this on my genealogy site. Please see below his enlistment date and where he enlisted. Also Joan is correct the information you provided looks to be a portion of a unit diary and not a ww2 discharge paper.

                                     

                                    Also found in a book of mine that the 507th PIR and the 215th GFAB were apart of the 1st Prcht INF Bde they were usually known unofficially as the 1st Independent Glider Bde.

                                     

                                     

                                    Name:Jack Rosen
                                    Name (Original):ROSEN JACK
                                    Event Type:Military Service
                                    Event Date:17 Jun 1941
                                    Term of Enlistment:0
                                    Event Place:Ft Jay, Governors Island, New York, United States
                                    Race:White
                                    Citizenship Status:citizen
                                    Birth Year:1918
                                    Birthplace:NEW YORK
                                    Education Level:3 years of high school
                                    Civilian Occupation:Shoppers
                                    Marital Status:Single, without dependents
                                    Military Rank:Private
                                    Army Branch:Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
                                    Army Component:Selectees (Enlisted Men)
                                    Source Reference:Civil Life
                                    Serial Number:32095593
                                    Affiliate ARC Identifier:1263923
                                    Box Film Number:04653.187

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    Thanks,

                                     

                                    Elliot Schneider

                        • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
                          joan stachnik Scout

                          Hi Alisa, for the 82nd Airborne, I believe there were only two GFAB units, the 319th and the 320th, both active in Europe throughout WWII. The 101st had the 321st GFAB and I think the 907th; not sure if there were other units. There was also the 17th Airborne, which included the 680th and 681st GFAB.  Transfers between units were not uncommon. And towards the end of WWII, men were often transferred to new units based on their service points. I know this from looking into my dad's service; he was in the 320th GFAB of the 82nd and trained at Fort Bragg.

                           

                          There are a number of groups on social media for veterans or their descendants for the various Airborne units. There is also the 82nd Airborne Division Museum at Fort Bragg which might be worth a try. Not for individual service records, but for general information on the glider field artillery units. I'm assuming you already tried to request his service records from the National Archives. If his records were destroyed, there might be other information, such as a final pay voucher. Hope this is of some help. joan

                            • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
                              Alisa Goetz Newbie

                              Thanks for the information. I will try the museum at Ft. Bragg and see if they can help.

                               

                              Alisa

                                • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
                                  joan stachnik Scout

                                  Alisa, I contacted one of the 17th Airborne descendants groups. They had the following information on the 215th. Hope it is of some help in your search. joan

                                   

                                  According to Stanton’s “Order of Battle” (the definitive source for info on US Army ground forces units during World War II), the 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion was formed on 17 October 1942, and was converted to a “leg” unit (meaning non-Airborne, “regular” FAB, and henceforth known as the 215th Field Artillery Battalion) at Ft Bragg in January of 1944. At that point they switched from 75mm pack howitzers to larger, tractor-towed 155mm howitzers. 

                                   

                                  They were a non-divisional unit, so they weren’t assigned to one particular division but rather would have reported directly to a higher authority like a Corps artillery command, supporting the movements of more than one division in their areas of operations. 

                                   

                                  They arrived in England on 1 Oct 1944 and entered combat in the ETO 10 December 1944.  They are credited with three campaign participation credits: Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe and Rhineland. 

                                   

                                  In August of 1945 they ended their ETO duties in Branau, Germany, and they returned to the US to the Hampton Roads Point of Embarkation on 28 Oct 1945.

                                  • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
                                    joan stachnik Scout

                                    Hi Alisa, I'm not sure where you are with your research, but I came across a listing from the Eisenhower Library. The library has a collection of US Army Unit records from 1917 to 1950. The 215th Field Artillery is included in the list (see below). It might be worth a try to see if any information is available when the library reopens. Although, since the unit is listed as field artillery, and not glider field artillery, it might be related to the 1944/45 campaigns. Also there was a document outlining the development of Airborne units (https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a954911.pdf ). The 215th is mentioned in several sections (pp20-23 and 104-105; see below). While not specific for your grandfather, it might give you some insight into the early 215th. Hope this is of some hellp. joan

                                     

                                    Box 431

                                    205th Field Artillery Battalion
                                    207
                                    th Field Artillery Battalion
                                    208
                                    th Field Artillery Battalion
                                    209
                                    th Field Artillery Battalion
                                    211
                                    th Field Artillery Battalion
                                    213
                                    th Field Artillery Battalion
                                    215
                                    th Field Artillery Battalion
                                    216
                                    th Armored Field Artillery Battalio

                                     

                                    https://www.eisenhowerlibrary.gov/sites/default/files/finding-aids/pdf/us-army-unit-records-index.pdf

                                    https://www.eisenhowerlibrary.gov

                                     

                                     

                                    "On 5 April 1943, the First Airborne Infantry Brigade, commanded by Colonel (laterLeo Donovan,) and conprising Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment

                                    88th Glider Infantry, 326th Glider Infantry, 507th Parachute Infantry, and 215th GliderField.ArtilleryBattalion,wasordered.fromFortBenningtoFortMeade,SouthDakota.

                                    The objective of this movement was to locate the tactical units of the Brigade in thevicinity of the Army Air Forces air base at Alliance, Nebraska, where Troop Carriertraining was in progress, thus providing the opportunity for c=bined advanced training,not only for the airborne units but also for the glider and transport groups as well.Vhile in this area, the 88th Glider Infantry was stationed at Fort Meade, with the 326th,507th, and 215th at the Army Air Base, Alliance, Nebraska."

                                     

                                      • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
                                        Alisa Goetz Newbie

                                        Thanks for this Joan. I found some info at the Eisenhower Library but I was only looking at the Central Europe campaign. This adds to my timeline for the 215th. What type of document would I be looking for to find out when my grandfather was with this unit? Are there rosters arranged by date for each unit? I could do in person research in College Park if they were open, but not sure when that will happen. I am not the best with finding aids yet so everything you send me is greatly appreciated.

                                          • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
                                            joan stachnik Scout

                                            HI Alisa, I'm glad the information was of some help. To the best of my knowledge, any records related to individuals (eg, rosters, morning reports, pay vouchers, etc) are at the St. Louis Archives. This is where I found information specific to my dad's service. But looking at what is in Stanton's "Order of Battle" (I reposted below), I'm wondering if the Central Europe campaign which you mention is the first campaign the 215th was in? Stanton's states that the unit was converted from glider artillery to field artillery in Jan 1944 at Fort Bragg, then arrived in England in Oct 1944. So could this be a possible timeline for the 215th based on previous posts:

                                             

                                            • Formed Oct 1942 as GFAB (at Fort Benning?)
                                            • April 1943 joined First Airborne Infantry as GFAB and transferred from Fort Benning to Fort Meade (and Alliance Army Airbase, Nebraska)
                                            • Converted to Field Artillery in Jan 1944 at Fort Bragg
                                            • To ETO Oct 1944

                                             

                                            Sorry if this is duplicate information for you. But it's my best guess based on what has been posted and what I've been able to find. I think this is a more difficult task since the 215th wasn't attached to a division. I'll keep looking. Hope this is of some help. joan

                                             

                                             

                                            According to Stanton’s “Order of Battle” (the definitive source for info on US Army ground forces units during World War II), the 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion was formed on 17 October 1942, and was converted to a “leg” unit (meaning non-Airborne, “regular” FAB, and henceforth known as the 215th Field Artillery Battalion) at Ft Bragg in January of 1944. At that point they switched from 75mm pack howitzers to larger, tractor-towed 155mm howitzers. 

                                             

                                            They were a non-divisional unit, so they weren’t assigned to one particular division but rather would have reported directly to a higher authority like a Corps artillery command, supporting the movements of more than one division in their areas of operations. 

                                             

                                            They arrived in England on 1 Oct 1944 and entered combat in the ETO 10 December 1944.  They are credited with three campaign participation credits: Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe and Rhineland. 

                                             

                                            In August of 1945 they ended their ETO duties in Branau, Germany, and they returned to the US to the Hampton Roads Point of Embarkation on 28 Oct 1945.

                                    • Re: Seeking records of 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
                                      Jason Atkinson Pioneer

                                      Dear Ms. Goetz,

                                       

                                      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) that may include records of the 215th Field Artillery Battalion and its predecessor, the 215th Glider Field Artillery Battalion. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

                                       

                                      Copies of most of the monthly rosters from November 1912 - 1943 and 1947 - 1959 for Army units are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis, MO. Rosters for units serving in World War II from 1944 - 1946 were destroyed in accordance with Army disposition authorities. Morning reports for Army units from November 1, 1912 to 1959 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL). For access to these records, please contact RL-SL via email at stl.archives@nara.gov

                                       

                                      If you have not already requested your grandfather’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) and received a reply that it was destroyed by the 1973 fire, we suggest that you request a copy of his 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 1958 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from 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. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.

                                       

                                      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 RDT2 and RL-SL. Also, the National Personnel Records Center is servicing only urgent requests related to homeless veterans, medical emergencies, and funerals which may be faxed to 314-801-0764.  We thank you for your patience and look forward to resuming normal operations when the public health emergency has ended.

                                       

                                      You may also wish to contact the U.S. Army Center of Military History, the U.S. Army History and Heritage Center, the U.S. Army Artillery Museum, and the National World War 2 Museum.

                                       

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