5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 10, 2020 2:57 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking records of 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron

    Thornton Pritchett Newbie

      A friend and I are looking for records for his father,  PFC Gene P Burks who was in both the 2nd Rangers and C Troop, 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance  Squadron in the ETO during WWII. Is there any source that would have Travel Orders, Morning Reports, or any operational reports where I might find out about his service? Thanks

        • Re: Seeking records of 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
          Elliot Schneider Ranger

          Mr. Pritchett,

           

          Please copy and paste link into your browser.

           

          http://njcavalryandarmorassociation.org/History%20of%20the%2038th.pdf

           

          Additionally here is an After Action Report (AAR). Please follow link if you go to the last few pages of the report it lists your friends father.

           

          https://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p4013coll8/id/3683

           

           

           

          Here is an news article below.

           

          Gene Paul Burks (1921-1959) Obituary -

           

           

           

          Here is some information I found. This is in regards to his Distinguished Service Cross (DSC).  Hopefully you can obtain a copy of the original order through NARA, College Park Maryland. They way you will request should be HQ 1st Army GO# 63 1945.

           

          AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
          DURING World War II
          Service: Army
          Battalion: 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
          GENERAL ORDERS:

          Headquarters, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 63 (1945)

          CITATION:

          (Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Private First Class Gene P. Burks, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, in action against enemy forces on 7 March 1945. Private First Class Burke's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

          2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking records of 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
              Thornton Pritchett Newbie

              Thank you very much, these are very helpful. Is there any way I can get Morning Reports for the 38th since NARA is closed?

              I have a document that shows PFC Burks in the V Corps group but does not show his job on D-Day. What document should I look for that might show personnel movement and what he might have been assigned?

              His discharge papers show his has General Gerow's body guard and we are trying to verify what he did.

              Thanks again, I really appreciate it.

              Tad

            • Re: Seeking records of 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
              Thomas Richardson Navigator

              Dear Mr. Pritchett,

               

              Thank you for posting your request on the History Hub!

               

              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 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. Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.

               

              Morning reports for Army units (from November 1, 1912 to 1959) and Air Force units (from September 1947 to June 30, 1966) 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

               

              We searched National Archives Catalog and located the World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917-1985 (Record Group 407) that may include records of the 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov. We were unable to locate specific records of C Troop. Records of lower echelon units sometimes were incorporated into the files of the squadron.

               

              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 RL-SL & RDT2. Also, the NPRC closed again as of November 7, 2020 until further notice. NPRC will respond only to requests involving burials, medical emergencies, and homeless veterans.  If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines or emergency requests may be faxed to (314) 801-0764.  Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for any inconvenience.

               

              For a brief history of the 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, please click on the following link: http://njcavalryandarmorassociation.org/History%20of%20the%2038th.pdf

               

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

               

              • Re: Seeking records of 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
                Thornton Pritchett Newbie

                Thanks for all of the ideas. I have several more questions.

                His discharge papers have him as a guard for General Gerow, CG V Corps. They show him as a personal guard in England and France meaning he would have had to have been in that role until D-Day to be in France. However, the official V Corps history has him leaving V Corps HQ Company on or before 9 May 1944. It is an inconsistency we cannot resolve unless he was made a guard when he arrived in England in November 1943.

                Also, he arrived in England in November 1943. Would he have gone to a replacement Battalion and if so how can I find out which one? If not, how can I connect the dots from arriving in November 1943, guard duty and D-Day?

                He has the D-Day Arrow head so we feel confident he was in the landing in some capacity. He died young (actually from his war wounds) but he talked to his wife about being in the Rangers before the 38th CRSMech. We have the Morning Reports and Rosters for all of the Ranger Battalions but have not turned up anything, yet.

                 

                We do not know what unit he was in after guard duty until he showed up in 38th CRSMech in August1944. He apparently sailed to ETO with a Medical Detachment but we see no evidence in his records that connect him with that unit.

                So we have a gap either between November 1943 and February 1944 or between May 1944 and August 1944.

                 

                Thanks for your assistance, this is confusing explaining it.

                  • Re: Seeking records of 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
                    Jason Atkinson Ranger

                    Dear Mr. Pritchett,

                     

                    Thank you for posting your follow-up request on History Hub!

                    We are unaware of any additional records that might answer your questions beyond the ones already recommended in previous replies.  In regards to replacement battalions, if he was assigned to one it might be noted on the morning reports of that unit, however these records are not arranged or indexed by name, so RL-SL staff would need to know which unit to look for beforehand. As previously mentioned, it may be some time until public health conditions permit us to make these records available to the public. We are unaware of alternative sources for the morning reports.

                     

                    Also, please keep in mind that with the loss of many OMPFs in the 1973 fire; the Army’s destruction of unit rosters for 1944-1946 in 1951; and the fact that many other routine administrative files (such as unit TDY records, travel records, and most unit records regarding assignments and duties of individual soldiers) also were disposed of by the Army after their initial administrative use and after placing a copy in their OMPFs, means that for many soldiers, it may not be possible to document every aspect of their military service. 

                     

                    We hope this is helpful.