6 Replies Latest reply on Dec 6, 2020 7:57 AM by Lowell Silverman

    Seeking to decipher the abbreviations of certain WWII U.S. Army units

    Lowell Silverman Adventurer

      I've spent the better part of the year cataloging some three years of morning reports from my grandfather's WWII unit, the U.S. Army's 32nd Station Hospital.  Although I've gotten pretty good at reading them, some of the abbreviations for other units (that personnel are transferring to or from, for instance) throw me for a loop.  Unlike the standard terminology (i.e. dy, dtd, EDCMR), I haven't been able to find any particularly helpful resources on the subject.  The unit was based in Italy at the time, so transfers would probably be within the Mediterranean Theater, though potentially also the European Theater, in 1944 or 1945.




      1) "Univ Tng Comd"     University Training Command?

      2) "USGCC Germany"  No idea whatsoever.

      3) "MRS" Rest of the line translates: From duty to detached service MRS per letter orders Headquarters PBS [Peninsular Base Section]

      4) "AF (Ovhd)" or "(Ovbd)"  I got Hq & Service Company...I would have assumed ovhd was overhead or "ovbd" overboard, but it doesn't make sense to me as a unit name. AF being air force or allied force, since Allied Force Headquarters (AFHQ) was nearby?

      5) "3988 Sig Switchboard Optg Det"  3988th Signal Switchboard Operating Detachment? 

      6) "3rd Prov P/W Adm Sec" 3rd Provision Prisoner of War Administration Section?

      7) "364th APU" 364th Army Postal Unit?

      8) "Det T 601 MP PW Bn" Detachment T 601st Military Police Prisoner of War Battalion?

      9) "313 MP EG Det" 313st Military Police EG Detachment? Update: Quite by accident I came across a reference to ___ Military Police Escort Guard Company.



        • Re: Seeking to decipher the abbreviations of certain WWII U.S. Army units
          Elliot Schneider Ranger



          Hope you had a good Thanksgiving. Here are some that I have seen from my morning report research.


          AFHQ= Allied Forces Headquarters however it was also used as Airfield Headquarters I guess depending on the type of Morning reports you may be looking at.


          PBS= Production Base Support


          APU= Aircraft Preparation Unit


          MRS= Medical Reception Station also used as Maritime Reconnaissance School


          USGCC= U.S. Group Control Council, Germany


          EG= Eastern Group



          Hope this Helps,


          Elliot Schneider


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          • Re: Seeking to decipher the abbreviations of certain WWII U.S. Army units
            joan stachnik Tracker

            Lowell, I found the following references for three of the abbreviations, but I don't know if these fit in context for the morning reports. Wondering if "ovhd" or overhead is more of an administrative unit? Hope this is of some help. If I find anything else I will post. Also may I ask, how are you cataloging the the MRs? I have copies for my dad's unit and wanted to do some sort of summary or similar to make them easier to follow. thanks,  joan



            ovhd as Overhead (eg, 6713th Blood Transfusion Unit (Overhead) found in one reference; which was abbreviated as (ovhd) in the document. (https://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/wwii/blood/default.htm ).


            "In the case of  Major CLIFFORD W. LORD (O-885548), AC, 2618tb Hq & HQ. Sq. (AF Ovhd) Mediterranean Air Transport Service..."(.https://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/ETO-BOR_Vol-34.pdf)


            "By this date the center was fully organized, although the 6744th Medical Center (Overhead) was not formally activated until 10 February 1944. Consisting of four officers and 20 enlisted men, the medical center headquarters group was responsible for functions common to all the hospitals in the area, such as allocation of space, maintenance of roads and utilities, sanitation, security, transportation, civilian labor, and recreation. Included among the service units operating under the medical center organization were a finance disbursing section, an Army post office, a Quartermaster shower and sterilization unit, a laundry, a fire-fighting platoon, a message center, and a telephone switchboard. The center headquarters also controlled the staging area for medical units. Although it resembled the typical hospital center in its purposes, the Naples grouping was less centralized. It had no commanding officer in the proper sense of the word. Colonel Jeffress, former surgeon of the Atlantic Base Section, was responsible for administering the overhead functions, but the medical service as such, including the assignment of patients, was directly under the base surgeon. (https://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/wwii/medsvcsinmedtrnmnrthrtrs/chapter9.htm)


            U.S. Group Control Council, Germany (USGCC) (from:https://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/260.html )


            And I found "MRS" in a recent document as "medically related services", but again, not sure of the relevance to WWII documents.

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