Close Assault 1944

Remember the true meaning of Veteran’s Day with this stirring look back at World War II. Close Assault 1944 honors the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans by focusing on the history of the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas Army National Guard during World War II. The free program features members of the Texas Military Forces Living History Detachment exhibiting the uniform and equipment worn by the American GI in the European Theater of the Second World War, as well as those of his German opponent. In addition, the two-day event will provide guests the opportunity to witness firing demonstrations of the most famous U.S. and German small arms of World War II, as well as see everything from tents and radio equipment to GI baseball gloves and mess kits and operational vehicles such as an M4 Sherman Tank, M3 Halftrack and Jeeps.

 

The event will take place rain or shine and bleachers will be available for seating.  Show times are at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 pm. The Texas Military Forces Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the weekend. Both the program and admission to the museum are free.

Morning Reports:

When the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis caught fire in 1973 the destruction of 80% of all Army and Army Air Corps personnel records from 1912-1964 was a huge blow. People looking to research their relatives service are left with few resources to try and find details of service.

One of the items which can help reconstruct WWII era service is the Morning Report. In this blog post we explain what a Morning Report is and how to read it.

Company K, 142nd Infantry Regiment September 9, 1943

The Morning Report is the daily record of a unit. It includes soldiers by name and service number and includes information about anything which effects the individual soldiers of the unit. This includes being wounded or missing, being ill, going AWOL, being promoted or demoted in rank and being added or transferred away from the unit.

In the example above dated September 9, 1943 from Company K, 142nd Infantry Regiment we have 2 officers who were on duty (dy) and have been sent to the hospital (hosp) because they were severely injured (SW) in the line of duty (LD). Then there are 3 soldiers who were Killed in Action( a Staff Sgt and 2 privates). Next we have Private 1st Class Moore who went from duty to the hospital wounded in the line of duty severely with shrapnel on his right side. Finally we have PFC Johnson who had a severe gunshot wound to his nose.

Company C, 143rd Infantry Regiment, September 18, 1944

In this example from Company C, 143rd Infantry on September 18, 1944 we have a little bit different information. At the top there is PFC Adam Badabaugh, we also have his MOS or service classification in this case 745 which is a Rifleman. So PFC Badabaugh was assigned(asgd) to duty and joined (jd) as a Rifleman (745) to Company C.He had been transferred from Headquarters, 1st Battalion as of September 5, 1944. The other names on the card were all assigned and joined the unit as Rifleman from a replacement center as of September 18, 1944.

111th Medical Battalion Report for Company C, 143rd Infantry Regiment for August 25, 1944, page 1

There also can be documents from the Medical unit included in the reports. In this example from August 25, 1944 PFC Bob Puff has been sent to the hospital with a gunshot wound (GSW) which penetrated his left leg and PFC Swezey has a shell fragment wound ( SFW) which hit both his right arm and left shoulder. Lastly PFC Kelly took a gunshot wound to the left angle and thigh. The document also includes information on which evacuation hospital they were sent to.

Company C, 143rd Infantry Regiment December 25, 1944

There are also overview reports on the unit as a whole, this one from Christmas Day, 1944 shows that Company C, 143rd is located at grid coordinates WW0394, near Strasbourg, France and that on December 24th Company C was attacking enemy positions and took one enemy prisoner.

Company C 143rd Infantry Regiment August 1944

This list from early August includes information about which landing craft the unit was on and brief information about what they did each day.

The museum unfortunately does not have copies of Morning Reports. We have just a few example which 36th Division family members have shared with us. Morning Reports can be found at the St. Louis location of the National Archvies. https://www.archives.gov/personnel-records-center/military-personnel/morning-reports-and-unit-rosters-access You can go and copy them yourself or pay a researcher to do it for you. Reports are available for many units and time periods.

This site has a very helpful list of abbreviations which are commonly found on Morning Reports : http://103divwwii.usm.edu/assets/mr-abbreviations.pdf and this site: https://militaryyearbookproject.com/references/old-mos-codes/wwii-era/army-wwii-codes/army-mos-codes-wwii-era has WWII MOS codes.

If you have any comments or questions please email us at txmilmuseum@gmail.com

Colonel Oran Stovall

Artifact Spotlight–Italian Coins

This small collection of coins was donated in 2001 and is part of the current museum staff’s ongoing effort to catalog previously unrecorded artifacts in the museum collection. The coins only had a donation date and that they were associated with a 36th Infantry Division soldier but they still have an interesting story to tell.

The top left coin is a 3 Grana coin dated 1810 and came from Naples, Italy.

The top right coin is a 3 Tornesi coin dated 1648 and came from the Neapolitan Republic.

The 2 bottom coins are both variations of the same Roman Republic coin and date from 200-100 BCE.

The front of the coins have Janus, the two faced god for whom January is named.

The back of the coins have a prow of a ship and this one has the visible letters ‘RD”, possibly for TVRD. The coin is a very thick bronze, 40mm. The other Roman Republic coin appears to be all copper.

The 3 older coins all have wear consistent with being buried. While we don’t know the exact story of these coins it is easy to image a 36th soldier resting in a field after the difficult landings at Salerno on September 9th 1943 and seeing something glint in the sunlight and picking up the 3 grana coin. Or during the long, wet winter of 1943/44 our soldier is digging a foxhole, trying to get a little cover from the constant artillery bombardment and finding one of the Roman coins buried in the dirt.

We don’t know why the soldier chose to keep these old coins; possibly as souvenirs to send home to a kid brother or sister or maybe his own young child, or maybe as a memento for his own collection or a sweetheart or wife back home. Did he feel a connection to those long ago Italians who had lived and maybe fought and died on the same soil? Was he injured? Did he make it back home or were these part of the effects sent back to the family of a fallen soldier. We will likely never know the answers to these questions but we can imagine the soldier and see him in films like “A Walk in the Sun” or “The Story of G.I. Joe” both of which were based on the 36th Infantry Division in WWII and we can remember his service and sacrifice told through the objects he left behind.

WWII “Victory” Dinner Dance Gala

BUY TICKETS

It is time again for the annual Texas Military Forces Historical Foundation WWII themed Sweetheart Dinner Dance. The event will take place at the museum on February 15, 2020 starting at 6:30 pm. As always we will feature the talented Sentimental Journey Orchestra under the direction of Ted Connerly and featuring the Memphis Belles  singers. Dinner will be provided by Austin Catering, and a photo booth and souvenir glass will add to the vintage atmosphere. Our outstanding silent action will feature items like a ride in the Sherman Tank, themed baskets and much, much more.

Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at the event page , by phone or at the museum. Seating is limited.

We look forward to having you join us for this wonderful unique event hosted by the Texas Military Forces Historical Foundation which supports the Texas Military Forces Museum.

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Close Assault 1944

 

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Remember the true meaning of Veteran’s Day with this stirring look back at World War II. Close Assault 1944 honors the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans by focusing on the history of the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas Army National Guard during World War II. The free program features members of the Texas Military Forces Living History Detachment exhibiting the uniform and equipment worn by the American GI in the European Theater of the Second World War, as well as those of his German opponent. In addition, the two-day event will provide guests the opportunity to witness firing demonstrations of the most famous U.S. and German small arms of World War II, as well as see everything from tents and radio equipment to GI baseball gloves and mess kits and operational vehicles such as an M4 Sherman Tank, M3 Halftrack and Jeeps.

 

The event will take place rain or shine and bleachers will be available for seating.  Show times are at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 pm. The Texas Military Forces Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the weekend. Both the program and admission to the museum are free.

 

Camp Mabry is open to the public and adults will need to show a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license or a military ID to come on post.