8 comments

  1. I find you blog most interesting as my dad was in the 914th company C along with your family member.

      1. Your great uncles lack of conversation about the time I think is not uncommon. It was not until the last 7 years I was able to get my dad to talk about it. Thanks for the point to the pictures I grabbed one and sent it to my dad to see if he remembers him. Do you know what his job was? My dad was a breachman on gun #2. We only know of one other survivor from battery C.

  2. My Dad was a PFC in the 914th FA Bn. Thank you for helping me confirm this through your explanation where to find unit lists. As you know, the 89th ID site has quite a number of memoir and recollections of arriving at Ohrdruf. If you want to read another, from the point of view of a 20 year old PFC, written sixty years later (and included in a memoir collection published posthumously) search Google books, “Meeting the Enemy” by Kingsley Ervin. Just a few pages. Most were there less than a few hours, and many groups visited even in the week before Eisenhower famously came to view. But those searing sights stayed with them. May they all rest in peace

      1. I’m afraid I didn’t see anyone familiar in the photos. But thanks, that is a great trove. Gives a real sense of the time and place. Amazing that we are relatives of two from the 914th FA Bn. But I only have one photo from 1944, stateside, from either basic training or ASTP, before Camp Lucky Strike.
        https://owlcation.com/humanities/ArtilleryBattalions
        This site offers some explanation on how the Field Artilleries worked at the end of WWII. (Very effectively, according to this.) There were likely several hundred in an FA Battalion, with several batteries of 12 (?) guns each. Plus other groups and jobs. My dad describes being in a group of 15 (in the back of a GMC), as part of the “fire direction” unit. So as I understand he was one of the “middlemen” between the targeting unit that selected targets and had to operate close enough to see the field, and the gunners who armed and fired the howitzers further back. It was fraught work, making the calculations for firing, and the responsibility of possible mistakes left some scars. But not like the dangers probably of the other unit jobs. The article linked above describes the terrifying job of laying communications wires, which of course had to go everywhere… All these kids. My dad was 20. Thank you again for your historical work.

      2. I believe they were in different companies. I’m not sure if I have the Morning Reports for his company but if you would like me to look, can you email his details?

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