Post by techdoc1 on Jan 2, 2015 12:37:21 GMT 8
I really have so many questions about the 462nd PFAB I don't know where to begin, so I'll just jump in:
My Father, Les Webb, joined Battery D sometime in late 1943 or early 1944, as near as I can tell. He just recently passed, on Dec 18th, 2014 at the age of 91.
We talked several times about his service with the 462nd and their participation in operations on Corregidor, Negros, Noemfoor, and Mindoro. I know he went to jump school at Ft Benning in 1943, and was also at Camp MacKall in Feb 1944. He was sent to Camp Stoneman in California after the 462nd was alerted for overseas duty in March of 1944, and was aboard the US(?) Sea Cat (C4 type Liberty Ship) sailing for Australia. He arrived in Brisbane, Australia on April 2, 1944. In July 1944 he made the trip to Noemfoor, and his unit joined up with the 503rd there. He started his career as a Private, and ended as a T5 and squad leader.
I know he was trained on the Pack 75, 75mm Howitzer, but read somewhere that a newer, larger 105mm weapon was deployed at about the same time as the Corregidor operation. Based on what I saw and read, the pack 75 was used on Corregidor.
I've been able to find out some particulars about certain locations, but don't know the extent of his battery's participation in those areas, as the info I can find is very sketchy for the 462nd and nowhere near as complete as the info I can find on the 503rd itself. I have several packets of pictures that I've been going through with my Mom, some of which we'd seen before and some of which we had never seen. I'm in the early stages of scanning them so I can catalog them and possibly share with this organization. We also have his Ft Benning Jump School 'book'; It reminded me of my own book I received upon USN boot camp graduation in 1976. It has generic pictures of all phases of the jump school training, and is signed by 45 -50 individuals of his group.
He belonged to the 462nd Battery D Association, and I have copies of their roster, dated from 1978.
1) Can someone explain to me the aspects of what constitutes a 'Battery'? How many men, etc. or was a squad equal to 1 Battery? The association roster contains around 90 names, which makes me think that its equivalent to a company.
2) As a T5, I know he was considered a corporal, but was a squad leader and squads were usually commanded by a Sargent. Is this common?
3) On Corregidor, did most of the 462nd assume positions on the Topside parade ground to supply cover fire, or were there other areas that were used?
4) Any info that can be supplied as to Battery D's participation on Negros or Mindoro would be appreciated.
I have more questions but hope future dialog will provide some answers and additional info.
Thanks for any responses from this forum.