Post by Henry J. Kaden on Jul 2, 2009 8:52:28 GMT 8
I was going through some old boxes and actually found his C*nt cap with the parachute on it with the blue trim! He has some photos of himself in his jump garb and I was amazed. He originally came from the 26th Infantry where he played on both the regimental baseball and basketball championship teams. He was also a regimental boxer. The more I nose around, the more I discover about his past and the more amazed I am because he never spoke about this stuff until I pressed him. He is a truly amazing guy!
Based only on these, it's quite possible, indeed, given that there were only 48 in the Test Platoon, the word becomes probable, that your father-in-law was in the 501st, though not in the Test Platoon.
The identity of one man is an insider's secret. He held the first jump honor, Number One, but when the time came, Number One could not jump. He was transferred out and his name not spoken of thereafter.
Maj. Miley commanded the 501st PIR, its first Commander.
Many of the 501st were posted to Panama. That's certainly consistent.
I have no info about the "Thunderbird" at this point.
The Nadzab certificate was to be signed by the Regimental Commander, Col. Kinsler - but such was not to be the case. Kinsler was dead before they were signed.
His name doesn't appear on the Nadzab roster,or the Templeman roster for Corregidor, but given the circumstances, I do not consider either of those is definitive.
Welcome to the site and I hope you find much that is enjoyable here.
I have finally gotten to what I believe is the "bottom" of this question. My Father-in-Law enlisted on January 5, 1938 at 39 Whitehall Street, New York, NY. He was eventually assigned to the 26th Infantry Division out of Fort Devens, Mass. He then decided to volunteered for "Airborne" training on October 25, 1940. It appears that due to the fact that he had less than a year to go they actually "discharged" him from the 26th Infantry and then cut orders to report for the 501st Parachute Infantry Battalion, Fort Benning, GA (SO#246) He had to re-enlist to do this. He was transferred with Pvt. John C. Kilfoyle, PVT. stephen B. Bates, & Pvt. Philip A. Hewitt, Cpl. Vincent D'Argenio, Pvt. Allen L. Snow and Pvt 1C Stephen Kicinski. He has a "Certificate of Proficiency" dated March 21, 1941 as a qualified parachutist from Parachute Group Headquarters signed by a Major W.M. Miley, Commanding Officer of the 501st Parachute Battalion. He is also in possession of a "503rd Parachute Infantry" Combat Mission Certificate for jumping on the Japanese Garrison at Lae, New Guinea on September the 5th, 1943. I also have a copy of his NCO Club card # 237 dated November 1944. He was eventually discharged on 23 July 1945.
503d P.R.C.T. Heritage Battalion members and webmaster,
Congratulations to the 503d P.R.C.T. Heritage Battalion and its many contributors for an excellent web site and efforts to preserve and explain the historical significance of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regimental Combat Team (WW II) and their exemplary courage, honor, and many sacrifices during World War II.
My father, SSgt. Claire John Hansen, enlisted in the U.S. Army on 20 Jun 1941, completed Infantry Paratroop training at Fort Benning, GA, additional training at Fort Bragg, NC and served as the Supply Sergeant with Company C, 1st Battalion, 503rd PIRCT until his separation on 5 Aug 1945 at Camp McCoy, WI, just 38 miles from his hometown of Black River Falls, WI.
He attended the meetings and participated in the development of the constitution for the 503rd Regimental Combat Team Association (World War II) in Washington, DC during the weekend of Feb 22, 1957. He was elected to the Board of Directors as representative of the Southeast (US). He attended several of the Association’s conventions and was very proud to have served with the 503rd PIRCT. He was also an active member of several VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) posts in northeast Florida.
Dad passed away on Jun 26, 1967 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Lake City, FL. He was buried in the Jacksonville Memory Gardens in Orange Park, FL.
I now understand why his Parachutist Badge does not have three bronze service stars. The jumps at Nadzab and Noemfoor were not officially recognized as “combat” jumps and the 1st Battalion participated in an amphibious combat assault on Corregidor, but it occurred on 17 Feb 1945 and therefore disqualified for the bronze arrowhead. However, I am preparing a request for a review of his decorations and citations as I believe there have been some omissions.
I have really enjoyed browsing through the web site and have learned a great deal about the 503rd PIRCT and its campaigns. The photographs, film strips, maps, recordings and personal accounts have all been superior. The description and accounts of the voyage aboard the SS Poelau Laut from San Francisco to Cairns, Australia was both interesting and entertaining. The answer may be on the web site, but I have not found it. The question: How were the troops returned to the U.S.? Thank you!
Additional documentation will be emailed to the site webmaster.
My father was a 503 paratrooper, jumped on Corregidor on 2-16-45. I am pleased to find this site and others that have an interest in this important segment of WW II. Just wanted to introduce myself as the daughter of a 503 jumper. My father was Warren Brock Johnson from North Carolina. He was a 18 yrs old when he went through this ordeal, as were others...what brave men.
The surviving paratroopers from the jump on Corregidor...would they be willing to share personal info via email or phone? Also, neither my brother nor I have children....would love to leave my dad's Purple Heart and other medals etc to a museum or organization so others can share in the 503 story....any ideas?
My father died some years ago, having never discussed his story with us. He was wounded on Corregidor, so what a story it must have been. He came back with a Japanese saber, reported that his buddies took it off the soldier who shot him....to my deep sorrow, it was stolen from his home while being sold after his death.
Thanks for a great site. My deep appreciation to the 503/Corregidor, those surviving and those not....
People often think I am a little bit surly for the welcome wagon, so I try to stay in the background making things happen.
Yes, it's sort of sad how so much of human experiences get lost, "like tears in rain." About the only way you can get to understand those aspects of your father's early life, the bits he never visited again by choice, is by following the collective experiences of the men of the 503d which are -- in a very small part -- found in this website. That's what we're here for.
Have you checked the North Carolina photo? Is your dad second from left in the second row?
Medals and stuff are pretty common in the US, but I know there is a museum on Corregidor which would like any 503d related stuff. I can arrange that, if it's along the way you are thinking.
Some time ago, the museum on Corregidor asked me if I could put together a display dummy for them, dressed in all the stuff that the paratroopers jumped with - boots, fatigues, webbing, canopy, reserve canopy, dummy grenades, ammo pouches, weapon, mae-west etc. I started out very keen, until I discovered two things - the cost of the stuff had skyrocketed, and that they expected me to acquire all these at my own cost and DONATE it to them. I still have a wife, kids, mortgage, car payments etc., so will leave it for some other benefactors.
Tough luck about the saber, but think of it this way. Had it been sold, it might have ended up in Japan. That would be against every thing your father stood for by his possession of the item. You should prefer that a thief have it in the US than for it to end up there.
Thanks EXO. That is my father in the NC photo...I have a 3x2 inch, old-brown-wrinkled one he kept but this is so clear and much larger. Thank you! I figured as much re the medals....I will just keep them for a while. No one will consider them as precious as I do... he had no paratrooper gear left that I could find, guess it was lost etc when he was wounded/hospitalized etc.
BTW, my wording was confusing: the Japanese. saber was stolen while my dad's HOUSE, not the saber, was in process of selling...I would never have sold that saber. He did discuss the saber story, and the fact that he had searched for a 503 patch replacement for years but never found one.
One last thing: Don't think anyone expects a cheery welcome wagon attitude from you, but I do appreciate the welcome! And thank you for your time managing the site. I look forward to reviewing all of it!
California - Bob: Dear Mr. Welteke: Since you have trekked all around Botolan, Zambales "and more", it is time to mention that my (asawa) wife is from Botolan. I was there in the early 2000's, and I "do" plan to return once the virus calms down more. Salamut. Bob/Kano
Mar 29, 2022 5:50:43 GMT 8
fortman: I hope that this is the right thread. Does any one know how the 155m GPFs were moved on to the panama mounts? Were special ramps used or were they lifted on using a crane?
Jun 7, 2022 2:14:03 GMT 8
fortman: I hope that this is the appropriate thread! Does anyone know how the 155mm GPFs were moved on to the panama mounts? Were ramps used or were they lifted by crane? Thanks. Fortman
Jun 7, 2022 2:16:21 GMT 8
EXO: OK GUYS - I HAVE REDUCED OUR MEMBERSHIP DOWN TO 82, ON A "LESS IS MORE" BASIS. THERE WAS TOO MUCH DEADWEIGHT. ANYONE WHO HASN'T MADE THEIR FIRST POST WITHIN A FEW MONTHS MAY HAVE THEIR MEMBERSHIP DELETED.
Jun 16, 2022 16:38:46 GMT 8
batteryboy: GPFs were mounted via ramps to the Panama Mounts. No need for cranes
Jun 16, 2022 16:38:46 GMT 8
fortman: Hi Batteryboy. Thanks for the feedback on the panama mounts. It is as I thought, but have never seen a photo of the ramps being used. Regards.
Jul 9, 2022 22:57:31 GMT 8
one50: Good to see everyone..it's been a while.
Nov 16, 2022 13:45:10 GMT 8
Peter J johnson: I am looking for the personell photo of my father STAFF SEARGENT CHRIS W. JOHNSON 2ND BTLN FCOMPANY 3RD SQUAD
Nov 18, 2022 5:48:29 GMT 8
one50: Peter, please register as a user for this forum and we can share info with you. I may have a photo with Chris in it. This "shoutbox" is not the place. Thanks
Nov 18, 2022 11:34:41 GMT 8
BusterS: Did anyone know my father, Harold Stanley, he was in D Bty, 462d, Headquarters Det I think? He passed many years ago and I have very few stories from him.
Jan 7, 2023 7:19:43 GMT 8
Alejandro Rimando: Does anyone have any information on Alejandro Rimando?
Apr 2, 2023 21:59:17 GMT 8
Gordy: Does anyone know a survivor of the Oryoko Maru, who might have known my uncle, USN Ensign Peronneau Wingo? He was a POW at Cabantuan and was on the bombed Oryoko Maru.
May 25, 2023 18:37:45 GMT 8
chadhill: Gordy, try contacting Mark Kelso or James Erickson on the Battle of Bataan Facebook site.
May 30, 2023 23:34:35 GMT 8
Whitney Galbraith: POW historians: I would like to invite your attention to this volume of my father’s World War II memoir which I self-published in 2018 and edited in 2020. Col. Nicoll F Galbraith, GSC, US Army was General Jonathan M. Wainwright’s G-4, Logistics, staff off
Jun 2, 2023 19:13:04 GMT 8