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jon
02-28-2010, 06:24 AM
Hi i`m new here.
I have adopted the grave of kenneth mcdonell who was killed in germany in 45. I have done some research and have spoken to his younger brother, gus in NY. Gus gave me a copy of a letter his family recieved from a chaplin who was with Kenneth when he died. i have been able to find a medical report that mentions chaplin mc fadden on the day he was with Keneth. the report has grid references for that day but i`m unable to use these on a modern map. did the us army use a different system to the one we use today? and is it possible to get a copy of the original map?

R Leonard
02-28-2010, 10:38 PM
Might be on the British system. What are the coordinates?

jon
03-01-2010, 01:01 PM
http://http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/wwii/Schmidt/Muglia.html

map coordinates refer to map sheet no 5304, Nideggen, Germany, scale 1/25000

Blue aid station; 018334
Vossenack church; 038326
MSR; 045317
New aid station;046316
Ambulance loading;054308 (stated as wrong and corrected as;045318)


i have tried to find this map but nothing comes up on google, any suggestions would be gratefully received.

R Leonard
03-08-2010, 12:23 PM
Sorry to take so long to get back, was distracted by other issues, more in my field, WW2 US naval aviation. My apologies for the delay.

Your coordinates do indeed look like the Modified British System.

Verifying - - -

I sort of backed in by first googling Vossenack and finding it somewhat east of Liege, east-south-east of Aachen and southwest of Koln.

So, with that in mind, I went to
http://www.echodelta.net/mbs/eng-overview.php
pausing to read the whole thing to refresh my memory a bit. Having a vague notion of the whereabouts of Vossenack confirmed that the map we’d be interested in would be the Nord de Guerre Zone.

On the same page, a close look at the NdGZ map led me to the guess that the grid square of interest would probably be wF.

So, scrolling all the way down the page, in the last paragraph, there is a link to a coordinates translator, which takes you to
http://www.echodelta.net/mbs/eng-translator.php

Here, in the top drop down, select “Nord de Guerre”

Then, in the box enter wFnnnnnn, the ‘n’ being the numbers in an individual sequence from your list.

For example, and the most telling, enter wF038326 and click the "Convert!" button. A couple of maps show up as well at Lat/Long coordinates. If you look at the larger of the maps, as they say “X marks the spot”. Click the link to MapQuest and lo, there we are, Vossenack. My bet was that if you could get a street view (unfortunately it does not look as though Mapquest will do so here) you would see a church where the red star appears.

I went to http://www.bing.com/maps/ and entered the main drag, Baptist-palm-platz, Vossenack, Germany and it will take you to a road map where you can also click on an aerial photo. Just looking at the roofline of the building on the southeast corner of where Baptist-palm-platz and those other three roads intersect, my guess is that could well be a church.

It would seem that your coordinates are in the vicinity, then, of Vossenack in North Rhine-Westphalia. Your coordinates start with wF018334, about a mile west-northwest of Vossenack, to the vicinity of the church, then roughly south and east of there, but all (especially with the last corrected from 054308 to 045318) within about a mile of the church.

Regards,

Rich

jon
03-08-2010, 01:22 PM
excellent many thanks for your fantastic reply. it must have taken a bit of work to sort out. i will have a look and see what i can sort out over the next couple of days and let you know how i get on. i visited Vossanack over christmas last year so i know the church. its a magnificent building with a tall spire that can be seen for miles. once again many thanks for your time.

jon

flamethrowerguy
03-08-2010, 01:28 PM
Just as a side note, the village of Vossenack is known as the worst spot during the battles in Hürtgen Forest back in 1944/45.

jon
03-08-2010, 01:36 PM
having seen the area i can see why, steep mountains covered in conifers narrow winding lanes, horrific!!
i`ve seen a couple of films about the battle but they dont convey it properly.the hurtgen battle was the prelude to the battle of the bulge at Bastonge(sorry about spelling)some say the hurtgen battle was worse, but as the allies lost you never hear much about it.
does anybody have any information about the hurtgen battle or area?
many thanks, jon

flamethrowerguy
03-08-2010, 01:45 PM
having seen the area i can see why, steep mountains covered in conifers narrow winding lanes, horrific!!
i`ve seen a couple of films about the battle but they dont convey it properly.the hurtgen battle was the prelude to the battle of the bulge at Bastonge(sorry about spelling)some say the hurtgen battle was worse, but as the allies lost you never hear much about it.
does anybody have any information about the hurtgen battle or area?
many thanks, jon

I can not advise any books about the battles since mine are in German language. However, there should be (reliable) info on the web regarding the Battle of Hurtgen Forest.
Basically -concerning the landscape- I must say that what it looks like by today can't be compared to 1944/45. Huge parts of the woods were cut down after the war since the trees were so damaged by splinters and bullets that any recovery was excluded.

jon
03-08-2010, 01:51 PM
ah! just seen where your from, i have a friend near Valkenburg who i see and has an interest in ww2 like me, we have both adopted graves from Margraten.
yes i agree all the trees we saw were young looking. when you stand there and look into the forest and try and imagine what it must have been like it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
what is your interest?

jon
03-08-2010, 02:52 PM
Hi Rich, many thanks for your help, i have converted all the references so i now know for sure where they were fighting when kenny was killed. when i go back at easter i will go for a good look around. Its another piece of the picture filled in, many thanks again for your help im chuffed to bits.

R Leonard
03-08-2010, 07:11 PM
My pleasure, Jon. I am sorry to have kept you waiting. And MY thanks to for the additional discussion 'tween you and flamethrower. I rarely even think on the ground war in Europe and I've learned a bit in this discussion.

Rich

flamethrowerguy
03-09-2010, 09:25 AM
what is your interest?

Well, mainly the occurences in the wider region I live in (Battle of Aachen, Hurtgen Forest, Bulge, Rur Front) but since I had several family members serving on the eastern front (incl. both grandfathers) this theater would be one of my main interests as well.

jon
03-20-2010, 06:33 AM
Well, mainly the occurences in the wider region I live in (Battle of Aachen, Hurtgen Forest, Bulge, Rur Front) but since I had several family members serving on the eastern front (incl. both grandfathers) this theater would be one of my main interests as well.

its nice to hear from somebody who had relations on the other side. the whole war was a nightmare for all concerned, lets hope nothing like it happens again.

jon
03-20-2010, 06:37 AM
My pleasure, Jon. I am sorry to have kept you waiting. And MY thanks to for the additional discussion 'tween you and flamethrower. I rarely even think on the ground war in Europe and I've learned a bit in this discussion

no problem at all, if you get the chance go for a look around over there as there is so much to see. its been good talking to flamethrower as a relation of the oposing side.