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Thread: Help me find my Grandad please

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    Excellent work R Leonard!
    As an aside, would the unit you've identified (convincingly, I must add) have the rank of Tech5 rather than Corporal in it? If so, that would be suggestive that the possible identification further up the page from Queens, New York is correct (and fits with the post office address).
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    This is fantastic work but i think the stange thing about it all is i lived in Honiton too for six years and where i lived would have been the married quarters for the barracks. The barracks its self closed in the 70s i think so its just houses now but if you look around the place you can still see the odd building form when it was a camp. So that stange thing would be i lived where my Grandad would have walked ..... fantastic

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    Quote Originally Posted by R Leonard View Post
    Not bad for a Pacific centric naval aviation type researcher, eh?
    Brilliant!
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    Just had a talk to my mother on the phone and she was born in 1944 so that would all fit too. I have now gone on to see if i can get anymore info and i hope (if i have done it right) his service record is being sent to me. I will keep you all in the loop and thanks again for the help.

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    Just looking at the records what does tec5 stand for ?? is it a rank.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    Tech 5 was a special rank above a Corporal. The Tec 5 insignia was 2 stripes with a "T" under the stripe.

    The "T" indicates the Technical rank which meant the soldier's promotion was based on his training and the rank did not carry any leadership responsibilities.
    This rank was discontinued after WW2 and the "Specialists" rank was introduced.

  7. #22
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    . . . would the unit you've identified (convincingly, I must add) have the rank of Tech5 rather than Corporal in it?
    Ah, you see, I haven't a clue, not Pacific Theater and nothing to do with naval aviation.

    And not to get too far off topic . . .

    If so, that would be suggestive that the possible identification further up the page from Queens, New York is correct (and fits with the post office address).
    You’d think so with a New York mailing address, but New York was just another collection points for mail to overseas units, it had nothing to do with a given soldier being from the city. An APO is an actual army unit, Army Post Office. Mail to army units, including the AAF, outside the continental went to the APOs which served specific units. There were seven collection points, New York City, Minneapolis, Miami, New Orleans, Presque Isle, Seattle and San Francisco. There mail was collected and sorted for further distribution to specific APO units. The vast majority of mail was processed at either New York or San Francisco. Generally, though there were undoubtedly exceptions, Minneapolis handled mostly central and western Canada and Alaska, Miami handled South America, the Caribbean basin, and the South Atlantic, including parts of southwest Africa; New Orleans handled Central America; Presque Isle handled eastern Canada; Seattle handled Alaska and parts of far west Canada; New York handled everything else to the east, the ETO and as far as India and central China and including north Africa and the MTO; San Francisco handled to the west including the entire Pacific theater(s) and POA including east China (as time went on), but excepting, for the most part, Alaska. Some APOs were served by more than one collection site (see below). There were, literally, hundreds of APOs.

    Mail to army units would be addressed, for example, to someone stationed at Fort Chimo in Quebec
    Named individual (rank plus name)
    Unit designation
    APO 691
    Presque Isle, Maine
    (Though this is one of the odd ones, APO 691 was also served by the New York collection site so one could use either city.)

    Or, perhaps to someone in Chungking, China
    Named individual (rank plus name)
    Unit Designation
    APO 879
    New York, NY
    (Unless it happened that one’s Chungking address was APO 908 which was served by San Francisco, but that didn’t start until December 1945; Chungking was also served by APO 1160 processed through the New York collection site. This can get very complicated)

    As with the case of APO 403, it can be interesting to track progress across a geographic area by tracking the movements of the APO unit.

    I would suspect that, unless one had an in somewhere with the Army’s internal mail system, a letter from a civilian in Great Britain to a US soldier whose unit is on the continent of Europe would have to mail it in Great Britain, it would go all the way back to specified stateside collection point where it would be resorted for distribution to the appropriate APO and thence back to that APO somewhere in the ETO.

    Each US Army unit had a designated APO. I don’t have the USAAF list, nor anything below division level for the ground army, but for the HQs of commands listed . . .
    6th Army Group - APO 23
    12th Army Group - APO 655
    15th Army Group - APO 777
    First Army - APO 230
    Second Army - APO 402
    Third Army - APO 403
    Fourth Army - APO 20
    Fifth Army - APO 464
    Sixth Army - APO 442
    Seventh Army - APO 758
    Eighth Army - APO 343
    Ninth Army - APO 339
    Tenth Army - APO 357
    Fifteenth Army - APO 408
    First Airborne Army - APO 740
    I Corps - APO 301
    II Corps - APO 19
    III Corps - APO 303
    IV Corps - APO 304
    V Corps - APO 305
    VI Corps - APO 46
    VII Corps - APO 307
    VIII Corps - APO 308
    IX Corps - APO 309
    X Corps - APO 310
    XI Corps - APO 471
    XII Corps - APO 301
    XIII Corps - APO 463
    XIV Corps - APO 453
    XV Corps - APO 436
    XVI Corps - APO 197
    XVIII Corps - APO 109
    XIX Corps - APO 270
    XX Corps - APO 340
    XXI Corps - APO 101
    XXII Corps - APO 250
    XXIII Corps - APO 103
    XXIV Corps - APO 235
    1st Cavalry Division - APO 201
    2nd Cavalry Division - APO 435
    1st Armored Division - APO 251
    2nd Armored Division - APO 252
    3rd Armored Division - APO 253
    4th Armored Division - APO 244
    5th Armored Division - APO 255
    6th Armored Division - APO 256
    7th Armored Division - APO 257
    8th Armored Division - APO 258
    9th Armored Division - APO 259
    10th Armored Division - APO 260
    11th Armored Division - APO 261
    12th Armored Division - APO 262
    13th Armored Division - APO 263
    14th Armored Division - APO 446
    16th Armored Division - APO 412
    20th Armored Division - APO 444
    1st Infantry Division - APO 1
    2nd Infantry Division - APO 2
    3rd Infantry Division - APO 3
    4th Infantry Division - APO 4
    5th Infantry Division - APO 5
    6th Infantry Division - APO 6
    7th Infantry Division - APO 7
    8th Infantry Division - APO 8
    9th Infantry Division - APO 9
    10th Infantry Division - APO 24
    25th Infantry Division - APO 25
    26th Infantry Division - APO 26
    27th Infantry Division - APO 27
    28th Infantry Division - APO 28
    29th Infantry Division - APO 29
    30th Infantry Division - APO 30
    31st Infantry Division - APO 31
    32nd Infantry Division - APO 32
    33rd Infantry Division - APO 33
    34th Infantry Division - APO 34
    35th Infantry Division - APO 35
    36th Infantry Division - APO 36
    37th Infantry Division - APO 37
    38th Infantry Division - APO 38
    40th Infantry Division - APO 40
    41st Infantry Division - APO 41
    42nd Infantry Division - APO 411
    43rd Infantry Division - APO 43
    44th Infantry Division - APO 44
    45th Infantry Division - APO 45
    63rd Infantry Division - APO 410
    65th Infantry Division - APO 200
    66th Infantry Division - APO 454
    69th Infantry Division - APO 417
    70th Infantry Division - APO 461
    71st Infantry Division - APO 360
    75th Infantry Division - APO 451
    76th Infantry Division - APO 76
    77th Infantry Division - APO 77
    78th Infantry Division - APO 78
    79th Infantry Division - APO 79
    80th Infantry Division - APO 20
    81st Infantry Division - APO 21
    83rd Infantry Division - APO 83
    84th Infantry Division - APO 84
    85th Infantry Division - APO 85
    86th Infantry Division - APO 450
    87th Infantry Division - APO 448
    88th Infantry Division - APO 88
    89th Infantry Division - APO 89
    90th Infantry Division - APO 90
    91st Infantry Division - APO 91
    92nd Infantry Division - APO 92
    93rd Infantry Division - APO 93
    94th Infantry Division - APO 94
    95th Infantry Division - APO 95
    96th Infantry Division - APO 96
    97th Infantry Division - APO 445
    98th Infantry Division - APO 98
    99th Infantry Division - APO 449
    100th Infantry Division - APO 447
    102nd Infantry Division - APO 102
    103rd Infantry Division - APO 470
    104th Infantry Division - APO 104
    106th Infantry Division - APO 443
    11th Airborne Division - APO 468
    13th Airborne Division - APO 333
    17th Airborne Division - APO 452
    82nd Airborne Division - APO 469
    101st Airborne Division - APO 472
    10th Mountain Division- APO 345
    Americal Division - APO 716


    Looks like I got a bit carried away.

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    Quote Originally Posted by R Leonard View Post
    Named individual (rank plus name)
    Unit Designation
    APO 879
    New York, NY
    No service number, to distinguish between people with the same name and rank?

    I can't remember the specific order in the address from nearly 45 years ago (at my age, I can't remember what I had for breakfast unless I have the same again for lunch, and then not always), but I think my mail in the Australian Army was addressed:

    Rank, Surname, Initials, Service number, e.g.

    Tpr Smith, J. W, 3169587
    Unit
    etc

    Or maybe it was the service number first, the same as my son's on his overseas Australian Army service last year:

    3169587, Pte Smith, J.W.
    Unit etc

    EDIT: Nope, looks like service numbers weren't used for US military mail.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 04-27-2013 at 11:56 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    Quote Originally Posted by R Leonard View Post
    I would suspect that, unless one had an in somewhere with the Army’s internal mail system, a letter from a civilian in Great Britain to a US soldier whose unit is on the continent of Europe would have to mail it in Great Britain, it would go all the way back to specified stateside collection point where it would be resorted for distribution to the appropriate APO and thence back to that APO somewhere in the ETO.
    I wonder?

    I was watching a TV program a few days ago about the Australians in the siege of Tobruk in WWII, where it was mentioned that a surprisingly high tonnage of mail was brought in to the troops.

    Given what was probably a very much higher logisitical burden in sending mail from Britain to the US and back again, it would have made more sense to have a localised mail sorting and distribution service in Britain for mail to the Continent.

    Then again, military administration isn't notable for being founded on common sense, so it is quite likely that your suspicion is correct.

    EDIT: Following some Googling, the logistical burden was nowhere as heavy as I suspected following the introduction of V-Mail for American forces. See the photo of the reel of microfilm with the letters it carried.
    http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/mailcall/2c.html
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 04-27-2013 at 11:36 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    Here's some Pacific Theatre APOs.

    Army Post Offices (APO's) and Fleet Post Offices (FPO's) were used during WW II as a Post Office for military units in a certain area. Each Army Post Office was issued a specific number in a similar way to the Australian Postcodes and U.S. Zipcodes used today.

    A typical example of an address for a military person would be as follows:-

    Sgt. John Dow, 1907658,
    35th Fighter Sqdn.,
    APO 922,
    C/O Postmaster, San Francisco, California.

    The APO 922 would indicate that the 35th Fighter Squadron was stationed in Townsville.

    Australian U.S. APO locations:-

    APO 921 = Base Section No. 1, Darwin, Northern Territory
    APO 922 = Base Section No. 2, Townsville, Queensland
    APO 923 = Base Section No. 3, Brisbane, Queensland
    APO 924 = Base Section No. 4, Melbourne, Victoria
    APO 925 = Base Section No. 5, Adelaide, South Australia until Jan. 1943, then Hqs. 5th Air Force
    APO 926 = Base Section No. 6, Fremantle, Western Australia
    APO 927 = Base Section No. 7. Sydney, N.S.W.
    APO 704 = Cairns, Queensland. After Jan. 1943
    APO 714 = Camp Muckley, near Archerfield
    APO 711 = Camp Ascot, Brisbane, Q.
    APO 500 = General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area. MacArthur's Hqs.
    APO 501 = Hqs. U.S. Army Forces Far East

    APO 929 = Port Moresby, New Guinea
    APO 503 = Base B, Oro Bay, New Guinea
    APO 322 = Base F, Finschhafen, New Guinea
    APO 565 = Base G, Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea
    APO 920 = Base H, Biak, Dutch New Guinea
    APO 713 = Base E, Nadzab, New Guinea

    APO 75 = Manila, Philippines
    http://www.ozatwar.com/ozatwar/apo.htm
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    Absolutely fabulous detective work - very impressive! Take a bow...

  12. #27
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    Hi all not to sure where i go from here?? what would be the next step in trying to trace the family or even a bit more about him ( any help would be fantastic )

  13. #28
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    Did you get the service records, and were you able to use them to confirm that he was your Grandfather?
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  14. #29
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    No im affraid not (still waiting) maybe somthing to do with me being in England.

  15. #30
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    Default Re: Help me find my Grandad please

    Its been a while since i have posted, not to sure where to go know? I cant seem to get any more information or any records. please can someone help with this as im now abit lost in what direction to take. I know its a tall ask but with the 70th anniversary of D-Day it seems right to do.

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