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Thread: Help me find my Grandad please

  1. #1
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    Default Help me find my Grandad please

    Hi all
    Please can someone help me find out about my Granddad .
    Heres a bit about the past, my Grandmother who has now passed away in December
    Met an American solder who was serving in England Devon during WW2. They fell in love and he wanted my grandmother to move to America after the war. My great grandmother did not allow her go and stopped her from seeing him, he was then sent to France I think but did send a letter to my great grandmother telling her he was in hell. He did not know that my grandmother was having his baby (my mum) all she has been told is that he died in the war. We have a photo of him and his name , can someone help identify his unit and some of the details on the back of the photo. Any help would be great and if he has died maybe find out where he is now.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6489Click image for larger version. 

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

    http://www.abmc.gov/search/wwii.php may help if you can read the name more clearly than I can - however searching with "635" as the unit suggests no even remotely similar name is on the ABMC register. Unfortunately, it doesn't give any similar unit designations either.

    If you have a place (even a state or region) of birth you may be able to trawl through the records in http://www.archives.gov/research/arc...my-casualties/ - that will at least give you an army number and rank, if not much else.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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

    His name was Joe mcginness Irish/amarican and my mother seem to think he came from New york

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

    If he was from NY State, try this: http://www.archives.gov/research/arc.../new-york.html

    I'll check and see what I come up with as well...

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

    There's a PFC "Mc Guiness W J" listed from the New York City-The Bronx listed as KIA: http://media.nara.gov/media/images/29/13/29-1280a.gif

    I live in the Western part of the state (Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY) and would contact anyone in my area if need be...
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 04-21-2013 at 09:46 AM.

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

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Mc Ginness James F 32727311 TEC5 KIA
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jay.s View Post
    His name was Joe mcginness Irish/amarican and my mother seem to think he came from New york
    McGinness or McGuinness? There's also a LT R J McGuinness right below on the page pdf found:

    http://media.nara.gov/media/images/29/14/29-1394a.gif

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

    Just checked all of them, there are two McGinness names on there, and the one I linked is the only one with the initial J. There are rather a lot of McGuinness names on there, so **IF** the spelling and state of origin is correct then we've almost certainly identified the guy. Not terribly helpful, but at least you now have an army number and rank.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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

    Being british and having served in the forces i can tell what unit a solder was from by his uniform, can anyone shed some light on his uniform? or even a unit that would have been over in england Devon at that time.

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

    Looking at the piece of paper to the right of the photo it J H mcgiunness. but like pdf27 has said its hard to see the spelling maybe someone can tell me what C A W is or APO 403 or maybe C A H H or is it CHHH ???

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

    And thankyou nickdfresh for that kind offer We are all Brothers in arms.

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

    APO 403 appears to be the mail routing (Army Post Office 403). I'm scratching my head over the rest.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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

    The unit designation appears to be CAAH with (CAW)after which is DW. The letter "A" in both those abbreviations match, but do not see the last letter as anything but an "H" (using my big magnifying glass) I am wondering if the C in both those abbrev's denote a Canadian Unit. They may have used a U.S. based Army Post Office. Which may account for the APO being followed by USA rather than a City as was common for mail originating within the U.S. The Number after APO is usually the postal code of the place it is going to, rather than the Stateside location of the APO. Or whatever number the APO service gave to the units being served by it. These are just guesses really, but hope they may provide some assistance. It may help to look for the postal code 403 in the areas he may have served in. 403 may be the entire number, or the first, or last three digits in the postal code.
    Last edited by tankgeezer; 04-21-2013 at 07:09 PM.

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

    It looks to me like the writing says 635 CAAA which I would translate as 635th Coast Artillery Anti-Aircraft. There was a 635 Anti-Aircraft Battalion attached to HQ 8th Corps - US Army AA units were branched Coast Artillery rather than Field Artillery. Also believe what looks like “DW” is, rather “Div” as in “Division”.

    Nothing on the uniform that would provide further information.

    The 635 AA Bn was spread about a bit.
    HHBty, Med Det and Battery A were located at Ashford, Kent; Battery B was at Andover, Hampshire; Battery C was at Woodchurch, Kent; and Battery D was stationed at Kingsnorth, Kent.

    Of course, just to muddy the waters, there was also a 635 Tank Destroyer Battalion. Companies A, B & C, and HHC were generally located around Toddington, Gloucestershire, before going across the channel. The 635th TD Bn was a Kansas National Guard unit, I believe. There was also a 635th Engineer Camouflage Company at Wallingford, Berkshire and a 635th Medical Clearing Company at Widnes, Lancashire, but my money would be on the anti-aircraft battalion.

    Why? well, because the 61st Coast Artillery Regiment (AAA) deployed to England in the summer of 1943 and was initially stationed at Honiton in DEVON - on 14 June 1944 the regiment was deactivated and broken up. 1st Battalion/61st Coast Artillery Regiment (AAA) was redesignated 184th AAA Gun Battalion; 2/61 was redesignated 634th AAA (AW) Battalion and . . . TAA DAA . . . 3/61 was redesignated 635th AAA (AW) Battalion. My suspicion would be that after some time in the Honiton area our Mr. McGinness/McGuinnes went off with whichever battery he was assigned. This battalion did make it across the channel; one can find reference to its 8th Corps assignment during the Battle of the Bulge. Note that the “AW” from the back of the picture appears in the 635th‘s new designation.

    APO 403 was a standard US Army Post Office address in New York, NY. Mail to this APO was forwarded to, starting 24 March 1944 - Knutsford, Cheshire; 18 July 1944 - Nehou, France; 3 August 1944 - Beauchamps, France; 11 August 1944 - Poilley, France; 18 August 1944 - St Jean D’Asse, France; 27 August 1944 - Chambon, France; 6 September 1944 - L’Epine, France; 18 September 1944 - Etain, France; 14 October 1944 - Nancy, France; 12 January 1945 - Ech-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg; 9 February 1945 - Luxembourg, Luxembourg; 31 March 1945 - Trier, Germany; 6 April 1945 - Frankfort, Germany; 26 April 1945 - Erlangen, Germany; 22 June 1945 - Munich, Germany; and, finally, 1 April 1946 - Heidelburg, Germany.

    Not bad for a Pacific centric naval aviation type researcher, eh?
    Last edited by R Leonard; 04-22-2013 at 10:05 PM.

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

    BRAVO !! well done.

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