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Wed Sep 4, 2019, 04:16 PM

Googling my Dad's WW2 unit this weekend, I found this on eBay!



It's my Dad's unit in WW2 - the 551st AAA AW Bn Company B. Closeup (Dad in center of photo):



Of course, I bought the pic!

29 replies, 5785 views

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Reply Googling my Dad's WW2 unit this weekend, I found this on eBay! (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Sep 2019 OP
The Genealogist Sep 2019 #1
Dennis Donovan Sep 2019 #2
appalachiablue Sep 2019 #14
Mendocino Sep 2019 #24
appalachiablue Sep 2019 #25
Sneederbunk Sep 2019 #3
LakeArenal Sep 2019 #4
Hoyt Sep 2019 #5
TEB Sep 2019 #6
Skinner Sep 2019 #7
blm Sep 2019 #8
demosincebirth Sep 2019 #9
FailureToCommunicate Sep 2019 #10
dlk Sep 2019 #11
Karadeniz Sep 2019 #12
denbot Sep 2019 #13
LisaM Sep 2019 #15
bucolic_frolic Sep 2019 #16
Sherman A1 Sep 2019 #22
bucolic_frolic Sep 2019 #23
reACTIONary Sep 2019 #29
NurseJackie Sep 2019 #17
iluvtennis Sep 2019 #18
marble falls Sep 2019 #19
SunSeeker Sep 2019 #20
JohnnyRingo Sep 2019 #21
Thekaspervote Sep 2019 #26
applegrove Sep 2019 #27
sdfernando Sep 2019 #28

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 04:18 PM

1. Congrats on your find!

I'm sure you'll treasure it.

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Response to The Genealogist (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 04:19 PM

2. It's sooo cool, with the 40mm Bofors guns in the foreground

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 06:47 PM

14. Wonderful, lucky you! These are terrific photos in excellent

condition. Do you know the location or year? Training camp or base?

I mentioned before, mom said dad worked Swedish Bofurs guns too. His unit was 883rd AAA-AW, or 838 ? with the 7th Army, Rhineland Campaign late 1944-45. Both nos. are on forms and one may be for a battalion, can't recall right now.

Unfortunately we don't have much more info. and I still need to see if the Archives can provide some more.

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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #14)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 06:05 PM

24. My Dad had twin and single Bofurs

on his ship, a LST. Ensign then a Lt.jg, from 43 to 46.

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Response to Mendocino (Reply #24)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 06:27 PM

25. Yes I've seen photos of these huge guns on US ships. Dad was

1st lieut. 7th Army, bronze star for combat in the Rhineland in spring '45. My brother said his unit was fired on by 88s crossing a border there. And I didn't know until recently that he was KIA twice. His OCS training was near Wilmington, NC and El Paso, Texas.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 04:25 PM

3. It's not called the Greatest Generation for nothing.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 04:25 PM

4. Totally awesome. Good for your family!!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 04:31 PM

5. Got to admire the swagger in WWII soldiers, etc. My dad had that same look.

You don't see it as much in wars after that, probably because it's hard to compare Vietnam, Iraq, etc., to WWII where the military -- and folks at home -- were contributing to something truly meaningful.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 04:37 PM

6. Awesome

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 05:11 PM

7. Very cool.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 05:13 PM

8. What a marvelous find for you.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 05:53 PM

9. Those barracks bring back some old memories. Thanks.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 06:40 PM

10. So cool! We owe so much to them, the Greatest, as I told my dad many times.

He could only serve as a chaplain, but continued counciling the returning disabled vets for many years.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 06:40 PM

11. A New Family Heirloom!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 06:42 PM

12. Coincidence? Your thought and a photo of him being there?

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 06:45 PM

13. What an awesome find!

Very cool.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 06:51 PM

15. Oh, good!

Glad you were able to get it.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 06:54 PM

16. That is amazing!

I've been heavy into genealogy, have a few pics of ancestors some dating to the mid 1800s. No one is interested. I haven't looked for my dad's WWII unit in a long time, but nothing was there at that time. he switched units domestically due to minor injury, tech duties, but never went overseas.

I have a whole photo album of his service, from broomsticks to desert barracks. He was always silent about his service. I only found a little based on a pack of letters home, which were of course generic because they were censored. No family talks about them, zilch. A friend tried to convince me to donate them to a museum of war memorabilia, but I don't think these things are stable over time. As likely to be liquidated to erect a building or pay the heating bill.

So what do some of you plan to do with such memorabilia and memories.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #16)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 04:44 PM

22. I would check with the WWII Museum in New Orleans

They seem to be a well financed organization.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #22)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 05:21 PM

23. Thanks

the one i was told about was in Florida

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #16)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 09:33 AM

29. What I do...

...and would suggest you do, is to scan them and post them to to the Internet Archive (https://archive.org). Provide some background and contextual information. This will make them available, far into the future, for anyone who has an interest, personal or for research.

Stuck in a box somewhere in the basement of a small museum, they won't do anyone any good. But if they were scanned and posted, you could still do that and know that regardless of what happens to them physically, they will always be available to those who have an interest.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 07:10 PM

17. I bet if someone mentioned this to your local newspaper... they'd love to write about it!

Congrats on the great find!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 07:14 PM

18. Aww, so nice. Congrats on the find.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 07:23 PM

19. Looks just like you, just without the mustache.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 12:42 AM

20. How cool! nt

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 01:02 PM

21. My dad took a lot of photos during WWII.

Here, he's on the right conducting a rifle safety class.



Growing up, mentions about WWII were always limited to "that hellhole of an island" that stole 2 years of his life. Being indoctrinated on TV shows like "Combat" and "12 O'Clock High" I could only image the horrors he must have endured on a battle scarred piece of rock in the Pacific. I think it was about the fourth grade that a classmate of mine mentioned his disappointment that his parents were sticking him with grandma while they went on vacation to Aruba. I was shocked! I recall going home and confronting the old man about this revelation. His offhand reply was that "it was different back then".

Suddenly all the photos of him wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and playing baseball on base made sense. When we buried him in '03 he still had his WWII suntan. And his sense of humor.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 06:32 PM

26. That's really great..the best generation ever

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 06:36 PM

27. No surprise the sleezy and morally corrupt had to wait 2 generations to get back into power

in the US. The greatest generation would have had nothing to do with koch brothers philosophy. The evil had to wait two generations to find naivity and a populace to implant their evil neoliberal seeds into. The greatest generation knew too much.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 07:34 PM

28. Them is some real handsome guys!

Glad you found something so wonderful to cherish. Is your Dad still with us? Was he career Army?

Our family did a nice thick poster-board documenting my Dad's life when he turned 80 (he is 92 now). Shows his whole life which included stints in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam...He has quite a few medals, including a Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit. We had those all mounted in a shadowbox for him.

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