Dow "Shorty" Carlson 722nd Railway Operating Battalion

Thanks to his son , Arttie for sending us this !!

759th Railway Operating Battalion Reunion 2012 : WWII battalion holds 65th reunion in Oberlin

759th Railway Operating Battalion
WWII battalion holds 65th reunion in Oberlin

The 759th Engi­neer Bat­tal­ion, Rail­way Oper­at­ing — a bat­tal­ion that served dur­ing World War II build­ing, sal­vaging, and repair­ing rail­ways in the Euro­pean The­atre — held their 65th annual reunion in Ober­lin over the weekend.
Fam­ily and friends gath­ered with the remain­ing mem­bers of the bat­tal­ion, along with the fam­i­lies of those who have died, for four days at the Ober­lin Inn.
 Over the past 65 years, the reunion has been held in var­i­ous loca­tions across the coun­try includ­ing St. Louis, New York, Wash­ing­ton D.C., Chicago, and Ana­heim. This is the eighth year the group has met in Oberlin.
 “It’s a really nice place for us to stay, they were really accom­mo­dat­ing to our group, and that’s why we wanted to be here,” said Mary Weiler-Noll — of Aurora, Ill. — the event coor­di­na­tor this year. Weiler-Noll’s father started the reunions in 1947.
 “The town is fun. It’s a cute town to go to, and some of the more mobile ones of our group like to troll around the town,” said Weiler-Noll about the city of Oberlin. Of the 1,200 who served with the 759th Engi­neer Bat­tal­ion, only three mem­bers remain. All three attended the reunion. Dozier Wal­lace, 90, of Chester­field S.C., admits his mem­ory wasn’t what it used to be, but does have one dom­i­nant mem­ory of the war. “Going home,” he said with a large smile.
“When we got our dis­charge at 11 o’clock at night, they told us we could spend another night in the bar­racks if we wanted. We told them to go to hell.” Another mem­ber of the bat­tal­ion, George Nies, 90, of Cincin­nati, was a train oper­a­tor while serv­ing in Europe. “We hauled freight, and drove the trains up to the front lines. It was day and night on duty,” he said. “We had some wild rides down those moun­tains (in North Africa). We didn’t have any air, just the engine brake to hold that train back.” While most mem­bers of the 759th didn’t see much action dur­ing the war, Wayne Humphreys — 91, of Boun­ti­ful, Utah — wasn’t as for­tu­nate.
Humphreys was involved in six major bat­tles while serv­ing overseas. “I was shot at by snipers, they missed me twice. I was caught in a mine­field, strafed by Amer­i­cans and strafed by Ger­mans, bombed by Amer­i­cans and bombed by Ger­mans,” he said. Once, after fin­ish­ing his assign­ment in a town in Ger­many, Humphreys stayed the night in a Ger­man hotel. In the mid­dle of the night, he heard some­one beat­ing on his door.
It was the hotel man­ager telling him the Amer­i­cans were on their way to bomb the city, and it would be best if he went down into the base­ment with the rest of the guests. “I walked into a room with a big long table in it and there were about 15 Ger­mans sit­ting around the table. They had a can­dle shin­ing at each end. That light shin­ing didn’t make them look like angels,” Humphreys said. Wor­ried he’d just walked into a trap, Humphreys turned to aim his gun toward those gath­ered around the table. “I opened my mouth to say, ‘Sit still or I’ll shoot,’ and what came out sur­prised me so much I could hardly move. It was, ‘Let’s have a party,’” he said.
The Ger­mans invited Humphreys to sit down with them. The group sat together eat­ing canned peaches and a fruit­cake while bombs exploded overhead. “We had a nice party until the all-clear sounded, and the bombs quit falling. We shook hands, wished each other a good night, and went to bed,” Humphreys said. The reunions not only give the vet­er­ans a chance to share mem­o­ries and old war sto­ries, but also give the fam­i­lies a chance to see a side of fathers, or grand­fa­thers, they didn’t know existed. “Oh, it’s neat.
 It was neater the first time (I came) because there was a lot more mem­bers,” said Ray Nies, who has been com­ing to the reunion for years with his father. “My son always thought his grand­fa­ther was a meek and quiet guy, until one year they had a pic­ture of him wear­ing a coconut bra and a grass skirt. That’s when my son knew they were really related,” he said. Weiler-Noll said its get­ting too hard for the remain­ing mem­bers to make the trip, and after 65 years, this may be the final reunion of the 759th Engi­neer­ing Battalion.

724th Railway Operating Battalion William Scholtes

Jean has shared an amazing collection of photos and documents from her father, William Scholtes. William served in the Military Railway Service as a train dispatcher with the 724th Railway Operating Battalion, Headquarters Company, in Paris, France from 1943-46. I will be posting some additional documents .. Thanks Jean and William for sharing.

713th Railway Operation Battalion Russell E. Jones + "Emporia Men" article

Linda  shared this great photo of her dad, Russell E. Jones and this article that ran about him in the local papers.

WW2 newsreel - "Railroads play dramatic role in America At War" - military train

Uknown Railway Operating Battalion in North Africa 1943

Anyone know what unit this is ??

Photos of five men of the "Best" railroad crew in the US Army in North Africa, 4-13-1943, all named on the back.
Photo is by or from Pfc. Jack W. Smith who was from Dennison, Ohio, and who served in a US Army railroad unit in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and France in WWII.

723rd Railway Operating Battalion Headquarters Roster


723 HQ photo Seated in front: 
 Left to right Row Chaplain Lt. Rusthoi, Lt McClooney, Capt Johnson 

Left to right Row (1) (1) Thomas D. Mooney, (2)Thomas leeper (3) Sidney M.Mellor, (4) Ivan D. Grable (5) William C. Hartigan (6) Leonard W. April (7) Melvin W. Malet (8) Robert L. Broviak (9) Robert C. Cox (10) Philip Giovengo (11) Arthur E. Rees (12) David M. Love (13) Richard O. Skinner (14) Harry R. Wallace (15) David H. Coffman (16) Walker McCoy (17) Mark J. Flum (18) Lyle W. Massoy (19) Richard D. Miller (20) Charles E. Murray (21) Cleveland S. Baker (22) Russell L. Carson (23) Roy P. Asfahl (24) Thomas A. Murray (25) Robert L. Cottle (26) Harold J. Kratze (27) Robert Borrego 

Left to right Row (2) (1) William C. Pjura (2) Arthur M. Smith (3) Luthor Horn (4) Walter S. Groesbeck (5) Arthur R. Hoveland (6) Cleo H. Kanodo (7) Carl E. Hippensteel (8) Paul L. Irish (9) John C. Lonac (10) Charles T. McKenna (11) Erwin Landy (12) Frank C. Beckham (13) Roman A.Viduski (14) Eldridge L. Schope (15) Howard G. Smale (16) Herbert B. Kohus (17) William D. Sears (18) Francis C. Burns (19) Thomas C. Aldridge (20) Harold A.Pleet (21) George F. Weber (22) Lloyd A. Bryant (23) Paul V. Owens (24) Thomas J. Bowes (25) James C. Kerschner (26) Leo R. Whalen 

 Left to right Row (3) (1) Oliver L. Hawkins (2) Randle Shumate (3) John T. Geary (4) Emerson O. Draper (5) Ralph C. Mueller (6) Paul W. Sorr (7) Raymond W. Maze (8) Max W. Larson (9) Russell J. Burloy (10) Orlen L. Stuart (11) Chester Conrad (12) Emil W. Madsen, Jr. II (13) Eugene E. Roody (14) William H. Guild, Jr. (15) Clifford Crooch (16) Doland Priestly (17) Bert A. Cramer (18) James E. Bragg (19) Earl W. Skiver (20) John J. Kujawa (21) Robert J. Hentschell (22) Barney M. Porter (23) Harry A. Morrison (24) Lawrence B. Gallenstein (25) Daniel R. Tafelski 

 Left to right Row (4) (1) George J. Herman (2) Harley A. Collier (3) John R. Davis (4) Eldon A. Hunt (5) Arthur H. Schorr (6) Walter D. Garman (7) Karl Schroeder (8) Edward S. Torres (9) Elmer T. Manning (10) Julius Levine (11) Oscar J. Mangold (12) Fred Z. McNeil (13) Wilbur A. Hunt (14) Nelson Morgan (15) Robert J. Rohn (16) James W. Wade (17) Clarence W. Burningham (18) Lelsie E. Frank (19) William R. Stipp (20) Clyde E. Myrphey (21) Harry W. Schmidt (22) Harvard G. Markentien (23) Harry E. Winson (24) Joseph M. Pacejka 

 Left to right Row (5) (1) William B. Davenport (2) Aloysius Trobitoski (3) Lawrence Daily (4) William H. McComas (5) Delmar K. Tucker (6) Maurice G. Gerrity (7) Wilber L. Thornton (8) Charles W. Shelton, Jr. (9) William J. Morris (10) Raymond L. Briggs (11) Clarence D.Giblin (12) Charles Smith (13) William C. Burnett (14) Francis J. Rau (15) Lawrence C. Wells (16) James W. Sullivan (17) Donnie N. Crenshaw (18) John G. Hayes (19) William H. Turner (20) Clare W. Crouch (21) Bernard M. Hedges (22) Argyle A. Coffman (23) Louis M. Morgan (24) Stanley Cohon (25) George G. Smith (26) James W. Tate (27) Darlington R. Hawkins (28) Ross E. Robinson 

Kevin writes … Thank you for posting the info and photos of the 723rd Railway Operating Battalion on the blog.  I stumbled onto it, and was interested---

In the HQ photo the Lt. McClooney seated in the front row center—he was my uncle.  James E. McClooney.  He now rests at Arlington National Cemetery here in Washington DC.

I heard many stories during visits to my uncle, while growing up as a child in the 1960s about the 723rd and his work in the Railway Operating Battalion.  At that time he was a civilian instructor at the Army Transportation School at Ft. Eustis

The 713th Rolls Into Action Santa Fe Railway Operating Battalion

713th the 713th Rolls Into Action Santafe by Nancy

722nd Railway Operating Battalion - Killian Tucker

Thanks to Bryan for sharing his Uncle Killian's great photos ..

724th Railway Operating Battalion Jack Naugle

Thanks so much to the family of Engineer, Jack Naugle for these great photos and docs. Son and nephew of Jack write ... Jack was the RR engineer in the 724th RR during WWII and especially in France where his unit was doing ammunition trains out of Paris toward the advancing front towards Germany.

All four of the Naugle brothers served overseas during WW II and all returned alive safely which was quite the homecoming story in this small south central PA town (15,000-20,000 population at the time). 3 of the brothers already had jobs on the Western Maryland RR before their enlisting in the services and they returned to those jobs in Hagerstown, MD as Road Foremen after the war. They are buried in Hagerstown. The youngest brother married a woman from Chambersburg and ran the woman's father's dairy farm nearby until his death.

724th Railway Operating Battalion unit history and timetable document

Below you will find a timetable document and unit history from the 724th Railway Operating Battalion -thanks to Naugle Family

724th Railway Operating Battalion History of WW2 1943-1945 by Nancy

724th Timetable

724th Timetable by Nancy

Railway Damage and Reconstruction

Brennan Train Master Havre 1943

U.S. Army Pullman Cars for the wounded magazine ad

764th US Army Transportation Corp Steam Engine 1807 taken at 764th Railway Shop Battalion stationed near Le Mans, France in 1945

35th Engineers

** these engineers worked on some very interesting rail bridges ... Returning to the United States in July and August 1943, the regiment was next stationed at Camp White, Oregon. The regiment was broken up at Camp White on 25 September 1943. Its HQs became the headquarters of the 1122d Engineer Combat Group, and its 1st and 2nd Battalions became the 35th and 145th Engineer Combat Battalions, respectively. The 35th trained at Camp White until April 1944, and then served in Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and central Europe campaigns of World War II and received a Croix de guerre from the government of Luxembourg. The battalion returned to the United States in September 1945 and was inactivated on the 17th of that month at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.

753rd Railway Shop Battalion Co. C Invitation and letter

Company ‘C’ 753rd Railway Shop Battalion invitation to SECOND OVERSEAS ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION FOR COMPANY ‘C’ 753 RAILWAY SHOP BN TENTH OF FEBRUARY 1945… Also a letter thanking ‘BEN’ for his service and urging him to attend. Signed by F.J. Kossuth Captain TC Commanding

753rd ROB Co c Invitation by Nancy

759th Choo- Choo News 759th Railway Operating Battalion 1943

759th Cho Choo News 1943 by Nancy

759th Railway Operating Battalion group photo

Thanks so much to Catherine for sharing !

The Repatriation of Fallen US Servicemen (From AGRS to JMAC) ( mortuary cars)

Naomi shares her amazing slide presentation " First of all, it was very interesting to tour your Military Railway Service blog. I can see why our presentation would be of interest. However, Jim and I are currently revising it as we have found more accurate information for a few details. So perhaps it would be best to include a caveat on the blog to that effect " I will post a new version when it becomes available !

From AGRS to JMAC 15Nov12 NJPetersen by Nancy

743rd Railway Operating Battalion Eugene Lewis

743rd ROB Eugene Lewis by Nancy

Thanks to Eugene's son in law Bob!

737th Railway Operating Battalion partial roster

Scott is researching his Dad Walter and says

"I did find a roster from what I believe was their trip home in 1945.  I've attached a jpg with the image of the document.

According to this they were staged in Luzon, P.I.  and traveled back on ship # APA 121."

721st ROB Order of Battle

721 order of battle.pdf by Nancy

US military railroads deliver supplies to Russia - World War Two Trains