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WW2 Reenacting Reports and Unit Histories

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This page will describe and link to reports by different units as well as various unit histories.

After-Action Reports

After Action Report for 75th Armored Medical Battalion of 5th Armored Division – Discusses actions related to the medical battalion. Also a good example of how to write an after-action report and what it looks like.

It covers August 1944 to May 1945 and includes A, B, and C companies. Mostly a mention of movements, events, losses, and personal changes.

The 60mm Mortar Team in the Assault Section – This isn’t a field manual per se but some kind of restricted handout. To build a 60mm mortar see: How to Build a 60mm for WW2 Reenacting. For the firing tables see: WW2 Reenacting Ordinance and Firearm Printables

Medical Support of Landing Operations: Assault Training Center March 1944 – A pdf link to my Google Drive. Discusses how to conduct medical triage and operations during a landing. Mentions a few case studies as well as what equipment should be included when, where, and who.

One interesting thing is that it goes into detail about how operations change as the beachhead is expanded. Essentially, the wounded is pooled and treated during the initial 30 minutes. After an hour a battalion aid station is created. After 3 hours additional battalion aid stations are created as the beachhead expands forward, close to the front. You also get a primary collection point for all wounded. 12 hours you get vehicles such as jeeps and ambulances. After about 4 days you get evacuation hospitals.

Communications in Assault Operation – Nov 1943 from the US Assault Traning Center ETOUSA. Outlines what teams have what kinds of equipment, where they are positioned, and what net they operate on. Essentially how to have an integrated communication network across visual (ie flags) , wire and radio between infantry, tanks, field artillery, naval gunships, and aircraft.

Report no. 63 observations of Signal Corps activities, Cherbourg Peninsula, France from June 6th 1944 to July 6th 1944 – A fascinating document that outlines issues faced by the units during the campaign. Includes an example division radio net. Essentially, an after-action report for signal units. The following Signal Units were assessed –

Infantry Division Signal Company
1st Signal Company
2nd Signal Company
4th Signal Company
9th Signal Company
29th Signal Company
90th Signal Company
Armored Division Signal Company
142nd Armored Signal Company
Airborne Division Signal Company
82nd Airborne Signal Company
101st Airborne Signal Company

Joint Assault Signal Companies
Engineer Brigade Group Signal Company
286th Joint Assault Signal Company
293rd Joint Assault Signal Company
294th Joint Assault Signal Company

Signal Service Company
3251 Signal Service Company
3252 Signal Service Company

Corps Signal Battalion Signal Battalion
50th Signal Battalion
56th Signal Battalion

Signal Construction Battalion
29th Signal Construction

Signal Sections
1st Army
V Corps
VII Corps
VIII Corps
XIX Corps

7th Army Signal Corps Report of the Lessons Learned in the 1943 Operation Husky – Husky is the invasion of Sicily and the document outlines issues and suggestions for improvement in Signal Corps units of the 7th Army.

It’s noted that the SCR-536 was to be used at the company level either communicating across companies or communicating down to lower echelon units like platoon or section or squad.

Communication Activities Okinawa June 28th to June 30th, 1945 – A discussion of different issues faced by Signal Corps units during the Okinawa operations.

One big issue was supply. The units responsible for loading up the ships with supplies simply were not able to assemble all the tonnage required by the Signal Corps units in the time frame needed. So items that were supposed to be on a ship scheduled to land during the 7th echelon instead landed in the 12th. Indeed, telephone poles didn’t appear until 60 days later. Fortunately, units were able to improvise and press into service different pieces of equipment (such as substituting different gauge wire) along with reusing captured enemy and civilian wire/equipment.

History of Signal Corps photography in the Luzon operations April 1945 – A great narrative of taking motion and still pictures during the campaign.

505th Parachute Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division Memorandum and Top Secret – Two documents, one from April 1944 about zeroing in M1 Garands. Another from Sept 11th, 1944 regarding infantry equipment and uniform to wear and what to put in barracks bags in preparation for Operation Market Garden.

307th Airborne Engineer Battalion US Army – The 307th was part of the 82nd Airborne. The pdf covers the time frame from roughly 6 June 1944 to 17th Sept 1944.

What I find neat about it is the hand-drawn diagrams that show the landing areas for the battalion as well as an outline of how the Germans blocked roads with Teller Mines and booby traps. The S-1 Journal of events that happen throughout various days is a neat read too.

The document also reports on the 307th Medical Company, however, more information about this unit can be found at the link.

33rd Field Hospital Nursing Report 1944 – Describes the events of the 33rd Field Hospital which landed at Anzio and was part of the bombing raid on the 95th Evacuation Hospital (the 33rd was across the street from it) on Feb 9th that killed 20 and wounded over 50.

Describes a few humorous incidents such as Unit C thinking of a Collecting Company (which would be tasked with moving wounded from the front lines to the battalion aid station) for a Clearing Company (who would be tasked with triage of wounded, deciding which kinds of hospitals they go to, and moving them there). They ended up quite near the front line before doing a turn-around!

Signal Supply Repair and Maintenance in the ETO Study Number 112 – A report on signal supply repair and maintenance along with recommendations.

Signal Corp personnel, training, and command and admin structure study number 112 – A report on the training and administrative structure along with recommendations.

Signal Corps Operations in the ETO Study Number 111 – Discusses issues with wire, radio, facilities, railway, pipeline, the Press. The Signal Center (ie a larger “message center”), Photography, and Frequency allocation, and provides recommendations.

One interesting note is that regarding men using switchboards”…a truth long recognized by commercial telephone companies again became evident; that men do not have the finger dexterity nor are they temperamentally adopted for efficient operation of large switchboards. As female operators from the Woman’s Army Corps became available, they took over the switchboard operation…”

Major Teletype Networks in Europe Jan 1945 – Includes a directory, station names, and call signs. Teletype is the name of the corporation that produced machines that produced specialized communication devices like Teleprinters. These are printers that can send and receive signals and then print out a message.

These “Teleprinters” are the classic news printer sound of “fast clacking metal keys” you may hear in the background of some news reports.

The US Army created a network of these machines in Europe to help with communication.

One common model was the Teletypewriter Set TC-16 or 17 as identified in TM 11-2201.

Unit History

Brief History of the 46th Heavy Construction Battalion – Includes a brief narrative of the unit training then going to Germany and then headed to Japan for Occupation Duty.

Includes day-to-day events stateside during its training. Mostly involves transfers of personnel to other units or schools.

Hospital At War The 95h Evacuation Hospital in World War II by Zachary Friedenberg 2004 – Zachary Friedenberg was a Captain in the unit and wrote the unit’s memoirs in 2004. The unit was in North Africa, in Anzio, and part of the Invasion of Southern France.

At Anzio, it was subjected to an enemy bombing raid that wounded over 50 and killed 20 including patients, doctors, and nurses.

Also included is an article called “‘Don’t Worry About Me’: The World War II Experience of Adeline Simonson, Nurse Anesthetist with the 95th Evacuation Hospital” which is about one nurse’s experience with the unit. This was published in the AANA Journal, Oct 2016, Vol. 84, No.5, ppg. 309-315. The authors are Carolyn Nicholson BSEd, CRNA, Susanne Hillman Ph.D, and Sukumar P. Desai, Ph.D.

You can learn more about the unit at the med-depot’s 95th Evacuation Hospital page.

Nursing Report 16th Evacuation Hospital April to Dec 1943 – Describes crossing the Atlantic to North Africa and then heading to Italy on the HMHS Newfoundland which was hit by a bomb and sunk. Eventually, they arrived and set up hospital services.

Overseas and then Over The Top Able Company and the 2nd Rangers Battalion by PFC M Prince – A narrative of events from when the 2nd Rangers landed in England for training to D-day, to the day Hitler surrendered.

The D-day landing narrative is a pretty good read of what it must have been like.

33 Months with the 100th Signal Company of the 100th Infantry Division 1945 – A Narrative of the Signal Company’s involvement. Discusses Construction and how each crew was assigned specific regiments to connect the wire to along with having to repair and replace wire as it was cut or damaged. As well as the Radio section, the “T&T” or telegraph and teletype section, the message center section, the administration section (where presumably the mail clerk worked), the Signal Operations Instructions (SOI) section (which does training and checking of signal installations), Signal Supply section, Repair and Maintenance section, the Motor Pool (responsible for vehicle management and maintenance), the Mess section (responsible for feeding) and the Medical section.

Includes descriptions of training at Fort Jackson and sports and physical fitness testing.

Also makes mention of Tech 5th Chauncey N. Maggiacomo being asked to improve the Reel Unit RL-26, which he did. The old way required lots of manual labor to reel in the wire ensuring it didn’t snag. The new method instead of reeling it in from the back (like a winch) picked the wire up and fed it over a boom on the front of the truck.

Unit Citation and Campaign Participation Credit Register – Pamphlet 672-1. A complete list of what units participated in what actions and what unit citations they got.

Signal Corps Lineage and HERALDIC data and history – Information about heraldic and lineage of different signal corp units. Shows the unit pin. By Rebecca Robbins Raines from the Center of Military History.

Signal Corps: The Emergency – History of the Signal Corps up till Pearl Harbor. By Dulaney Terrett from The Center of Military History

The Quartermaster Corps: Organization, Supply, and Services Vol I – On the 50th anniversary of the end WW2, the Center of Military History republished various publications that were originally published in 1953.

These are a historical narrative and go into detail on the account of the Corps’ actions. Mostly from a high-level overview. I’ll add more as I find them. If you’re interested in the Quartermaster supply catalogs you can find them here.

Transportation Corps WW2 Overseas – History of the Transporation Corps.

Home Away From Home: The Story of the USO – The history of the USO organization. Published in 1946

United States Army Medical Department: Medical Supply in WW2, 1968 – You can download the full report from my Google Drive. It’s a great review of all aspects of supplying the medical department in different areas of operations.

For example, regarding camouflage bandages in the Pacific. We started manufacturing them in Sept 1943 as white bandages attracted snipers. By Nov 1943 13 million dyed bandages were
delivered. They came in an adhesive compress, 2-inch, 4-inch gauze bandages, compressed
bandages, small and large first aid dressings, first aid packets and triangular bandages. They were supplied either in field brown or in OD No. 7. (page 65)

See Spectacles and Glasses in WW2 for an analysis.