Letters from Clarence F. Miller: Btry C 535th AAA Bn 1943 - 1945 - Page 10




 
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December 24th, 2014  
pgwenthold
 
One last request for help: can anyone find when he was discharged from the service? In his letters, he says he was on his way home at the end of October, but that's the end of the correspondence.
December 25th, 2014  
George
 
US Govt. may/should have that. National Archieves, I believe.
December 28th, 2014  
MontyB
 
 
I can't seem to find a discharge date but all other information is available in NARA files.

http://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-d...008484,1230716
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December 28th, 2014  
dadsgirl
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I can't seem to find a discharge date but all other information is available in NARA files.

http://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-d...008484,1230716
MontyB,
Thanks from me too. Don't know how much the archives will tell me that I don't already know, but appreciate the link also!!
December 29th, 2014  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsgirl
MontyB,
Thanks from me too. Don't know how much the archives will tell me that I don't already know, but appreciate the link also!!
No problem, all these links should go into the stickied thread for people that may need them.

Although I think this would be a better link for you...

http://www.archives.gov/veterans/
December 30th, 2014  
pgwenthold
 
More information about his service is available from a letter he sent to his parents, sometime after the war was over. It was published in the Clark County Press (date: to be determined). Clarence’s family provided a copy of the article, and I reproduce the text here:

They recently released the censorship regulations so I thought I would drop you a few lines to let you know a little more about my escapades since I left the good old U.S.A.
We left for New York Harbor Februaty 11. I doubt if I will ever forget that first day out at sea. It was snowing and cold and I was so blue I almost felt like crying, and most all of the others did, too. We had a fairly nice trip over, although we swept out a submarine once or twice, but nothing ever came of it. They surely had us guessing, though. We arrived in Glasgow, Scotland, February 22, and from there took a train ride to Bridgewater, England, where we made our home until the invasion of France.
On June 4 we left Portsmouth, England, for the coast of France. We were all expecting a rough ride across the Channel, but as luck was with us, things were pretty quiet. We manned the ack-ack guns on the ship and were on the alert status most of the way across. When we neared the beach everything began to pop. I never saw so many planes and ships concentrated in one area in my life. There was enough noise from the massive Navy guns on our warships alone to drive a man crazy. The whole beachhead area was just one big cloud of dust from shellfire and divebombing.
When I hit the beach I got my first taste of war and to say the least it was repulsive. I had read a lot in the papers about the German artillery, but I never realized it was so ruthless and merciless until we came face to face with it on the beach. The first night we got very little sleep and most of us didn’t get any, but sleep was the least of our worries. There was a German plane that went over just after dark and it came every night thereafter about the same time. We called him “Bedcheck Charlie,” anyway he started dropping his bombs and three dropped within a few yards from us but they were duds and didn’t go off. If they had, a lot of us would have been buried alive or killed by shock.
From the beach, we were sent inland to guard an air strip at Coigny, France, and stayed for some time before and until Cherbourg fell [note: June 30].
Then came the breakthrough at St. Lo [note: July 25-27]. We stayed thereuntil we got to Versailles where we got another big landing field for our planes. From there we got passes to Paris and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and some pretty girls.
Then we went on to Leige, Belgium where I got my first glimpse of the highly publicized buzz bomb (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-1_flying_bomb). They travel very fast and are hard to hit. I got to see Liege a little later, where lots of homes were nothing but piles of rubble. Then came the German break-through, and Krenkelt, which was near the Siegfield line. On December 16 we were in the middle of the Germans’ big drive. We became surrounded with our escape routes cut off while more shells than I thought were possible were thrown at us in the next three days. On the third night we were finally able to open up a road where we could retreat for several miles back, where we held a stand.
Finally we drove the Germans back to the Cologne Plains. We crossed the Rhine River at Ludendorf bridge. And there, we were the first ack-ack of our kind on the opposite shore. The Germans tried to knock out the bridge with their planes divebombing the area so as to keep our reinforcements from crossing, but we kept them from knocking out the bridge.
After the Rhine, we were around the Ruhr Valley and when the Krauts surrendered we were sent to the Third Army under General Patton, where we were until the war ended. Now you have an idea of what we have done in this war.
December 31st, 2014  
pgwenthold
 
Oh, and another update. I have come closer to reaching Marie's family. I have sent a message to her daughter-in-law on facebook. She is still alive.
December 31st, 2014  
MontyB
 
 
Is that one you really want to track down?
December 31st, 2014  
pgwenthold
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Is that one you really want to track down?
Absolutely. Marie is a very compelling character in the story, and I think her story is interesting in itself. I'm not sure exactly how much I will found out about the situation of their breakup, but I am also interested in things like, what did she do at the "foundry" during the war? She is a real Rosie-the-Riveter. The more I can find out about her wartime experiences, the better it will be.

For now, all I know they have at least 4 kids and that one of them owns a winery, and learned the craft from his father (passed down from his grandfather).
January 2nd, 2015  
dadsgirl
 
 
Pgwenthold,
I'm absolutely thrilled for you! Keep the great work up. I know you're enjoying the adventure.
So am I.
Thank you.

Dadsgirl
 


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