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Sgt. Mitchell E. Gay Battery "D" 397th Provisional Machine Gun Battalion

Started by jmar , Jul 24 2011 12:31 PM

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#1 jmar

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 12:31 PM

Hello everyone!

I wanted to share a wonderful Ebay find I stumbled across early this year. I had been picking up some nice named Bronze Stars on Ebay (mainly hand engraved or script engraved), still quite reasonable priced and full of history, a good combination for any collector and historian.

This piece turned out to be quite a nice find, I did a quick search on ABMC and found this honored vet was a KIA, so I decided to be sure and go after it. Surprisingly I won it with little competition. After just a bit more web searching I discovered a heroic story and sacrifice.

This is another I must research further, but I wanted to share my initial findings with the group. So with no further ado...

Here is an excerpt where Sgt Gay is mentioned"

I found your website and am trying to locate some information on a fellow names Richard C. Hanauer. He was in the 430th AAA AW Bn during WWII. Any relation?
I'm trying to right the history of this unit and Richard played a big part.
Here's some specifics about this man.
Lt. Hanauer rejoined Battery "B" after volunteering for temporary duty with the 397th Provisional AAA MG Battalion (anti-aircraft artillery, machine gun), which landed on Omaha Beach, code named "Easy Red," along with units of the 197th AAA AW, within 15-30 minutes after the first wave of infantry on D-Day, 6 June 1944. Also with this battalion were Sgt. Frederick O. Kent of Battery "B" and Sgt. Mitchell E. Gay of Battery "D". The 397th Provisional Machine Gun Battalion was to be part of the first wave of Allied soldiers to land on Omaha Beach and protect the engineers while they removed steel barriers and other obstacles for the infantry. Most of this unit was wiped out even before they got to land. "They lost 28 of its 36 machine guns disembarking."

Lt. Hanauer would eventually be promoted to Captain and would also receive a Bronze star for his actions at Omaha Beach.


Mitchell_E_Gay_D_Day_KIA.jpg

#2 jmar

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 12:31 PM

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#3 jmar

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 12:33 PM

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#4 jmar

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 12:33 PM

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#5 jmar

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 12:34 PM

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#6 dcalvi

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 02:11 PM

jmar:

I am the person who was searching for information about Mitchell E. Gay that you quote on this site. Let me know how much information you have on Gay as I would like to add any information I can find to the history of the 430th AAA AW Bn (M) that I am writing. Yes I know what you show was the 397th but he was a volunteer from the 430th along with two others.

Thanks!

dcalvi

#7 tarbridge

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 03:23 PM

First Class Joe.Thanks for showing,Robert

#8 jmar

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 04:50 PM

jmar:

I am the person who was searching for information about Mitchell E. Gay that you quote on this site. Let me know how much information you have on Gay as I would like to add any information I can find to the history of the 430th AAA AW Bn (M) that I am writing. Yes I know what you show was the 397th but he was a volunteer from the 430th along with two others.

Thanks!

dcalvi


Hello dcalvi,

Thank you for reading and commenting. I'll be writing to St Louis and hopefully obtain his records, but probably not any time in the near future as I'm planning a move. Once I get relocated and settled I'll pick up the research where I left off. I'll be most happy to share everything I find out about Sgt. Gay. If any other info turns up in the meantime I'll be sure and let you know as well.

Best wishes,

Joe

#9 jmar

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 04:52 PM

First Class Joe.Thanks for showing,Robert


Hi Robert,

I hope you're doing well. Thank you for stopping in and reading, you're comments are always appreciated.

My best wishes,

Joe

#10 vicjoy1945

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 05:02 AM

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Hey Joe !

D-Day groupings are especially interesting given the historic aspect of the operation and the incredible adversity that face those brave men....many of which had never been under fire before that fateful day.

Thanks for showing !!

Vic

Edited by vicjoy1945, 15 September 2011 - 05:02 AM.


#11 jmar

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 05:52 AM

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Hey Joe !

D-Day groupings are especially interesting given the historic aspect of the operation and the incredible adversity that face those brave men....many of which had never been under fire before that fateful day.

Thanks for showing !!

Vic


Hi Vic,

Thank you for reading and your nice comments. You hit the nail right on the head, I can't begin to image how it must have felt for so many of these men, especially those who had no combat experience. When that ramp on the LST dropped down and opened the doorway to hell on earth they still charged in. Heroes all in my book.

Best wishes!

Joe

#12 jmar

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 01:52 PM

Hello all,

 

I usually don't do this, but I would like to bump this up in honer of this veteran who gave his life today 69 years ago.

 

Thank you to all who have served and serve today. You are all heroes.

 

My best to you,

 

Joe



#13 skottyg

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 07:58 PM

Mitchell E. Gay is my Great Uncle. I'm glad this piece of family history has made it into the hands of someone who appreciates it.


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