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423rd Regiment, 106th Division

Started by TrevorR , Jun 25 2012 03:54 PM

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#1 TrevorR

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:54 PM

I am getting a Purple Heart to a soldier that was in the 423rd Regiment. He was not captured with the rest of the unit on their 5th day in combat in the battle of the bulge. I am looking for information about the 423rd on 28 December 1944. Most stuff I find does not list the 423rd after they were captured.

#2 patches

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:16 PM

I am getting a Purple Heart to a soldier that was in the 423rd Regiment. He was not captured with the rest of the unit on their 5th day in combat in the battle of the bulge. I am looking for information about the 423rd on 28 December 1944. Most stuff I find does not list the 423rd after they were captured.



Thats because the unit was nonexstent, the regiment along with the 422nd ceased to exist, the remaining Regiment of Infantry 424th Infantry was incorprated in to an ad hoc kind of unit with those Artillery and Engineers that survived, (the Division bear in mind lost more than two of it's Infantry Regiments) and took up defenses in the Sankt Vith area, the remnants of the two other destroyed infantry units or any others survivors from other Divisional units were attached themselves to a bunch of differant units within the Division, mostly the Infantry would, if they had not been captured and got away, were simply were assigned to the 424th Infantry, this is probably the unit your man was in on December 28


The 106th or what was left of it had units attached to it to give it some muscle, at one point early on the 112th Infantry of the 28th Infantry Division, a Divison that was not doing to good itself, the Bloody Bucket not even given a chance to rest and rebuild after the disaster of the Huertgen Forest was also hit full force by the German Offensive, but at one point the 424th Was attached for a few days itself to the 7th Armored Division in late December, after awhile another unit was attached the veteran 517th Parachute Infantry (seperate) they were assigned in January giving the 106th Division two Regiments of Infantry, again after a certain point it would seem that the only unit in the 106th Division that seen any action was the remainding 424th Infantry, here it was kept being attached to differant units like the 7th Armored Division again and the 99th Division, this went on to mid March 1945. Its was then that the 424th Infsantry and the remnats of the rest of the Division was finally withdrawn from the front line, sent back to France it was rebulit, BUT it's 422nd and 423rd Infantry's were to be rebuilt, however two entirely differant and intact Infantry Regiments were assigned to give the 106th Infantry Division three Infantry Regiments, these being the Old Guard of the 3rd Infantry a unit that had no combat experiance and the 156th Infantry which had seen action on Attu in the Aleutian Islands nearly two years before.

The other two Regiments, the 422nd and 423rd were recontituted in mid March as well, but they were never reassigned to the Division, but sent to train and do garrison duty on the Atlantic Coast in the 66th Infantry Divisions area, this Division having as it's misson the investment and containing of the German held ports of Saint Nazaire and Lorient. The two Regiments, the 3rd and 159th must have been transfered out after VE Day, and then the two Regiments they replaced the 422nd and 423rd returned to the 106th Division however briefly and I gather returned together to America at Camp Shacks NY in early October where the 106th Infantry Division was inactivated.

#3 TrevorR

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:30 PM

Should I do more research on the 424th Regiment for that day?

#4 patches

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:53 PM

Thats about it I would think, the unit he was in was no more, he most likely was in the 424th when he was hit, tell me more on this man, tell me all you know.


PS..... Errata...... 156th Infantry should read 159th Infantry.

Edited by patches, 25 June 2012 - 06:57 PM.


#5 TrevorR

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:56 PM

I know he was a Sgt. In L company, Kia on 28 Dec 1944. I just don't know if he was captured and killed in the camp, or he just survived the capture and fought with the 424th

#6 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:27 PM

If you post the name, someone can probably assist you,


There is lot of good reference material on this site:

http://www.indianami.../106thSTART.htm

Kurt

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 25 June 2012 - 07:28 PM.


#7 TrevorR

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:35 PM

Sgt. Joseph M. Kunkel

#8 patches

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:38 PM

I know he was a Sgt. In L company, Kia on 28 Dec 1944. I just don't know if he was captured and killed in the camp, or he just survived the capture and fought with the 424th


It's a chore, killed in camp, that would mean ? I dont know about that, Germans didn't kill any 106th Infantry Division GIs after the surrendered or were captured, they marched them the hell out of the area, their can be two Possibilities I can think of, the first was he did make good his escape and fought on in the 424th or in another unit within the Division or even in another unit that was in the vicinity of Sankt Vith, with his full unit being listed as the 423rd Infantry still, or he was in fact captured and was wounded and died of his wounds in a German Feldlazarett or traviling to or at a holding or transit Stammlager. Here the Germans being very correct as far as the Western Allies were conserned would list the date of death in their records, and these records were 1. captured or handed over to the Allies at the end of the war in requards to their POWs held in German hands or 2. this info on deaths of WESTERN Allies was rountinly handed over to the Red Cross. I believe that in most if not all cases Servicemen who died of wounds will be listed as Killed in Action by many entities, it possible this Purple Heart was issued to the next of kin with info that he was Killed in Action rather then Died of Wounds in a POW Camp, I say this as he died only around a week after he might of been captured and didn't have time to settle into a real Stalag, if he was captured he was to be sure well inside Germany, but as mention in a Transit camp or if Wounded at a German Army Hospital.

#9 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:53 PM

If he had died in a German POW camp, he should still show up on the National Archive roster of POWs ( which he does not ). He was KIA 12/21/44 at the beginning of the battle. I doubt he transferred to another unit. He was not a POW, and if he was it was very briefly and was never reported as such.

I am certain he served with another unit before he was with the 106th based on his rank, and the photo of him.


Kunkel, Joseph M. SSgt 423/L KIA 12/21/1944 Reburied 19 April 1949, St. Bonaventure Cemetery, Allegany, NY


His picture is here

http://jfgvictoryver...s/WWII H-L.html


You need to write for his IDPF.



Kurt

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 25 June 2012 - 07:57 PM.


#10 patches

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:57 PM

Kunkel, Joseph M. SSgt 423/L KIA 12/21/1944 Reburied 19 April 1949, St. Bonaventure Cemetery, Allegany, NY 12/21/1944 Battle of the Bulge http://www.jfgvictoryverlag.com

Date of death is December 21 not 28 he was Killed in the Fighting. Glad to know you Sarge.

#11 TrevorR

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:11 PM

I was looking at the entry on findagrave.com and it says he was KIA 28 Dec 1944, but looking a little more it says he was missing on 21 Dec 1944.
http://www.findagrav...p;GRid=41746852

#12 patches

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:37 PM

I was looking at the entry on findagrave.com and it says he was KIA 28 Dec 1944, but looking a little more it says he was missing on 21 Dec 1944.
http://www.findagrav...p;GRid=41746852



Well as you can see the 106th Infantry Division roster list him as KIA on the 21st, The 28th Date may be the date one group listed him as Killed as it may be the date that his body was found or recoved by friendly Troops moving though this area, but this would seem most unlikely as U.S. Troops did not again set foot in this area till mid/late January, it's more likey the date of the 28th is the date they just listed him officialy as Dead, but who listed him as dead ? the 423rd Infantry HQ ? they were in the bag with the rest of the Regiment that or dead, the 106th Infantry Division HQ, as far as they knew anyone from the Division not on our side of line might be dead.

#13 TrevorR

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:47 PM

Do you think that since the 2 regiment were captured on 19 Dec 44 that he could have linked up with the 424th and served with them, then when he was KIA they still listed his the 423rd. Because you think he served with another unit before, do you think a was wounded previously in the ETO and thrown into the replacement depot?

Edited by TrevorR, 25 June 2012 - 09:57 PM.


#14 patches

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:36 AM

Do you think that since the 2 regiment were captured on 19 Dec 44 that he could have linked up with the 424th and served with them, then when he was KIA they still listed his the 423rd. Because you think he served with another unit before, do you think a was wounded previously in the ETO and thrown into the replacement depot?



The idea that he was out and around with another unit and still had as his unit the 423rd as his unit of record was one of the possiblities I mentioned earlier, as to serving in the war earlier ? we do know he was in the Army prior to WWII, in the photo we see him wearing what looks like the 28th Infantry DIs ( though not the French Fourragère which the 28th Infantry was intitled to wear and did very much wear ), on this he may have been in the 28th Infantry, which was in WWII a part of the 8th Infantry Division and was in action in first in Normandy in July 1944 and was sent to the 106th upon there arrival on the continent in early December or just as it entered the foward area in the Ardennes region a few days later or he was one of those Regular Army types that was transfered to the newly activated 106th Infantry Division when it was forming up at Fort Jackson South Carolina, it is note worthy to point out that the 8th Infantry Division did supply cadres to form the 106th Infantry Division in March 1943, one sure fire way to find out if he was in Combat earlier in Normandy/Brittany is to see his Campaign Credits, if it say only Ardennes/Alsace then he was only in the 106th Division, if it lists Normandy, or The Rhineland or more commonly two extran Campaign Stars on top of the one for the Ardennes/Alsace then you will know he was in action earlier, now if was wounded earlier the Purple Heart would have an Oak Leaf cluster, but it does not I'm gathering as you would have mentioned this by now.

#15 Jack's Son

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:31 AM

This discussion is getting to be very interesting...thank you.

#16 TrevorR

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 03:26 PM

http://www.indianami...ports/AAR-1.htm

In this some what of an After Action Report, at the end it says that the Colonel said this.


"I then gave orders that anyone in my Bn could try to reach American lines in small groups who so desired. About 50 took advantage of this.
At 1700 the Germans came up and took us in custody.
At the time of my return from reconnainance [reconnaissance] I had only 387
men left in the Bn and 14 officers, 3 heavy MG's 2 light MG's and 2 60 MM Mortars with 3 rds each."

#17 patches

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:18 PM

http://www.indianami...ports/AAR-1.htm

In this some what of an After Action Report, at the end it says that the Colonel said this.
"I then gave orders that anyone in my Bn could try to reach American lines in small groups who so desired. About 50 took advantage of this.
At 1700 the Germans came up and took us in custody.
At the time of my return from reconnainance [reconnaissance] I had only 387
men left in the Bn and 14 officers, 3 heavy MG's 2 light MG's and 2 60 MM Mortars with 3 rds each."



Yes without a doubt quite a few men made good their escape whether or not with the blessings of their commanders. Kunkel may have been one of those over in the 3rd Battalion.

#18 TrevorR

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:23 PM

I Just ordered the 106th Division Unit History online so once that comes in, it might talk about what men made it out, and if they linked up with other units.

#19 brian423rd

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 01:03 PM

Trevor,

 

Did you find the information you were looking for about Joseph Kunkle?  

 

I can tell you with absolute certainty Kunkle was in the L/423rd. Most likely he died between December 16 and 19.  Virtually all of the casualties from the 423rd, 422nd, and their artillery battalions list the casualty date as the 21st.  That is because that is the date that was listed on the reconstructed Morning Report.  Because of the lack of communication between the regiments and division no knew for certain when the surrender happened.  It is axiomatic that most casualties occurred on the 19th.  

 

It was also stated in this post the the 423rd was nonexistent after its capture.  That is not true.  For all practical purposes a lieutenant ran the regiment. As stranglers came in the men were reassigned to the 424th (all except for this one Lt. was reassigned).  In April the 423rd was reconstituted and it arrived back in the states Oct 1 of '45 and was disbanded Oct 2.

 

Also, the cadre came from the 80th and not the 8th ID.  The men of the 80th came from Fort Nathan Bedford Forrest.




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