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Walther PP Reich Finance Police Bring back with Paperwork


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I just got off the phone with the vets daughter. I found her address and sent her a letter a few weeks ago. She was amazed that someone would be interested in her father who passed in 2006. We had a nice conversation about her father. She said he didn't talk at all about the war and didn't even want license plates that identified him as a WWII veteran. She did know that he was an infantryman and received a purple heart for shrapnel wounds. She is going to make copies of any records or information pertaining to his military service. His military memorabilia was sold to a collector many years ago like the bringback guns, field jacket and cap. He also bought back a German flag that was flown on a vehicle. I am looking forward to receiving the information.

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That's GREAT Keith that you were able to get ahold of the vets daughter and were able to talk to her. Additionally, it'll be wonderful that she's willing to make copies of any records etc. related to his service and send them to you. You'll have to let us know if you receive anything interesting, which I'm sure you will.

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Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, USS Swordfish (SS-193), Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.

 

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Thanks Matt! Unfortunately, I don't think she has a lot but said she would make copies of what she had for me. She told me when her father died in 2006, the funeral home asked for his military records so they could arrange a military funeral from the government. They never gave his records back. I thought that was strange. I almost want to call the funeral home asking about his records but 12 years have passed and its doubtful they still are in possession of his records. I am going to call her back because I forgot to ask for a picture of him. Anything she sends I will be grateful for. Did you see the additional info on George Zendt? I now have his full records. Check out the thread when you get a chance.

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Well, I can darn sure tell you I wouldn't have let the funeral home keep my father's military records. That's too bad. I guess anythings possible, they still might have them. Yes, I did see the additional info on George Zendt. That's great you have his full records now. Great going!

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Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, USS Swordfish (SS-193), Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.

 

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Called the daughter back last night and asked if it was OK to see if I can get her Dads records back. She said go ahead so I called the funeral home this morning. They said they normally return the records back to the family and would check into it and get back to me. We'll see what happens. Hopefully, its still there!

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Keeping my fingers crossed Keith. Good luck!

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Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, USS Swordfish (SS-193), Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dang, sorry to hear that. It was worth a try though. :(

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Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, USS Swordfish (SS-193), Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.

 

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I just got the mail and received a letter from his daughter. The General Orders from the 27th EVAC Hospital have him listed as receiving a purple heart from being wounded on February 3, 1945. Now I have documentation showing him in the 3rd Division 30th Infantry Company "M" I can see why he never wanted to talk about his service after combat in the 3rd Division! Those guys saw heavy action.

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Hi Keith, that's great that you received that documentation from his daughter.

 

Source: https://www.med-dept.com/unit-histories/27th-evacuation-hospital/

 

The 27th Evac was stationed in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany and served with the 7th U.S. Army.

 

Note: Just an excerpt from the website dealing mostly with early 1945.

 

The year was not over, and at 2200, December 27, 1944, new orders were received to be ready to evacuate the Hospital the next day (the town was not safe and subjected to regular enemy artillery fire –ed). All patients were evacuated December 29 and by mid-afternoon the entire Hospital and its equipment were on their way back to Baccarat. Upon entering the former installation, so recently left behind, the men found all water pipes frozen solid and burst, much of the furniture removed, the electric wiring partially destroyed, and the buildings considerably damaged. Much had been looted by the local inhabitants. Everything was duly restored and the 27th was soon ready to celebrate what they all hoped would be their last New Year spent overseas … after a few days spent at Haguenau, the organization was back in Baccarat and by January 1, 1945, it was ready to receive more patients. Very few patients were admitted before January 4. On that day many ambulances arrived bringing in a continuous flow of wounded, with a census that reached its peak on February 1, with 1,125 patients. This high census caused long working hours, with the Medical / Surgical Officers and Nurses working 12-hour shifts.

 

1945

The 27th Evac opened the new year set up in the Caserne Ladmirault, in Baccarat, France. The tactical situation had necessitated a hasty withdrawal from Haguenau. Seventh US Army was now supported on its northern flank by the 51st Evacuation Hospital (landed in Southern France 25 Aug 44 –ed) at Saint-Dié; the 9th Evacuation Hospital (landed in Southern France 25 Aug 44 –ed) set up at Rambervillers; and the 27th Evacuation Hospital (landed in Southern France 30 Aug 44 –ed) established at Baccarat, all designated to handle and treat casualties from the fighting in the Colmar Pocket. The fighting was bitter, and combined with the cold and the snow, the hospital census rose so rapidly that it was necessary to increase the plant capacity to 1125 beds. For the period January 8 to February 8, 1945, the average daily census was 1,015 patients. With a number of its own personnel sick in General Hospitals, it became urgent to secure help. Since the 59th Evacuation Hospital (landed in Southern France 25 Aug 44 –ed) was not operational at this time, it placed 6 Officers, 10 Nurses, and 22 Enlisted Men on TD with the 27th.

 

During January – February quite a number of Officers from higher Headquarters visited the Hospital. Also the ANC Officers were surprised with the visit of Colonel Florence A. Blanchfield, Superintendent Army Nurse Corps, Lt. Colonel Ida W. Danielson, ANC Director, ETOUSA, and Major Edith Frew, Chief Nurse, Seventh United States Army, who took time to discuss many problems of interest to the command nursing staff. Lieutenant General Alexander M. Patch, CG, Seventh United States Army; Major General Albert W. Kenner, SHAEF Surgeon, and Colonel Oscar S. Reeder, Six Army Group Surgeon, all visited and inspected the 27th Evac Hosp.

 

Seventh United States Army then started to push forward in order to crack the defenses of the Siegfried Line. On March 18, 1945, the Hospital received orders to move to Fénétrange and set up in a large Roman Catholic School, originally built and run by Nuns, but eventually used by the Germans as Hitlerjugend school. The stay was short as the frontline had moved so far forward, that further movement was inevitable.

 

A total of 5,387 Purple Hearts were awarded to patients under treatment at the 27th Evacuation Hospital.

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Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, USS Swordfish (SS-193), Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.

 

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Source: Fold3

 

 

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Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, USS Swordfish (SS-193), Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.

 

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Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colmar_Pocket

 

The push to the Colmar Canal and the battle for Jebsheim

General John W. O'Daniel's 3rd U.S. Infantry Division attacked to the southeast on 22 January, aiming to cross the Ill River, bypass the city of Colmar to the north, and open a path for the tanks of the French 5th Armored Division to drive on the railway bridge supplying the Germans in the Colmar Pocket at Neuf-Brisach.

 

The 30th Infantry Regiment moved southeast, crossed the Ill River north of the timber bridge at the Maison Rouge farm, and moved south early on 23 January, capturing the Maison Rouge bridge (48°0903.6N 07°2522.8E). The 30th Infantry then moved south into the Riedwihr Woods (French: Bois de Riedwihr), toward the towns of Riedwihr (48°0726.4N 07°2642E) and Holtzwihr (48°0636N 07°2530E).

 

The bridge at Maison Rouge proved unable to support U.S. tanks (the bridge collapsed under the weight of a tank), and so the 30th Infantry had only minimal antitank capability (bazookas and three 57 mm anti-tank guns) when they were counter-attacked late in the afternoon by German infantry and heavy tank destroyers of the 708th Volksgrenadier Division and 280th Assault Gun Battalion. Without cover and unable to dig foxholes because of the frozen terrain, the 30th Infantry was forced to withdraw, taking heavy casualties when the withdrawal assumed the character of a rout. The 30th Infantry reformed on the west bank of the Ill but was out of action for three days while it reorganized.

 

On 25 January, the U.S. 15th Infantry Regiment followed the course of the 30th Infantry and recaptured the bridge at Maison Rouge. A German counterattack, again supported by heavy tank destroyers, overran an exposed rifle company of the 15th Infantry around 08:00 but was unable to drive on the bridge because of U.S. defensive fire. Later in the day, U.S. engineers erected a bridge over the Ill north of Maison Rouge, and a battalion of the 15th Infantry supported by tanks attacked to the south, finally securing the bridgehead. Over the next two days, the 15th Infantry pushed south toward the towns of Riedwihr and Holtzwihr, entering the Riedwihr Woods. German counterattacks were common, but the U.S. troops were able to parry them with support from tanks and tank destroyers.

 

On 26 January, on the south edge of the Riedwihr Woods, a German force of infantry and tanks emerged from Holtzwihr to counterattack Company B of the 15th Infantry. Believing the odds hopeless, Lieutenant Audie Murphy ordered his men to withdraw into the woods. Murphy climbed onto a burning M10 tank destroyer and engaged the Germans with the vehicle's heavy machine gun while calling for artillery fire on his own position. Unable to determine where Murphy was firing from, the German force first became confused and then was bombed by U.S. fighter-bombers that had found a hole in the clouds over the battlefield. Dismayed, the German force retreated back to Holtzwihr, pursued by Lieutenant Murphy. He was subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor. Riedwihr fell to the 15th Infantry on 26 January, and Holtzwihr was taken by the 30th Infantry on 27 January. The 30th Infantry continued south, reaching the Colmar Canal on 29 January.

 

The capture of Jebsheim (48°0733N 07°2840E) was necessary to protect the north flank of the 3rd Division's advance. With the 3rd Division advancing ahead of the French 1 March Infantry Division on the 3rd Division's north flank, General O'Daniel committed the U.S. 254th Infantry Regiment (part of the U.S. 63rd Infantry Division but attached to the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division for the duration of operations in the Colmar Pocket) to capture Jebsheim. On 26–27 January, troops of the German 136th Mountain Infantry Regiment defended Jebsheim against the advance of the 254th Infantry. On 28–29 January, Jebsheim was taken by the 254th Infantry, French tanks of Combat Command 6 (French 5th Armored Division), and a battalion of the French 1st Parachute Regiment. Subsequently, the 254th Infantry continued to push east in the direction of the Rhône-Rhine Canal. Meanwhile, the 7th Infantry had moved forward, and along with the 15th Infantry Regiment and French 5th Armored Division tanks, were positioned to drive on the fortified town of Neuf-Brisach, about five miles (8 km) distant from the 3rd Division spearheads.

 

The push to the Rhine in the north

On the left flank and north of the U.S. 3rd Division, General Garbay's French 1 March Infantry Division (French: 1re Division de Marche d'Infanterie, formerly known as the 1st Free French Division) attacked to the east on 23 January with the Rhine River as their objective. Facing four battalions of the 708th Volksgrenadier Division (part of General Max Grimmeiss' LXIV Army Corps) supported by heavy tank destroyers and artillery, the 1st Division's 1st Brigade fought in conditions similar to that experienced by the Americans to the south. The Germans mounted a defense in depth, using positions in the villages and forests to command the open ground to their front and liberally planting land mines to slow and channelize the French advance. Two battalions of the 708th Volksgrenadier Division counterattacked the French bridgeheads over the Ill River around 17:00 on 23 January but were repulsed. Wishing to avoid dug-in German infantry and armor in the Elsenheim Woods (48°1030N 07°2736E), General Garbay directed the 1st Brigade to concentrate their advance along the road from Illhaeusern (48°1058N 07°2613E) to Elsenheim. On 26–27 January, the 1st Brigade concentrated on opening this route and skirting the obstacle posed by the Elsenheim Woods, with a key attack into the woods made by the 3rd Battalion of the March Regiment of the French Foreign Legion (R.M.L.E.) on 27 January.[22] At heavy cost, the village of Grussenheim (48°0842N 07°2906E) was taken on 28 January by supporting tanks of the French 2nd Armored Division. Against crumbling German resistance, the French surged forward, taking Elsenheim and Marckolsheim (48°0953N 07°3242E) on 31 January and reaching the Rhine River the following day.[28] In the course of its operations in the Colmar Pocket, the French 1st Division suffered casualties of 220 killed, 1,240 wounded, 96 missing, and 550 trench-foot cases.

 

Allied reinforcements

Noting the difficult progress of all Allied units against German resistance in the Colmar Pocket, General de Lattre requested reinforcements from the U.S. 6th Army Group. Concurring, General Devers subordinated the Headquarters of the U.S. XXI Corps to the French First Army. General Milburn's XXI Corps took up position between the two French corps on 28 January and assumed command of the U.S. 3rd and 28th Infantry Divisions. Two additional U.S. divisions were also assigned to the XXI Corps - the U.S. 75th Infantry Division and the U.S. 12th Armored Division. Finally, the French 5th Armored Division, 1st Parachute Regiment, and 1st Choc (commando) Battalion were placed under XXI Corps' command. The XXI Corps was given the mission of capturing the city of Colmar and driving on the bridge at Breisach.

 

For their part, the German high command misread the Allied objectives, believing the Allied assault to be a general pressure along the front designed to induce collapse at any given point. Hitler had agreed to a partial withdrawal in the north (the Erstein salient) during the night of 28 January but forbade a general withdrawal over the Rhine. German outposts in the Vosges Mountains were pulled back, but the confusion of the withdrawal and the pressures of the battlefield resulted in many units becoming mixed with one another. While this did not affect the numbers available for combat, it did lower the defensive cohesion of the German units. On 29 January, Heeresgruppe Oberrhein was dissolved as a headquarters, and the units in the Colmar Pocket were again subordinated to Heeresgruppe G (Army Group G), under the command of SS-Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser.

 

The push to the Rhine in the center

The 3rd Division continued its south and east sidestepping maneuver. On the evening of 29 January, divisional artillery fired 16,000 105 mm and 155 mm rounds during a three-hour preparation for the assault of the 7th and 15th Infantry Regiments south across the Colmar Canal. The infantry crossed between 21:00 and midnight. After the crossings were secured, engineers began the construction of three Bailey Bridges over the canal to enable armored vehicles to cross. The following day, the French armored combat commands CC4 and CC5 (both of the 5th Armored Division) crossed the canal, with CC4 supporting the U.S. 7th Infantry and CC5 supporting the U.S. 15th Infantry. Soon thereafter, the 15th Infantry and CC5 took Urschenheim in a brisk action, while the 7th Infantry was held up in front of Horbourg. The same day, the 254th Infantry attacked east toward Artzenheim with support of the French armored combat command CC6, but the Germans employed artillery support and dug-in Jagdpanther tank destroyers to parry the thrust, destroying six French tanks and four halftracks. Artzenheim was taken by the French II Corps on 1 February.

 

Fighting in the zone of the 3rd Division, the French 1st Parachute Regiment attacked and seized Widensolen early on 31 January. By 17:00, patrols of the U.S. 3rd Division had reached the Rhône-Rhine Canal, some five miles (8 km) southeast from the division's crossing points over the Colmar Canal. On the same day, French CC6 was relieved from attachment to the U.S. 3rd Division, having taken severe losses with only 13 operational tanks in its tank battalion and 30 effectives in its French Foreign Legion rifle company. In its stead arrived a combat command of the French 2nd Armored Division. On 1 February, the 15th and 30th Infantry Regiments moved south along the Rhône-Rhine Canal reaching the area just north of Neuf-Brisach. On 2–3 February, the 7th Infantry drove south along the same canal passing through Artzenheim and taking Biesheim after a bitter day-long battle. Near Biesheim, Technician 5 Forrest E. Peden of 3rd Division artillery dashed through intense German fire on 3 February to summon help for an ambushed infantry unit. Returning on a light tank, Peden was killed when the tank was hit and destroyed. For his heroism, Peden was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

 

After a day spent consolidating its positions, the 3rd Division moved south again on 5 February, taking Vogelgrun the following day. The fortified town of Neuf-Brisach was swiftly entered and taken on 6 February, by the 30th Infantry, with the help of two French children and another civilian, who showed the Americans undefended passages into the town. The Germans, having evacuated what remained of their men and equipment, had destroyed the bridge over the Rhine at Breisach. The taking of Neuf-Brisach marked the end of operations in the Colmar Pocket for the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division.

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Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, USS Swordfish (SS-193), Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.

 

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You're welcome Keith. Yes, I'd say with certainty that he was in the thick of it.

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Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, USS Swordfish (SS-193), Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.

 

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