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WW2 Possible 101st AB Lt Col Uniform ? Help Needed

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Recently a local surplus items seller came into a massive pile of military uniforms, I heard about it Saturday and made it in on monday but I guess they have been out for over a week(can't imagine what steals people got) He was asking $10 a piece for any uniform you wanted, I was expecting like maybe a box full 5 -10 there was and still are prolly 100+ so im guessing there was a couple hundred to start! I ended up buying 4x different uniform and if I move these might go back for more! Lot of 50s USMC uniforms, ww2 4 pocket officer uniform, some odd uniforms a really sadly trashed N3B, tons of under shirts and army blankets etc!

 

I few were named and im sure if I looked hard I might have found more! I grade this one up because It appeared to be early or pre war and had name rank and number!

I didnt think much of it till I did a quick search

the uniform is marked LT Machemehl M3556

a quick search yield that by 1944 there was a Lt Col William P Machemehl who was the head finance officer of the 101st AB!

So heres my thoughts this uniform was worn early war or possibly pre war by Machemehl when he was a Lt, there is another name and number in the uniform though the name is illegible entirely so maybe when he gained rank he moved onto a nicer coat and this was given to another officer! Uniform is 100% insignia stripped as most there were. It isn't in perfect shape but if it is his uniform might add a bit of interest and value! I am posting another uniform from the same pile of stuff to get opinions on! Thanks for looking hopefully someone can tie that number to him!

post-160496-0-88819100-1543357513_thumb.jpg


Please Remember the Following Service Members who have passed on!

 

Manley S Webb- 1925-2006 US Navy WW2

James W Boutilier - 1921-1983 US Navy Seabees WW2

Russell W Haight - 1876-1953 Spanish American War, Cuban Pacification, Mexican Border War NYNG

Lt Colonel William H Warren 1921-2014 USAF

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post-160496-0-38659700-1543357655.jpg


Please Remember the Following Service Members who have passed on!

 

Manley S Webb- 1925-2006 US Navy WW2

James W Boutilier - 1921-1983 US Navy Seabees WW2

Russell W Haight - 1876-1953 Spanish American War, Cuban Pacification, Mexican Border War NYNG

Lt Colonel William H Warren 1921-2014 USAF

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post-160496-0-90273700-1543357680.jpg


Please Remember the Following Service Members who have passed on!

 

Manley S Webb- 1925-2006 US Navy WW2

James W Boutilier - 1921-1983 US Navy Seabees WW2

Russell W Haight - 1876-1953 Spanish American War, Cuban Pacification, Mexican Border War NYNG

Lt Colonel William H Warren 1921-2014 USAF

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It does appear the shape of the patch shadow could be 101st but the patch has been off it so long it is very very hard to tell! If you need more info let me know! Uniform is pretty blank so what you see is what it is!


Please Remember the Following Service Members who have passed on!

 

Manley S Webb- 1925-2006 US Navy WW2

James W Boutilier - 1921-1983 US Navy Seabees WW2

Russell W Haight - 1876-1953 Spanish American War, Cuban Pacification, Mexican Border War NYNG

Lt Colonel William H Warren 1921-2014 USAF

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Anybody think it is his or not ? Can anyone trace his laundry #?


Please Remember the Following Service Members who have passed on!

 

Manley S Webb- 1925-2006 US Navy WW2

James W Boutilier - 1921-1983 US Navy Seabees WW2

Russell W Haight - 1876-1953 Spanish American War, Cuban Pacification, Mexican Border War NYNG

Lt Colonel William H Warren 1921-2014 USAF

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A couple of possibilities; someone would need to track the numbers down to see if there was a match:

 

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/33380857/william-paul-machemehl

 

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/133639287/albert-charles-machemehl

 

Entries for the above gentleman on the WWII Memorial say he served in the CBI.

 

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/68286268/william-lee-machemehl

 

The entry on the WWII memorial site for above veteran just states that he served in central Germany.


"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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Thanks Rob and thanks Rusty for the information! To bad its not the first guy! Wonder which one of those guys it is!


Please Remember the Following Service Members who have passed on!

 

Manley S Webb- 1925-2006 US Navy WW2

James W Boutilier - 1921-1983 US Navy Seabees WW2

Russell W Haight - 1876-1953 Spanish American War, Cuban Pacification, Mexican Border War NYNG

Lt Colonel William H Warren 1921-2014 USAF

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For what it’s worth, the label in the coat shows it’s from Zubik’s, a uniform tailor in College Station, Texas, that supplied uniforms to the students/cadets at the State A&M College of Texas (Now Texas A&M University). I would therefore conclude that this Lt. Machemehl was in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M. RustyCanteen’s three links to various Machemehls who served in WW2 show that all three were from the Bellville, Texas, area. So that fits the Texas A&M angle. I did find that William P. Machemehl attended Texas A&M (class of 1933, which fits his birth date, making him an appropriate age of 21/22 when he graduated). Aside from the already-discussed fact that his ASN does not match what is in the jacket, the Aggie cadet (and Army officer’s) uniform of 1933 looked different from this uniform and given it’s from Zubik’s, it’s most likely that the Machemehl to whom this coat belongs would have purchased it while he was a student.

 

Looking at the other two links from RustyCanteen, William Lee Machemehl was born in 1923 and his obituary states he joined the Army in 1943 (age 20) and served in central Germany. Doesn’t say anything about his education or rank, but unless he quit college to join, I’m guessing he enlisted or was drafted. So that doesn’t fit.

 

That leaves us with Albert C. Machemehl, Jr. His grave marker notes he was a 1st lieutenant in WW2 and his birth date of 1921 would put him entering A&M around 1939 and graduating around 1943. The coat looks to date to that time period. If it can be confirmed that this Machemehl also went to A&M, then you have your man.

 

Interesting side-note: in looking up William P. Machemehl, I found that he was in the Aggie Band starting in 1930. If you’re not familiar with this nationally famous band, I highly recommend you google them and check out a video of their performances,

from a Veterans Day football game in 2017. They’re even more impressive in person.

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Although this uniform was owned by a different person.... it is interesting to note that, like many longer serving airborne vets, LTC WP Machemehl was reassigned to the 17th Airborne Division at the end of the war. He served as their finance officer, and his name is often found on the final pay vouchers of 17th airborne personnel. It is one of the ways to confirm a WWII paratrooper's service without an actual unit listing. The 101st finance officer at war's end became LTC AC Small. When you see his name on a pay voucher it means the man ended the war in the 101st.


I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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I found him on a September 12, 1944 roster as the finance officer in the 101st with the rank of lt colonel. Paul


Home Alive in 45

WWII Research

Website coming soon

2 million Army and AAF names and counting!

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I found him on a September 12, 1944 roster as the finance officer in the 101st with the rank of lt colonel. Paul

Right....he was assigned to the 101st during the war, but by September 1945 he had been reassigned to the 17th....


I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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Another possibility:

 

Charles Walter Machemehl (1922-2005), Texas A&M class of '44, was transferred to the Army OCS program in 1943 and commissioned in the Army that year. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division as a forward observer, participating in the Battle of the Bulge, the Ruhr Pocket, and the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest - and was in the unit that linked up with the Russian Army at the Elbe River in 1945. He received two Bronze Stars and a Silver Star. He later served in the 17th Airborne Division and ended the war as a Captain serving as the aide to General Matthew B. Ridgeway, 1st Allied Airborne Army.

 

His son is my neighbor.

 

See his obituary: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/houstonchronicle/obituary.aspx?n=charles-walter-machemehl&pid=3538950

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I have been meaning to post about this. I bought this uniform a while ago from the original poster for a very reasonable price. I was intrigued by the A&M  connection (being from Texas) and with half a dozen Machemehls, with two being airborne,  I figured I could find something.

 

When I got the uniform here is what I found. 1. It has a clear round with airborne tab stitch marks on left shoulder. On very close inspection you can see where a shield with tab was on at one time. 2. On right shoulder a very clear shield with tab was on it and nothing else.  3. It had 4 overseas bars, very clear.  4. It had pin marks for a ribbon bar and then above that, with proper spacing, another set of pin marks perfectly spaced for jump wings. Another ribbon bar would be too high. (OK #4 might be weak, but another piece of evidence.) 5. It had pin marks for a DUC. 6. The pin marks for the branch were horizontal and close together. Too close for Infantry, Artillery, Coast Artillery, etc. You could also eliminate the vertical brances: ORd, etc. I took an original finance pin and it literately fell through the holes perfectly.  7. The A&M maker. 8. The original owner was tall (for the time) and very skinny. I am a small guy (155 lbs -no beer belly) and it was not even close to fitting around me. This was one skinny dude! the length and sleeves were way longer than me as well. 9. It had two sets of numbers written in it. 

 

I found 6 Machemehls and researched as best I could. Five were from Texas. None of them had a serial number that matched either set of partial numbers. This did not give a positive match from numbers. 4 of the them went to A&M (it must be a family tradition).  William P. Machemehl was the only one of the 6 that matched the insignia evidence (SSI, overseas etc.) . OK. Here is the one that to me confirmed - I looked at their draft cards on size and weight. These were some big dudes 6-3 or 6 -4  170lbs etc. I think they were cattle ranchers by profession. When I looked at William P  = 5' - 10" tall and 125 pounds! None of the others could have put there big toes in this. 

 

All of the evidence, except the numbers, point to William P Machemehl as stated above. Am I crazy? Or did I solve the case with all but one piece of evidence supporting. That one outlier could be something other than an ASN? 

 

FYI - I found alot of information on William P. and everything matched the stitch evidence.

 

Paul 


Home Alive in 45

WWII Research

Website coming soon

2 million Army and AAF names and counting!

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