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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Governments & Organizations

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Governments & Organizations Unit histories, OOB, political parties, OSS, Waffen-SS; if it has anything to do with the functioning of military or government organizations, this is the place for it.

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  #16  
Old 03 Jan 12, 04:14
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geoffleese geoffleese is offline
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If you know where he's buried or commemorated Jim, I'll get some photos for you when I'm next over there at the end of next month.
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  #17  
Old 21 Jan 12, 11:11
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July 1944 Normandy campaign family letter

I appreciate your offer to help with Normandy campaign research, Geoff. Since the 987th Field Artillery Bn. letter I posted earlier seened rather dull I thought you may like to see a letter written July 15, 1944 by my father with the Hq. First U.S. Army. This was three days before the uncle I'm named for was killed while advancing with his armored regiment across a wheat field in Normandy against German 88mm guns.
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File Type: jpg Pages 1 & 4.jpg (203.6 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg pages 2 & 3.jpg (297.2 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 1944 Dad & andre.JPG (292.6 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 1944 liberated.JPG (164.0 KB, 10 views)

Last edited by 1/1Blackhawk; 22 Jan 12 at 08:24..
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  #18  
Old 22 Jan 12, 12:05
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July 15, 1944 letter in readable individual page size

The double page copies I posted earlier are too small to read on my computer screen. I'll post individual pages which should be readable. The post mark date cancellations must be the dates my aunt sent her brother the snacks he requested.
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File Type: jpg Page 1.JPG (139.8 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg page 2.JPG (163.7 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg page 3.JPG (191.6 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg page 4.jpg (276.4 KB, 10 views)
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  #19  
Old 23 Jan 12, 07:08
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very thoughtful of you Jim - and very interesting too!
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  #20  
Old 01 Mar 12, 18:57
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Information wanted on 987th FAB veterans

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1/1Blackhawk View Post
I appreciate your offer to help with Normandy campaign research, Geoff. Since the 987th Field Artillery Bn. letter I posted earlier seened rather dull I thought you may like to see a letter written July 15, 1944 by my father with the Hq. First U.S. Army. This was three days before the uncle I'm named for was killed while advancing with his armored regiment across a wheat field in Normandy against German 88mm guns.
The story of the 987th FAb is NOT at all dull. As far as I know, the 987th FAB was the only US Army unit scheduled to land on D Day under command of the British Army. It was rare for US units to fight under British Command or vice versa. In fact it was prabably one of the first 155mm FAB to land in Europe. (They landed early on D+1 because of congestion on the bach)

So why was it so important to land an American medium artillery battalon on D Day before,. say , the tanks of the British 7th Armoured Division?

The reasoin for this is because the British army decided it needed US 155 guns because the British 5.5" and 4.5" equivalent did not have as long a range. So several British units used the US 155mm towed gun. 30th British Corps insisted on havng medium guns ashore on D Day and they had to be SP. And so in mid March 1944 the British asked if they could borrow some guns, and Bradley offered a complete battalion rather than just the guns.

You may not be aware of why this was, but Brigadier General Parham. the Brigadier Royal Artillery at HQ 2nd British Army kept a diary of the months before D Day and he explained why this unit cvame to go into battle with the British Army.

According to the RA 2nd Army diary. the unit formed up in England in April 1944 and their guns arrived early in May, leaving them only a few weeks to train for D Day. I think they may have had less tiem to train to be ready than most other units landing on that day.

I am writing a history of the Royal artillery in Normandy on behalf of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. The story of the 987th FAB is part of that history. I would be really interested in asking any livign veterans about thei expereince of fighting alongside the British in Nomandy.

Some of my questions are...

What did they think when they found out that they would be going into battle with the British Army and not the US?

Did they know that they would be one of the first medium artillery units ashore on D Day?

Where had they been before joining 30 Corps?

What did they think of Britain/ (Were they eating British rations?

Do yuo have any eye witness accounts abotu what they did on d day and in the weeks afterwards supporitng the Brits.
.

Last edited by Sheldrake; 01 Mar 12 at 19:02..
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  #21  
Old 02 Mar 12, 04:17
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Thanks for that Sheldrake, very interesting indeed.

Like you, I have lots of questions concerning the administration of the unit in general - feeding,pay, resupply.........

It would be grand to be able to mount a temporary exhibition for the 70th Anniversary in 2014.

I wonder if the US veterans administration could help us trace any surviving veterans?

Like you also, I believe that 987 FAB were the only US unit (I'm sure there were individual liaison officers or teams) attached to 2nd Army on D-Day.

The only thing I have regarding the unit is the photograph accredited to them which I've already published here. I was alerted to it by an ex-gunner friend, now a Living Historian.

Yours ever

"Pronto"
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  #22  
Old 03 Mar 12, 05:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffleese View Post
Thanks for that Sheldrake, very interesting indeed.

Like you, I have lots of questions concerning the administration of the unit in general - feeding,pay, resupply.........

It would be grand to be able to mount a temporary exhibition for the 70th Anniversary in 2014.

I wonder if the US veterans administration could help us trace any surviving veterans?

Like you also, I believe that 987 FAB were the only US unit (I'm sure there were individual liaison officers or teams) attached to 2nd Army on D-Day.

The only thing I have regarding the unit is the photograph accredited to them which I've already published here. I was alerted to it by an ex-gunner friend, now a Living Historian.

Yours ever

"Pronto"
Thanks Geoff
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  #23  
Old 03 Mar 12, 05:04
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Geoff,
I have tried to send a PM, but havvenl;t posted enough here yet to be allowed to...
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  #24  
Old 03 Mar 12, 05:05
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I might have done so now, as this is my fifth post
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  #25  
Old 05 May 12, 09:50
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987th the the British 50th

Sheldrake,

My Dad is still living and was part of the 987th FA - B. It been very hard for me to get any thing out of him about the war. I you have question you want to know about email me at lsc@comcast.net

Larry
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  #26  
Old 05 May 12, 10:02
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987th on Kings Beach on July 7th

Here is one picture of the 987th landing on Kings beach.
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  #27  
Old 06 May 12, 05:02
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Hi Larry. I've sent you an email on the subject.

Any help that you or your Dad can offer us will be enormously appreciated. I'd really like to mount that exhibition for the 70th anniversary.
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  #28  
Old 08 Jan 13, 15:10
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987th FABN

I ought to have done this years ago. My dad, Lester W. Thompson, 2nd or 1st Lt., was XO of B Battery, I think, commanded by Captain (Bob?) Vollmer. A few years back, I looked up the records of the 987th in the National Archives. I made some copies, including the 'Top Secret' orders attaching them to the 50th British Infantry, the Northumbrian. There were rosters and so forth. In September, 1944, Dad was wounded near Kruchten (now Cructen, I think) in the Eifel, across the border from Luxembourg. He was evacuated, eventually back to the US. I called Vollmer, and we met, and he gave me some photos from the unit's training in the states. I have lost touch with him, unfortunately. Later, I actually went to Kruchten and I believe I stood in the field where the action occurred. Bob had also given me some good firing maps.
At this time, my box of stuff is in storage and I intend to dig it all out soon. I'm writing this from memory. I'd be glad to talk about all this. I love the picture of them landing on Gold. I've never seen anything like that!!!
Wayne Thompson
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  #29  
Old 09 Jan 13, 15:20
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Hi Wayne. Lovely to hear from you. Is the XO what we call the 2 i/c over here? (second in command - would be a Captain in the Royal Artillery).

Any help you could give us with the display would be greatly appreciated.

As I may have mentioned higher up the thread, we have a home in Ver sur Mer, and as the "tame Englishman" I've become a trustee of the museum, and do my best to look after their website too.

You can find me at leese.geoff@tesco.net or g.leese@staffs.ac.uk

Do you know of any veterans still living?

Warmest regards

Geoff
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  #30  
Old 30 Jul 13, 06:34
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Hello again Wayne. Is there any news of your research into 987 FAB please? the 70th anniversary is now less than a year away!
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