The 1217th Quartermaster Company of Station #118 APO #634 was activated on 1 Nov 1943, on Section 1 General Order #186 HQ 8th Bombardment Command, less personnel. On 13 Nov 1943 a limb was taken from Detachment "A", 1071st Quartermaster Company Service Group and the following two officers and thirty-seven enlisted men composed the original family under command of 2/Lt Clifford H. Arthur Jr.
2/Lt Clifford H. Arthur Jr. Pfc Charles E. Huff 2/Lt Reuben C. Litzenberger Pfc Eugene P. Humphreys M/Sgt Franklyn D. Weighall Pfc Richard S. Knilans T/Sgt John A. Hopper Pfc John P. Leach T/Sgt Herman J. Schiller Pfc John E. Moran S/Sgt John V. Lewis Sr. Pfc Howard L. Myers T/3rd Leroy M. Alberts Pfc Charles S. Nacsa Sgt Nicholas Antonowich Pfc Phillip W. Northen Sgt Richard B. Bennett Pfc Donald P. Rumery T/4th John H. Buss Pfc Richard D. Wullschleger Jr. T/5th Robert F. Barth Pvt Hubert A. Eckert T/5th Leslie D. Bishop Pvt Frank Gac T/5th Alex Groh Pvt Harold N. Jacobsen T/5th Leo P. Morrissey Pvt Joe G. Leveskas T/5th Walter F. Murray Pvt Denver D. Lloyd T/5th Jack E. Nelson Pvt Hershell W. Reddell Pfc Donald E. Bond Pvt Vincent J. Turnier Pfc Richard B. Ellard Pvt K.B. (io) Winkles Pfc Frank Giuliani Pvt Tony Zaffuto Pfc Charles E. Halterman
On 15 Nov 1943, 1/Lt George L. Cadwalader was assigned as Station Quartermaster per Special Order 63, HQ 2BD, and assumed command.
During November 1943, 2nd Lts. Arthur and Litzenberger were happy to learn they had been 1st Lts. since 12 October 1943, per paragraph 15, Special Order 285, War Department.
Also promoted per paragraph 7, Special Order 76, HQ 392nd BG effective 15 November 1943, were Pfc Richard B. Ellard and Pfc John E. Moran to corporal and Pfc Phillip W. Northen to Tec 5th gr.
To lend a helping hand to US AAF Station #146, 1/Lt Reuben C. Litzenberger was sent there on Detached Service per paragraph 7, Special Order 71, HQ 2BD dated 23 November 1943.
The end of November 1943 found the organization well acclimated to their camp duties and carrying on as veterans of an operational base in the ETO.
The organization, justly deserving recognition, was happy to be blessed with a Captaincy, 1/Lt George L. Cadwalader being promoted on 1 December 1943 per paragraph 19, Special Order 335 HQ ETOUSA.
Paragraph 4, Special Order 90, HQ 392nd BG dated 11 December 1943 also contained its blessings in that Nicholas Antonowich was given his first rocker, Robert F. Barth was made Sgt., Richard B. Ellard was made Tec 5's and Harold N. Jacobsen, Joe G. Leveskas, Vincent J. Turnier and Tony Zaffuto were appointed Pfcs.
On 16 December 1943, 1/Lt Reuben C. Litzenberger left our green pastures and was assigned to the 1232nd Quartermaster Company Service Group (RS)(AVS) at AAF Station #146 per paragraph 4, Special Order 93, HQ 2BD and joining us came 1/Lt David S. Rubin per paragraph 10, Special Order 94, HQ 2BD.
Throughout the month the organization functioned smoothly, apparent from the happy countenance of the camp personnel, all well fed, clothed and their "happy" homes comfortably warm.
The new year got off to a good start when on 2 January 44, Sgt Robert E. Barth was promoted to S/Sgt and Tec 4th grade Richard B. Ellard made Tech 3rd grade per paragraph 2, Special Order #1, HQ 392nd BG dated 1 January 44.
Short-handed since activation, the Company was given reinforcements on 3 January 44, when the following were assigned per paragraph 9, Special Order 58, HQ AFRD:
Sgt Harry H. Beckel Tec 5th John Gosselin Sgt Fred Boerke Tec 5th Zigmund Z. Losiewski Sgt Martin H. Gossenauer Pfc Walter E. Brubach Sgt Thomas J. McDonnell Pvt Albert M. Bartko Sgt Victor W. Orf Pvt Stephen Devine Cpl Delmar B. Axton Pvt Louis H. Keller Cpl Roy C. Barnwell Pvt Harlon Luttrell Cpl John DeGeorge Pvt Arthur J. McNeilis Cpl Lawrence A. Whitley Pvt John R. Spencer
This brought our Company Personnel to full quota strength, the personnel having been allocated into departments under the capable leadership of the following:
Captain George L. Cadwalader Station Quartermaster and Company Commander Lt Clifford H. Arthur Jr. Subsistence Officer and company Adjutant Lt David S. Rubin Property Officer and Co. Supply Officer
Working hand in hand were:
M/Sgt Franklyn D. Weighall Chief Clerk T/Sgt John A. Hopper Requisitions Clerk T/Sgt Herman J. Schiller Post, Camp & Station Property Section S/Sgt John V. Lewis Sr. Rations (Pop attributes his long life to C & K rations.) S/Sgt Leroy M. Alberts Purchasing & Contracting S/Sgt Robert F. Barth Laundry & Dry Cleaning ("Sorry Sir, it might be back next week.") S/Sgt Nicholas Antonowich Chief Warehouseman T/3rd Richard B. Ellard Rail Transportation ("You call, we haul.") Cpl Charles S. Nacsa & T/5th Leo P. Morrissey & Coal & Coke ("Sorry, chum, you've had it.") T/5th Jack E. Nelson
February saw a few changes.-S/Sgt Leroy M. Alberts was made Tech-1st Sgt and S/Sgt John V. (Pop) Lewis was promoted to T/Sgt per paragraph 4, Special Order 27 HQ 392nd BG effective 16 February 1944.
Sgt Martin H. Gossenauer took over the Purchasing and Contracting Department-"We foresee the War Debt mount."
1/Lt Clifford H. Arthur Jr. up and left us on 25 February 1944 being assigned to 1235th Quartermaster Company, AAF Station 365, per paragraph 17, Special Order 55, HQ 2BD-a loss we felt-a good soldier and a fine gentleman. However even sorrow begets happiness-he was to be C.O. at his new assignment.
Furlough fever started during February-the first group of four men left for 8 days of rest and relaxation.
The memorable month of March brought 2/Lt James P. Gough Jr. to fill our officer vacancy-the paperwork paragraph 7, Special Order 59, HQ 2BD dated 29 Feb 1944.
Before the first March wind subsided, we lost four regulars to 1235th Quartermaster Company Service Group (Reclamation and Salvage)(AVN) at AAF Station 365 per paragraph 9, Special Order 59, HQ 2BD effective 1 March 1944. The men were:
Tec 3rd Richard B. Ellard Tec 5th Donald E. Bond Tec 5th Philip W. Northen Pfc Walter E. Brubach
On the 8th March we lost Pfc John P. Leach who was transferred in grade to 1236th Quartermaster Company Service Group (Reclamation and Salvage) (AVN) at AAF Station 366, per paragraph 12, Special Order 67, HQ 2BD.
On the 18th March, after anxiously waiting for several weeks, the Enlisted Men's Quarters in the new Officers Mess Building in the new Com-Site, was completed and the entire Company of EM were moved in on Sunday. This is a much better arrangement due to the fact that the entire Company is now quartered together. Prior to this time, the Company was located in two different sites. The EM of all the Company are proud of their new quarters and much thought has gone into proper care and arrangement of the new quarters.
Outside of regular station duties for the remainder of the month of March, the Quartermaster joined in with Group Headquarters, Station Ordnance, Post Office & Finance in holding a dance and party on 25 March. The party was held in the Enlisted Men's Club and proved to be very successful and well behaved. The party was financed by each man of the company contributing ten shillings. We were very pleased to have with us Lt C.H. Arthur and four of the EM whom we lost from our Company the first of this month.
On 2nd April our Company lost a good man, Pvt Stephen Devine, who transferred to 987th Military Police Company (AVN) per paragraph 10, Special Order 90, 2BD effective 31 March 1944. In place of Pvt Devine we received Pvt J.D. Hodge from 987th Military Police Company (AVN) per paragraph 10, Special Order 90, 2BD effective 31 March 1944.
On 3rd April we lost another good man, Sgt Richard R. Bennett, who contracted a serious skin infection of a rare nature. He was transferred in grade to Detachment of Patients, 231st Station Hospital, ASP 598, per paragraph 6, Special Order 50, HQ 392nd BG effective 1 April 1944. Sgt Bennett's loss was noticeable since he had been a "good fellow" and an excellent Supply Sgt. We hope to get him transferred back to us when he is released from the hospital.
4 April 1944, one of our men, Pvt Harlon Luttrell (a hard worker) was transferred to 1825th Ordnance Supply & Maintenance Co (AVN) per paragraph 16, Special Order 59, HQ 392nd BG effective 1 April. He was happy to be transferred as he was experienced in his new type of work. In return we received Pvt Joseph R. Linker from 1825th Ordnance Supply & Maintenance Co (AVN). Pvt Linker shows a good aptitude for clerical work and is to assist Sgt Martin Gossenauer in our Local Purchasing & Contracting Department.
The remainder of April was taken up with the usual camp duties and in making preparations for moving into the new offices and warehouses in the new Com-Site.
The month of May was a very busy and interesting month for the Company. Considerable preparations had been made prior to this time in setting up our new warehouses and office space in the Officers Mess Building in the new Com-Site. On 2nd May the office and warehouse was moved from the tech site to our new location.
In our new building, Captain Cadwalader and Chief Clerk M/Sgt Weighall have an office together, 2Lt Gough's combination office and warehouse for Class I and II, we have T/Sgt Lewis, Ration Department, and Cpl. Morrissey, Class III. In Lt Rubin's Property Office, we find T/Sgt Hopper, Requisitions; Sgt Gossenauer, Purchasing & Contracting; Sgt Orf, Company Supply and Sgt Beckel, File Clerk. Next door we find Sgt McDonnell and the R.T.O. office with two rooms for storage. The Orderly Room is now separate and shared by First Sgt Alberts and Company Clerk Humphreys. The third Barth, Laundry & Dry Cleaning and S/Sgt Antonowich Class II Supplies, share a large warehouse room. T/Sgt Schiller has a warehouse room for his P. C. & S. Property, with Cpl. Moran handling M.R.'s. Signs have been placed on all doors to identify their locations. Looking through the building, we find many things that Cpl Whitley (as handy man) has built for the improvement of our set-up here. Almost every member of our Company has lent a hand in trying to improve the appearance of the outside of our building. That work was more or less slowed up, due to the fact that the contractors were slow in moving their equipment off the location. We expect to have our new site in A1 shape by the end of June or before.
Tuesday the 23rd, Lt Gough, Range Officer, and about twenty-five men spent the day on the firing range. On Thursday, the 25th, we were given orders to carry our weapons at all times, and on Friday the 26th, our Company began to furnish six guards a night, for the purpose of guarding the planes.
At a Company meeting, T/Sgt Lewis and Sgt Orf were chosen to represent our Company in making plans for the party that was to be had on Saturday night, the 27th. It turned out to be a grand success. This party was financed out of the Company fund built up by all members of this Company. Headquarters and Station Ordnance also were in on this party. Beer, cokes, sandwiches, cakes, candy and cigarettes were served. Everyone attending reported having a good time. Our Officers and Officers of the other two Companies joined in on the fun for the evening.
About the middle of May, we find the softball season getting under way. T/Sgt Lewis and Sgt Orf were selected as the Company team managers. The team has been very successful. At the close of May, we find them winning three games with only one loss.
On 2nd June 1944, we received four new members in our Organization: S/Sgt James Matera, Cpl Lyman E. McBride, Pvt John Heffel and Pvt Cade Shelton Jr. These members were received as per paragraph 11, Special Order 97, HQ 392nd BG dated 30 May 1944 and effective the same date. On the same day, the attached picture was made of the company. This is the first group picture since activation.
The man in the second row identified as Pfc Mickey Mope is really Pfc Richard F. Knilans. (photo as reprinted in the May 1994 issue of the 392nd BGMA NEWS)
On the 8th of June, Sgt Richard R. Bennett (one of our sick pals) was assigned and joined to this organization again, from Headquarters 12th Replacement Control Depot per paragraph 8, Special Order 145, HQ 12th Replacement Depot. Sgt Bennett had been away for about three months and we are happy to have him return.
On the 17th of June, our Base celebrated its 100th Mission. The Quartermaster Company turned out in full force for this and had a very good time. There was plenty of beer and even ice cream. Some of the boys had their lady friends attend from surrounding towns. An orchestra played for dancing, but most of the boys enjoyed the beer and small carnival that was set up.
During June we find our company softball team going at top speed winning four games with only two losses. We will admit, with these long summer evenings, it is a little hard to keep the players' minds on softball, when the weather is ideal for a bicycle ride or a beer or two.
There were quite a few changes for this month in our personnel, as shown in the following notes:
On the 20th July our Company acquired a new man, Cpl Lawrence E. Wheeler (an old buddy of Cpl Whitley) per paragraph 29, Special Order 199, HQ 3BD, APO 559 effective 17 July 1944.
On the 23rd we lost the services of four good men (detached service) per paragraph 8, Special Order 139, HQ 392nd BG effective 23 July. The men were Pfc Richard D. Wullschleger Jr., Pfc Frank Giuliani, Pfc Richard S. Knilans and Pvt Joseph R. Linker. On the 25th July, Tec 5th John Gosselin was transferred out to 1152nd Quartermaster Co. Serv. Group, APO 559, per paragraph 5, Special Order 204, HQ 2BD effective 23rd July.
Tec 5th Eugene P. Humphreys was sent to 231st Station Hospital for an appendix operation. "What we don't do here in the ETO." By the end of the month, Humphreys was doing fine again.
On 29th July we had two more men go on detached service to AAF Station 104. They were Pvt Frank Gac and Pvt Arthur J. McNeilis and the order was paragraph 19, Special Order 144, HQ 392nd BG effective 28th July. We received back from detached service to the AAF Station 104, Pfc Richard S. Knilans and Pvt Joseph R. Linker.
On 30th July, Lt J.F. Gough Jr., S/Sgt Nicholas Antonowich and Cpl Delmar B. Axton went on detached service (School at Depot Q-105) for a period of two weeks per paragraph 4, Special Order 145, HQ 392nd BG dated 28 July 1944.
At this time, we have 47 men on duty status and 6 on Detached Service.
The softball team finished its league season in July and the final balance sheet showed 10 victories as against 3 defeats. We ended up in 2nd place in the league, behind the Chemical Warfare Co. We are pleased with the showing the team made.
On the 3rd of August 1944, two of our men were promoted from Pvt to Pfc-Pvt Joseph R. Linker and Pvt Albert H. Bartko, per paragraph 13, Special Order 149, HQ 392nd BG effective 1 August 1944.
Our Company lost two good men on 5 August in a transfer to HQ, 2BD. They were T/Sgt Herman J. Schiller and Tec 5th Jack E. Nelson. The orders were paragraph 9, Special Order 216, HQ 2BD effective 4 August 1944. In return, we received in transfer T/Sgt Virgil O. Hinton and Tec 5th Thomas L. Pittard. The two new men, however, are to remain on detached service at HQ 2BD indefinitely.
Lt J.F. Gough Jr. and two EM-S/Sgt Nicholas Antonowich and Cpl Delmar B. Axton returned from detached service at Depot Q-105 on 12 August. The next day S/Sgt James Matera and Tec 5th Leslie Bishop go on detached service to the same depot. The purpose of this detached service appears to be to school the Class I & II men in the ways of handling the depot's work.
The Company clerk, Tec 5th Eugene P. Humphreys, returned to duty on the 13th August after losing an appendix.
The 25th of August saw another transfer of personnel. Pvt Cade Shelton Jr. was transferred to the 10th Station Complement Co (this Station) per paragraph 9, Special Order 169, HQ 392nd BG and in turn we received Pfc Charles J. Foley from 10th Station Complement per paragraph 10, SO 169, HQ 392nd BG.
S/Sgt James Matera and Tec 5th Leslie D. Bishop returned from detached service to Depot Q-105 on 26th August and on the 27th, Cpl Lawrence E. Wheeler and Tec 5th Walter F. Murray went on detached service in turn.
The Victory Squadron Bond Drive got under way around the first of August. Much interest was taken by the EM of our organization and the Quota was reached long before the end of August. This drive was headed by Lt D.S. Rubin as War Bond Officer. Several meetings were held throughout the month in regards to soldier voting. Our Commanding Officer, Captain G.L. Cadwalader, Voting Officer and Lt D.S. Rubin, Assistant.
Furloughs were released about the end of August and the men quickly made plans for their week's leave.
Effective 1st September, Tec 5th Thomas L. Pittard was promoted to grade of Sgt per paragraph 6, Special Order 176, HQ 392nd BG, and on the 21st was relieved from detached service at AAF Station 147 and transferred to Headquarters & Headquarters, 2BD per paragraph 5, Special Order 264, HQ 2BD.
On the 10th, Cpl Lawrence E. Wheeler and Tec 5th Walter F. Murray returned from detached service at Depot Q-105. About the 25th, two of our men were relieved of detached service at AAF Station 104 and put on detached service at AAF Station 374. They were Pfc Richard D. Wullschleger Jr. and Pvt Arthur J. McNeilis. The order was paragraph 1, Special Order 269, HQ 93rd BG and effective the 25th. On the 26th, two more of our detached service men, Pfc Frank Giuliani and Pvt Frank Gac, returned from detached service at AAF Station 104 to duty with our Company. We are very glad to have these men back with us.
Our man in the VHB program, Sgt Fred Boerke, was transferred in grade to Casual Pool, 70th Replacement Depot, AF Station 579, per paragraph 5, Special Order 268, HQ 2BD dated 25 September 1944. We wish him the best of luck wherever his future lies.
Effective 27th September 1944, 1/Lt David S. Rubin of our Company was transferred to 1132nd Quartermaster Company Service Group (Reclamation and Salvage) (AVN) at AAF Station 115 per paragraph 4, Special Order 270, HQ 2BD. All the men were sorry to have Lt Rubin leave us as he was known as a "Good Joe".
The boys have a volleyball court just back of our quartermaster Building and really enjoy a game on nice evenings. Another sport we're enjoying is touch Tackle football. So far, we've only played one game-with 576th Bomb Squadron. The score was 7 to 6 in favor of the 576th, although they had to go into overtime to beat us.
Several men went on furlough during the month of September and report having a grand time. We are sure our C.O., Captain Cadwalader, can give us the lowdown on Scotland, since his return from leave.
Lt Gough and the company's best shots, T/Sgt Hopper, Sgt Beckel, Sgt Bennett, Cpl Koran, Tec 5th Humphreys and Pfc Turnier, went out for a little target practice with the idea of picking the men to represent our Company on the Station rifle team. Lt Gough, T/Sgt Hopper, Sgt Beckel and Tec 5th Humphreys made a very good showing.
Effective 3rd October, Cpl Nicholas Antonowich was promoted to the grade of Sgt per paragraph 7, Special Order 203, Hq 392nd BG.
A number of men went on furlough during October and report having an excellent time. Our property officer, Lt Gough Jr., enjoyed a leave at Windermere, which is located in England's beautiful Lake District.
The outfit participated in only one football game during the month and were victorious over their opponents-the Medics.
Thursday, October 26 was the first anniversary of the company's stay on this air base.
On Saturday night, October 28, we had our company dance, in conjunction with Headquarters, 867th Chemical Co, 1825th Ordnance S&M Company (AVN), 586th APU and the 2974th Finance Detachment. The Enlisted Men's' Club was the scene of the affair and all the participants-soldiers and invited girls-had a splendid evening.
This month saw one of our officers receive a well deserved promotion. Lt James F. Gough Jr. was promoted from 2nd Lt to the rank of 1st Lt per Special Order 313, paragraph 6, HQ 8th AF dated 16 November 1944 and effective the same date.
On Saturday evening, November 19, 1944, the company celebrated its first anniversary by giving a large party-to which many girls, from nearby communities were invited. The affair was held on the quartermaster premises and among the personnel enjoying themselves were Colonel Johnson, Lt Colonel Bush, Chaplain Clark and Chaplain McDonough. Each and every member of the outfit did his utmost-and succeeded-to make this party one of the best ever held on this air base. The party committees consisted of the following men:
Food-T/Sgt John V. Lewis Sr. and Pfc Frank (NMI) Giuliani
Beer and Cokes-M/Sgt Franklyn F. Weighall and T/Sgt Robert F. Barth
Women Guests-Sgt Martin H. Gossenauer
Music-Sgt Thomas J. McDonnell
Decorations and Arrangement-T/Sgt John A. Hopper and T/Sgt Leroy M. Alberts
Area Supervisor-Cpl Roy C. Barnwell
Our basketball team played four games this month. On November 15 we defeated 10th Station complement 38-32. On November 20 the 579th Bombardment Squadron was victorious over our team 49-27. The Enlisted Men's Personnel Section, on November 24, lost a game to us 36-34. The night of November 27, however, saw the 465th Sub Depot boys defeat our team 32-18.
During the month several of our men enjoyed furlough privileges, each reporting different experiences and interesting times. Those who went were Sgt Richard R. Bennett, Tec 5 Leo P. Morrissey, Pfc Charles E. Huff, Pfc Howard L. Myers, Sgt Thomas J. McDonnell and Pvt Frank (NMI) Gac.
After spending quite some time on detached service at AAF Station 374, Pfc Richard D. Wullschleger Jr. and Pvt Arthur J. McNeilis returned to the outfit.
Sgt Richard R. Bennett transferred to Det of Pnts, 4210, US Army Hospital Plant per paragraph 4, Special Order 335, Hq 231st Sat Hospital, dated 30 November 1944 and effective the same date. The entire company was grieved to see Sgt Bennett leave and hope, sincerely, that he has a complete recovery in the near future supplemented by lots of luck.
At the beginning of the month, Pvt Hubert A. Eckert was promoted to the grade of Pfc per paragraph 2, Special Order 254, Hq 392nd BG dated 1 December 1944. Effective same date.
On December 4, 1944, the company was cited by Col. Lorin Johnson, the station's CO, for "distinguished and outstanding performance of duty from November, 1943 to November, 1944." Again, on Dec 20, Maj. Hamilton D. Mathis, QM of the 2nd BD, transmitted his "congratulations and appreciation --- on the completion of one year's service at AAF Station 118." Needless to say, both of the afore-mentioned honors were important and gratifying to each and every one of the personnel of the 1217th QM Co.
Throughout December, three of our men-M/Sgt Franklyn D. Weighall, Cpl Lyman E. McBride and Pvt Arthur J. McNeilis-enjoyed furlough privileges. Each one had an enjoyable time during their leave.
Our basketball team played four games this month. On December 4 we played the 578th Bomb Sq communications section and were defeated 37-30. On December 13, our boys were victorious over the Ground Officers' team 30-29. On December 20, our team defeated the 1825th Ordnance Company 38-27. However, December 29 saw the 577th bomb Sq trounce us by a score of 40-15.
The entire personnel of the outfit collaborated to the utmost to welcome in the new year. On Saturday evening, December, 30, the company had a New Year's Party which, in every sense of the word, was a tremendous success. The celebration was given on the quartermaster premises and many girls from nearby communities were invited. To this affair, the 1217th Quartermaster Company extended a hearty welcome to the boys of the 586th Army Postal Unit, commanded by Lt. Francis J. Eckerle. The party committees were headed by the following men:
Food-T/Sgt John V. Lewis Sr. and Pfc Frank (NMI) Giuliani
Beer and Cokes-M/Sgt Franklyn D. Weighall and T/Sgt Robert F. Barth
Women Guests-Sgt Martin H. Gossenauer
Music-Sgt Thomas J. McDonnell
Decorations and Arrangement-T/Sgt John A. Hopper and T/Sgt Leroy M. Alberts
At the beginning of this month-the first day, to be exact-Pfc. Charles E. Huff really turned over a new leaf by marrying Edna May Downes of Mattishall, Norfolk. The entire 1217th Quartermaster Company joins in to congratulate the nuptials, and to wish them the best of luck.
January witnessed the shrinking of the outfit by four men. Pvt. John R. Spencer was transferred in grade to HQ IX Base Air Depot Area per Par 1, SO 17, HQ 2d Air Div. dated 17 January 1945; and Pvts. Frank (nmi) Gac, John D. Heffel, Arthur J. McNeilis, transferred in grade to 12th Reinforcement Depot, APO 551, per Par 1, SO 19, Hqs, 392nd Bomb Group (H), APO 558, dated 25 January 1945.
Throughout the month, three of our men-Cpl John E. Moran, Pfc. Charles E. Halterman and Pfc. Donald P. Rumery-enjoyed furlough privileges. Each man, to say the least, had an excellent time while on leave.
Our basketball team had three games scheduled for January. However, the 578th Bomb Squadron failed to appear at the gymnasium, on January 5, therefore presenting us with a victory through forfeit. The 576th Bomb Squadron, on January 12, tangled with our team and defeated us 37-28. Our team, though, proved to be more than a match for the medics and, on January 24, we played a victorious game, the score being 31-25.
On the first day of the month Sgt Nicholas Antonowich was promoted to S/Sgt and Pvts J.D. Hodge, Hershell W. Reddell, and K.B. Winkles were promoted to Pfc per paragraph 1, Special Order #25, Hq 392nd BG dated 1 February 1945.
The organization lost four good men this month when Tec 5 Zigmund A. Losiewski and Pfcs Joseph R. Linker, Joe G. Leveskas, and J.D. Hodge were transferred in grade to the 12th Reinforcement Depot per paragraph 8, Special Order #39, HQ 392nd BG dated 20 February 1945.
Lt J.P. Gough Jr., Pfc K.B. Winkles, S/Sgt Nicholas Antonowich, Tec 5 Alex Groh, Pfc Frank Giuliani, Pfc Tony Zaffuto, Pfc Charles E. Huff
, and Pfc Howard L. Myers received furloughs during the month and all seemed to have an excellent time.
On the nineteenth of February Pvt Louis H. Keller returned to duty from the 65th General Hospital.
The biggest event of the month was the marriage of Pfc Donald P. Rumery to Miss Joan Ackerman of Beverley, E. Yorkshire. Several of the fellows were invited to the wedding and all had a swell time.
February finds our company basketball team winding up the season by losing two and winning one. On the ninth of the month the 578th Bomb Sq defeated us by a score of 32-25, but the boys came back the nineteenth and trounced the Ground Officers 31-20. In the final game, on the twenty-second of February, the 578th Communications edged out our boys 31-33. During the season our team won eight games and lost six.
The month of March brought about quite a few changes in the personnel of the Organization. Sergeants Jack Klempner and Thaddeus J. Alwin, Cpl William J. Cummings, Pfc Joseph C. Cowart and Leonard M. Sabatino, and Pvt Joseph f. Affet, Melvin Coleman, William H. Slusser, and Edward A. Wos were assigned to our company. Sgt Klempner, Pfc Cowart, and Pvts Affet, Coleman, Slusser, and Wos are former Infantry men. The Organization also lost the services of five of its men in March when Cpl Barnwell, Pfcs Foley, Jacobsen, Winkles, and Wullschleger were transferred to the 12th Reinforcement Depot for Infantry Training.
Several men enjoyed furlough privileges during the month. They were: Captain Cadwalader, T/Sgts Alberts and Lewis, Sgts Gossenauer, Klempner, and Orf, Tec 4 Buss, and Tec 5s Bishop and Humphreys. All reported having a wonderful time.
On the thirty-first of the month our company, in conjunction with the 586th APU, held an Easter party on the QM premises. Beer, food, and last but by no means least, girls were plentiful. The party was a big success and a swell time was had by all.
The organization gained three men during the month, T/Sgt Irving Ackerman, S/Sgt Carl J. Dosch, and Pvt Alus Hebert, all former Infantry men were assigned from 392nd BG.
Pfc Denver Lloyd was the only man to receive a furlough this month. He reported a wonderful time.
Our company softball team started practice and it looks as if we will have a good team. We played one practice game with 1825th Ordnance and won by a score of 6-2.
On the fifteenth of April, the 1217th QM Co Serv Gp (Avn) RS was disbanded per Section I, General Orders No. 52, HQ 8th AF, dated 12 April 1945 and effective 15 April 1945. The personnel of the former 1217th QM Co are now assigned to the 653rd Air Materiel Squadron, 403rd Air Service Group.
Hail and Farewell!
From the history of the 653rd Air Materiel Squadron, 403rd Air Service Group: The month of May 1945 will long remain in our memories. Two events of great importance occurred, events that affect the lives of us all. These momentous happenings were VE-Day and the receipt of movement orders.
The 653rd Squadron was, at the beginning of the month, fast swinging into a smooth functioning organization. Only fifteen (15) days had elapsed since its activation and for such a short time, remarkable progress had been achieved.
The first week in May was spent anticipating the announcement that the Germans had surrendered, an act that was expected from hour to hour. When on the 7th of May the long awaited news flash was received there seemed little excitement. Work carried on as usual, no holiday for us. Our group had been off of operations for approximately ten (10) days prior to Victory in Europe Day so what work there was during the early part of the month was of a less pressing nature.
On May 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th, the bomb group ran trolley missions over Germany. This was for the benefit of the ground personnel, to give them a birds' eye view of the results of strategic bombing. A majoring of the 653rd's personnel took advantage of this opportunity and all expressed their delight and appreciation.
A training program was soon established following the war's end. Lectures on military courtesy, discipline and drill movements were given. The ground work was laid for a proposed education program.
The 15th of May the 653rd Squadron was alerted along with the other Service Group Squadrons and the Bomb Group for return to the Zone of Interior. This one order was the one we've worked and waited for for two long years. The joy was unanimous.
Everyone was now in a fever. One meeting followed another, one teletype changed or rescinded the previous one. The men now worked both day and night crating and packing supplies and equipment. Hangar #1 was set up as a central place for preparing material for shipment. A space was allocated to each squadron as a work area, a power saw was placed in the center of the hangar for the use of all squadrons. A supply room was set up for the issue of redeployment materials.
1st Lt James Gough, Sgt Thomas J. McDonnell, Sgt Victor W. Orf, Cpl John E. Moran, Cpl Eugene Humphreys, and Cpl Leo Morrissey were transferred from the squadron. They were to remain behind and become part of the holding party.
1st Lt Albert F. Ferguson was transferred into the squadron to replace Lt Gough.
All reparable supplies and equipment were domestically packed and shipped to 3rd SAD.
Items common to ground and Air Force were also domestically packed and shipped by truck and rail to the depots common to the respective branch of supplies.
Serviceable Air Corps equipment was overseas packed and shipped to a BADA holding depot.
Serviceable Air Corps supplies were domestically packed and shipped to BADA holding depot.
By the end of the month all warehouses were cleared of all but the empty bins. Everything was packed and final paper work was prepared.
On the 31st of May, we were paid in good old American greenbacks. All British currency was converted to U.S. currency. We were all happy.
During the month five (5) men were transferred out of the organization for the purposes of discharge. They all being more than 42 years of age. T/Sgt Blair, Sgt Chase, Pfc Sabatino, Sgt Alwin, and Pfc Busher were the fortunate ones.
By the 4th of June all preparations for movement had been completed. Supplies had been disposed of, TAT equipment was boxed, files disposed of, show down of clothing completed and shortages filled. We were then just "Sweating it out".
Little time was available this month for pleasure. Only one party was held and that was on the 26th. From noon till midnight, the Enlisted Men partook of frolic. This party was a base activity, both in celebration of victory in Europe and also for completion of 386 missions.
As with the social life, athletics practically ceased to be this month. Softball and baseball games were pick up games only. The league was disbanded soon after VE-Day.