Timeline

October 5, 1943 — Bill leaves home for induction at Ft. MacArthur, San Pedro, California

October 13, 1943 — Bill arrives at Camp Abbot, Oregon to begin 17 weeks of training as a combat engineer

October 22, 1943 — Following an extended stay in the camp hospital, Bill is finally attached to Co. B, 53 E.T. Battalion and begins basic training

November 2, 1943 — Bill is reassigned to Co. C, 54 E.T Battalion and set back 2 weeks in the training cycle due to his hospital stay

January 9, 1944 — The A.S.T.P program is cancelled, leaving Bill in limbo about his future in the U.S. Army

February 26, 1944 — Bill’s unit graduates from the Camp Abbot combat engineering program

March 8, 1944 — Bill ships out to Camp Crowder, Missouri to begin training as a radio operator at the U.S. Army Signal Corp School

April 15, 1944 — Struggling with a radio code operating speed of only 6 words per minute Bill is the lowest in his class

May 6, 1944 — On the final day of radio school Bill receives a passing grade and awaits reassignment

June 19, 1944 — Following completion of radio school and an extended furlough Bill arrives at Camp Reynolds, Pennsylvania to await deployment to his next assignment

July 15, 1944 — Bill’s company is alerted that it will ship in the next several days

July 23, 1944 — Bill and his company of replacements depart from New York harbor aboard the Queen Mary for deployment to Europe

July 28, 1944 — The Queen Mary lands in Gourock, Scotland with 12,009 troops aboard

August 15, 1944 — Bill celebrates his 19th birthday “somewhere in Europe”

September 17, 1944 — To his amazement Bill is transferred to the infantry and slated to go through infantry basic training

September 28, 1944 — Bill reveals that he is somewhere in Southern England and that he expects to see combat action in Europe

October 5, 1944 — Bill marks one year of service in the United States Army.

October 17, 1944 — Bill returns from a 3 day pass to London where he tours the city and stays at a Red Cross Service Club

November 2, 1944 — Notification is received that Bill’s Replacement Company is moving out soon

November 14, 1944 — Bill reveals that he has arrived in France

November 24, 1944 — Bill is assigned to the U.S. Seventh Army, 100th Infantry Division, 399th. Infantry Regiment, Company A. He spends his second Thanksgiving away from home

November 25, 1944 — In a private letter to his father Bill reveals that “tomorrow I’m going into combat.”

December 1, 1944 — Bill is with his combat unit near Saarbourg in northeastern France approaching the Vosages Mountains and the Maginot and Siegfried Lines

December 9, 1944 — Company A engages in “house-to-house” fighting while securing the German held village of Lemberg

December 16, 1944 — The “Battle of the Bulge” in the Ardennes begins. The entire 100th Infantry Division, including Bill’s unit is ordered to assume a defensive position.

December 24, 1944 — Bill spends Christmas Eve in a foxhole on the front lines, on a ridge above the Citadel of Bitche along the Maginot Line

January 12, 1945 — After 27 consecutive days in a foxhole on the front lines and surviving a furious assault by German troops on New Year’s Day, Able Company is relieved for a short rest

February 14, 1945 — Company A is again relieved from combat duty after relatively minor contacts with the enemy while enduring harsh winter condition

March 17, 1945 — Bill participates in the historic capture of the Citadel of Bitche and penetration of the Siegfried Line by forces of the 100th. Infantry Division. Sometime later in the day Bill crosses the Rhine River into Germany

March 24, 1945 — Having crossed back into France Bill’s unit, now with a fully mechanized First Battalion head back to the Rhine with tanks, trucks, bulldozers and jeeps

April 3-12, 1945 — Bill participates in the historic battle of Heilbronn, the last sustained battle by American troops against Nazi Germany in WWII

April 20, 1945 — In the midst of war, Bill remarkably draws a pass to Paris. He visits historic sites and notes with amazement the stark contrast between foxholes and “the City of Lights”

April 23, 1945 — Bill receives word that the French have taken Stuttgart. The realization sets in that Able Company will not see combat again

May 2, 1945 — Bill hears the news that Hitler is dead.

May 3, 1945 — Bill hears the news that Berlin has fallen.

May 11, 1945 — On VE-Day plus 3 Bill begins to adjust to garrison life. Censorship is still in force and he cannot reveal his location

May 20, 1945 — Censorship is lifted and Bill reveals that he is located in Göppingen, a small town near Stuttgart, Germany.

June 15, 1945 — After contemplating applying for Officer Candidate School Bill decides against it because “it means an automatic transfer to the Pacific.”

June 26, 1945 — Bill fills out an 86 Question “Quiz Sheet Deluxe” written by his teacher father that seeks answers to questions left unanswered by censorship restrictions

July 8, 1945 — Able Company moves to Vaihengen, a large village about 20 miles from Stuttgart to relieve the French occupiers there

July 17, 1945 — Bill’s Company moves to Derdingen, Germany to guard Russian DP’s (Displaced Persons)

July 27, 1945 — Bill goes to Stuttgart and sees the Jack Benny U.S.O. Show. The cast includes Benny, Martha Tilden, Ingrid Bergman and Larry Adler

August 9, 1945 — The news is received in the Squad Room that an atomic bomb has been dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. A second bulletin is heard announcing that the Russians have entered the war

August 21, 1945 — Bill notes that the euphoria over the end of the war is being replaced with the discontentment of homesickness and uncertainty about the Occupation

August 28, 1945 — The Adjutant General’s Office announces that the 100th. Infantry Division is part of the Occupation of Germany.

September 9, 1945 — Bill is in the hospital in Stuttgart with “a case of the worms.” He expects to be released the next day

September 23, 1945 — With 47 points under the Occupation rotation system Bill expects to spend 3-9 more months in Germany

October 4, 1945 — Bill marks two years of service in the United States Army

October 16, 1945 — Bill is now a driver for the “Century Sentinel,” —  the Divisional newspaper located in Stuttgart

November 3, 1945 — At long last Bill receives word that he is being transferred out of the 100th Division

November 8, 1945 — Bill is transferred to the 1297 Labor Supervision Co. in Giessen where he helps supervise 265 POW’s at a large ration dump

December 2, 1945 — Bill keeps busy driving a truck and acting as Company Clerk

December 23, 1945 — It is reported that Bill will be leaving Germany for the U.S.A on February 5. He is officially recommended for the rank of Corporal

January 26, 1946 — With new changes in the point system Bill now does not expect to be on his way until mid-April

February 11, 1946 — Bill is promoted to Corporal. His pay is increased to $88 per month

February 24, 1946 — In an extraordinary letter to his parents Bill admits with shame and disgust “things I’ve seen and done in this war.”

March 14, 1946 — Bill writes his final letter home from World War II. He expects to be aboard a ship in 15 days

April 9, 1946 — After 20 months of service in Europe Bill returns to American soil at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey

April 14, 1946 -In his final communication home Bill telegrams his parents from Ft. Bliss, Texas that he expects to arrive at Los Angeles Union Terminal on Tuesday, April 16

April 16, 1946 — Bill arrives at Union Terminal as scheduled. After 30 months of service to his country Bill is home

4 responses to “Timeline

  1. Thank you John. It is a real honor to hear from you knowing that you are one of the few remaining veterans of A Co., 399th. Regiment, 100th.. Infantry Division. I’m glad you enjoy the new web site.

  2. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading the letters of Bill’s time at Camp Abbot. (Later to become Sunriver, Oregon.) My dad built homes all around that area. (Sunriver, Fallriver, Springriver) and I grew up in Sunriver. I remember playing in the woods and pretending we were in the army. We spend a lot of time looking for things that the military might have left behind. As kids just about anything would have been a treasure. But, we didn’t find much. Just a bunch of old concrete pilings. Glad that the officers club survived. It’s a neat part of history. And oh yeah I can vouch for the winters that lasted until late spring. I still live in Central Oregon and I enjoy taking my own kids to the area for a bike ride. It’s neat to see this history, I wish that Sunriver, and Central Oregon in general would highlight the unique history of the area in a more accessible way. Did Bill ever make it back to what was Camp Abbot to see the changes? He wouldn’t have believed it.

    Btw, my grandfather was also in WWII. He was in the Pacific at the Battle of Midway and Leyte Gulf. I also had a great uncle who was in Europe and the battle of the bulge. No other generation like them! Thanks for such a great documentation of this history, loved reading the letters!

  3. Glad you enjoyed the letters. Bill never made it back to Camp Abbot after the war but I did. In 2008 I visited the Sunriver Resort. While there I saw the Officer’s Club and the small museum dedicated to Camp Abbot. At the Deschutes County Historical Center I was able to get several detailed and contemporary Army Corps of Engineer maps of the camp. Between those maps and a map that Bill drew in one his letters I was able to determine that his barracks was located at what is now the 12th. tee of the Meadows golf course at the resort!

    BTW, Bill was in the sector immediately to the south of the Ardennes when your ancestor was slugging it out at the Battle of the Bulge. His division was in position to take the Citadel of Bitche along the Siegfried Line but had to hold down until the outcome at the Bulge was determined.

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