Monday, February 13, 2017

Military Monday - Help Identify Soldiers from the 417th Military Police Escort Group Co.

Editor's Note: this is another in a series of posts about re-creating my father's WWII military history.

Here is the last photo, which I titled the "4 Buddies", from the memorabilia my father, Robert M. Hibsch,  saved from his service during World War II (WWII) which I now have.  He served as a military policeman with the 417th Military Police Escort Guard (MPEG) Company.  The 417th MPEG Company was located at camps in Hereford, Texas; England: Bourton-on-the-Hill, Truro, and Galmpton, and Cherbourg, France.  Stay tuned for future posts about the 417th MPEG Company at Camp Hereford and the European Theatre.

I've already written about the photos titled the "3 Buddies" and the "6 Buddies". 

Mystery Soldiers
Unlike the other photos, the "4 Buddies" are unidentified on the back of either photo -- they're the same men in different poses.  Well, one is known -- my father is the second soldier from the right.  Looks like they were in a jovial mood that day, doesn't it? But who were the other men?

"The 4 Buddies" standing four abreast
Source: Personal Collection of Denise Hibsch Richmond

"The 4 Buddies" standing/crouching
Source: Personal Collection of Denise Hibsch Richmond
Comparing Photos
When and where were the photos taken? The men are not the same ones in "3 Buddies" or "6 Buddies" photos.  That would be too easy.  Next, I looked at the photo with hand-printed names for similarities.  Both have clumpy ground cover and men in dress uniforms.  Numerous tall posts with angled tops and a (guard?) tower are visible in the first photo above.  Those angled post tops look very similar to those behind the men in the photo with hand-printed names.  All photos have trees in the background but they're more dense in the "4 Buddies" photo.   Perhaps it was a formal photo day and the foursome had a separate picture taken for posterity. Seems plausible.

Are there enough similarities to say for sure these photos were taken at the same time? What do you think?

Let's Compare Notes!
I’m hoping for serendipity and someone recognizes these soldiers and will contact me with names and share what they know about the 417th MPEG Co. and Camp Hereford, Texas.  Please leave a comment below or send me an email: write2medenise@gmail.com.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Military Monday - Photo of Cundiff, White, Nessly, Doers and Stormwid from the 417th Military Police Escort Guard Co.

Editor's Note: this is another in a series of posts about re-creating my father's WWII military history.

Another photo which I titled "The 6 Buddies" has surfaced from the memorabilia my father, Robert M. Hibsch,  kept from his service during World War II (WWII) which I now have.  He served as a military policeman with the 417th Military Police Escort Guard (MPEG) Company.  The 417th MPEG Company was located at camps in Hereford, Texas; England: Bourton-on-the-Hill, Truro, and Galmpton, and Cherbourg, France.  Stay tuned for future posts about the 417th MPEG Company at Camp Hereford and the European Theatre.

"The 6 Buddies" (front)
Source: Personal Collection of Denise Hibsch Richmond
Like a previous photo I wrote about, my father wrote the names of his buddies on the back. (Hooray!)  He recorded himself as "Me".  (Doesn't everyone have "Me" or "Myself" written on the back of a photo?)  I transcribed what he wrote verbatim followed by my version below. 

Names with an asterisk were also listed on one or both rosters of the 417th MPEG Company: the roster with photo and printed names and the roster dated 11 January 1944 with typewritten names.   

"The  6 Buddies" (back)
Source: Personal Collection of Denise Hibsch Richmond
Pfc. Bill Cundiff
Okland  Calif

Pvt. Elbert White

Bill  Nessly

Bill Doers
Napa Calif - Hydesville

Leo Stormwid
Broklynd NJ

Me



My Version of the Names and Locations
Pfc. Bill Cundiff*
Oakland, California

Pvt. Elbert White*

William Nessly*

William Doers*
Napa Hydesville, California

Leo Stormwid (best guess at surname)
Brooklyn, New York

Robert M. Hibsch (Me)*

Clues from the Photo of "6 Buddies"
My father is on the far right (click photos to enlarge) if that's any indication of matching the order of the names to the picture.  He typically wore rimless glasses but I don't see them in this photo.  Do you?

All six soldiers are wearing fatigue uniforms and standing near a row of buildings.  Barracks perhaps? The men are wearing long-sleeve shirts but the outerwear worn by my father and the soldier next to him look more like jackets.  Cool weather perhaps?  A wooden plank bridge over a shallow gully appears behind the men.

Where were the "6 Buddies?
I think the soldiers were at Camp Hereford, Texas where Italian prisoners of war (POWs) were interned during WWII.  The photo below was also in my father's WWII memorabilia.  On the back he identified it as the mess hall.  Note the photo has the same border design as the "6 Buddies" photo above.  Coincidence or not?

417th MPEG Company Mess Hall (front)
Source: Personal Collection of Denise Hibsch Richmond


417th MPEG Company Mess Hall (back)
Source: Personal Collection of Denise Hibsch Richmond
Another reason I think the soldiers were at Camp Hereford, Texas is the photo shown below.  It was in the file (see footnote) about Camp Hereford I obtained at the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland in May 2016.

Mess Hall at Camp Hereford, Texas
Source:  NARA at College Park, Maryland (see footnote)
Does it look like the same mess hall in both photos?  The men were standing in different positions at the back of the room so there's definitely two photos.  But are they the same building?  Strong similarities are seen in the tables, the upside down dishes, the framework of the building, and the ceiling lights.  Photo clarity is higher in the picture with the fancy border.  Four posters on the back wall, four men, and condiments on the table are clearly visible.  The room even looks wider but that could be the camera angle.  My guess is that the photo with the fancy border is the mess hall for the 417th MPEG Company.  The photo from NARA records is the mess hall for the POWs.  The condiments made the difference and of course, the soldiers wouldn't dine with the POWs.  The mess halls probably look similar because of a standard building plan.

Do you agree with my conclusions that the photos were taken at Camp Hereford and there were two similar mess halls?

Let's Compare Notes!
I’m hoping the families of the soldiers named in these photos will contact me and share what they know about the 417th MPEG Co. and Camp Hereford, Texas.  Please leave a comment below or send me an email: write2medenise@gmail.com.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Footnote
Letter from Denison Dist. to SWD Engr., dated 27 July 1943 regarding location of Guard House, Hereford Internment Camp, Hereford, Texas.  Subject: transmittal of prints. NARA at College Park, Record Group 389, Entry 457, Box 1422, Prisoner of War Operations, Operations Branch, Subject Correspondence File 1942-46


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Treasure Chest Thursday: Larsen, Slapnik & Hibsch of the 417th MPEG Co

Editor's Note: this is another in a series of posts about re-creating my father's WWII military history.

Myself, Ola Larson (back), Albert Slupnick

That's what my father wrote on the back of this photo.  You see, "myself" was Robert M. Hibsch.

I named the photo "The Three Buddies".  They look like they're pals  don't they?

"The Three Buddies"
Albert Slapnik  (left), Ola N. Larsen, Jr. (back), Robert M. Hibsch (right)
Source: Personal collection of Denise Hibsch Richmond

Backside of above photo (click images to enlarge)
Source: Personal collection of Denise Hibsch Richmond
Having possession of the 1944 Roster of the 417th Military Police Escort Guard Company, I am happy to provide more details about my father's buddies:

Larsen, Ola N., Jr.  39908823 as he appeared on the roster or Ola N. Larsen, Jr. as his loved ones may search for him. He was a Private First Class.

Slapnik, Albert 3961*981 as he appeared on the roster or Albert Slapnik as his loved ones may search for him. He was a Private. The asterisk in his serial number was added by the Author to signify an undecipherable symbol.

All three soldiers were also named in the company photo. I was able to identify my father.  I hope the descendants of Ola N. Larsen, Jr. and Albert Slapnik are able to identify their guy.

Like my previous posts about the 417th MPEG Co, I’m hoping the families of Larsen and Slapnik will contact me and share what they know about the 417th MPEG Co.  Please leave a comment below or send me an email: write2medenise@gmail.com.  I look forward to hearing from you! 


Monday, January 16, 2017

Military Monday: Roster of the 417th Military Police Escort Guard Company

Editor's Note: this is another in a series of posts about re-creating my father's WWII military history.

Hello out there to the descendants of the 142 soldiers (if my count is accurate) who are named on this roster for the 417th Military Police Escort Guard Company (417th MPEG Co) dated 11 January 1944.  This post is for you.

This valuable roster was part of the military documents I obtained during my visit to the National Archives at College Park, College Park, Maryland in May 2016.  The documents tell the history of the 417th MPEG Co during World War II. I’ll write about that soon but I was anxious to release the roster first.   

Be sure to cross-check your ancestor's name on this roster with the names on the Company photo. I was able to recognize my father in that photo.  I hope you're fortunate enough to do the same.  My father's name and serial number are highlighted in yellow on the roster.

Like the post with the Company photo, I’m hoping the families of the soldiers named on this roster (click images to enlarge) will contact me and share what they know about the 417th MPEG Co.  Please leave a comment below or send me an email: write2medenise@gmail.com.  I look forward to hearing from you!  

417th Military Police Escort Guard Company
Roster 11 January 1944, pg 1
Obtained from NARA College Park by Denise Hibsch Richmond

417th Military Police Escort Guard Company
Roster 11 January 1944, pg 2
Obtained from NARA College Park by Denise Hibsch Richmond

TRANSCRIPTION OF 1944 ROSTER
INTO SEARCHABLE FORMAT

417th MILITARY POLICE ESCORT GUARD COMPANY
11 January 1944
(Date)
COMPANY ROSTER
Gullet, Cecil
Lynn, James E.
Miller, James S.
Captain
Second Lt.
Second Lt.
0-493486  
0–496792
0-1169253
Co Cmdr
Co Off.
Co Off.

FIRST SERGEANT
Dunlap, Fred L.

STAFF SERGEANTS
Evans, Jesse N.
Shields, Charles A., Jr.

SERGEANTS
Gardiner, Vernon C.
Jontow, Bernhard L.
Jordahl, Vernon J.
Tucker, Walter D.
Warden, Homer F.

CORPORALS
Arnold, Floren D.
Blitzblau, Sheldon S.
Charon, Albert W.
Evans, Wade L.
Goodwin, Daniel J.
Hauser, William T.
Lavery, Thomas E.
Malone, Herman C.
McBride, Jess L.
Nagel, Philip L.
Newsome, Oscar E., Sr.
Stender, Ralph R.  
Wells, Lloyd J.

TECHNICIANS 5th GRADE
Brooks, Woodrow W.
Collins, Michael G.
Kramer, Charles T.
Long, Jesse E.
Pitz, Ferdinand F.

PRIVATES FIRST CLASS
Angell, Victor C.
Armstrong, Jewell A.
Ash, Joseph A.  
Baker, William E.
Barnes, Edward R.
Basye, John C.
Bauer, Harley O.
Berry, Helsey L.
Birge, Ernest E.
Blair, Harold E.
Bradshaw, Johnnie B.
Clarkson, James V.
Cook, Charles H.
Cundiff, T.B. (I O)
Dahlberg, John F.
Erickson, Gordon O.
Fleming, Raymond W.
Gregston, Wayne I.
Guerrero, Jose F.
Hermansen, Marlen R.
Irey, Jack A.
Kelly, Le Roy
Kirk, Robert
LaClair, Laurence R.
Larsen, Ola W., Jr. 
Massey, Joseph Z.
Miller, Fred
Moraitis, John W.
Murphy, Paul P., Jr.
Nessly, William F.
Noe, Donald K.
Osinski, Arthur A.
Owens, Elias
Pinianski, Basil W.
Pomerantz, Daniel D.
Poulton, La Marr W.
Provonsha, Joseph A.
Ragsdale, Samuel B.
Ramerman, Elmer B. 
Reed, Lawrence E.
Rhoad, Luther B. 
Robb, Alden M.
Schneider, Herman J.
Shipman, Virgil J.
Slifer, Harry R.
Stanko, Paul, Jr.
Smith, James G.
Smock, Arthur C.
Spies, Alvin V.
Verkuyl, Donald A.
Vogel, William G.
Volek, John B.
Walker, Walter J., Jr.
Walton, Raymond K.
Williard, Alvin C.
Wilson, Aubrey W.
Wolovnik Sidney  
Yingling, John A.

PRIVATES
Adelson, Robert L.
Akers, Edison A. 
Anderson, Ivan T.
Arnold, Pedro L.
Bautista, Frank
Bradshaw, Jackson P.
Buckler, Arthur
Burt, Jack W.
Carpenter, Henry J.
Cook, Harold H.
Dalton, John S., Jr.
Doers, William H.
Doyle, Sylvester E.
Gammon, Robert L.
Gatavaski, Albert M.
Gottfried, Sam
Handwerker, Louis
Hibsch, Robert M.
Jacobsen, Grant
Kramer, Nathan NMI
Jensen, Donald H.
Jiminez, Alex N.
Lehman, James T.
Litot, George E.
Marvin, Leon
Messner, Roy E., Jr.
Metter, Robert J.
Moyher, Andrew F.
Mykleby, James E.
Otto, John G.
Pfeifer, Frank B.
Piekarski, Kazimir
Rameriz, Paul
Ray, Chester J.
Rhodehamel, Elmer R.
Richardson, Orville E.
Roberts, Richard A.
Rukavina, Steve M.
Russell, Lloyd R.
Shurtliff David C.
Slapnik, Albert
Smith, Emerson
Smith, Warren E.
Souder, Edward B.
Stanard, Kenneth
Stewart, Elbie
Talmadge, Raymond B. 
Wallman, Leon
West, John E.
Wheat, Paul L.
Whelan, Edwin J.
White, Elbert E


35175543


39908922
33262252


39280667
12182183
37320467
38000973
34141956


391228*4
32656932
39908871
39199345 
39557885
39461866
33182409
6268567
35477549
6665097
34448283
39199249
39280717


35156*86
39280676
33310083
39908863
39908919


39908920
39408991
39199319
39038741
33479301
39555970
39555734
39461872
39693067
36440867
39122831
39199350
39557717
39038706
39908925
39038743
34202208
39693101
39555750
39908799
39615665
39279101 
39199305
39199356
39908823
39908857
39199340
36311606
33551654
39199356
39555752
36555225
33460749
13055917
33577508
39908766
39908449
39461415
39199308
39122354
33497084
39908758
39038570
39198931
37246942
33675026
39908432
35578270
39199234
39693119
39615679
33152412
33409702
33085945
33076055
39199296
39279337
33015430


32972994
33250665
39908875
39556021
32699190
33387686
32728699
39908865
33302668
39908797
39908793
39122875
36235847
39199346
31065759
32162433
32712582
39280776
39908909
36627653
36294353
18103065
39557871
35537651
39199261
36555294
39038751
20307013
36815015
32701442
37338045
32725790
6953633
39557702
15055273
34368248
39408743
39615995
39557179
39908386
3961*981
36318197
39038737
32485916
36563632
35210273
32701940
32518738
35528117
39693120
32707416
34680199



 Author's Notes
1,  *asterisk added by Author to signify undecipherable symbol in the serial number
2.  "Page 27" and "Page 28" on roster image added for Author's use 
3.  "Declassified Authority" notation required by NARA on all images of documents


Monday, January 9, 2017

Military Monday: 417th Military Escort Group Co Photo


Editor's Note: this is another in a series of posts about re-creating my father's WWII military history.

My father, Robert M. Hibsch, kept several papers from his days in the Army during World War II (WWII) which I have now. He served as a military policeman with the 417th Military Police Escort Guard (MPEG) Company.  The 417th MPEG Company was located at camps in England: Bourton-on-the-Hill, Truro, and Galmpton, and Cherbourg, France.[1]

The picture shown here was found in his papers.  It’s not the original photo; it’s on regular 8½” x 11” white paper that has faded.  Unfortunately, there is no date or location. Someone hand printed the names of the soldiers in order in which they appear. The “author” must have known the identity of the soldiers and was probably in the photo himself

My father is in this picture which makes it very valuable.

Challenge to family: can you find him without looking at the names row by row?

Challenge to descendants:  is your father or other relative in this photo?  I’m posting it and transcribing the names printed on it in hopes that the descendants of these soldiers can share information about the 417th MPEG Company.  Please contact me!

417th Military Police Escort Company Photo
Source: Personal Collection of Denise Hibsch Richmond
Click image to enlarge

FRONT ROW:
Otto, D.J. Goodwin, Kramer, Vogel, Armstrong, McBride, Newsom, Lavery, Stender, Houser, Jordahl, Warden, Gardiner, Tucker, Jontow, Butzblau, F.D. Arnold, Charon, Clarkson, Birge, Collins, W Evans, Noe, Doers, H. Cook.

SECOND ROW:
Gatavaski, Angell, Massey, Myklesy, Wallman, Marvin, Jacobsen, Walker, Rhoad, Stanard, Adelson, Rukavina, Kramer, Gottfried, Capt. Gullett, W.E. Smith, Lt. Lynn, Rhodehammel, 1st Sgt. Dunlap, Barnes, Russell, Fleming, Guerrero, Doyle, Ragsdale, Provonsha, Berry, Pinianski, J.P. Bradshaw, Akers, Jimenez, Dalton, Shipman, Larsen.

THIRD ROW:
Rameriz, Pfiefer, Anderson, Dahlberg, Erickson, Nessly, Buckler, Rammerman, Handwerker, Souder, Baker, Roberts, Kirk, Spies, Brooks, Long, Pitz, Volek, LaClair, Smook [Smock], Whelan, Hibsch, P. Arnold, Slapnik, C.H. Cook, Burt, Poulton, Stanko, Messner, Stewart, Schneider, Gregston [Grecston].

BACK ROW:
Osinski, Talmadge, J.B. Bradshaw, Piekarski, Robb, Ray, Gammon, Blair, Ash, Pomerantz, J.G. Smith, Wilson, Condiff, Murphy, Jensen, Shurtliff, F. Miller, White, Richardson, Verkuyl, Bauer, E. Smith, Walton, West, Metter, Moyher, Malone.


[1] Miller, James S.. 1st Lt, FA Commanding, HISTORY OF THE 417th MPEG COMPANY FROM 1 FEB 1944-1 FEB 1945, 19 June 1945, p. 8 of 28, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917, Record Group 407, National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD. Note: file obtained by Denise Hibsch Richmond contained 28 sheets of loose papers and personally numbered in order of appearance 1- 28.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday - Grandma Hibsch's Bible Verse Book

Don't you just love it when discoveries show up unexpectedly? For me this time it didn't happen in a library but in my own home.

A box of photos had been sitting in my home "genealogy space" for months.  The assortment included family and work-related pictures.  Somewhat organized by me a long while ago.  Recently I was going through the box again removing all Halloween pictures from my former office.  I had promised to send a co-worker all the pictures in which he appeared.

What fun going down memory lane reflecting on the very creative people that I worked with! Ok, enough of that I said to myself.  About a dozen pictures featured my friend Jim so into a padded envelope they went and were mailed.

As the sorting continued, I came across a small book that I didn't know I had.  The envelope in which I found it included photos and documents my father gave me several years ago.  Maybe he had the book all along and that's why I don't recall receiving it.  And why oh why did I not look inside the envelope upon receipt?

The book was  called "Bible Forget me nots". The cover is slightly padded in a silk-like fabric.  The condition seems quite good, no stains are evident.  Look at those dainty blue flowers.


Cover of "Bible Forget me nots"


Copyright 1898
The DeWolfe, Fiske and Company of Boston, Massachusetts published the book in 1898, the year before Ethel May Kendall Hibsch, my grandmother, was born.  Each of its 31 pages have short selections from the Bible.  The book was intended for children.  Only one edition was published.  Ten WorldCat member libraries have a copy, the nearest to me being The Huntington Library in San Marino, Los Ageles, California.

Inscription page
And here's the page of two treasures.  I almost missed the page that makes this book most valuable to me because they were stuck together.  Look at that - a handwritten note from Grandma Hibsch:

Dear Denise, This book
was given to me by my
Mother, your great-grand-
mother Kendall. Please keep
it always.
Grandma Hibsch

Can you see the top of the page?  Click the image for a better view.  In pencil, in the handwriting of my then 10 year old Grandma Hibsch was her inscription:

from Mamma
December 25, 1909

First Day of Bible Verses
Did 10 year old Ethel have a favorite Bible verse? Unfortunately, none of the 31 daily selections had a mark signaling any significance to her.

From her girlhood days my Grandma Hibsch valued everything with the family name on it.

Her foresight is my fortune.
  
Moral of the story - clean out your box of photos.