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:  I look forward to hearing from you!

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