Tag: wwii


A couple of weeks ago I finally got a bunch of photos from my maternal side of the family. I really had next to nothing when it came to photos for that side of the family compared to the amount from my paternal side. Among the awesome pics of my grandparents and their families when they were younger, there are some photos of my grandfather during World War II. You may have remembered that there is almost nothing known about his time in WWII. It’s not something he talked about with most people and he’s considered too “young” to show up in a lot of the available public military records. I have yet to go to the state military archives, since there may be some stuff there, too.

One amazing photo was of him and a group of other men from November 1945 in Mannheim, Germany. The building behind the group has the words “504 QM BN Headquarters” on it. I quickly translated that to the “504th Quartermasters Battalion.” As much searching as I did, I could not find any info on that specific battalion. I posted a query over on /r/Military on reddit and got some help, but nothing solid. Fortunately, on the back of the photo were the names of all of the men. I searched for all of them and didn’t find much besides some generic obituaries, but again, no solid info.

Thielke 1945
Click for larger. My grandfather is 2nd from the left in the 2nd row.

My mom brought over another photo album and some newspaper clippings. One of the clippings was from a local paper in 1944 talking about my grandfather, a local man, and his service information. This clipping lists him as being part of the “748th F. A. Bn. Hq. Btry.” out of Camp Shelby, Mississippi which I assume is the “748th Field Artillery Battalion Headquarters Battery.” Again, no solid leads on that information, but it is another avenue of research.

The research trail continues. I may have some time to sit down with my grandparents, though they are slowing down in their old age, and maybe ask him about his service. Rumor has it that he was working on getting all of his military info in one place before he needed heart surgery a few years ago. Maybe he’s waiting for someone to ask him now.

This week’s Military Monday post is my great-grandfather’s World War II Draft Registration from the so-called, Old Man’s Draft.

Draft Registration
"World War II, Draft Registration Cards, 1942," digital image, FamilySearch, FamilySearch.org (www.familysearch.org : accessed 16 January 2011), Arthur Frederick Thielke; Wisconsin; Serial: U1920.

 

Hilo, HawaiiFor Wayback Wednesday, I’m going to give you more than just the one photo shown here. I’m going to give you a whole collection of 119 photos. I recently uploaded my grandfather’s Navy photo collection to Flickr. I was hoping that maybe somebody from the photos, or their families, will find them. It would just be nice to let them see the photos. He has a lot of photos of his fellow navymen from when he was stationed in the Hilo, Hawaii area from about 1942 to 1946. There is also a lot of Hawaiian history in some of his photos, like of old Honolulu.

I’d love for you to visit the Flickr photo set and enjoy the history.

20090125

After going out to dinner for our birthday (my wife & I) with my parents last night, we got to talking a bit about genealogy and some stories about my grandparents. It was mentioned that my maternal grandfather was in World War II. I was never sure on this subject since I’ve heard nothing about. I’m told that he doesn’t talk about it for reasons unknown to my parents. He’s never even mentioned it to my mother. I completely respect his decision. Who knows what he may have experienced in Europe in the 1940s.

I’m aware of all of the documents available for World War II either at Ancestry or Footnote, so I thought I’d look around. I have yet to find any mention of my grandfather in any documentation available. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I saw it mentioned that some documents have yet to be released due to privacy. My mom and dad mentioned that they think he was a Sergeant since my grandmother sometimes calls him “Sarge.” Does anyone know of any other places to check?

My search for that information turned into finding a nice collection of newspaper articles on my maternal family line. I happened to find my grandfather in an article from the Sheboygan Press in 1941 mentioning that he came in 3rd place in some sort of kite contest. I also found their wedding announcement, a mention of a speeding ticket he got in 1968 and a bunch of other neat articles. I also found some other obituaries and wedding announcements. Don’t underestimate the information in some of these old newspapers. Ancestry has a lot of newspapers on file that are mostly searchable. Footnote doesn’t have a lot yet, but knowing them they’ll be getting a lot more and I like their system a bit better.

Here are some examples of what I found:

Just find a local paper on one of these sites, if there is one available, and just browse around by searching for last names. You’ll find some cool stuff.