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12th Armored Division >> General Discussion >> William E. Woody, 17th AIB HQ Co
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Author Topic:  William E. Woody, 17th AIB HQ Co
ndonath
Junior Member
Member # 11517

Posts: 15
From: Huntsville, AL
Registered: 9/8/2013
posted 9/8/2013 9:56:47 PM    Click here to view the profile for ndonath  Click here to email ndonath  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hi, I have been doing a lot of research into my dad's service in the 17th and this website has been an immense help most particularly Mr Hatt's account with the 17th. I have not even gone through a quarter of the information on this website.

I have some questions relating to my dad's service that I hope a reader can help me with:
1. He was in the HQ Co of the 17th and worked in the message center. What did being in the HQ company exactly entail? Would those who served in HQ see as much fighting as those in the other companies?
2. He was captured on April 3, 1945 near Konigshofen, SW of Wurzburg. He escaped from the Germans 19 days later. That is all I know. There are no records that he was actually in a POW camp so I have no idea where he was. Can someone point me to some resources I can find out more information?

This is a long shot, but had anyone mentioned my dad either in conversation, letters, etc.? In letters home, he mentions a few people that I hope to get some more background on.

Finally, my sister and I will be visiting the museum on October 11. Is there someone that I/we can speak to briefly in regards to my research?

Thank you so much!
Nina

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 868
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 9/10/2013 1:13:26 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
You can contact one of the following
to make an appointment to be guided to
resources in the Museum.

Any or all four might be there when you arrive.


Jennifer Lenches
jennifer.lenches@gmail.com

Bill Lenches
wilcomodels@hotmail.com

Harry Dhans
dhali44@cs.com

Dale Cartee
carteeda@gmail.com

I will try and find a living veteran from
HQ Co. for you to call or write.

Mike Woldenberg

harry dhans
Junior Member
Member # 9107

Posts: 263
From: Abilene,TX
Registered: 5/24/2012
posted 9/10/2013 4:25:02 PM    Click here to view the profile for harry dhans  Click here to email harry dhans  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
sO WE CAN FIND AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE. Where did he live? when he enlisted? Any possibility that his middle initial was something different? Army records aren't always accurate so we look for other areas. We will help you all that we can when you visit the Museum.hjd

harry dhans
Junior Member
Member # 9107

Posts: 263
From: Abilene,TX
Registered: 5/24/2012
posted 9/10/2013 5:19:41 PM    Click here to view the profile for harry dhans  Click here to email harry dhans  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
found so far -
PFC SN37666333
captured 04/03/1945
last report 10/17/1945
is this what you found also?
THERE ARE DIVISION HEADQUARTERS AND COMPANY HEADQUARTERS. Will keep searching.

ndonath
Junior Member
Member # 11517

Posts: 15
From: Huntsville, AL
Registered: 9/8/2013
posted 9/10/2013 10:42:43 PM    Click here to view the profile for ndonath  Click here to email ndonath  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Thanks so much for your replies.

Mr Dhans, Yes that is my dad's serial number. He lived in Winterset, Iowa and enlisted in 1943. He was in the ASTP then when it was discontinued, he went to Camp Barkley. I don't believe that there was a different initial for his middle name. For his first name, he may have gone by "Bill" or "Billy". While in the European theatre he did indeed serve in the HQ Co of the 17th AIB.

His mother, my grandmother, kept a large scrapbook of memorabilia and letters he wrote her and his dad. Telegrams indicate he was "missing in action" April 3 1945 and was "returned to military control" on April 22. There is a register form filled out for recovered allied POW's. At some point I believe he went to one of the RAMP camps then back to the States where he arrived sometime in June. He never talked about the war so I am "reconstructing events". The big mystery is what happened and where was he on April 3 and between April 3 and April 22.

I do not know what the October date means but I have a few more documents to go through.

Thank you so much.

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 868
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 9/11/2013 8:40:18 AM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello again,

Bill Funke is the unit representative to the
Hellcat News. Please contact him and ask for
any surviving veterans from HQ Company of the
17th.

Bill Funke's email address:

fwilliam46@msn.com



Guest
Unregistered

posted 9/15/2013 3:34:22 PM  Reply w/Quote
Mr. Ndonath, I can assure you that the headquarters company of a combat battalion such as armored Infantry or tank battalions, were part of the front line elements, just as the line companies were. My Father was in Hq. Co. of the 23rd Tank Bn. He was with forward elements much of the time, and had his tank knocked out. It's Division Headquarters that had more rear echelon duty. I would like to know more about the messenger center that you mentioned.

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 868
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 9/18/2013 6:39:01 AM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello again, This is just a guess about the message center.
The battalion HQ had to communicate by two way radio and sometimes by phone (over their own lines) with other battalions and with Division HQ. They had to communicate with the companies of the 17th. Your Dad was evidently working on or near the radio.

Mike W.

ndonath
Junior Member
Member # 11517

Posts: 15
From: Huntsville, AL
Registered: 9/8/2013
posted 9/23/2013 9:34:23 PM    Click here to view the profile for ndonath  Click here to email ndonath  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Mike & Guest, I am delayed in replying due to being busy with work issues.

On my dad's separation qualification record it says he was a Message Center Clerk for 17 months. I looked up the "job description" for Message Center Clerk (SSN 667) and indeed it looks like he worked with the radios receiving and recording incoming and outgoing messages.

In a letter March 3, 1945 to his folks, my dad wrote he was a "runner" for the platoon and I wondered if he was running messages from the message center to the platoon and vice versa. Perhaps he was doing that when he was captured April 3 although I still do not know.

At one point he was in charge of the message center but I don't know when that was.

Thanks for your responses,
Nina

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 868
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 9/24/2013 6:10:06 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hi Nina,
I think you are right.

I have seen documents which record
incoming messages. This is probably one of the
things done by your Dad in the Message Center.on
Also, men took messages from Battalion HQ to the company commanders.

But since I have never been in the Army, I think we need confirmation of your idea. The book "C-66" which I have, was written by Weston Emery who was in Company HQ and was a radio man. Maybe there is an answer to your question in your book.

You mention a number indicating his job qualification.
This number was called the MOS number.

Mike W.

ndonath
Junior Member
Member # 11517

Posts: 15
From: Huntsville, AL
Registered: 9/8/2013
posted 9/29/2013 10:56:32 AM    Click here to view the profile for ndonath  Click here to email ndonath  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Mike, Thanks so much! I found the book you spoke of on the website and will look forward to reading it to gain more information.
Nina

Guest
Unregistered

posted 10/31/2013 8:40:08 PM  Reply w/Quote
Thank you for the invaluable information you shared with my sister Nina and me several weeks ago when we toured the museum! It brought to light what our father experienced as he served in the 12th Armored Division. Thank you, Nancy