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12th Armored Division >> General Discussion >> Help locating info on my uncle
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Author Topic:  Help locating info on my uncle
hirameagle
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Member # 35799

Posts: 5
From: Georgia
Registered: 6/18/2017
posted 6/18/2017 3:06:55 PM    Click here to view the profile for hirameagle  Click here to email hirameagle  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
New here. My uncle, Sollie L May, was assigned to the 12th at Camp Campbell at some point before they shipped overseas during WWII. But sometime after leaving there he apparently was transferred or got some other job involving some type of recon or intelligence (we always heard G2. He was in the Pacific and apparently carried messages from ship to shore during and/or after invasions. I have his enlistment date, service number, release date, etc if that would help. Interesting that his mailing address early on was Rcn Co. 44th A.R. (12th A.D.) APO 262 Camp Campbell, KY....then later apparently changed to HQ and HQ Co. 12th Division...still APO 262 then still later PO 357. He attained the rank of Sergant (three strips up and three stripes down (from a picture. Can anyone give me a clue on where to start? He was one of 5 brothers of my father who were in the Army during the war and I'm trying to find out more about what they all did, where they were, etc. Of course I waited until all have passed! I know Sollie L May was at Okinawa, but that's about all. Thank you for any help in advance!

hirameagle
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Member # 35799

Posts: 5
From: Georgia
Registered: 6/18/2017
posted 6/18/2017 3:17:34 PM    Click here to view the profile for hirameagle  Click here to email hirameagle  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
I guess my description of his sergeant stripes should have said Master Sergeant....based on what I see online from that time period!

hirameagle
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Posts: 5
From: Georgia
Registered: 6/18/2017
posted 6/18/2017 6:08:59 PM    Click here to view the profile for hirameagle  Click here to email hirameagle  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Sorry to keep adding info, but have uncovered correspondence that indicates Sollie L May attended 2nd Co, OCS in Ft Knox, KY in May 1942. But by November 1943 was back as Master Sergeant, HQ 12th AD, G-2 Sect, APO 262, Camp Barkley, TX.

MikeWoldenberg
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Member # 16

Posts: 980
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 6/19/2017 8:46:38 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
The 44th Tank Battalion was part of the 12th
Armored Division during training in Fort Campbell
and for a time when the Division went to Abilene
in 1944. (I have to check on the Abilene part). The
44th Tank Batt. was detached and sent to New
Guinea and then they went to the Phillipines where
they fought to liberate Manilla. They liberated the
Internment camp in Santo Tomas Univ. in Manilla.
If your uncle was sent top Okinawa, it may have been for occupation dutIes. I am going to sent this to a person who knows the history of the 44th better than I do.

The 44th Tank battalion was replaced by the 714th
Tank Battalion and then the 12th Armored was sent
to Europe. Their mailing address was APO 262.
The address 357 is said to be in Okinawa on Google.

If you click on BOOKS AND WRITTEN EXPERIENCES, , then click on each of the Division
Histories. (There are 3) There will be information on the 44th in one or two of these books.

Mike Woldenberg
APO address of 262 refers to the 12th Armored

MikeWoldenberg
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Member # 16

Posts: 980
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 6/19/2017 9:11:29 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Please check out this page from the Hellcat Nes


https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth410405/m1/4/?q=Sollie


This suggests Sollie was part of Division HQ in
Europe for a while.

harry dhans
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Member # 9107

Posts: 317
From: Abilene,TX
Registered: 5/24/2012
posted 6/20/2017 3:40:15 PM    Click here to view the profile for harry dhans  Click here to email harry dhans  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Harry, archivist at 12th AD Museum-
have a group picture but it doesn't copy well.44th Recon Armored Regiment. Ft. Campbell
have him enlisting at Ft. McClellan, AL. ON 5/23/41.
Tomb marker has S.L. MAY ,Jan 20, 1917 -Oct. 12. 1983 in River Hill Cemetery, Clarke County, Alabama.
were the five brothers from Alabama also? names? If this is correct it will be a start for me

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posted 6/30/2017 5:55:34 PM  Reply w/Quote
I've searched the roster of the 44th Tank Battalion and do not find Sollie L May. I also checked Robert Holland's "The Rescue of Santo Tomas" and Robert Ross Smith's "Triumph in the Philippines" and cannot locate a unit designated as 44th AR. To my knowledge, the 44th Tank Battalion was the only major element of the 12th AD to go to the Pacific, but it was not at Okinawa, so I suspect Sollie May was not part of the 44th Tank Battalion. I'll keep an eye out though.
Bob Rutledge (BOBRUTL@yahoo.com)

hirameagle
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Member # 35799

Posts: 5
From: Georgia
Registered: 6/18/2017
posted 7/5/2017 4:42:39 PM    Click here to view the profile for hirameagle  Click here to email hirameagle  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Mike, I see the Hellcat article you referenced....and I really appreciate you finding that! I take those comments to mean he remembers Sollie, but I'm fairly confident Sollie was never in Europe. About a year after Sollie was at Camp Barkeley, his return address changed to the following: Msgt S.L. May, G-2 Sect, Hq. Tenth Army, APO 357 C/O (unreadable), San Francisco, CA. So, he had gotten transferred to the Tenth Army Hq unit by then and was definitely involved in the Okinawa invasion. Two of his brothers were also involved in Okinawa...one in the 13th Engr Battalion and one in the 861st AAA AW Battalion....both of which were under the 7th Division, it appears from info I've found online. Sollie arranged a short but memorable reunion of the three of them after the worst of the fighting had subsided!


hirameagle
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Member # 35799

Posts: 5
From: Georgia
Registered: 6/18/2017
posted 7/5/2017 4:52:25 PM    Click here to view the profile for hirameagle  Click here to email hirameagle  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by harry dhans:
Harry, archivist at 12th AD Museum-
have a group picture but it doesn't copy well.44th Recon Armored Regiment. Ft. Campbell
have him enlisting at Ft. McClellan, AL. ON 5/23/41.
Tomb marker has S.L. MAY ,Jan 20, 1917 -Oct. 12. 1983 in River Hill Cemetery, Clarke County, Alabama.
were the five brothers from Alabama also? names? If this is correct it will be a start for me


Harry, thanks! You are correct on his enlistment date and the place and also on the tombstone info. Wish I could see that 44th Recon picture, but I know he was in Rcn Co 44th AR. APO 262 (12th AD)....and we have a picture with the 12th Armored shoulder patch. It's where he went from there and the details. I'm fairly certain now that he went to OCS in Ft Knox for a while, then to Camp Barkeley as G-2 with 12th Armored, then to Tenth Army Hq in G-2 Section....all of this from his own post cards....words and return addresses.....many of which I did not have when I first asked the questions. Anything you can dig up, I'd love to have. Yes the other 5 brothers were all from AL and I'm pretty sure all were enlisted at Ft McClellan. Their names were Allen Marion, Will Roy or Will or Willie, Clausell, Coble Gray (all May of course). I have service numbers.