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12th Armored Division >> General Discussion >> Robert Backe?
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Author Topic:  Robert Backe?
SNovak
Junior Member
Member # 38031

Posts: 1
From: Fargo, ND
Registered: 10/26/2019
posted 10/26/2019 8:51:16 PM    Click here to view the profile for SNovak  Click here to email SNovak  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Last week we came across some old letters from my wifes Grandfather Robert Backe had written after D day up until the war ended in Europe. He never talked about his experience during war with the family. All we have to go off of is the letters and his uniform which my wife still has. Today I researched a patch on the uniform and found it is the 12th armored. I would be greatfull for any info or direction this group could point me in.

Bob Scherer
Junior Member
Member # 119

Posts: 81
From: Yardley, PA
Registered: 10/11/2005
posted 10/28/2019 9:07:52 PM    Click here to view the profile for Bob Scherer  Click here to email Bob Scherer  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Your grandfather is not listed on a member roster we have, nor have I been able to locate any information on him in our digitized scrapbooks. Our roster is not complete so that does not mean he never served in the 12th AD. Was the patch on his uniform, and if so, which sleeve? A patch on the right shoulder indicates combat service with that unit. A patch on the right sleeve indicates the unit you are currently serving with. He may have been transferred into the 12th to return home. After the war, Soldiers who had served longer or had more "points" returned home earlier and men with fewer points stayed in Europe. Men were transferred to different units than they fought with to return home when it was their turn. He may have simply returned home with the 12th AD and that was his only connection. DO you have his discharge papers? Have you requested his personnel file from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St Louis? I'll ask Mike Woldenberg to search for Robert Backe...Mike's much better at searching our records than I am. What's your name?
Bob Scherer

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 1067
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 10/29/2019 9:07:07 AM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello Seth, I have checked all the old issues of the
Hellcat News and all 6 of our big scrapbooks. (It is amazing what you can do with digital searches).

I had no luck. Please take a look at the envelopes.
What is written where you would ordinarily see the
return address? You should see "APO" followed by
a 3 digit number (usually 3 digits). The 12th Armored
had an APO number of 262. By the way, APO means
"Army Post Office."

You mention D Day. if Robert Backe was fighting
shortly after D Day, then he was definitely in another
division. The 12th Armored arrived in France in November, 1944 and first saw action in early December.

Please mention any geographical or temporal clues you find in the letters. Thanks, Mike W.