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help with unit ID


kaisersozay
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Hi,

I'm wondering if anyone can help me to identify the unit this American soldier belonged to. All I know is that the photo was taken during WW1 and in Italy. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks

tn2.jpg

the only clue is his collar tab and I don't know what the insignia is.

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Hello 'Kaisersozay'...

I'm no expert on American military insignia, but I do know that the symble for the US Engineers is the two towered castle. I've enlarged the coller dog to as far as my syatem will allow, and it does look to be that very insignia.

A forum member more knowledgeable on the US militaria will be able to verify more accuratly my assumption.

Seph

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Hello 'Kaisersozay'...

I'm not an expert either but I believe that the 332nd Infantry Regiment, (83rd Division) with supporting medical and supply units, was sent to the Italian front in July 1918. I have yet to discover who the suppporting units were - if this could be determined it might help

It looks to me like the number 310 is on the collar disc.

Any chance of a close up/higher res on the collar disc?

Chris

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If it is 310 Engineers (a castle symbol) then here is the info on them they were part of:

Eighty-fifth, 85th Division (Michigan and Wisconsin) (National Army)

Trained at Camp Custer in Battle Creek, Mich.

Nickname: Custer Division

337th, 338th, 339th, 340th Infantry (Inf.)

328th, 329th, 330th Artillery (Art.)

328th, 329th, 330th Machine Gun (M. G.)

310th Engineers (Eng.)

Major General Commanding: C. W. Kennedy.

Depot Division at Pouilly.

The 85th Division also appears to have had

310th Trench Mortar Battery

310th Field Signal Battalion

310th Train Headquarters and MP

310th Ammunition Train

310th Supply Train

310th Sanitary Train

So it is going to be even more important to get a good look at the collar disc to see what the symbol is!

I can find no link with Italy although it does look like some from the 85th made up part of the contingent to North Russia.

Chris

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Thank you so much for the responses. The photo is already enlarged unfortunately, so anything else will distort it. I 'enhanced' it a bit, so maybe this will help.

If not, I would like to thank you all very much for the replies.

tn22.jpg

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Somehow that doesn't look like Engineers to me. Nor does it look like any other branch of service insignia! With the '310' it is not a standard issued insignia to start with, although regimental numbers were often a part of National Guard and regular army insignia as were references to the state to which they belonged. They can still be seen as optional additions to modern wear, although those uniforms aren't seen much these days (Class A).

http://members.aol.com/Head0Class/Bios/Sti...I7ADBR%26sa%3DN

shows you engineer insignia (scroll down).

Mike Morrison

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Somehow that doesn't look like Engineers to me. Nor does it look like any other branch of service insignia! With the '310' it is not a standard issued insignia to start with, although regimental numbers were often a part of National Guard and regular army insignia as were references to the state to which they belonged. They can still be seen as optional additions to modern wear, although those uniforms aren't seen much these days (Class A).

http://members.aol.com/Head0Class/Bios/Sti...I7ADBR%26sa%3DN

shows you engineer insignia (scroll down).

Mike Morrison

I tried to access the site to which you referred but it said,"access forbidden." But thanks for the response!

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I found a pic of the US Engineers collar tag on ebay...... but the more I look at the pic you posted, the more that design looks like an old style western loco. What do you think "CSMMo'?

Seph

post-18081-1192505147.jpg

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I may have identified the unit in question.... the 310th Ammunition Train.

Below is a passage from the regimental site.....

THE EARLY HISTORY

It was in another war against the Germans that the Division was first established as part of the National Army, on August 25, 1917. Organized at Camp Custer, Michigan it became known as the Custer Division.

After nearly a year's training, the Division embarked for England. From here the 339th Infantry Regiment, with attached engineer and medical units, was shipped to Russia where it participated in bitter fighting against the Bolshevik Revolutionary Army. The remainder of the Division was moved to France where individual organizations supported the IV, V, and VI Corps. In France the Division served primarily as a replacement depot division, furnishing some 20,000 replacements to other organizations. Several units, however, remaining intact---the 160th Field Artillery Battalion, the 310th Field Signal Battalion, the 2nd Battalion, 310th Engineers and the 310th Ammunition Train - saw action on the Western Front, in Lorraine. in the St. Mihiel operation, and in the Meuse-Argonne sector.

At the close of the war parts of the Division served in Germany in the American Army of Occupation. By August 1919, however, the last elements of the Division had returned to the United States. Shortly after this the Division was inactivated. During the years of peace that followed it continued to exist in the VI Corps Area as a Reserve Division with Reserve Officer personnel.

...and below is a pic from the same site of an original uniform jacket. One can just make out the same logo on the collar dog as your original pic.

Seph

post-18081-1192506324.jpg

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Seph,

You will not I identified this unit in the list above and provided the majority of the other information about the Div too.

The trouble is, Kaisersoazy indicated that he KNEW the picture was taken in Italy and there is no italian connection with this unit that I can find.

Kaisersoazy - out of interest, do you have any other information on this chap. Name? City of origin? How do you know the picture was taken in Italy? Any of these might provide a clue.

Chris

PS are the collar dogs the same on both sides? if not isnt't the one in Seph's picture is on the other side.

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Yes Chris, I noticed your post about the division.. listing the units contained, but I needed to find an actual pic of the engineers logo for comparrison. After I found that, things just didn't match up, so I searched using the '310'. As the US army units have always been known quite simply by the most obvious symbol... the western loco seemed the obvious choice for what I suspected was the correct logo.

I'm in no way certain about the pairing of the collar dogs, so as you mention... maybe Kiasersoazy can shed some light on that side of things?

Seph

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Seph - your eyes must be significantly better than mine - I can't get anything out of the collar disc no matter how I manipulate the image let alone a number and symbol good enough to ID and compare to the original.

This is the best I can get,

As Mike said the numbering on the right is unusual - and I am wondering now if we are barking up the wrong tree and the original symbol is not an arm of service at all (which would usually be on the left) but perhaps a state/NG cypher plus the unit number?

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You guys are amazing and I really appreciate the investigation you are doing. The photo was picked up at a flea market in Northern Italy a few weeks ago. I will attach the entire image below. My Italian is very poor but I was told that the picture was taken in Italy, but now I'm not so sure.

image2.jpg

Thanks again!

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Also of note is the writing on the back of the photo:

"Ricordo e saluti" (remembering and greetings)

and the initials "A.J.M."

Since it was written in Italian and I got it in a town in N.E. Italy (Portobuffolé), I'm assuming the photo was taken in Italy.

If it is the 310th as is suggested, could it be possible this American soldier was on leave and went to Italy to visit extended family? Did the American military have a leave policy back then that allowed their troops to travel as far as Italy, even if they werent stationed there?

That's the only thing I can think of, if this soldier was indeed part of the 310th.

Thanks again.

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Collar button - Crossed rifles?

US Collar arrangement - US Regiment on right, service company on left.

Neil

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Collar button - Crossed rifles?

Neil

If so then it is Infantry. Are you referring to the second one posted by Seph or the initial one?

Chris

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Also of note is the writing on the back of the photo:

"Ricordo e saluti" (remembering and greetings)

and the initials "A.J.M."

Since it was written in Italian and I got it in a town in N.E. Italy (Portobuffolé), I'm assuming the photo was taken in Italy.

If it is the 310th as is suggested, could it be possible this American soldier was on leave and went to Italy to visit extended family? Did the American military have a leave policy back then that allowed their troops to travel as far as Italy, even if they werent stationed there?

That's the only thing I can think of, if this soldier was indeed part of the 310th.

Thanks again.

This (inc the picture itself) would all suggest to me as you suggested that it was taken in Italy. I suppose an alternative would be it was taken in the US by an Italian American and sent "home" to the old country? From what I have read I think the scenario you describe of a visit to family etc is impossible during the war and not very likely afterwards (certainly for an enlisted rank)

HERE is the most concise guide I can find online to US forces in Italy. I am afraid I do not know enough to vouch for its accuracy although I will follow up the refs to see if the books referred to contain more info..

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If so then it is Infantry. Are you referring to the second one posted by Seph or the initial one?

Chris

Was referring to the first picture, you can just about make out crossed something (rifles or could be cannon) on his top button, not the collar badge... In Sephs pic, the collar badge may have a similar logo.

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What strikes me is why should the soldier be the visitor? Cant the other man have visited the US and had his picture taken there and sent the snap back home?

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What strikes me is why should the soldier be the visitor? Cant the other man have visited the US and had his picture taken there and sent the snap back home?

You may very well be right. At this point, I am just curious as to the unit he belonged to and I'm thinking the 310th is correct.

Off topic, but I am including a photo I took of the location where Ernest Hemmingway was wounded during his service in WW1 and in Italy. Piave Dam, July 1918

Thanks for your help, guys.hemmingway.jpg

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