244th Field Artillery Battalion

June 1944

Friday – 2nd June 19441
          Operation Overlord Troop Priority List

List Index        Unit In Continuous Priority        Personnel    Vehicles
  2258 B    244th FA Bn 155mm G) (Trk or Trac)      562           115

Dear Folks,

     Sort of put off writing for longer than I had intended, but I did send a few cards.

     As you can see by the papers – it’s hotter than all – – -. People here even say it’s bad cause it all came at once – they said that it usually gets hot gradually. I got sort of sick from it last week. Too many salt pills, I guess. I couldn’t eat for several days. I had to get a lot of rest and take it easy I’m ok now. The rush and bustle that you must remember from when you were here has started again. We are all excited again – so it goes -.

     We have all worked hard the last few weeks and it looks as if all is going to go our way after all.

     Was OD at the Post Prison over the weekend and found one of the guards asleep on his post. I’m
going over to his outfit in a minute to prepare charges against him. The case has to be tried this week!!

     Jane’s sister has been terribly nice to us – she has been letting us use her car almost every time I go out to see Jane. I’m wondering if you could spare one (1) “C” coupon – she need one perhaps more if you have any to spare. I can’t get any here ‘cause most everyone here has sent their car home or sold it.

     Jane said she had written to you – what did she have to say? I sure am crazy about her. Wish I had known herd last year. Also wish I had the chance to give her a ring. Each time I see her I like her more. Everyone here feels the same way.

     Got your film – also Jane got four for me. The hospital got their quota in and I got it.

     I have got to leave now – will drop you a line on Wednesday or Thursday. Are you going to write Jane again? If you do – would you mind enclosing a couple of (C – Z’s are out).
                                                                                   Much love to all,
                                                                                                  Tom.

The Battle of Normandy Begins
June 6, 1944 to July 24, 1944

          Mediterranean and European Theaters of Operation4

6th June 1944 – Final Overlord Plan5

6th June 1944 – Omaha Beach6

          Captured German photo of Field Marshal General Erwin Romal inspecting Normandy Beach defense prior to invasion

          Enlargement of photo above

          Captured German photo of Normandy beach defenses.  Showing three Tellermine #2, 1942 and three Tellermine #3,1943 each with approximately 12lb of TNT attached to a floating obstacle prior to deployment.

Field Manual
           FM 5-31 – Engineers, Land Mines and Booby Traps
                                   Excerpt pages 81.01-a to 81.03-b, Tellermine

Sunday – 7th May 19448

                                             G-2 Map Plan
              2. Map Distribution
                  While a number of series have been published, not all are for operational                    use.  The following list gives the series that Third Army will use:
                  1/25,000 (Topographic) Special use (by Artillery, Infantry, Engineers, Hq)
                         GSGS 4347
                         GSGS 4365
                         GSGS 4041
               8. Geodetic Data.
               9. Trig Data Sheets will be issued to Army and Corps Engineers, and to                           Artillery Observation Battalion.  For details see Engineer Annex No. 5.

Dear Mon & Dad,

      Just a line before I leave to go into town with Capt. Torres.

     We have had a mad day. We had to check all of our clothes again, order new ones and check and change the records. All of this has kept us quite busy. We are selling all of the stuff we can and getting everything in order.

     The men have again gone up on a peak of enthusiasm, which is as it should be. By now you got Peg’s birthday package – and have put it in the ice box. It’s nothing fancy – but knowing her sweet tooth and the lack of “Hershey’s” on the outside I thought she might like it.

     Am going into see Jane – – – .

     I’m in!! Just finished dinner at the Inn and am in Potter’s room. I think I’ll stay in, too.

     It just poured down rain an hour ago and looks like a lot more. Eleanor is going to let us have the car again so I guess we’ll go out to the Colonial Club, as we haven’t been there for some time.

     I’m the midst of all our rush I’m going to ask for Saturday off. Most of the officers were off last weekend – except me – I was on guard – as you know. Wink and I have a room at the Bon-Air Friday and Saturday. Sunday we’re all due in at midnight – then the real business starts.

     Chie Chie is in New Jersey so I guess Wink will see her – if his shanks hold up.

     Will write when I get a chanced.
                                                 Love to all
                                                                        Tom.

Saturday – 10th June 19449
          Byron G. Roger

          We had orders to leave Camp Gordon one Monday.  I wanted to go home one more time before leaving the states, so without telling anyone, I went outside the gate on Saturday AM, looking for a ride to Glennville.  A young officer came by on his way to Florida.  He said I could ride as far as Lyons Georgia if I would drive.  We pulled out with me driving, and him sleeping.  I woke him up when we got into Lyons.  I then caught a ride to Glennville.  I stayed overnight with my parents, and my brother Ira and his wife Lucille drove me back to Augusta on Sunday.  I was back in plenty of time to ship out with the unit.  Had the orders been changed, and they had shipped out sooner, I’d been in serious trouble.  I later told my Captain at one of the reunions what I had done.  He just frowned.

Dear Mon & Dad,

     Just got back from downtown a few minutes ago and thought I’d drop you a line before Jim and Capt. Coyne come in.

     Am going up to Jane’s in a few hours – guess we’ll all go out to the Club for our party. Hightower’s wife came down for the last days – so did Galway’s, guess I told you about that though. Most of the gals are leaving Monday – no point in their being around here.

     It has been raining off and on for the last day or so, and it’s a relief from the heat cause the temp. drops 6 – 10 degrees.

     I am going to send some stuff home in a day or so, I think. I may send it later on in the week. Don’t know which yet.

     Gotta hair cut that ends all haircuts – it’s almost down to the bone.

     Played a game with you in my last letter – did you catch our next Post? May do it again – it will be obvious – don’t try and read meanings in to all my letters though, cause very often I don’t imply anything.

     Peg sure is having a nice vacation for herself – know she’s enjoying it. Have you heard from Don – where is he – etc.

     You had better not write me here in Augusta anymore. Wait till you get a A.P.O Card. I won’t be able to tell you where until Col. Daves says so.

     Much love to you all – can hardly wait to see the sea.
                                                                       Tom.

Tuesday – 13th June 194410
          The Battalion departed Camp Gordon Georgia by train to Camp Shanks.
Tuesday – 13th June 194411
          Battalion left Camp Gordon Ga.
Wednesday – 14th June 194412

          The Battalion arrived Camp Shanks

Wednesday – 14th June 194413

          As the train pulled out for the P.O.E. we remembered with regret the rough-house at the Cherokee Ranch – boisterous beer parties at the Julian Smith Casino; the Partridge Inn; the girly show at the Mojeska Theater; steaks at the Oakdale and the Red Lion and the wives, children and girls we were leaving behind

        The Julian Smith Casino Augusta Georgia – 

Thursday – 15th June 194414

          So, we went on up on the train to the Newark Yards that were under very tight security for sending troops by convoy overseas.  We went to a place called Camp Shanks, which was very, very secret and tight security. We were checked out for proper clothing, shots, and processing of all types.  Then we went across to the port and got on a ferry trip across the harbor and finally boarded a ship called the S. S. Mormacmoon.  We set sail on the second of July to cross the Atlantic in convoy.

Thursday – 15th June 194415

          On the 15th of June 1944 we moved through the Newark Yards and up the river to Camp Shanks.  (shh: it’s a secret.)  There the quick physical, the 6 to 6 passes to New York City with reveille at 7, the new clothes, the big mess halls, through the processing mill and then back on the train and through the Port.  The ferry trip across the harbor and finally boarding the S.S. Mormacmoon

Thursday – 15th June 194416

          Arrived Camp Shanks N.J.

Thursday – 15th June 194417
          Byron G. Rogers

          On June 15, 1944 we moved through the Newark Yards and up the river to Camp Shanks, New York. There we had more physicals, and received passes to New York City, where we visited Coney Island.  For us country boys, that was a sight to remember.  I had to wire (telegram) my Daddy to send me some money on two occasions.  He sent $50 each time.  I’m sure he never thought twice about sending the money, as he wasn’t sure if his son would ever return from the war.

          Coney Island – Byron Rogers front seat passenger, and buddies. 

Thursday – 17th June 194418

          First Passes

          Pvt. Norman J. Reeves and Buddy. 24 Hour Pass to Coney Island Brooklyn. Tomorrow England.

          L – Unknown. R – Cpl. Kilby H. Hoyle, Battery C. Leave just prior to shipping out, Coney Island Brooklyn N.Y

Thursday – 26th June 194419

          Restricted no more passes

  1. Third U.S. Army Outline Plan – Operation Overlord, Annex No. 3 – Troop Priority List, Page 14
  2. By Timothy Foote
  3. The U.S. Army Center of Military History, William M. Hammond
  4. Mediterranean And European Theaters Of Operation In World War II, Gene Thorp
  5. Mediterranean And European Theaters Of Operation In World War II, Gene Thorp
  6. Mediterranean And European Theaters Of Operation In World War II, Gene Thorp
  7. United States Army In World War II, The European Theater of Operations, The Supreme Command, Forrest C. Pogue, Page 324, June 6, 1944
  8. Special Annex A - Third U.S. Army Outline Plan To Operation Overlord Annex No. 8-G-2 Plan Page 64
  9. Sering In Harm's Way, A Record of My Service In The U.S. Army and WWII, Byron G. Rogers jr., January 2006
  10. W. U. (Doc) Savage Letter, December 15, 1949
  11. PFC Harry G. MacDuffee, B Battery, 244th Field Artillery - Battery Record
  12. W. U. (Doc) Savage Letter, December 15, 1949
  13. Department of The Army, USH&EC, USAMHI, 202-244th 1945, “History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion During World War II
  14. U.S. Army Military History Institute, Archives Branch, Colonel Davis Papers
  15. Department of The Army, USH&EC, USAMHI, 202-244th 1945, “History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion During World War II
  16. PFC Harry G. MacDuffee, B Battery, 244th Field Artillery - Battery Record
  17. SERVING IN HARM'S WAY, A Record of My Service In The U.S. Army and WWII, Byron G. Rogers jr., January 2006
  18. PFC Harry G. MacDuffee, B Battery, 244th Field Artillery - Battery Record
  19. PFC Harry G. MacDuffee, B Battery, 244th Field Artillery - Battery Record