Archive for August, 2014

Companies A & B, 3110th Signal Service Battalion Deploy to Valognes

August 25, 2014

When Company A with Felix A. Cizewski deployed to Normandy Companies A & B remain in southern England providing communications support for the liberation of Normandy.

Seventy years ago on August 24, 1944, Companies A & B crossed the La Manche (the English Channel) to Utah Beach in LCI(L)-417 (Landing Craft Infantry [Large}).

Six days earlier Company C had left Tamerville for redeployment to Cherbourg.

Another Tamerville Liberator
ray
Charles Raymond (Ray) Davidson
1907 – 2004

Company A, 3110th Signal Service Battalion, Army Service Forces

Company A had about 200 men and officers responsible for operation, repair, and maintenance of telephone equipment.

Company B was responsible for the operation, repair, and maintenance of teletype and cryptographic equipment (cipher machines).

In a letter home, Ray Davidson described being bivouacked in an apple orchard.

He states that rather than work in the Valognes communications facilities, they were temporarily bivouacked until their deployment to Paris on September 5.

He observed that “some of the …towns and countryside around here…might have seen some action at one time or other”

The Army Service Forces headquarters and faculties were moving from Normandy to recently liberated Paris.


For more information:

Northern France Campaign: Includes details of the 3110th Signal Service Battalion’s service in Normandy.

Infantry, Air Force, Medical, and Signal Corps Units in Tamerville and Valognes


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Revised August 25, 2014

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Penknife from the "Café de l’hôtel de Ville de Cherbourg"

August 21, 2014

Seventy years ago between August 18 and September 15, 1944, Felix A. Cizewski, my late father, obtained a penknife (canif) from the Cherbourg Café de l’Hôtel de Ville (city hall). He was serving in Cherbourg in Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion.

I found it after my father died in 2004.

I took it with on our trip to France.

After the Tamerville ceremony, I gave to the penknife to researcher Claude Letellier.


From left to right:

Not in photo to the left: Remy Agnes’s granddaughter who translated as I gave Claude the knife. Remy is a researcher and witness of WWII in Tamerville;

With his back to the camera: Mickaël Simon, researcher and author;

Leonard;

Unidentified Tamerville area resident;

Behind unidentified resident: Julie Waldner, granddaughter Sgt Francis Hugo Schultz. Sgt. Schultz’s C-47 was shot down on D-Day near Tamerville and he was captured;

Remy Agnes;

Claude Lettelier;

With her back to the camera, Joanne Schultz, Sgt. Schultz’s daughter and Julie Waldner’s aunt.



Until we got our rental car, Claude was our chauffeur and guide.

Among the places he took us was to the Signal Corps bivouac site.

With his metal detector Claude found artifacts that helped confirm that he and the other researchers had identified the bivouac site of Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion, my father’s unit, and other Signal Corps units.

Claude gave me one of the many 18th century French coins he had found with his metal detector.

He showed us a concrete structure built by the Nazis to hide their rockets. It is now being used as a farm machinery shed.

He pointed areas of Valognes that had been destroyed and rebuilt.

He drove us to the Cherbourg train station to pick up our rental car.

He shared that scenes from the 1964 movie Les parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) were filmed at that station.Just prior to our trip and as part of our study of French, Cheryl and I had watched it.

Claude assisted the rental car company staff to set the GPS navigation to English and to enter the location of our bed and breakfast in Valognes.

Claude became the friend who would best appreciate my dad’s Cherbourg Café de l’Hôtel de Ville penknife.


Seventy years late in June, 2014:

Leonard at the Cherbourg l’Hôtel de Ville just north of the Café de l’Hôtel de Ville where his father Felix obtained penknife in August or September, 1944.

Photos by Cheryl A. Robinson


De Gaulle

August 20, 1944: General Charles de Gaulle speaking from the balcony of  l’Hôtel de Ville.

My father and Company C had arrived two days earlier on August 18.

Public domain photo from U.S. National Archives.

(Link to larger image.)


Links with sources and for more information:
Cherbourg 1944: port de la victoire published by La Presse de la Manche.

The 3110th Signal Service Battalion in Normandy

Cherbourg Photos from the collection of Felix A. Cizewski

Infantry, Air Force, Medical, and Signal Corps Units in Tamerville and Valognes


Another post in an ongoing series about our trip to France for the the memorial in Tamerville, part of the observance of the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of France.

My late father Felix A. Cizewski served in Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion in Tamerville and Cherbourg providing communications and logistical support for the liberation of Normandy in 1944.


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Revised: November 14, 2014

Company C deploys to Cherbourg

August 18, 2014

Seventy years ago on August 18, 1944,Felix A. Cizewski, my late father, and Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion, were redeployed from Tamerville to Cherbourg.

American combat troops entered Cherbourg on about June 24 cleared most of the city by the 26th, and secured the surrender of the last resistance on the 27th.

Prior to their surrender the Nazis destroyed much of Cherbourg’s port. Reconstruction began immediately as Army and Navy construction units entered Cherbourg as soon as it was secured.

By July 8, the Americans began to bring in supplies through the port of Cherbourg.


cherbourg7

Felix (left) in Cherbourg with three other GIs and three friends.

Felix appears to be cold. His collar is turned up as tight as it can be around his neck. The French women have long coats.

Sources state that the weather during the Normandy and Northern France Campaigns was frequently overcast, drizzly, and cool. Storms often blow in from the North Atlantic such as from the one from June 19 to 22, the worst gale in 40 years.

Note the poles and lines in the background to the right. When possible the U.S. Signal Corps used existing French civilian and German military communication lines. Often they need to upgraded or replace them with U.S. equipment.

If those poles and lines are new, they may have been installed by Company C as it was the battalion’s “wire and pole” unit.

Photo © Leonard H. Cizewski

Felix and four other GIs next to a camouflaged concrete Nazi structure in Cherbourg.

Felix is standing in the back row first man on the left.

The GIs in the above photos and several other of Felix’s Cherbourg photos may be members of Company C and Tamerville liberators.

Photo © Leonard H. Cizewski


June, 2014: Leonard H. Cizewski on a street in Cherbourg that his father may have walked 70 years earlier.

Photo by Cheryl A. Robinson

For more information:
Cherbourg 1944: port de la victoire published by La Presse de la Manche.

Seebees (U.S. Navy construction units) at Cherbourg: Scroll down to paragraph 21 in the SEABEES IN THE ATLANTIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS section of History: Formation of the Seabees and World War II.

Infantry, Air Force, Medical, and Signal Corps Units in Tamerville and Valognes

Northern France: Includes details of the 3110th Signal Service Battalion’s service in Normandy.


Another post in an ongoing series about our trip to France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Liberation of France and the memorial in Tamerville

My late father Felix A. Cizewski served in Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion in Tamerville and Cherbourg during the liberation of Normandy in 1944.


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Visit to the 3110th Bivouac Site

August 17, 2014

On May 30, 2014, Cheryl and I visited the bivouac site of 3110th Signal Service Battalion and other Signal Corp units north of Tamerville, France.

Seventy years earlier from July 26 to August 18, 1944, Felix A. Cizewski, my later father, bivouacked there as a member of the battalion’s Company C.

Our guide was Claude Letellier, Claude  searches sites with a metal detector. In this field he found artifacts that confirmed it as a both a bivouac site and staging area for communications work.



Leonard and Cheryl at the former Signal Corps bivouac site.

Photo by Claude Letellier

Claude Letellier (left) and Leonard at the bivouac site, now a cow pasture. Signal Corps units also bivouacked in the field behind the trees in the background.

Photo by Cheryl A. Robinson


Bivouac site on Felix and WWII on Google Map

Aerial photo Tamerville. The bivouac site is to top right.

Photo © Georges Dennebouy taken May 26, 2013.


For more information:

Northern France: Includes details of the 3110th Signal Service Battalion’s service in Normandy.

Infantry, Air Force, Medical, and Signal Corps Units in Tamerville and Valognes


Another post in an ongoing series about our trip to France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Liberation of France and the memorial in Tamerville

My late father Felix A. Cizewski served in Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion in Tamerville and Cherbourg during the liberation of Normandy in 1944.


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70th Anniversary of the landing of the 45th Signal Company in France

August 11, 2014

On August 15, 1944, about 151,000 Allied troops began landings in Southern France.

Among them was the 45th Signal Company, 45th Infantry Division which landed near Ste. Maxime.

August 15, 1944: Members of the 45th Infantry Division in a Landing Craft Vehicle (LCV) approaching the beach near Ste. Maxime.

Absence of weapons suggest this may be a support unit such as the 45th Signal Company.

Public Domain photo.


Felix A. Cizewski and the 45th Signal Company

When the 45th landed in Southern France, Felix A. Cizewski, my late father, was in Tamerville, Normandy in Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion, Army Service Forces.

Over the next four months, Felix served in Cherbourg and Paris. In December, 1944, he suffered frostbite.

The 45th advanced to Alsace in eastern France on the German border.

In January, 1945 after recovering from frostbite, Felix was transferred to the 45th Signal Company.


For more information:

English:

Southern France by the Army Center of Military History

Felix A. Cizewski & WWII

Français

Le débarquement et la bataille de Provence


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L’ARMEE FRANÇAISE COMBAT EN FRANCE!

August 6, 2014

Among the items my late father Felix A. Cizewski brought home from his WWII service was this leaflet about the 2nd French Armored Division (2e division blindée/2nd DB).

Link to complete four page leaflet


This leaflet (number 44F.19) was created by one of the U.S. psychological operations (PSYOP) organizations to support the morale of French civilians. The message was: “French troops are coming to liberate you!”.

Copies were delivered by air drops or artillery shells.

My father never said where he got this leaflet and why he kept it.

The original has been donated to Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.


3110th Signal Service Battalion and the 2nd French Armored Division

When the French 2nd Armored Division landed on Utah Beach on August 1, 1944, Felix was with Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion about 15 miles (24 kilometers) northwest in Tamerville.

Company C had landed at the same spot on Utah Beach six days earlier.

The 2nd French Armored Division was among the units for which 3110th Signal Service Battalion provided service and support.


THE FRENCH ARMY FIGHTING IN FRANCE!: Unofficial English translation


For more information:

French:

2e division blindée/2nd DB

English:

2nd French Armored Division

Felix A. Cizewski & WWII


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