Archive for September, 2014

Sideville, Normandy 1944 and 2014

September 22, 2014

70 years ago in the summer of 1944 while serving in Cherbourg in Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion, Felix A. Cizewski and four other GIs were photographed at Bois du Mont du Roc, Sideville, Normandy.

Sideville is about 5 miles (7.8 kilometers) southwest of Cherbourg.

70 years later researcher and our friend Claude Letellier photographed the exact spot where my father and his fellow GIs stood.

sideville[1]Summer, 1944, five GIs next to a Nazi guardhouse, Sideville, Normandy.Felix A. Cizewski is standing in the back row, first on the left.

Original photo and all rights have been donated to the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.

138[1]Summer 2014: Nazi guardhouse today.

Photo © Claude Letellier

At Bois du Mont du Roc, Sideville the Nazis had built a pool and recreation facility. Perhaps after liberation the Americans used it.

Today the site is a park.

Links with sources and more information:

Sideville: Histoire et Patrimoine (In French)

Sideville in Felix A. Cizewski and WWII



The Robinson Family and the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812

September 18, 2014

Two hundred and one years ago on February 27, 1813 Pearly Gates died of wounds received in an War of 1812 battle. He was 46 years old.

Pearly Gates is a Robinson family ancestor.

He was born about 1767 and lived in Rushville, New York.

He is my wife’s Cheryl A.Robinson 4th great-grandfather and my son Eli’s 5th.

The most likely engagement in which Pearly Gates suffered his fatal wounds was the British victory in the February 22, 1813 Battle of Ogdensburg, New York. Ogdensburg is 193 miles (311 kilometers) northeast of Rushville.

Pearly Gates probably served in a militia unit.


Lt. Col. George MacDonnell directing the British assault on Ogdensburg, New York.

From the display at Fort Wellington, Canada where the assault on Ogdensburg was staged.

Fair use of image © Parks Canada.

The 250 defeated American regular and militia troops suffered 20 killed, 6 wounded, and 70 captured. Many of the captured were wounded.

In all wars prior to the discovery of antibiotics, death from complications of wounds were extremely high. Wounded soldiers were also at much higher risk of dying from disease.


Baldwins Corner Cemetery, Rushville, Ontario County, New York where Pearly Gates is buried.

Fair use of photo by Paul G. Healy on Find a Grave

Orpha (Scott) Gates, wife of Pearly, lived until she was 97.

She was born on November 10, 1767 in Waterbury, Connecticut and died on July 19, 1864 in Rushville.

Ophra and Pearly had at least one child, a son Enoch from whom the Robinsons are descended.

Ogdensburg War 1812 Map[1]

Map of Ogdensburg during the War of 1812 from Benjamin Lossing’s Field Book of the War of 1812.

Public Domain image from: The North Country’s Forgotten War of 1812 General, February 15, 2012, The New York State History Blog.


This is a continuation of the family research that Delia (Hobart) Robinson,  Pearly’s 3rd great-granddaughter. and the mother of  my late father-in-law Ralph E. Robinson.

Marjorie Robinson, my mother-in-law, shared a copy of the reply Delia had received in 1972 from the Town of Gorham (Ontario County, New York) Historian.

That letter contained references to family oral history regarding Pearly Gates.

I did not find Pearly Gates in any of the online digitized War of 1812 documents nor did I find record of a widow’s pension for Orpha.

I plan to do further research.

Link with sources and more information:

Casualty figures are from the Wikipedia article: The Battle of Ogdensburg which cites:

The documentary history of the campaign on the Niagara frontier by E. A. Cruikshank.

Fort Wellington, Canada where the assault on Ogdensburg was staged.

An Account of the Battle of Ogdensburg N.Y., February 22nd, 1813 British Lt. Col. George MacDonnell’s report edited by Robert Henderson


Revised: September 19, 2014

The Continuing Journey of Company C: Paris and Cherbourg

September 16, 2014

Seventy years ago on September 15, 1944, Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion changed its duty station from Cherbourg to Paris. Companies A and B were already in Paris.

Company C sent 4 officers and 32 enlisted men to Paris.

The rest of Company C remained in Cherbourg detached to other Signal Corps units.

Two officers and 64 enlisted men were detached to the recently arrived Company A, 810th Signal Service Battalion.

Company A, 810th Signal Service Battalion operated the telephone and teleprinter sections and the repeater station of the Cherbourg Switching Center.

Company A and the detached men from Company C also constructed a building to house communications equipment along with recreation hall. That work was done during heavy rains.

Questions For Further Research:

What are the other units to which members of Company C attached?

When did the detached units rejoin the rest of the battalion in Paris?

Where and with which unit was Felix A. Cizewski, my late father? In Paris or with one of the detached units in Cherbourg?

Morning Report for Company C for September 15, 1944:

View this document on Scribd


Thanks to retired U.S. Army Colonel Hugh Foster for assisting by for working with me on the September 15, 1944 Morning Report for Company C.

For more information:

Source for the information about the 810th Signal Service Battalion: Ytterdal, Kelda, Hold Firm: World War II – 810th Signal Service Corp  Kindle Edition.

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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