Archive for the ‘3110th Signal Service Battalion’ Category

70 and 150 Years Ago: Two Promotions

January 26, 2015

70 years ago on January 1, 1945, Felix A. Cizewski, was promoted to Private First Class.

He was serving in Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion, Army Service Forces in Paris. He was in a hospital recovering from frostbite.

He is my late father.


munichapriljuly45 1jan45promotion

LEFT: Private Felix A. Cizewski on

occupation duty in Munich between

April and July, 1945.

From the collection of Felix A. Cizewski

© Leonard H. Cizewski

RIGHT: Unit Morning Report recording

his promotion.

Public domain image

150 years ago on January 26, 1865, Anson Croman was promoted to corporal.

He served in Company F, 20th Michigan Infantry Regiment, Second Brigade, First Division,  IX Corps, Army of the Potomac. At that time the 20th Michigan was part of the Union siege of Petersburg  near Battery Nine just south of the the Appomattox River on the northeast edge of the city.

Anson Croman is Cheryl A. Robinson’s 2nd great-grandfather and my 2nd great-grandfather-in-law.


croman Promotion rotated 90 degress

LEFT: Corporal Anson Croman

© The descendants of Anson Croman

RIGHT: Official certificate of promotion.

Public domain image

Links, sources, and more information:

Felix A. Cizewski and WWII

Anson Croman and the Civil War


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-Gs

Paris 1944: Felix Hospitalized With Frostbite

December 4, 2014

Seventy years ago on about December 10, 1944, Felix A. Cizewski, my late father, was admitted to a U.S. Army hospital in Paris with severe frostbite to his hands and feet.

In his letters Ray Davidson of Company A, 3110th Signal Service Battalion reports increasing rain and dropping temperatures in Paris.

In Citizen SoldiersStephen Ambrose  reports “It was Northern Europe’s coldest winter in forty years…”


FROSTBITE RISK

These photos are from the about same time and near place as Felix and Company C served

None of these photos are of Felix A. Cizewski or Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion.

The following two illustrate the type of work that Felix and Company C, the Open Wire Repair Section of the 3110th Signal Service Battalion, were doing when Felix suffered frostbite.

frostbitecroppedbfw

Signal lineman repairs wire in the Ardennes.

Public Domain photo from The Signal Corps: The Outcome (Mid-1943 through 1945),  p. 160.

splicecroppedbfw

European Theatre of Operations, December, 1944. Soldier traces a broken field wire for splicing.

Public domain U.S. Army photo from: The story of the U.S. Army Signal Corps between pages 114 & 115.

TRENCH (IMMERSION) FOOT RISK

 riverbfw

During cold weather Signal Corps personnel needed to work in and around water such as swimming wire across the Moselle River.

Public domain photo from:  The Signal Corps: The Outcome (Mid-1943 through 1945),  p. 132.

britishsignals

British or Canadian Signalmen using amphibious DUKWs and Weasels to work in areas flooded when the Germans blew up nearby dykes.

Early February, 1945, in the Netherlands along the Nijmegen-Cleve road near the German border town of Kranenburg

Imperial War Museum photo from The Rhineland 1945: the final push into Germany (Praeger illustration military history), Ford, Ken, 2004, Osprey Publishing, p. 48.


Felix said that the Army doctors told him that they might need to amputate part of all of his hands and feet.

However, night after night, after the American doctors had gone, a captured German doctor working in the American hospital massaged Felix’s hands and feet with a special salve.

Eventually Felix healed enough to avoid amputations and return to be reassigned to the 45th Signal Company.

A captured American soldier with “frozen feet” reported that from German medical supplies, the German guard gave him “something that looked like axle grease…which we rubbed on our feet.” (From Alex Kershaw in The Longest Winter, Da Capo Press, 2004, page 168.) Could this be the special salve Felix described that the German POW doctor used?


coldinjurybfw

Medic treating GI with trench foot and cold injuries to his hands and face. This illustrates what Felix might have suffered and the treatment with a salve.

Diorama in the Truschbaum Museum, Camp Elsenborn, Belgium. (Photo used by permission.)


FELIX’S POST FROSTBITE RAYNAUD”S SYNDROME SYMPTOMS

Felix’s wife  reports that the skin on his feet were fragile and tender for several years after the war.

For the rest of his life, he suffered from a post frost bite syndrome with symptoms that resemble Raynaud’s Syndrome.

The circulation shut down in his hands and feet whenever the weather turned slightly cold but painless. I remember in the winter his hands up to his wrists were cold, cyanotic with poor skin turgor.

R. Richard Kingsbury in his autobiography, The Eighteen-Year-Old Replacement: Facing Combat in Patton’s Third Army describes suffering cold injuries, possibly trench foot. After the war, the VA paid him two 10% disability for the permanent damage to his legs and feet. (Page xiii.)

Felix was an unrecognized and uncompensated disabled veteran.

At a minimum, that is what I believe Felix also deserved if not more as his hands were also permanently damaged.


Links, sources, and more information:

3110th in Paris

Signal Corps personnel and cold injuries

Trench (Immersion) Foot

Felix A. Cizewski: An Unrecognized and Uncompensated Disabled Veteran?


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-EP

The 3110th in Paris

December 3, 2014

Seventy years ago sometime prior to December 10, 1944, the detached unit of Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion left Cherbourg for Paris and rejoined the rest of the battalion.


felix001_thumb.jpg

1944 or 1945:

The only photo of Felix A. Cizewski in Paris.

He is standing in front of a building below a Salle de Réunion sign (meeting rooms for rent) with security gates over its windows.

Date and unit are unknown.

Felix was in Paris in the late fall of 1944 with the 3110th and in March, 1945 while on leave from the 45th Signal Company.

Photo © the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center and Leonard H. Cizewski


Corporal Ray Davidson of Company A reports that the 3110th worked from a building near the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

They were first housed in a hotel near the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Their hotel had electricity only a few minutes per day and no hot water.


DSC01477

June, 2014:

Seventy years later. Felix’s son Leonard on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées near where Felix served.

Since the exact building that the 3110th used may are not known, I decided that the best I could do was to stand under a sign on the Avenue.

Photo by Cheryl A. Robinson


Later the 3110th moved to a school near a race track. Hotels near the Avenue des Champs-Élysées were needed for combat troops on leave.

Corporal Davidson reported that the public transportation system was not working and bicycles were the main means of transportation.

Goods were scarce.

Sidewalks cafes were open but not night clubs or movies theatres. A couple of theatres were showing news reels.

He reports that after they first arrived they had to wait in long lines for their meals and the meals were initially “skimpy”. Their meals improved when the battalion was assigned a restaurant with French cooks.


ray001

October, 1944:

The the only documented photo of the 3110th in Paris.

Corporal Ray Davidson of Company A in Paris.

Photo © Charles N. Davidson


Links, sources, and more information:

3110th in Paris

The WWII Letters of Ray Davidson were compiled by his nephew Charles N. Davidson. Charles privately published them for his family and families of the 3110th.


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, Cherbourg, Paris providing communications and logistical support for the liberation of Normandy in 1944.


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-EL

1943 Thanksgiving at Camp Crowder

November 25, 2014

71 years ago on November 25, 1943 Felix A. Cizewski, my late father, celebrated Thanksgiving with his unit, Company E, 840th Signal Training Battalion, at Camp Crowder, Missouri.

This was an especially profound observance as they knew they were at the end of their training and about to be assigned to a unit and deployed out of the country, probably to Europe.


thanksgiving1[1]

Cover of Company E, 840th Signal Training Battalion November 25, 1943 Thanksgiving Program.

Included a Thanksgiving message from their commander, the menu, and unit roster.

Larger and complete six page program is at:

Thanksgiving Menu and Roster


In December, 1943 they were transferred to Camp Wood, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey  and assigned to the 3110th Signal Service Battalion.

In February, 1944 they boarded a ship to Great Britain.

Six months later in July, 1944 Company C deployed to Normandy followed by the rest of the battalion in August.


Links with sources and for more information:

Camp Crowder, Missouri

Felix A Cizewski:

At Camp Crowder

Deployment to England


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-Ev

Researcher and Author Mickaël Simon

November 14, 2014

Mickaël Simon at his Normandy dairy with a Wisconsin Sassy Cow Creamery coffee cup, a gift from Cheryl Robinson and me!


Mickaël Simon is one of the researchers who confirmed the Signal Corps bivouac site in Tamerville where my late father served in Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion, Army Services in 1944.


ms3

Mickaël spoke and also served as an English translator for another speaker at the Mary 31, 2014 dedication ceremony at Tamerville.

Photo by Julie Waldner (granddaughter of one of the downed American aviators who survived).


Before the ceremony, Mickaël assisted us in ordering lunch Auberge des Lices Bar and Restaurant in Tamerville.

His guiding and translations ensured that we had a great experience.

He is now our friend.

For my birthday, Cheryl A. Robinson gave me a copy of one of Mickaël’s Tombés sur le Cotentin.

I am using it to improve my French reading skills!


FI CALVADOS.indd

Tombés sur le CotentinMissions sans retour et évasions de aviateurs de l’US Army Air Force sur la presqu’île de Cherbourg en 1944

(Shot down on the Cotentin: Missions without return and escapes (evasions) by aviators of U.S. Army Air Force on the Cherbourg Peninsula)

Copies are available from:

OREP editions (the publisher)

and

Amazon France

Both ship to the U.S.


Links with sources and for more information:

The 3110th Signal Service Battalion 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 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.


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-Ei

Dad’s Cherbourg Photos

October 22, 2014

Seventy years in 1944 Felix A. Cizewski, my late father, served in Cherbourg in Company, C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion.

Ten photos of his survived, the most from his WWII experience.

Only one has my father.
lines Felix is first on the left.
In the background of several photos are street scenes of 1944 Cherbourg.
jeep
  GI on a Jeep in front of Cherbourg building.
Two photos have a military police officer and African-American GIs.twogischerbourg1Military police officer on a motorcycle with an African-American GIs on the right.

African-Americans served in segregated support, service, supply, and construction units in Cherbourg at the same time as my father.

All GIs in the above photos have helmets.

While Cherbourg was liberated in late June, 1944, Cherbourg remained under threat of attack from Nazi bombers and rockets.


Larger versions of these and the other seven are at:

Cherbourg Photos


All photos are from the collection of Felix A. Cizewski, Co. C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion

Copyright © Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

May not be reproduced, displayed, modified or distributed without express prior written permission.


Links with sources and for more information:

The 3110th Signal Service Battalion in Normandy

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-D8

Cherbourg Memorial

October 20, 2014

In March, 1942, the Nazis with the assistance of French fascist collaborationist government began deporting Jews in France to slave labor and death camps. The first were foreign born Jews followed by Jews born in France and having French citizenship.

In February, 1943, the Nazis imposed Service du Travail Obligatoire (S.T.O.) (Compulsory Work Service). Ethnic French resident of Cherbourg were deported from their homes for slave labor in occupied France and Germany.

Cheryl A. Robinson and I visited the Cherbourg memorial to those and other victims during our 2014 trip to France for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Normandy.

DSC01341Memorial in Cherbourg to those executed, deported, resistance fighters,and hostages. (Fusillés, Deportes, Maquisards, Otages.)

2014 photo by Cheryl A. Robinson

DSC01342  Plaques on the ground with the names of the slave labor and death camps to which victims were deported.

LEFT: Ravensbrück was a concentration and slave labor camp.

RIGHT: Neuengamme was a concentration and slave labor camp.

Schandelah was a satellite slave labor camp of Neuengamme.

2014 photo by Cheryl A. Robinson

In 1944 Felix A. Cizewski, my late father, served in Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion in Cherbourg.

Links with sources and for more information:

The 3110th Signal Service Battalion in Normandy

Felix A. Cizewski WWII Cherbourg photos

Café de l’hôtel de Ville in Cherbourg: 70 years ago and today

October 13, 2014

Among the places I have documented that Felix A. Cizewski, my late father, visited while serving in Cherbourg with Company C, 3110th Signal Service Battalion was the Café de l’hôtel de Ville.

The Café de l’hôtel de Ville is located just south of the l’hôtel de Ville (Cherbourg city hall).

Researcher and friend Claude Letelier shared these photos of the Café de l’hôtel de Ville from WWII and today.

The WWII photo is not only of the Café de l’hôtel de Ville but also documents the Nazi crime of slave labor.

wwii now
Sometime after February, 1943.

On the right of the photo on the side street is the Café de l’hôtel de Ville.

Note the sign above the doors.

On the main street Nazi troops are escorting ethnic French residents of Cherbourg for slave labor.

The column is moving in the direction of the Cherbourg train station.

The angle of this photo suggests the photographer is taking this photo clandestinely.

This documentation of slave labor may have been an act of resistance.

2014:

The Café de l’hôtel de Ville today is the Bar de l’hôtel de Ville.

Photo by Claude Letelier

In February, 1943, the Nazis imposed Service du Travail Obligatoire (S.T.O.) (Compulsory Work Service) on the people of Occupied France.

The photo above is of the deportation of ethnic French residents of Cherbourg for slave labor mostly in Germany.

In the Nazi racial hierarchy, ethnic French were among those to be enslaved rather than completely exterminated such as Jews.

The French Jews of Cherbourg

French Jews of Cherbourg are not among those in the photo.

Prior to February, 1943 enactment of the S.T.O. law, the Nazis deported to death and slave labor camps as many French Jews of Cherbourg as they could capture.

Some survivors returned to Cherbourg after liberation.

Links with sources and for more information:

(In French) La France sous l’occupation: Le S.T.O.

(In French)  Le S.T.O. (loi du 16 février 1943)

(Includes English): Louis PESNEL’s account from Mémoires de guerre: WWII stories, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie

The 3110th Signal Service Battalion in Normandy

Felix A. Cizewski WWII Cherbourg photos

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-Bc

"I am beautiful"

October 1, 2014

When I practiced with friends delivering my Tamerville speech I looked just over the top of their heads rather than at their eyes to minimize my anxiety.

I planned to do the same at Tamerville.

On May 31, 2014 when I got up to the podium to speak in the front of row in line with me was a French Air Force general with a wonderful, warm, kind, and supportive face.

 afgeneral.jpgFrench Air Force general at the Tamerville ceremony.

Photo by Julie Waldner

At that moment I decided that instead of looking over the heads of the audience, I would look right into his eyes and make my remarks as if I was giving them only to him.

At the reception following the ceremony with Bertille (granddaughter of Remy Agnes, researcher and witness of WWII in Tamerville) translating I told the general how he helped me.

He smiled and said he realized that was what I was doing. He added I made the right decision because referring to himself he said “I am beautiful!”.

b
Bertille translating Georges Dennebouy’s speech.

Bertille is the granddaughter of Remy Agnes, researcher and witness of WWII in Tamerville. She helped many of us converse with our French hosts.

Photo by Julie Waldner


Link with sources and 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


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.


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-AE

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


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2ix3W-Ae


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