Re: 247th Engineer (Combat) Battalion
I was typing a reply and it went into never-never land so I will try again -- if it is duplicated, sorry about that.
I found this site when trying to find info on Pvt William Greentree, purple heart posthumously awarded to him due to his dying in action Sep 14, 1944 at Maastricht Holland.Trying to find any and all info as well as photo(s) of him too.
While searching I found 2 things that are nice for those searching this particular engineering battalion.
The first site is wonderful story of some of the things they did,
the second one is a painting of one of the bridges they were building in Germany as well as the story behind it.
Now the reason I am trying to find info is because of this letter and the 60th anniversary being held in Maastricht Holland next Sep 14, 2004:
From: "Arno Lasoe" firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: msg from Holland, subject Pvt William Greentree
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 22:12:55 +0200
With this message from Heerlen, Holland, I wanted to ask your assistance in obtaining some additional information about Private William Greentree whom was killed in action on 14 September 1944 in the Dutch town of Maastricht.
Private William Greentree (army serialnumber 35 728 792) from Gibson County, IN 247th Engineer Combat Battalion ( of the 1104th Engineer Combat Group) KIA 14 September 1944Maasticht, Holland
Next year 14 September 2004 we have the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Maastricht and we are now planning to errect an small memorial plaque for Pvt William Greentree near the spot he was killed in Maastricht.
Here are some historical facts we already found:
On the night of 13 September 1944the reconnaissance elements of the 1104th Engineer Combat Group were alerted, and early in the morning of 14 September 1944 they left for the yet unliberated Dutch city of Maastricht. The bridge trains were to follow after about four hours and cross the Maas River (near the belgium town of Vise) and then if the city of Maastricht in Holland was still unliberated, go into assembly areas south of Maastricht and wait for further developments. As it worked out, the reconnaissance parties themselves liberated a large part of the city, and the bridge trains with the construction crews moved right into the city and set up shop on the bank of the river about 10.00 hours.
A few artillery shells landed in the town during the morning but none did any damage to the bridges or the personnel. The difference between the celebrations that the people of France put out for the Americans and those that the people of Maastricht put out were noticeable due the fact that they still were not sure that the Germans were not coming back.
The 246th Engineer Combat Battalion put in a treadway bridge on the north side of Maastricht and the 247th Engineer Combat Battalion put in a heavy pontoon bridge on the south side of Maastricht. Large crows gathered to watch the bridge constructions and were amazed when the two bridges were completed by 18.00 hours that same day. The resistance on the Maastricht Island was quickly reduced and the 1115th Engineer Combat Group took over the construction of the bridges over the Canal. During the day the 1104th Engineer Combat Group headquarters set up a forward Command Post in an old hotel(Hotel Willems) that had been abandoned by the Germans. The hotel formerly had been a sort of rest home for the Germans troops stationed in the area and seemed to be just the thing for a Command Post. The building was checked for booby traps by two separate parties, bur in spite of their best efforts, about 20.00 hours the evening of 14 September 1944 a time bomb went off just over the main dining room of the hotel, killing private William Greentree and wounding two others. The aid station for the 1104th Engineer Combat Group was also in the dinning room which made the situation a bit more difficult, however, fortunately the offices of the S-2 and S-3 and the commanding Officer had been set up in different parts of the building and the crows that usually gathered in those places escaped with nothing more than a set of ringing ears. The Command Post was moved across the street and remained there for the next three days without further mishaps.
I hope you could help us to find some additional information about Pvt William Greentree especially we here in Holland are intrested finding the date of his birth, the present location of his grave site and maybe even an picture of him.
Arno Lasoe (email@example.com)
September 1944 straat nr 5
The Netherland (Holland)
Thank you -- please send any info on Pvt Greentree to me,
Judith Sandage Murphy