Please donate to this blog and this very worthy effort !

** I have been working on a HUGE scanning project and it has required that I buy a rather expensive 3rd scanner .. if you can donate a few bucks toward this effort it would be greatly appreciated.Thanks

I've spent almost 30 years collecting, digitizing material about US Army railway units in WWII and Korea and making it freely available to the vets themselves, their families and researchers. My father served in Army Rail units in both WWII and in Korea,and it's been a life long interest.

Much of the material on this blog has been donated, but lots of it I have purchased over the years like the unit history books, I have also purchased various types of equipment for scanning and digitizing.

Right now,  I have 2 huge scanning projects going on (they could be just the unit you are looking for information about)  and have bought a new digital document camera for the larger books. You can help me continue the work of this blog by making a donation.

Please help especially if you have enjoyed materials you found here and want others to continue to learn about these units ! If you'd like to send a check email me : Nancy- or send me a Amazon gift card ( that where I purchased the scanner)

Do you have items that you are going to sell on eBay? Send me a scan of it before you sell it - I will hold the scan until after your item sells and then I will post it on the blog for the families of the soldiers to enjoy. These items are so important to them - some items feature photos of their long deceased fathers/grandfathers and they are priceless to them. These items also tell the story of the amazing military service of the "greatest generation" make sure their families can freely see them.

Also if you have materials you'd like to donate please contact me !

Nancy at

756 th Railway Shop Battalion Unit History

BillC writes ... Hi Nancy, I have in my possession “History of the 756 RY SHOP BN”. Monty F Foster, Tec 4 is listed in the Hq. Co. Monty was my wife’s uncle. He died 08 may 1985, buried in Dalhart, Texas.Monty left no wife or children.

After his service he was a train engineer the remainder of his working years.I would like for someone to have this book that might have some sentimental attachment. You are the only person ...

Thanks so much to Bill and to Uncle Monty for keeping this important unit history safe for all these years and donating it to the blog so that everyone with a connection to the 756th ROB can enjoy it and learn about the work and sacrifice of these guys ...

710th Railway Grand Division Ivan Rice 1944-1946

710th Headquarters

710th Railway Grand Division Ivan Rice 1944-1946

Wonderful photos and memories donated by Ivan Rice who served with the 710th ! Thanks Ivan

710 Ivan Rice Booklet by Nancy

Interview- David Spellman WWII Railway Operating Battalion Veteran

Thanks to Thomas Gears

The Military Railway Service From Korea to Afghanistan by Mark Metz LTC (R) - US Army

Thanks as always to Mark Metz LTC (R) - US Army

Do you know what this patch is ?

Our good friend Dave Kaufman is doing some research and would like to know what this patch is ?
Contact me if you know anything about it .. cunningb2 [@]

List of Military Railway Service (United States) WWII

List of Railway Grand Divisions and their sponsors

Unit       Sponsor               Date of Activation
701st     New York Central Railroad           01/11/1943
702nd    Union Pacific Railroad     10/15/1942
703rd     Atlantic Coast Line Railroad          08/01/1943
704th     Great Northern Railway                11/30/1942
705th     Southern Pacific Lines    05/19/1943
706th     Pennsylvania Railroad    08/06/1943
707th     Southern Railway             06/10/1943
708th     Baltimore and Ohio Railroad        04/06/1943
709th     Association of American Railroads            03/15/1944
710th     Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 12/14/1943
774th     None (Organized in Italy)             1944

List of Railway Operating Battalions

Unit       Sponsor               Date of Activation
711th     None (Training Battalion)             05/01/1941
712th     Reading Railroad              10/25/1942
713th     Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 04/15/1942
714th     Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway           10/31/1942
715th     Illinois Central Railroad 10/31/1942
716th     Southern Pacific Lines    12/21/1943
717th     Pennsylvania Railroad    12/01/1943
718th     Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway         12/14/1943
719th     Texas and New Orleans Railroad               09/01/1943
720th     Chicago and North Western Railway        08/26/1943
721st     New York Central Railroad           04/14/1943
722nd    Seaboard Air Line Railroad           12/14/1943
723rd     Union Pacific Railroad     12/28/1943
724th     Pennsylvania Railroad    12/28/1943
725th     Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad                02/17/1943
726th     Wabash Railroad              06/26/1943
727th     Southern Railway             03/15/1942
728th     Louisville and Nashville Railroad                01/11/1943
729th     New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad      01/11/1943
730th     Pennsylvania Railroad    05/15/1942
731st     Union Pacific Railroad     Did not Activate
732nd    Great Northern Railway                01/12/1944
733rd     Central of Georgia Railway           11/23/1943
734th     Texas and New Orleans Railroad               02/23/1944
735th     ARR/Erie Railroad             02/10/1944
736th     New York Central             Did not Activate
737th     New York Central             09/30/1944
738th     Chicago Great Western Railway                 Did not Activate
739th     Lehigh Valley Railroad    Did not Activate
740th     Chesapeake and Ohio Railway   12/14/1943
741st     Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad 01/12/1944
742nd    Pennsylvania Railroad    Did not Activate
743rd     Illinois Central Railroad 01/12/1944
744th     Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad              12/21/1943
745th     Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad                05/19/1943
746th     Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad              05/04/1944
747th     Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Did not Activate
748th     Texas and Pacific Railway              05/12/1943
749th     New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad      02/23/1943
750th     St. Louis – San Francisco Railway               03/21/1944
751st     Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad             Did not Activate
752nd    Boston and Maine Railroad          05/04/1944
759th     Missouri Pacific Railroad                09/01/1942
761st     Railway Transportation Company             07/22/1942
770th     None     08/09/1942
790th     None     07/08/1943
791st     No sponsorship (activated at Andimeshk, Iran) 07/01/1943

List of Railway Shop Battalions

Unit       Sponsor               Date of Activation
753d      Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway         04/15/1942
754th     Southern Pacific Lines    10/25/1942
755th     Norfolk & Western Railway         11/30/1942
756th     Pennsylvania Railroad    01/11/1943
757th     Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad              06/10/1943
758th     Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway      04/06/1943
760th     No sponsorship                06/16/1942
762d      No sponsorship                10/15/1942
763d      Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad; Lehigh Valley Railroad       07/27/1943
764th     Boston & Maine Railroad              10/25/1943
765th     Erie Railroad       05/01/1944
766th     Association of American Railroads            07/17/1944

Note: The 760th and 762d were RSB (Diesel); all others were RSB (Steam).

Headquarters, Southern Lines of Communication, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army (February 1945). "American "Rails" in Eight Countries".
Ragsdale, Herbert Bernard. "A Railroader Goes To War".

Each railway operating battalion was established with four companies. The HQ company was the headquarters and was used for signaling, dispatching, and supplying their section of the railway. The A company was set up to handle the maintenance of tracks themselves, the B company handled the maintenance of the rolling stock through the stations, and the C company was set up with roughly 50 men to operate the trains in their area. As for the Grand Division it was established with multiple operating battalions and then a shop battalion and a base depot company. The shop battalion was only to work on the engines themselves. During the war, there were two types of shop battalions. The main type at the start was the steam engine battalion; however there was a few diesel shop battalions.[1]

In the European Theater of Operations (ETO), the 1st and 2nd Military Railway Service (MRS) was used to control supply by rail in this theater. The 1st was assigned to the Mediterranean with Italy, North Africa, and Southern France as its main areas of operations. The 2nd was assigned Northern France to Germany. By 1942, the first units started to be shipped out. Besides units for the Persian Gulf Command and North Africa, the 761st Operating for England and for Alaska the 770th Operating was shipped out. Another MRS was established to handle the supplies sent to Russia through Iran (Persia). The 3rd MRS was set up using the 702nd with the 711th Operating, 730th Operating, 754th Shop, and 762nd Diesel Shop battalions as its core units. Initial Command was under the 702nd Grand Division but by April of 1944 it was replaced by the 3rd MRS. The 702nd and initial 3rd MRS commander was Col Paul Yount, but in May 1944 he was sent east to assist the China Burma India theater and Col. Frank S. Besson, Jr., was tasked to take over the 3rd MRS.[2]

The 1st MRS was led by Brig General Carl R. Gray, Jr., an executive from the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad, who was the son of Carl R. Gray, Sr., the former president of multiple railways in the United States, including the Union Pacific. The battalions under his command included the 701st, 703rd, 704th, 713th, 715th, 719th, 727th, 753rd, 759th, and the 760th

745th Railway Operating Battlion Christmas Menu India Burma theatre 1943

721st Railway Operating Battalion James A Slavin

Thanks to Patricia for sharing her father, father James A Slavin photos from his service in the 721st in India.  More can be seen here