U.S. National Archives Recalls Fire That Claimed Millions of Military Personnel Files

U.S. National Archives Recalls Fire That Claimed Millions of Military Personnel Files
The National Archives and Records Administration recently marked the 45th anniversary of a devastating fire at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Missouri, that destroyed approximately 16–18 million Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) documenting the service history of former military personnel discharged from 1912 to 1964.

https://goo.gl/juKzQj 

745th Railway Operating Battalion Co. B -- Leo Clark Williams Jr.

Chris writes..... Here is the Company B photo. It looks to me like the photo was taken after they returned from overseas. My father, Leo Clark Williams Jr. is in the top row, 3rd from the right. Thanks Chris and he's sending more photos.

715th Railway Operating Battalion -- Ball


Loay J. “Jack” Ball
Dec 30, 2007
PRINCETON — Pastor Loay J. “Jack” Ball, 85 of 1131 Old Athens Rd. in Princeton died Saturday, December 29, 2007, at Princeton Community Hospital.

Born in Buchanan, Va., June 17, 1922 he was the son of the late Matt Perry and Bessie Perkins Ball. He retired after 30 years of service as a heavy equipment operator for Consolidated Coal Co. He was a member of the Pentecostal Holiness Church and faithfully served in the ministry for 54 years. “Jack” proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during World War ll. He served in Company A, 715th Railway Operating Battalion in North Africa and Italy.
In addition to his parent's his wife, Opal Mae Blankenship Ball; one son, Michael R. Ball; and several brothers and sisters preceded him in death.
Survivors include one daughter, Sue Smithson and her husband David of Princeton, with whom he made his home; four sons, Loay Dennis Ball and his wife Betty of Bland, Va., Perry W. Ball and his wife Elsie, Billy Joe Ball and his wife Jo Ann and Steven R. Ball and his wife Sandy, all of Princeton; 17 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren, one sister, Stella Belcher of Princeton.
Funeral services will be conducted 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 1, 2008, at the George W. Seaver Chapel of Seaver Funeral Home in Princeton with Pastor Casper Dalton officiating. Burial will follow in Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Princeton.
The West Virginia National Guard will serve as pallbearers and conduct military graveside rites.
Friends may call at Seaver Funeral Home in Princeton from 1:00 p.m. to the service hour on Tuesday, January 1, 2008.

Seaver Funeral Home in Princeton is serving the Ball family.
Below Ball's medals

712th Railway Operating Battalion France 1944-- PFC Frank Zarrella

Wonderful photos from Michael Zarrella, his dad,PFC Frank Zarrella served in the 712th Railway Operating Battalion and these photos are from September to November 1944 in Villeneuve St. Georges France
We have a unit history that describes the unit times there : thanks Mike for sharing here



712th ROB MZ

728th Railway Operating Battalion travel manifest 1944

Company a 728th ROB Manifest by Nancy on Scribd

Company B 728th ROB Manifest by Nancy on Scribd

Company C 728th ROB Manifest by Nancy on Scribd

718th Railway Operating Battalion William J. Ricketson


Thanks to Barclay for sharing his grandfather's William J. Ricketson great 718th ROB photos.
Please get in touch with me if anyone can identify any of the other soldiers  or locations.

718 ricketson
More here https://www.flickr.com/photos/nikon_35mm_noob/41527403021 

My grandfather William J. Ricketson (4th row from bottom, 2nd from right) of Cornelia, Georgia, pictured with his unit - the 718th Railway Operating Battalion, Headquarters Unit, at Camp Claiborne, Alexandria, Louisiana, 1944.
The 718th would deploy to the European Theater in July of 1944 and move from England, to France, to Luxembourg, and into Germany. The 718th Railway Operating Battalion took part in The Battle of The Bulge, moving troops and supplies back and forth to the front.

Historical notes follow:
One railroad historian, Carl Gray, notes of this Christmas that "the most noteworthy action was the Battle of the Bulge, when Von Rundstedt counterattacked the Third Army. In the thick of this action the troops of the 706th R.G.D. . . . Among those operating battalions directly involved in this action were the 718, 722 and 732 R.O.B." The Yankee Boomer elaborated, saying "Assigned to the task of a railhead battalion in support of the Third Army, the 718th operated the advanced line in Patton's territory, moving as close to the front as possible." Gray writes that "During the period of the [Battle] the 718 R.O.B. accomplished a rather remarkable feat in that they moved within forty-eight hours four divisions, including supply, of the Third Army laterally across the front into the south flank of the Bulge." The Boomer agreed, asserting that "this movement was so successful that units withdrawing from the line in the south received their supplies at railheads and were returned to combat without delay. Third Army spokesmen consider this a primary factor in the repulse of the Bulge." This was not all, for, as the unit's own historian indicates, there was the additional problem "of moving the Seventh Army, which was replacing the Third Army, and this was accomplished [by the 718th] also without halt."

712th Transportation Railway Operating Battalion (TROB) Jimmie Ross Mulkey

Thanks to Jimmie Ross Mulkey's grandson, Ron we have his discharge papers - amazing military career with the Marines, Army and National Guard. He served in 712th Transportation Railway Operating Battalion(TROB)and the 8010th TTRG in Japan post Korean war.

712th TRSB Mulkey by Nancy on Scribd

Fort Eustis : Military Railroad




Fort Eustis Military Railroad by Nancy on Scribd

Army Rail: Tribute to the 714th Transportation Battalion, Railway Operating


706th Railway Grand Division 25 October 1943 - 9 May 1945

706 Railway Grand Division by Nancy on Scribd

790th Railway Operating Battalion~~ Matlosz

790th MatloszTom writers ....

My Dad, Pvt. Michael W. Matlosz, served in the 790th Railway Operating Company (Battalion?) in the Philippines during WWII. Any information about the 790th which you can provide, like date and area of deployment, would be most appreciated.
 I know that his records were destroyed in the St. Louis fire. I've attached a few photos. Dad can be seen in 0164 and 0165.

716th Railway Operating Battalion - Virgil Cowder

Virgil's son, Bob writes... I have attached 4 photos of my dad who was stationed with the 716th ROB in Germany at the end of WWII. I would like to send this to you, so it can be posted with other communications with ex-soldiers from his outfit. His name is Virgil Crowder. I don't know if this is the best way of doing this or not. If there is someone that knew him, I would be willing to communicate with them. 716 Crowder