Harold Shaughnessy and the 745th ( thanks to son, Mark )

Mark writes ....Harold Shaughnessy was born in Huntington, Indiana, in 1914 and died suddenly in 1976 in Hornell, NY. His father was Chief Trainmaster in Hornell in the 1930s and 40s. In his early 20s, Harold started working for the Erie Railroad in Hornell as a brakeman, then conductor, and after attending Cornell University, on to their Cleveland, OH, offices as their safety engineer. (The Erie became the Erie-Lackawanna, then Con-Rail)
In 1941-42 he served in the US Naval Reserves aboard the USS Wichita and was in the North Atlantic. He then served in the US Army with the 745th Railway Operating Battalion as a conductor and was stationed in India for all of 1943 and most of 1944. His job was handling trains full of military equipment, supplies and troops.
After arriving home from India he developed complications from the malaria and dysentery he had while stationed there and was placed in an Army hospital in NY State. While there, he met a kind Army nurse and married her 6 months later. They then had seven kids from 1947 until 1963 of which I am one.

The 745th Railway Operating Battalion was formed in May of 1943 by the U.S. Army Transportation Corps. Although it was sponsored by the CB & Q (Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad), it was composed of men from 63 different railroads who worked in 42 different states. The 745th went to Camp Harahan, Louisiana, for basic training and completed their technical training in Fort Wayne, Indiana. On or about December 6, 1943, they departed from San Francisco on the USS Mariposa, which was once a luxury liner but was converted for wartime use. They made a stop in Wilmington/Long Beach, California, and then headed for India. On board were the 721st, 725th, 726th, 745th, 748th and 758th railroad and shop battalions. They reached Bombay, India, on or about January 10, 1944, after stops at Hobart, Tasmania....Wellington, New Zealand....and Melbourne, Australia. Once in India, the 745th operated a 110 mile stretch of the Bengal & Assam Railway from Lumding to Mariani carrying troops, equipment and supplies. There was a U.S. military base in Jorhat which was about 10 miles N-W of Mariani. On October, 2, 1945, the 745th departed Calcutta, India, on the USS General Hugh L. Scott. On board were an odd mix of military personnel including the First Tactical Air Communications Squadron, the 23rd Fighter Control Squadron, the 725th Railway Operating Battalion, the 427th Night Fighter Squadron, the Army Airways Communications System, and intelligence agents from five OSS units (Office of Strategic Services). The USS Hugh L. Scott refueled at Colombo, Ceylon, on Oct. 6th. Entered Gulf of Aden on Oct. 10th. Entered Red Sea on Oct. 11th. And then through the Suez Canal, across the Mediterranean sea, across the Atlantic Ocean to Pier 88, NY City. Then to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. (This is where and when the 745th group photo on this blog was taken. My dad is 5th from the right and looks ragged from bouts of malaria.)

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