Army railroaders undergoing dramatic change

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. (Aug. 12, 2015) -- A transporter in the rather obscure corner of logistics called rail operations, Sgt. 1st Class Elrick Richburg literally has a boot on each side of progress. He has logged 17 years as a rail Soldier in the traditional sense but has spent the past two years helping to shape a future marked by dramatic change. 

That change, technically termed Army Rail Transformation, or ART, includes the consolidation of all three rail military occupational specialties and a shift from an operational mission to a strategic one. 

That doesn't bode well for a former infantryman and accustomed boots-on-the-ground, all-around railroader.

743rd ROB Murphy photo and Guy does "then and now " with some of the photos!

Our friend in Belgium,  Guy has been going through some of the Murphy 743rd ROB photos from 1941 and finding modern images of the locations in photos. (Beauvais) 

Thanks Guy!




743rd Railway Operating Battalion - Don Murphy's photos (unnumbered photos part 2)

I inherited these photo albums from Mister Murphy when he was faced with moving from his home in 1996. He served under my Dad and thought quite a bit of him. These were unnumbered they are canned in no particular order.

743rd Murphy Part 6 by Nancy on Scribd

743rd Murphy Part 7 by Nancy on Scribd

743rd Railway Operating Battalion - Don Murphy's photos (unnumbered photos)

I inherited these photo albums from Mister Murphy when he was faced with moving from his home in 1996. He served under my Dad and thought quite a bit of him. These were unnumbered they are canned in no particular order.

743rd Murphy Part 1 by Nancy on Scribd

743rd Murphy Part 2 by Nancy

743rd Murphy Part 3 by Nancy

743rd Railway Operating Battalion - Don Murphy's photos (numbered photos)

 I inherited these photo albums from Mister Murphy when he was faced with moving from his home in 1996. He served under my Dad and thought quite a bit of him.

These were numbered like this by Don, I scanned them in order.

743rd Murphy Numbered 1-50 by Nancy on Scribd

743rd Murphy Numbered 51-100 by Nancy on Scribd

743rd Murphy Numbered 101-150 by Nancy on Scribd

Railroads and National Defense


This railroad film was produced by the Association of American Railroads to show how the railroads are operating during the Korean War.

Newsreel : Iron War Horse and Fighting Dutch

This newsreel is part of the Army/Navy Screen Magazine, a WWII newsreel program produced from June 1943 until early 1946 by the Army Signal Corps under the supervision of director Frank Capra. It includes several segments. First, "Iron War Horse" which shows the operational training of troops at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana to maintain railroads at the battle front. "Seized from the Japs" shows rare captured Japanese military newsreel films, including an amphibious assault. 
Finally "The Fighting Dutch" shows the people of Holland and their response to the German invasion, with Free Dutch forces joining the Allied fight -- training in Mississippi to fly P-40 Warhawks and other aircraft, and manning Dutch transport ships in the South Pacific and Africa. The Netherlands entered World War II on May 10, 1940, when invading German forces quickly overran them. On December 7, 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Netherlands government in exile also declared war on Japan. Operation Market Garden, which started in 1944, liberated the southern and eastern parts of the country, but full liberation did not come until the surrender of Germany on May 5, 1945. Camp Claiborne was a U.S. Army military camp during World War II located in Rapides Parish in central Louisiana. The camp was under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Eighth Service Command, and included 23,000 acres (93 km²). The camp was just north of the town of present day Forest Hill, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 165 and Louisiana Highway 112. To simulate wartime repairs of railroads, the Claiborne-Polk Military Railroad was built. 
The railroad was about 50 miles long and had 25 bridges. It crossed the Calcasieu River. It ran from Camp Claiborne—on the Missouri Pacific south of Alexandria—westward 48 miles to Camp Polk—on the Kansas City Southern south of Leesville. Construction began on 4 September 1941, and the Golden Spike ceremony was held on 11 July 1942. In October 1942, the soldiers who had built the Claiborne-Polk Military Railroad shipped out to Iran, where they helped operate the Trans-Iranian Railroad. The foundation of the locomotive shop and other remnants can still be seen. The 725th and other ROBs referred to it as the "Crime and Punishment" railroad, and was built by the 711th ROB and Army engineers. The engines used were 40 years old, and the freight cars, some not US made, were two generations old. Some European cars had only 4 wheels, and did not do well on curves. Derailments occurred so often that they pulled a crane to pick up derailed cars and repair the roadbed. Often, even the crane derailed. Sometimes the rails sunk under the swamp, and cars were lost in the quicksand. More than one engineer reported seeing the rails swaying and vibrating for some time after the train had passed. It was reported that one engine was lost in the quicksand and is still there.
 In other cases, buildings were erected on top of the lost equipment, using it as a foundation. We encourage viewers to add comments and, especially, to provide additional information about our videos by adding a comment! See something interesting? Tell people what it is and what they can see by writing something for example like: "01:00:12:00 -- President Roosevelt is seen meeting with Winston Churchill at the Quebec Conference." This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit


WAR TRAINS, Air Attacks Vol-3 | Civil War, WW1, WW2, Korean


WAR TRAINS, Subvert and Destroy Vol-2 | Civil War, WW1, WW2, Korean war, Vietnam War


WAR TRAINS, Combat Strategies Vol-1 | Civil War, WW1, WW2, Korean war, Vietnam War


History Of Germany's V-weapons and military railways in World War II 708th, 709th, 740th and 743rd

Impact: The History Of Germany's V-weapons In World War II 1998 by Benjamin King During World War II, when the V1s and V2s soared in their thousands against London, Antwerp and other targets, they were launched by Germans who had made a technological leap over their Allied scientific counterparts. Ultimately, as the German front fell back, the V launch-sites and factories were overrun. Nevertheless, for a time, the Germans had wielded a revolutionary new weapon that we now know pointed to the future of warfare. This intensely researched book overturns many of the myths about the V-weapons by tracing their development under pressure, their employment in combat, and the massive effect their existence had on operations.

743rd Railway Operating Battalion pg 278 
709th Railway Grand Division pg 279
740th Railway Battalion pg 284
708th Railway Grand Division pg 283-285

History Of Germany's V-... by Nancy on Scribd

History Of Germany's V-weapons 283-286 by Nancy on Scribd

743rd Railway Operating Battalion C Company Rabbit obit

743rd Railway Operating Battalion George Herman obit KIA

759th Railway Operating Battalion Richey ID cards

714th Railway Operating Battalion Christmas Menu

732nd Railway Operating Battalion rail car photo

733rd Railway Operating Battalion 1940s misc photos

Transportation corps rail equipment arrival Normandy France D-Day

Did You Know They Landed Tr... by Nancy on Scribd

763rd Railway Shop Battalion- James De Luca, Joseph T. Miller, Rueben Stavitz

763rd Railway Shop Battalion
Transportation Corps US Army
Weston Camp Derr
y 15 May -15 October 1944
In memory of :
James De Luca
Joseph T. Miller
Rueben Stavitz
Who died in service of their country.
Thanks Jasper for sending this !

755th Railway Shop Battalion - Allan M. Stauber, Robert L. Freeman, John M. McGillis

755th Railway Shop Battalion Transportation Corps
US Army Longmoor Camp 114 June Aug 1944
In Memory of: Allan M. Stauber Robert L. Freeman John M. McGillis
Who died in service of their country.
Thanks Jasper! Jasper contacted the McGillis family and they shared these photos of John:

750th Railway Operating Battalion Elbert Bennett obit

732nd Railway Operating Battalion Charles C. Bain obit

Wheels Rolling in Korea The Signalman's Journal March 1953

Wheels Rolling in Korea The Signalman's Journal March 1953 by Nancy on Scribd

754th Railway Shop Battalion Copper Basin Area Army Reserve

754th Railway Shop Battalion Copper Basin Area Army Reserve by Nancy on Scribd

712th Transportation Railway Operating Battalion- Dave Kaufman

712th Transportation Railway Operating Battalion by Nancy on Scribd

753rd Railway Shop Battalion reunions

A Profile of the 757th Railway Shop Battalion

744th Railway Operating Battalion and the Chemin de Fer Belges

Yanks Help Repair French Railroads WWII USATC Army

766th Railway Shop Battalion captured Nazi flag

Former Staff Sgt. George Mills Grant (middle), an electrician with the 766th Railway Shop Battalion during World War II, displays a Nazi flag with two close friends in Germany. The flag was part of a collection of World War II historical artifacts donated by retired Staff Sgt. H. Lee Adelman, Grant’s son-in-law and the Antiterrorism Director for Naval District Washington Headquarters. Also included in the collection was one of Grant’s uniform shirts, maps detailing the unit’s route through France and into Germany, as well as miscellaneous photographs and documents from Grant’s time in service and the unit’s history. The artifacts were collected and processed by the 326th Military History Detachment from Whitehall, Ohio and will be transferred to the 766th Transportation Battalion, formerly the Railway Shop Battalion, from South Bend, Ind., to be displayed

758th Railway Shop Battalion - Watters obit

James Louis Watters April 6, 1923 - January 13, 2009 James Louis ""Jim"" Watters, 85, of Wilmington, died peacefully at Liberty Commons Nursing Center on January 13, 2009.

He was born on April 6, 1923, in Wilmington, NC, the son of James Louis Watters Sr. and Mae Singletary Watters. He grew up at Carolina Beach / Kure Beach and developed a love of the outdoors at an early age along with his brothers and the rest of the KBRARs Kure Beach Raggedy Ass Rangers. He had a specific passion for fishing that he shared with his beloved wife Ann. They loved to go surf fishing on local beaches and would often go fishing at their favorite spot on Core Banks near Atlantic, NC. Growing up near Fort Fisher, he also developed a passion for Civil War history.
He took this passion and explored the areas around Fort Fisher and many of the sunken blockade runners with his brothers as willing accomplices. Jim a.k.a. ""Son"" retired from the US Army with the rank of Captain. His military career started at the age of 15 when he lied about his age and joined the NC National Guard I Company, 120th Infantry. He was, of course, found out and his tenure with the Guard came to a quick end. He started his military career in earnest when he was drafted by the US Army during WW II and sent to the China Burma India theatre of operations where he served with the 758th Railway Shop Battalion. After WWII he went to OCS, received his commission and served in Germany with the 2nd Armored Division. After active duty, he completed his service with the Army Reserve in Wilmington. In civilian life, he was a highly skilled welder, machinist and mechanic. He took these skills and became a dedicated vocational instructor with New Hanover County Schools and Cape Fear Technical Institute. Read on

766th Railway Shop Battalion Surls interview

Harry C. Surls Image of Harry C. Surls Harry Surls at time of interview War: World War, 1939-1945 

Branch: Army Unit: 766th Railway Shop Battalion, 7th Army; 397th Military Police Battalion Service 

Location: Fort Custer, Michigan; Camp McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Slocum, New York; England; Belgium; France; Germany Rank: Technician Five

Five railroad soldiers pose on a locomotive near the roundhouse used by the 757th Railway Shop

 Five railroad soldiers pose on a locomotive near the roundhouse used by the 757th Railway Shop Battalion in Cherbourg, France. From Wisconsin are, (top) Sergeant Raymond Janiszewski of Milwaukee, (standing, left to right) Technical Sergeant Donald Fetzer of Manitowoc, First Lieutenant Sigmund Gralewicz of Milwaukee, Captain Earl D. Austin of Wauwatosa, and Sergeant Walter Demitros of Milwaukee.

Perched on the ladder is Staff Sergeant Robert Kurman, mechanic, of Brookyln, New York. A metal structure, with three soldiers working on it, is in the background.

770th Railway Operating Battalion Roster 2

770th ROB Roster 2 by Nancy on Scribd

765th Railway Shop Battalion Great #101 locomotive

 More about this great locomotive

717th Railway Operating Battalion - Beideck

Gen Carl Raymond Gray, Jr MRS letters

California State Railroad Museum docent training slide show on Military Railway Service

Thanks to Paul for sharing this slide show that he created for the California State Railroad Museum (CSRM) as part of their continuing education program.
He is concentrating on the contributions of the Southern Pacific Lines and the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railway contributions, those units are the: 705th & 710th RGDs, the 713th & 716th ROBs and the 754th & 758th RSBs.
Email me if you'd like to share anything with Paul:

MRS in WWII slide show by Nancy on Scribd

724 Railway Operating Battalion: Drive by celebrates Souderton resident Mark Limbert's 101st birthday

SOUDERTON — As neighbors and family members came out to join in the celebration, Souderton, Telford and Franconia police vehicles led the way for other vehicles taking part in the June 6 drive-by celebration of Highland Avenue resident Mark Limbert's 101st birthday.

Limbert, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, volunteered for military duty in April of 1941, eight months before Pearl Harbor. “On April 6th 1943, Mark traveled from Fort Benning Georgia to Washington D.C.

He was commissioned a 1st lieutenant in the morning and married Dorothy in the afternoon, they spent the night together and then went their separate ways. Mark and Dorothy were married for 73 years until her passing in June 2016,” daughter-in-law Nancy Frei wrote in information about Limbert's military service. “Mark then shipped out to England then on to France where he was assigned to the shipping supplies to the front and wounded back.

The 724th drove the first train into Paris after liberation,” she wrote. Limbert was released from military duty on February 1, 1946 and settled into life in Souderton, she wrote. On September 14, 1950, he was called back into service and sent to Korea where he served in the Adjutant General's office, she wrote. “Mark was released from his Army duty at Ft. Indiantown Gap on June 7th 1952,” Frei wrote. “Records indicate he was given $576.70 upon separation.”

722nd Railway Operating Battlion Keith

Thanks to Greg for sending some more 722nd photos.

 Group shot back reads " In this picture, from the left is George W. Irvin, Gordon Hawk (Middle) "Red" Grass "
The portrait is Bill Keith

737th Railway Operating Battalion Farr

Veteran of the Week: Private George Walker Farr

The Veteran of the Week is sponsored by the National Veterans Shrine and Register of Honor at the American Village — honoring America’s veterans and telling the stories of their service and sacrifice for the cause of liberty.

“The American Village is pleased to join the Shelby County Reporter in recognizing Private George Walker Farr as Veteran of the Week,” American Village founder and CEO Tom Walker said. “He is representative of the hundreds of thousands of Alabamians who have risked it all for the sake of our country and its freedom. To all veterans we owe a debt we can never fully repay.”

Visit the website,, today and add your loved ones to the Register of Honor. Help us honor, recognize, respect and remember our country’s veterans. Here are highlights about this week’s Veteran of the Week: George Walker Farr was born in Birmingham in 1919. He entered the service as a U.S. Army Private in May of 1944 at Fort McPearson in Georgia. He served during World War II in the Philippines with the 737th Railway Operating Battalion, and was honorably discharged in November of 1945 in Seoul Korea. Farr immediately reenlisted and served two more years with a Military Police Detachment, receiving his second honorable discharge at Camp Stoneman, California in July of 1947. He died in 2007 and is buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham. 

The Trains That Fueled the Normandy Breakout

The Trains That Fueled the ... by Nancy on Scribd

Remembering Historic Camp Claiborne

Remembering Historic Camp C... by Nancy on Scribd

712th Railway Operating Battalion

712th Transportation Battalion by Nancy on Scribd

711th Railway Operating Battalion- Ned Streiff Iran WWII

Ned Streiff - Interview with Ned Streiff(18:55)
Audio interview

709th Railway Grand Division 1940s locomotive # 77272

unknown soldiers