Atlantic Transportation Corps Officer Taining School

Atlantic Corps Transportation Corps Training School

United States Army in World War 2, Technical Services, Transportation Corps, Movements, Training, and Supply

708th Railway Grand Division HQ Roster

708th Railway Grand Divisio... by Nancy

708th Railway Grand Division " The Saga of "

708th Railway Grand Divisio... by Nancy

here is another digital copy

708th RWY Grand by Nancy

David Pirkle, member of the 735th Railway Operating Battalion, Veteran of the Battle of the Bulge

* This s such a great story, thanks so much to Tom for not only pursuing the research but sharing the story ! This kind of connection happens frequently on this blog because of all the people who share their father’s/ grandfathers military service through stories, documents and photos. If you have something you’d like to share about your Military Railway Veteran contact me today Nancy I can help you get items scanned and shared. Hats off to Tom !

So, timely for Veterans Day: The other day I was talking to this 87-year-old gentleman, David Pirkle, Senior. He resides in the same Assisted Living Facility as my mother, in Alpharetta, Georgia. Born 1925, and, as it turns out, during World War II, he was in the 735th Railway Operating Battalion, Company B, and at the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945.

I told him I'd look on the web for info about his Company. On a website,, I found info about the Railway Operating Battalions, and specifically, there was a Carl Vernoy, who was also in the 735th Railway Operating Battalion, Company B, died 1989. Carl's daughter had posted some pictures from her dad's wartime experiences, and one of them had Carl standing next to a David. There'd be like 144 guys in a Company, so there could be a number of Davids, but what if it was the same guy? So the next day I showed him the picture, without any captions or explanation, and asked if any of the guys looked familiar, and right away he pointed to the 2nd guy from the right, and said, "That's me." As it happened, his son arrived a few minutes later, and he too confirmed the identification. In this web-post, David Pirkle is in the picture of the 4 guys standing outdoors in front of a window in Brussels, February 1945. His buddy Carl Vernoy is next to him on the far right. The guy on the far left may be a Harry Radka, but that's unconfirmed.

The man next to him (second from the left) is unidentified, except that the photo listed him as being later killed in Belgium. From Left to Right: (Possibly) Harry Radka, Unknown (Killed in Belgium 1945), David Pirkle Senior, and Carl Vernoy. Picture courtesy of Mary Vernoy, Carl's daughter. David went into Army training right after his 18th birthday in October 1943. He was at Fort McPherson and Fort Benning in Georgia, and later Fort Snelling in Minnesota. Then they were deployed to England, and in October 1944, about 4 months after D-Day, landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy. And then, by December 1944-January 1945 at the Battle of the Bulge. David described having to clear bodies off the road under enemy fire. As he put it, if the bodies grunted, they went on a truck to a field hospital, if they didn't, they were moved to the side of the road so the trucks and tanks could get by without running them over.

Obviously, made quite an impression on a 19-year-old. By February 1945 he was in Brussels. Possibly after that, he ended up with pneumonia at a field hospital. He described a time they ran out of gasoline and had to use someone's homemade alcohol for fuel in the jeeps. Company B of the 735th commandeered enemy engines and rolling stock. David references a Captain Andrews who was in charge of Company B, who later died in Germany. Other members of Company B that David remembers: Carl Vernoy, Harry Radka, and Jim Cherry. Also, not quite as well as the above, but he remembers a Sgt Chalmer Lavelle and Tec 4 Joseph Shuboney, Also, 2 men from Company B he didn't recall: Tec 5 Paul Masterson and T Sgt George Rosar.

I obtained these names from a Fort Snelling firearms qualification report report provided by John Lewis, son of Captain Francis Lewis, Company A. Mr. Pirkle may be the last surviving member of the 735th Railroad Operating Battalion, Company B. There's more information about the 735th Railway Operating Battalion here, although mostly about members of Company A and C, not B. ( *click on 735th in index on the right)

Tom originally posted this story and blogs here (link below) where you can contact him.

Fort Dodge Iowa Army Train Yard 1917

The photo was taken on (Printed on sign) "CAMP DODGE SEPT. 12, 1917 DES MOINES IOWA". Taken from a huge 46" long by 10" tall, these 1917 photo are like being in a time machine. Taken during America’s involvement in World War One, the Army Camp is busting with activity. Super details including Barracks, Tents, Soldiers, Mounted Soldiers, Guns, Army Wagons, Vintage Car, Trucks, Constuction Equipment, Materials, Workers Etc. The photo also features the Railroad yard with Railroad cars from ... ROCK ISLAND, CB & Q, BURLINGTON ROUTE, CHICAGO GREAT WESTERN, INTER-URBAN, UNION PACIFIC, PENNSYLVANIA, FRISCO Etc. There is even a view of a 1917 Motion Moving Passenger Train with a view of the STEAM from the STEAM ENGINE.

735th Railway Operating Battalion David Pirkle

735th ROB Gene Bryan, Company A,

Gene Bryan - M.R.S.

722nd Railway Operating Battalion photos and reunion newsletters

These great photos and newsletters thanks to Polly, daughter of Dock Williams. ** note the reunion group newsletters includes names of soldiers from both the 757th and the 722nd 722nd ROB Newsletter 1998 722 Nd ROB Newsletter Jan 1999

708th Grand Railway Division Burkley Journal

Some interesting information on the 708th Grand Railway Division on the Second World War Blog..check it out here

708th Grand Railway Division The George Burkley Diary was featured in the unsolved history tab for several years and recently the Burkley family contacted me through this site. I have spoke with George Burkley's grandson and have learned many interesting things in regards to Mr. Burkley. My original theory that Mr. Burkley was injured in a V-2 rocket attack in 1945 was correct. He was injured in this attack when a rocket hit the 708th Grand Railway Division HQ. Sadly Mr. Burkley passed away in 1953. As I learn more about Mr. Burkley I will continue to update the attic. Captain Burkley kept a journal that starts September 9th, 1943 stateside, but then abruptly ends September 6th, 1944 in France. His journal takes the reader from camp in New Orleans to New York for debarkation. His journey across the Atlantic was on none other than the Queen Mary and his entries while in London during the Luftwaffe air raides are nothing less than intriguing. From London he will cross the English Channel to France where some of his entries describe: German pill boxes, dead Germans, the invasion beach heads, and more. Please take the time to peruse the fully transcribed journal featured below. Some excellent entries for reading are: October 24th 1943, July 15th 1944, July 16th 1944, and September 6th 1944. read on here
Captain George W. Burkley # 0-500827 708 Railway Grand Division