New book 721st, 725th, 726th : Rails of War: Supplying the Americans and Their Allies in China-Burma-India, by Steven James Hantzis

721st-- 725th -- 726th

Lincoln: University of Nebraska / Potomac Books, 2017. Pp. xvi, 200. Illus., maps, notes, biblio., index. $29.95. ISBN: 161234853X.

  Military Railroading in Asia's Jungles and Mountains Inspired by a box of memorabilia left by his father, a sometime staff sergeant in the 721st Railway Operating Battalion (ROB), Hantzis set out to learn more about his father’s war, and the result is this interesting history of two largely overlooked subjects, military railroading and the neglected CBI theatre, which included some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world, the jungle clad mountains of northeastern India and Burma.
  After an introduction offering some family background and comment on military railroading, Hantzis covers the recruiting and organization of the ROB battalions, each of which was organized around a cadre drawn from one of the nation’s great railways, the 721st ROB was recruited from the New York Central, the 725th from the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific, the 726th ROB from the Wabash, and so forth. He then follows these troops on their nearly 70 day voyage aboard a converted former luxury liner from the East Coast to Bombay in India, and thence overland to the front in the northeastern part of India, altogether journey of nearly 20,000 miles. From there, the book follows these troops as the engaged in upgrading the local railroads, building new ones, and bringing up the matériel needed to support the Allied war effort in the theatre.
  As he tells the story of the organization, movement, and work of these troops, Hantzis also gives us a look at the battalion’s personnel and their individual experiences coping with alien cultures and war. In the process, he also fills the reader in on a lot of information about railroading, civil and military, so, for example, we learn that one ROB could sustain operations along a 100-150 mile stretch of line. Although his primary concern is the story of the 721st ROB, Hantzis sets this within the overall picture of events in the theatre. Rails of War will prove a profitable read for anyone interested in military railroading or the CBI. Note: Rails of War is also available in several e-editions

741st Railway Operating Battalion Harmon B. Lindsey

Jay writes about his Uncle Buddy ...
attached is the picture of my Uncle who was killed in Leige along with the train. You can see his name stenciled in on the side of the Engine. I wonder how that occurred since he was only a Private.

722nd Railway Operating Battalion Reunions

Thanks so much to Marsha, Baldwin's daughter for sharing these reunion photos.
Does anyone know folks in these photos ?
Marsha writes ...
Many of these photos were taken at reunion in New Orleans.
These photos like the last set and the next set I will be sending was at a convention in New Orleans, but I do not know what year.
The first photo contains my mother, Alma Baldwin.  She has a brooch at her waistline on her dress.
Attached please find some photos that my parents, J. D. & Alma Baldwin took at some conventions.  This first set is St. Paul in 1982.  I do not know anyone in these photos except that from left to right in photo two, I believe that is Robert & Virginia Seeley.
I believe the first photograph is Herbert & Alice Borgerding?  Would love to know who everyone is!
These were taken in the Bahamas for the September 1975 convention.  My husband and I were on this trip as it was our honeymoon.

741st Railway Operating Battalion -- Harold W Stout

Dave shares his grandfather's photos from 741st.Thanks Dave ! My Grandfather Harold W Stout served in the army in the 741st Railway Operations Battalion and was at the Citadel in Liege on December 24th 1944 when a German plane got through and hit the ammo dump and fuel storage area. This is a picture of the makeshift memorial some priests erected for the American soldiers in his battalion that lost their lives that night.

735th Railway Operating Battalion - James Norman

Beckha writes..... My Grandfather was James (Jim or Jimmy) M. Norman Sr. In the group photo he is #159. He became close friends with Merrill Nolden (#118) while in St. Paul and even went back after the war to visit with them more than once (I think) and I believe Mr. Nolden came to visit my grandfather in AL (I think I have that right). My grandfather speaks of sleeping in an old French Chateau (Maybe it was the hotel mentioned in your blog?), also of living in a box car at one point. We are attempting to figure out the different places they went. He also was close with the French Translator - Mr. Lombardi (I think) and my grandmother sent crayons and other little luxuries to him and his children in France. 735th Norman

745th Railway Operating Battalion ~ Ralph LeRoy Jones

Cheryl writes about her dad .... Private First Class Ralph LeRoy Jones was a patrolman with the 745th Railway Battalion in India. Eddie was Private First Class Edward C. Craig with the same unit.

707th Grand Division HHC Detachment 720th ROB, 728th ROB, 729th ROB, 757th ROB / Detachment Northern France Campaign Award/ Central Europe Campaign Award

Thanks to William for sending these ...

1945-11-09 GO-102 728TH ROB Normandy Campaign Award by Nancy on Scribd


1945-11-13 GO-103 728TH ROB Detachment Northern France Campaign Award by Nancy on Scribd


1945-12-11 GO-116 728TH ROB Central Europe Campaign Award by Nancy on Scribd

757th Railway Shop Battalion / Railway Operating Battalion

Detachment 757th Transportation Battalion' by Nancy on Scribd

712th Railway Operating Battalion -- R. Edward Mitchell

Franklin writes of his father-in-law ...
My father in-law, Roy Edward Mitchell was with this group in WWII and Korea.

R. Edward Mitchell

R. Edward Mitchell, 90, of Lynchburg, passed away on Thursday, September 17, 2009. Born in Roanoke on October 7, 1918, he was the son of Virginia Dare and Robert Weldon Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell is survived by his wife of 62 years, Daphne Gray Mitchell. He is also survived by his children, Weldon G. Mitchell and wife Karen, Suzanne .J Mitchell, Stephen W. Mitchell, and Edie M. Swann and husband Franklin: and six grandchildren, Matthew, Sabrina, Danielle, Allan, Kaitlin and Mitchell.

He was the last surviving sibling of his family, preceded in death by Robert Mitchell Jr., Gladys Doss, Mary Dent, and two infant sisters. Mr. Mitchell was a veteran of WWII (D-Day) and Korea earning the Purple Heart, Silver Star, and many honors. He graduated from Newport News Ship and Drydock and later became owner and president of Mitchell Construction Company.

He was an active member of Centenary United Methodist Church, its’ board and property committee, secretary/treasurer and Past Grand Counselor of UCT, Lynchburg Council 130, a sixteen year member of the American Legion, a DAV Past Commander, the VFW, and an avid Bible reader.

Eddie enjoyed Smith Mountain Lake as well as travel with his wife throughout the US, Canada and Europe. He will be remembered as a happy and jovial person who loved and appreciated his family and friends.

Visitation will be held Saturday, September 19th at 11:00AM with funeral following at 12:00 Noon at Diuguid Funeral Home on Wiggington Road. A graveside service will be held at Evergreen Burial Park in Roanoke at 3:00PM.

Memorial contributions may be made to Centenary United Methodist Church, 1501 Rivermont Ave., Lynchburg, VA 24503 or The National D-Day Memorial, PO Box 77, Bedford, VA 24523.

741st Railway Operating Battalion -- Harmon Lindsey

Jay writes ...My dad's older brother, Harmon Braxton Lindsey, was in the 741st Railway OPR BN TC(Not sure what any of these acronyms mean).
I also have a few pictures that are attached. If you have any information on my uncle, please let me know. He was KIA on 12/24/44 in Leige, Belgium. The 2 pictures where he is with his unit buddies, I have no idea who these men are or if they are even still alive.
One of them is from Chicago I believe and had a nickname. I also have a picture of my Uncle on a Train with his name on the locomotive.
 ** update May 2018 Jay writes 86 yr old aunt whose brother was Harmon said the man standing in the picture with my uncle on the cobblestone street was named Mickey Dominic from Philadelphia PA. If you can post his name to that picture somehow that would be great in case he has Descendents still alive.

741 Lindsey

729th Railway Operating Battalion

Yankee Boomer Vol.2 No. 48 August 30,1945

Yankee Boomer Vol2 No48 August 30 1945 by Nancy on Scribd

763rd Railway Shop Battalion -- Ralph Glazer

Scott (Ralph's son ) writes....We have been able to find these so far – all of them are my dad, Ralph Glazer of HQ Co and in photo F, Abe Glanzman also of HQ Co. Thanks Scott ! 763rd Glazer

World War I Trench railway

United States Transportation Corps Locomotives

United States Transportation Corps Locomotives by Nancy on Scribd

713th and 730th Railway Operating Battalion ~~ Schaller

713 730 Schaller Thanks to Erik for donating ....

721st Railway Operating Battalion --Decatur , GA training 1944

721st training being mentioned in local paper Captain L.B. Griffin in my Uncle is anyone has a soldier in this group please email me Nancy cunningb2(@)

757th Railway Shop Battalion - Albert J. Nevins

757TH RSB Newton Thanks to Mark , his grandson for sharing these !

741st ROB Headquarters List

741st ROB Headquarters List All by Nancy on Scribd

Dutch family tends grave of Bend soldier Emmet C. De Laney died in the last days of WWII

* I frequently hear from the European ( Belgium and France) families that take care of these graves as the try to learn more about their soldier -- it's just wonderful and not commonly known.

 Jonas Daemen woke Sunday in the Dutch village of Heerlen, loaded some flowers into the family car and made the half-hour drive to a green swath on the edge of the village of Margraten.
At the Netherlands American Cemetery, he walked into the 65 acres of green lawns where 8,301 nearly identical headstones march into the distance. The regiments of graves can be confusing to navigate, but Jonas knew his way. He is the fourth generation of his family to come to Margraten this time of year, and the destination is always the same: Plot K, Row 3, Grave 6.
The white marble cross is chiseled with the name of a man his family has known for 72 years:
T. Sgt 736 Tk Bn
Oregon April 19 1945
Jonas is the newest guardian of this one small plot of hallowed ground holding the remains of a Bend box factory worker who went off to war and never came back.
Since 1945, De Laney’s grave has been watched over by four generations of Jonas’ family.