2 Great sources of information on researching rail units thanks Richard!

Richard S provided us with a great bibliography of some of his favorite research locations and books for researching Army Military Rail units. 

The U.S. Army Center of Military History:  https://history.army.mil/index.html

 1) The Transportation Corps - Operations Overseas; Bykofsky & Larson; U.S. Army In World War II Series - The Technical Services; U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402; CMH Pub 10-21; Library Of Congress Catalog Card Number 56-60000 

This book provides detailed history of the U.S. Army Railroad Operating & Shop Battalions in each of the theater of war for the period 1941 to 1945. Download pdf here:


  2) The Corps of Engineers - The War Against Germany; Beck, Bortz, Lynch, Mayo & Weld; U.S. Army In World War II Series - The Technical Services - 

The Corps of Engineers; U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402; CMH Pub 10-22; Library Of Congress Catalog Card Number D769.33C67, 1985 Edition 

This book provides detailed history of the actions by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineer units to repair railroads in each of the theater of war for the period 1942 to 1945. 

 Download pdf here : 


War railroading in Africa and Italy - Railway Age 1944

Thanks Richard

713th Railway Operating Battalion reunion group cards - Blomberg

760th Railway Shop Battalion Egypt 1943

US Army Use of Rail in Theaters of Operation Richard E. Killblane Transportation Corps Historian

With the 713th US Army Railroad Operating Battalion in Italy by Louis L. Russell

Thanks so much to Richard Stone for sending this ! He says "an article for your use that describes the operation of the 713th US Army Railroad Operating Battalion in Italy during the 1943 - 1944 period. The original article was printed in the 1944 edition of the USA magazine 'Railway Age’" 


741st Railway Operating Battalion, Robert W Ciarlelli: Interment Records Foreign Soil 1942-1949

Interment Records for U.S. Military Cemeteries on Foreign Soil, 1942-1949 - burial cards US Archives 

Name    Robert W Ciarlelli
Gender    Male
Rank    Private First Class
Residence Place    Missouri
Service Number    37729458
Military Unit    741st Railway Operating Battalion
Military Branch    U.S. Army
War    World War II
Death Date    19 Oct 1945
Cemetery Plot Number    D
Cemetery Row    20
Cemetery Section    Grave: 3
Cemetery    Netherlands
Burial Place    Margraten, Netherlands
Father    J C Ciarlelli


729th Railway Operating Battalion, David O. Champagne: Interment Records Foreign Soil 1942-1949

Interment Records for U.S. Military Cemeteries on Foreign Soil, 1942-1949- burial cards US Archives

Name:     David O Champagne Jr
Gender:     Male
Rank:     Technical Sergeant
Residence Place:     Connecticut
Service Number:     11104351
Military Unit:     729th Railway Operating Battalion
Military Branch:     U.S. Army
War:     World War II
Death Date:     18 Jul 1943
Cemetery Plot Number:     C
Cemetery Row:     4
Cemetery Section:     Grave: 31
Cemetery:     Cambridge
Burial Place:     Cambridge, England
Next of Kin:     Lavinia Champagne 

Lester Jacoby obit 790th TRSB and 3rd TMRS

Les was a friend and great inspiration for this blog. RIP 

This is my favorite photo of Les at the ripe old age of 19 

Lester Anthony Jacoby May 7, 1928 - October 27, 2020 Columbia, South Carolina - Les Jacoby, 92, beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, and the last combat steam and diesel locomotive railroad engineer in the world, died on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 in Columbia, South Carolina. He was born in Wabasha, Minnesota, the oldest of 11 children born to Nicholas and Marcella (Kennebeck) Jacoby, and lived on the family farm in southern Minnesota, with no running water or electricity, until he entered the U.S. Army in 1946. He proudly served his country first during WWII as an advisor to the Korean National Railroad, then with the 790th Transportation Railway Operating Battalion, where at the age of 19 he became the engineer of the last USATC S160 steam locomotive to be used in conflict. He operated the Gen. Pershing #101 in combat until he returned to the US at the end of his tour. The Gen. Pershing 101 is now a permanent exhibit at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, WI. read online here

Lester Anthony Jacoby obit by Nancy on Scribd

743rd Railway Operating Battallion new leader 1945

724th TROB Korea Meritorious commendation

724th Railway Operating Battalion photo and key

724th Eisenhower letter -end of war 1945

718th Railway Operating Battalion, Headquarters Company, Camp Claiborne, 1944 Unit photo

718th Railway Operating Battalion, Headquarters Company, Camp Claiborne, 1944

718th ROB Discussion on Flickr around the unit photo

718th ROB Discussion on Flickr Around the Unit Photo by Nancy on Scribd

713th Railway Operating Battalion Id card : Ashbel Koller

Persian Gulf soldier uniform 1945

718th Railway Operating Battalion: Clues Reveal Few Hints About Fate of Missing Soldier

718th ROB Clues Reveal Few Hints About Fate of Missing Soldier by Nancy on Scribd

Military Rail Service 1945 Calendar

Military Rail Service 1945 Calendar

Military Rail Service 1945 Calendar by Nancy on Scribd

728th Railway Operating Battalion panorama photo with key

734th Railway Operating Battalion Highball newsletter June 1945

734 Highball Newsletter June 1945 by Nancy on Scribd

772nd Military Rail Police - Korea 3rd TMRS, Korea during 53-54.

772nd Military Rail Police - Korea 3rd TMRS, Korea during 53-54.

772 Military Rail Police Korea by Nancy on Scribd

More photos here

753rd Railway Shop Battalion Co. C - Christmas Card Jack Brown

753rd Railway Shop Battalion Co. C - Jack Brown

749th Railway Operating Battalion - Unknown soldier

749th ROB unknown soldier Photos by Nancy on Scribd

Soldiers at Camp Shelby, Mississippi

746th Railway Operating Battalion snlf railroad France 1944

746th Railway Operating Battalion snlf railroad Signal Poster 

France 1944

724th Railway Operating Battalion Co. B - William Plitcha

Sgt William J. Plichta, Co B. 714th Training-724th Railway Operating Battalion 

Fort Eustus to Pusan in Korea. Included are a service sector uniform Jacket size 34 and 2 garrison caps. A dress cap cover with name and unit listed . A ashtray with unit name from Fort Eustus. Also 9 Fm & Tm manuals including "Operation of railroads Locomotive Repair Shops" 1946 - Camouflage Basic principles 1944-Personal conduct 1949-Elementary map reading and photography 1944-Railway shop battalion 1944-First aid 1946-Army life 1946-Advanced Map and photographic reading(Loose front cover)-2 combination scorebooks M1-BAR-Military justice HQ 2nd army 1951-2 safety rules military railway service 1944-Personal conduct 1949


North Olmsted, Ohio Jun 14, 1930 – Apr 8, 2020 

With heavy hearts, we announce the death of William J. Plichta (North Olmsted, Ohio), who passed away on April 8, 2020 at the age of 89. Family and friends are welcome to leave their condolences on this memorial page and share them with the family. He was loved and cherished by many people including : his wife Arlene E. Plichta; and his daughters, Susan Conklin (Chuck) and Judy Plichta (Jerry Krankovich). In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in William's name are suggested to Habitat for Humanity, 2110 W 110th St., Cleveland, OH 44102. Suggested donation : Habitat for Humanity

713th Railway Operating Battalion - Edward J. Pufall

His obit April 2010 Duluth MN
Edward J. "Ed" Pufall Sr., 93, of West Sixth St., passed away Sunday, April 11, 2010, in Bayshore Health Center with his family at his side. He was born on March 10, 1917, to Joseph and Mary (Stefinski) Pufall in Ashland. Ed was a graduate of DePadua High School in Ashland. He worked for a local meat market and then hired on with the railroad. He met his future wife in Ashland while she was employed as a registered nurse in Bayfield. He married Ardith L. Katon on Sept 30, 1942, in Clovis, N.M., where he had completed basic training. He was an Army veteran of World War II, serving as a sergeant with Company C, 713th Engineers in Africa, Central Europe, Italy, France and Germany. When he returned from the service in June 1945, he and Ardith moved to Duluth. He worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad, the Great Northern and finally the Burlington Northern Railroad, retiring as a yardmaster in 1978. He was a member of St. James Catholic Church, VFW Post 137, American Legion Post 71, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, the United Transportation Union and the Yardmasters Union. He and Ardith enjoyed fishing, gardening, Twins baseball and traveling around the country visiting their children.

Unknown Rail unit Belgium and Austria 1944 Walter E. Street

Does anyone recognize these soldiers and what unit they belong to ?

Unknown unit Walter E Street Belgium and Austria by Nancy on Scribd

748th Railway Operating Battalion Company C panaorama photo

 Camp Jesse Turner 1943

748th ROB panorama by Nancy on Scribd

755th Railway Shop Battalion book, The Yardbirds: a soldier's letters to home dusing World War II by Lyn Johansen

Great book of you know someone who served in this unit ..

Yardbird is how Ed Johansen referred to himself in some of the letters he sent home to the family from boot camp in 1942. At the time the definition fit him: yardbird. n. Slang. An untrained military recruit. This is a book of letters and photos that Ed sent home to his family and fiance. As I read them, I was enchanted with the world that my dad described...a world at war, his hopes of making it as an officer in the Army, his description of the training he went through: "...a section of land we have to crawl over with land mines exploding all around us and machine guns firing over us," his worries about his younger brother who is serving in the Air Force and his life in the 755th Railway Battalion. Illustrated with his own photographs of the country and the men he served with in war-torn Europe.

Buy one here https://amzn.to/3oZ7nZr  


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

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! Anneesensstraat

Brug entrepot
Two GIs Astridplein

The American Engines USA 756th Railway Shop Battalion by Andrew Hemmings


This article follows the story written by Mike Robinson in the September 2020 edition of 'TheRailway Observer'. 

Thanks so much top Andrew Hemmings for sharing this !

The 756th RSB was based at the Great Western Railway's Ebbw Junction Engine Shed at Newport , Monmouthshire (now South Wales). The shed was on the north side of the South Wales Main Line about one mile west of Newport Station.The 756th RSB was vital to the war effort between 1943 and 1945. During this time , between 700 and 800 S160 American engines were shipped into Newport from the USA. 

They were then “re-assembled , re-steamed and sent all over Britain and France to replace locomotives either damaged or destroyed in the conflict”. The first batch of 43 locomtives were transferred to the LNER Doncaster Works for completion and running in over the East Coast Main Line. This began a pattern by which the Big Four railway companies in Britain eventually deployed nearly 400 S160's under the guise of “ running in ”. In fact they replaced worn out engines and increased the capability of the British railway system. The reported allocations were 174 to Great Western Railway; 168 to London and North Eastern Railway;50 to London Midland and Scottish Railway ; 6 to Southern Railway. 

The second batch of around 400 S160's were prepared for storage by USATC personnel at Ebbw Junction in the months before D Day , 6th June 1944.After the invasion the locomotives at work across Britain began to be collected and refurbished at Newport in preparation for shipment to Europe. It is clear that the stratgic reason for bringing S160's to Newport was to support the invas ion of France , contribute to the reconstruction of European railways and aid victory over the Axis powers. In the short term their arrival and use may have brought some brif respite to hard pressed rail freight services in Britain.At the same time there were condiderable logistical challenges in finding secure storage. 

Thanks to Nancy Cunningham and the website US Army Railway Units of the Past we have permission to use 2 photographs from their collection of ' 756th Railway Operating Battalion' material. These are captioned 756th Railway Operating Battalion Crows Nest Junction England 1944 In fact these official photographs were taken in Wales at Penrhos Junction , Caerphilly and at Ebbw Junction itself . E. R. Mountford's book ' The USA 756th RSB Railway Shop Battalion At Newport ( Ebbw Junction) features the Ebbw Junction shot on the cover. Inside the caption reads “An Army Officer looks down at a rail yard in the 756th Railway Shop Branch (sic) Ebbw Junction Supply Depot, where railroad locomotives are being put into storage to await use for the invasion of the European continent (15th March 1944) Courtesy US Army Washington” 

It portrays at least 2 GWR pannier tanks and private wagons from local collieries , Llanbradach,Rose Heyworth and Bedwas. The same definitive volume depicts 119 locomotives on the Barry Railway line at Treforest in 1944 and lists 3 more storage sites at Tonteg , Cadoxton and Penrhos. The last of these contains engine number 2837 in the forefront of the long line of stored S 160's. For those keen to follow the story in greater detail 

I can recommend the archives at militaryrailwayservice.blogspot.com and “When Coal was King- Lost Railways, Penrhos Junction, Caerphilly” by John Wake on youtube. 

 Andrew Hemmings 

Railway Correspondence and Travel Society (RCTS) in Great Britain 

Link to all article on 756th on this blog HERE


743rd Railway Operating Battalion: 1940-1945: de bezetting van Antwerpen in 1000 foto's by Jean Dillen

1940-1945: de bezetting van Antwerpen in 1000 foto's by Jean Dillen (Author), Joris Wuyts (Author), AndrĂ© Vandenwynckel (Author) 

Guy shared his friend's book on the occupation of Antwerp and this is the page about the 743rd Railway Operating Battalion. Thanks Guy

U.S. Railroads Perform Huge Wartime Job




 Military Newsreels 1945 - Pathe U.S. Railroads Perform Huge Wartime Job Railroads airs war effort moving freight in wartime. Steam locomotive pulls long line of freight cars. Point of View (POV) of train Engineer looking down railroad tracks. Several views of freight train traveling through mountain region of America. Shadow scene of train crossing a railroad trestle. Excellent images of train engine puffing steam.

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. https://www.army.mil/article/153773/army_railroaders_undergoing_dramatic_change

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!