United States Army
My father entered the US Army at Fort Logan Colorado on January 7, 1942, later assigned to Ft. Riley. On June 25, 1942 he was promoted to Corporal, and assigned to the 5 Training Squadron at the Calvary Replacement Training Center, Fort Riley Kansas.
From Fort Riley he was transferred to Company O 24 Engineer School Regiment, Fort Belvoir, Virginia as an Officer Candidate. I suspect he was transferred to Officers Candidate School due to his mining, railroad and pipeline experience.
On September 15,1942 he was, at the convenience of government Honorably Discharged as a Corporal to accept a officer commission and immediate active duty. Following graduation, he was dispatched to Camp Claiborne, a training camp for railroad, artillery and aviation. My father would become the Platoon Leader and subsequent Company Commander in the 390″ Engineer Regiment. : From Camp Claiborne it was over the big pond to England to rebuild rail lines destroyed by the Germans and prepare for the D-Day invasion. Once mission accomplished it was, over the Channel we go!
The following are his campaigns: Campaign Normandy, Campaign Northern France, Campaign Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge) and Campaign Rhineland
It would appear from records that he returned to the US on or about November 25, 1945 as Captain, Corps of Engineers, with four Bronze Stars and a British wife. What? A British wife? While in New Castle Under Lyme my father was headed to the Castle Hotel for an officer’s function and while in the underground tunnel there was a black out, when the lights came back on, there they met. As it happens my mother was going to the same function. My father when off to Europe but made his way back to the UK and they were married on June 3, 1944. My mother Ivy came to the USA aboard the SS Washington; landed in New York, boarded trains and made her way to Marceline.
There you have it, the condensed version of my father’s military experience and how it is that I would wind up being born in Marceline.
Sgt. Michael L. Olinger
United States Army 1st Infantry Division Viet Nam 1966-67
5th Army Ft. Des Moines AFEES 1967-69