9 Comments

What did you do in the war dad? Part 7_Liege

Although my dad spent most of his overseas duty with the 504th Military Police Bn. he was first assigned to the 707th Military Police Battalion headquartered in Brussels, Belgium after the war.

Among my dad’s pictures that he sent home are 16 on the same kind of paper. Two are marked, “Liege, Belgium” and the writing on some of the buildings is clearly French. There are two more pictures marked “Belgium” or “Liege” but they are on different kinds of paper. Many of the pictures are of a market square and are redundant.

It was a surprise to me that dad was stationed in Liege with the 707th. I knew that after basic training as infantry one half of his unit was sent to France for MP training in order to replace the combat veterans who were being cycled out. I do not have any pictures from his time in France but do have a number of French francs. They are in an envelope with my mom’s handwriting leading me to believe that she organized some of his things later than 1952 when they were married.

The envelope reads, “French Francs sent from Romilly, France January 22, 1946.”

I am therefore led to believe that dad was trained for MP duty in Romilly and then assigned to the 707th in Belgium and then on to the 504th MP Bn. assigned to Cologne and Giessen, Germany which were in the British Zone of Occupation at the time.

Dad was in Company D of the 707th MP BN while in Liege.

Dad was in Company D of the 707th MP BN while in Liege.

I am uncertain of the significance of the picture and assume it it to be the motor pool for dad's battalion.

I am uncertain of the significance of the picture and assume it it to be the motor pool for dad’s battalion.

This was taken over the windshield of a jeep. Very narrow European street, buildings appear undamaged. Belgium was liberated by British and Canadian troops.

This was taken over the windshield of a jeep. Very narrow European street, buildings appear undamaged. Belgium was liberated by British and Canadian troops.

Interesting picture because of the flags on the bank in the center of the picture. I can make out the US flag, a French flag and I think Belgian. Since it's a bank my guess it was used to exchange money for whatever country it would be needed. The building on the left says "Le Savary." A Google search turned up the Savary as a French hotel.

Interesting picture because of the flags on the bank in the center of the picture. I can make out the US flag, a French flag and I think Belgian. Since it’s a bank my guess it was used to exchange money for whatever country it would be needed. The building on the left says “Le Savary.” A Google search turned up the Savary as a French hotel.

The man of the left is a MP Corporal and he appears as if he's getting into the jeep. You can clearly see his holstered 1911 .45 pistol. The soldiers identities are unknown but I'm assuming they are members of the 707th, Company D.

The man on the left is a MP Corporal and he appears as if he’s getting into the jeep. You can clearly see his holstered 1911 .45 pistol. The soldiers identities are unknown but I’m assuming they are members of the 707th, Company D.

Dad took a number of pictures of the market place. This one appears to show building damage. I read that Belgium was targeted by V-1's so it's possible this was a point of interest to my dad.

Dad took a number of pictures of the market place. This one appears to show building damage. I read that Belgium was targeted by V-1’s so it’s possible this was a point of interest to my dad.

Another market place picture. You can make out the French writing in a number of places.

Another market place picture. You can make out the French writing in a number of places.

This one says on the back "guess who???" It's my 18-year-old father looking rather serious and formal behind the wheel of Willie's famous jeep. The building in the background reads "Kelvinator." Kelvinator was a British company that made refrigerators before and after the war.

This one says on the back “guess who???” It’s my 18-year-old father looking rather serious and formal behind the wheel of Willie’s famous jeep. The building in the background reads “Kelvinator.” Kelvinator was a British company that made refrigerators before and after the war.

This picture says "taken at the Belgian Red Cross" although it is one of the pictures on a different type of photo paper. Nice shot of the front of the MP jeep!

This picture says “taken at the Belgian Red Cross” although it is one of the pictures on a different type of photo paper. Nice shot of the front of the MP jeep!

I cropped and enlarged the above photo. On the left you can see the image of passenger side MP. The driver is obscured by the glare. Between the two men though you can make out the figure of a soldier walking in the other direction. He is dressed as British or my likely Belgian since the British equipped Belgian forces during and after the war. I am uncertain if the driver is my father or he is taking the picture.

I cropped and enlarged the above photo. On the left you can see the image of the passenger side MP. The driver is obscured by the glare. Between the two men though you can make out the figure of a soldier walking in the other direction. He is dressed as British or more likely Belgian since the British equipped Belgian forces during and after the war. I am uncertain if the driver is my father or he is taking the picture.

3rd Army patch. I may have one from my dad's uniform. The 3rd Army was Patton's Army during the war. While in the 707th MP BN dad was in the 3rd Army.

3rd Army patch. I may have one from my dad’s uniform. The 3rd Army was Patton’s Army during the war. While in the 707th MP BN dad was in the 3rd Army.

Modern US Army MP banner. The crossed pistols is the symbol of the military police. MP BN size units serve anywhere they are needed including the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Modern US Army MP banner. The crossed pistols is the symbol of the military police. MP BN size units serve anywhere they are needed including the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Advertisements

9 comments on “What did you do in the war dad? Part 7_Liege

  1. Hi I noticed you talk about the patch from Pattons third army and was wondering if you could tell me what the patch on a picture I found is?

    • I knew about the 3rd Army patch because my dad had one so it was easy to run an Inet search for one. I am not an expert on patches by any means. I ran a Google search for US Army WW2 patches and this link came up. Perhaps that would be a good place for you to start. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. […] What did you do in the war dad? Part 7_Liege (broeder10.wordpress.com) […]

  3. My dad was also company d 707th Military Police Battalion in France and Belgium from FEb. 1945 to may 1946. He died in 2000. Im in Germany now but will be in Liege Belgium on sept. 27-30. I came across your article while I was looking for info on the 707th.I am visiting my grandson .who is serving in Wiesbaden at the army air base. So I thought I would try to visit the places where he served. His name was Carl Sessoms

    • Hi Frank, thanks so much for the comment. I had hoped that a search might produce a commonality. The dates seem to match when my dad was stationed in the same company as yours. It seems likely they knew each other. My dad wasn’t in the 707th very long from what I can discern. Most of the pictures he sent home were from the 504th days. I do not have any of his correspondence or other pictures apart from what I’ve posted. I only had the one picture of my dad’s fellow MPs and it’s from the 504th. He recorded their names on the back. What do you have of your father’s records?

  4. The Above Picture of the Jeep with the 2 Military Policemen has a 7th Army Patch in the center of Military Police.
    Here is a Military.com site for the 707th MP Battalion….Not too much in it, however keep looking…
    707th MP BN
    http://unitpages.military.com/unitpages/unit.do?id=104802

  5. The 707th Military Police Battalion was located in the Brussels,Belgium area during late 1945 .
    The 707th Military Police Battalion, first outfit of it’s type to land in France after D Day, has been awarded the Meritorious Service Unit Plaque for service between May 1st and October 31, 1944. During that period the 707th escorted more than 100,000 German prisoners of war. The award was made by Lieutenant General John C. H. Lee, Communications Zone commander, for the superior performance and incessant devotion to duty shown by the battalion. Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James P Smith,Jr of Ipswich, Mass, the 707th now controls traffic and maintains discipline in the Channel Base section. Members of the battalion, many of whom have been assigned to military police duty after recovering from battle wounds, guard installations which include a major port, a center of rail communications and a large leave center for combat troops.

    The 707th landed in Normandy under shellfire and moved to Cherbourg shortly after it’s capture. The MP’s had an important part in the quick rehabilitation of the port. Prisoners were taken to stockades, saboteurs were trace, thievery was checked and control points were set up to guide units pouring through the peninsula for the battle of France. When the famous Red Ball truck route was developed to move supplies rapidly to US forces after the St. Lo breakthrough, the 707th laid out the route and guided the convoys which sped along the roads day and night.

    Three of the MP’s assigned to the control posts in areas where the heavies traffic flowed were awarded Bronze Star medals. They are Corporal Donald E Kelly of Chicago, PFC Paul T. Zaremba of Milwaukee and PFC Myron H. Orwant of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Two others, Corporal Elmer Hoesee of Holland, MI and Private Edward J. Courtney of Buffalo were awarded Bronze Star medals for their prompt administration of first aid to train wreck victims.

    Moving forward as the Allies swept into Germany, men of the 707th continued to handle prisoners and countless refugees and assisted in evacuating many wounded. Some of the MP’s were wounded during the V-bomb attacks in Belgium. Company commanders include Captain Albert P. Shedd of Hyde Park, Mass., Captain Gerard T. Walker of Jersey City, NJ, Captain Joseph E. Ploccia of Brooklyn and First Lieutenant Arthur C. Stockdale of Boston.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: