ResearchResources and Historical Information VAST INTERNET, VANISHING CONTENT Whether you’re searching for more information on the 733rd or a battalion in another division entirely, the sooner you begin the better. While the Internet continues to grow, older content is disappearing at an alarming rate. Most of the connections I have made have been through small abandoned websites that are completely unrelated to anything I’m actually looking for. Somebody in the Battalion may have posted a message on some random hobby or genealogy website twelve years ago, with that errant post providing a connection to a more relevant piece of information. Or an article may have been published about a veteran from the 733rd, but the magazine or newspaper it was published in may be going out of business – and the website will go with it. Once a website disappears, the connection is gone forever. Don’t wait to begin your research! SEARCH TIPS If you’re doing a Google search and you know somebody’s name in the Battalion you’re looking for, it helps to search for the number of the battalion with it. For example, ‘Ivo Schommer 733rd’. You will also get different results if you search for ‘Ivo Schommer 733rd Field Artillery Battalion’ vs. ‘Ivo Schommer 733rd FA B’ vs. ‘Ivo Schommer Field Artillery’. I use these variants (along with others) each time I’m searching for somebody. After you have exhausted every possibility, repeat the search with Bing. This should yield additional results. If something keeps appearing in your results that you don’t want, such as the 733rd Railway Operating Battalion, subtract it from your search. For example, ‘Ivo Schommer 733rd Field Artillery -railway -operating’. "It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."Ernest Hemingway WWII ARMY UNITS The 733rd FA B attached itself to many different parts of the Army throughout the war – going where the greatest need was at any given time. Researching any of these may yield valuable information about locations and events that occurred while they were engaged in combat together. Ideally the groups and divisions would include dates to help find only information that’s relevant. Hopefully the dates will come later. In the meantime, I presume these were listed in the order that they happened. As an example, shortly after the 733rd landed on Utah Beach in Normandy, they were part of the European Theater (ETO) 1st Army, VIII Corps, attached to the 196th Field Artillery Group. Armies1st Army 3rd Army (General Patton) CorpsVIII Corps XX Corps “Ghost Corps” III Corps Field Artillery Groups196th FA Group 174th FA Group 333rd FA Group 195th FA Group 203rd FA Group 204th FA Group 40th FA Group 193rd FA Group 416th FA Group The 733rd Field Artillery Battalion would be part of a Field Artillery Group (made up of additional field artillery battalions), and that Group would be part of a Division (which included other Groups of artillery, armor, airborne, and infantry), and that Division would be part of a Corps, which along with other Corps was assigned to a specific Army (lead by a particular Army General). WWII structure: Theater > Army > Corps > Division > FA Group / FA Regiment > FA Battalion > Battery / Company > Platoon. Numbers can vary quite a bit, but these numbers should help illustrate the relationship: Number of Soldiers: Army Corps Division Group (Regiment) Battalion Battery (Company) Platoon Another piece of the puzzle you could use to find more information about a specific event could be which division the 733rd were supporting during that timeframe. Since the 155mm Long Tom could accurately engage targets up to 15 miles away, they would fire into towns or other enemy strongholds from a considerable distance to break up and destroy the enemy before the armored groups (tanks) and infantry (ground troops) arrived. They would often shoot artillery over the Allied divisions marching ahead of them so that as soon as they were done shelling, the Allied tanks and infantry could engage a weakened enemy. Field Artillery also supported bombers by engaging and destroying anti-aircraft artillery before the aircraft were sent on bombing raids. Taken together, this made field artillery an incredibly important instrument on the battlefield, which is why General Patton repeatedly gave field artillery the credit for winning the war. Following are the divisions that the 733rd supported (presumably in order): Divisions Supported82nd Airborne Division 90th Infantry Division 79th Infantry Division 8th Infantry Division 26th Infantry Division 94th Infantry Division 95th Infantry Division 80th Infantry Division 65th Infantry Division 76th infantry Division 5th Infantry Division 71st Infantry Division 4th Armored Division 6th Armored Division 7th Armored Division 10th Armored Division 13th Armored Division Piggybacking off the example above (note: I haven’t checked the accuracy of this statement yet but the example still holds), soon after the 733rd arrived at Normandy, they were part of the European Theater (ETO) 1st Army, VIII Corps, and they were attached to the 196th Field Artillery Group supporting the 82nd Airborne Division and the 90th Infantry Division. This would have happened in early to mid July 1944. My experience has been that if you happen upon the history of the 90th Infantry Division or the 196th Field Artillery Group covering that time period, you could very well discover a reference to the 733rd Field Artillery Battalion. Such a discovery could serve as evidence to support other findings, or it could offer new information or a new lead. Even if no references are found, it serves to provide better context for the events happening in the region at the time. WEB RESOURCES Vetrans Info – Veterans History Project: Library of Congress, effort to get first-hand accounts of the war. Ambrose Little of the 733rd (Service Battery) has items here (more). Also: Lloyd Renfro. To view them, you may need to hire a freelance researcher. I’ll post anything I get my hands on here on this website so everyone has access to it. – Natick Veterans Oral History Project: Interviews of Veterans. Nobody from 733rd uploaded yet. – Army Enlistment Records: Find men who were enlisted in the Army during WWII. A more efficient search than the next link. – Army Enlistment Archive: See enlistment info for anyone who enlisted in the Army (1938-1946). More difficult to use than previous link. WWII History – Order of Battle: US Army European Theater. This can be used for cross-reference; see ‘Divisions Supported’ above. – St. Lo: One of the early battles the 733rd engaged in. – Rhineland: Follows the Third Army to the breaking through the Siegfried Line. – Lorraine Campaign: The German border / Siegfried Line. 733rd spent months here. – Northern France: Following the first Army. The 733rd switched to the 3rd Army around August. – Battle of the Bulge: Battery B of the 733rd left the Lorraine Campaign a month in to participate in the Bulge. – Battle of the Bulge: US Army website dedicated to the battle with periodic updates. Other Field Artillery Battalions – 515th Field Artillery Battalion: Listed first because the 515th was an offshoot of the 733rd somehow (still researching this). They held reunions together. This website has a great deal of information, but unfortunately it was never completed (a bit difficult to navigate). – 202nd Field Artillery Battalion: An incredibly comprehensive website dedicated to the 202nd, which was also part of the 3rd Army. – 243rd Field Artillery Battalion: This is an association for the 243rd, who was also part of the 3rd Army. The website includes a history and After Action Reports. They also maintain a Facebook page. – 244th Field Artillery Battalion: The 244th was also with Patton’s 3rd Army, and it appears that they followed a very similar journey. Excellent comprehensive website, includes After Action Reports. They also have a Facebook page. – 253rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion: Also in the 3rd Army, this is a simple blog with updates. – 274th Armored Field Artillery Battalion: Another battalion from the 3rd Army, this page includes pictures and some basic information related to a book for sale about the battalion. – 284th Field Artillery Battalion: Part of the 3rd Army, this website has After Action Reports and some photos. – 558th Field Artillery Battalion: A well-organized website with lots of good information. They are credited with some of the same campaigns but the army or corps they were associated with doesn’t seem to be mentioned. MISC RESOURCES Physical Media – Eisenhower Archives: Contents from 733rd in Box 478 (page 31). Visit in Kansas or hire a researcher to retrieve information. – Combat Interviews of the 7th Armored Division: They want $50 for a book that might mention a few things about the 733rd. Seems pricey. SOLDIERS OF THE 733RD Roster of Known Soldiers A – Ladislau (Gil) Abrau – Pete Accardi – Mauris Ailin – Joseph S. Albano – S. (Harry) Albone – Clifton J. Anderson – Anthony Angelini – Alfred Antonelli – T. H. Anthannas – Ray M. Atherton B – Angelo Barnaba – George J. Bevylun – Norman Bigart – Charles E. Bilhou – Elie Biolo – Ralph B. Birdwell – Dr. Willis T. Blair – Alphonse Blau – Nathan Bliss – Stephen J. Bobowicz – Herman F. Bock – Joseph Boken – John Bombisate – Fred Borrting – Rodney P. Boynton – Joseph M. Bozzuto – Earl T. Brooks – Duane R. Brown – George Brunt – Carmen Bruscino – Francis Buckholz – Joe Buksa – Walter Burlenski C – Arthur Capone – Leroy Carlson (KIA) – John A. Carpentier – Mike Carrabba – John Carresello – John Casey – Jorman E. Casey – Francis Ceruti – Lyman D. Chapman – Adrian Chartrian – Lalcolm Church – Peter Ciaccio – William Clancy – John Clark – Andenzio Colalillo – Daniel Colangelo – John Conte – Irving Corman – Albert I. Corn – Leo H. Corrow – Pat Cosgrove – Warren E. Currie – Joseph L. Curtin D – George M. D’Ambrisi – Carroll L. Daggett – Wilbur Darrow – Victor Del Vecchio – Joel Demick – Vincent L. Deschino – Winfred Dennison (KIA) – Joseph E. Desmarais – Raymond Desmaris – Orlando DeVito – Edward DiDonato – John Diangelo – Burtin C. Diem – Joseph W. Dillion – Louis DiMattio – Calvin M. Dingwell – Charles G. Donnelly – Paul Doolin – Donald W. Doughty – Thomas Dowling – Robert F. Drapeau – David Dratch – Vincent L. Drochino – Walter L. Dudley – Charles Duglenski – Ray Duguay – Alfred E. Durocher E – Robert C. Eckart – Howard Edwards – Thomas J. Emanuel (c) – Harold E. Erickson – Otis Erickson – John Ermini – Peter Ermini – Victor R. Esposito F – Francisco Ferreira – Vito Fiermonte – Ed Fitzpatrick – Donald B. Fleury – Thomas Flood – Jim Forgette – George M. Fulton G – Henry Galuppo – Ed Galvin – Jere Gates (KIA) – Malcolm M. Gillis – Harold Gionet – Ralph Giuliano – Jerry Gizzie – William Goggins – Jerry Gognon – William M. Goldstein (c) – Edward E. Gosselan – Stephen Goulis – William L. Grace – Victor R. Graham – John Gray – Norman E. Gray – Jerry D. Grieco – William Grifa – Al Grimald – Carmine Guliotti – John Gwizd H – John M. Hanberg – Everett John Hansen – A. V. Harris – Edward Haskell – Edward Hayes (KIA) – George P. Heliotis – Irving Herman (KIA) – Walter Hermans – Arthur A. Heal – Richard H. Herron – Lester A. Hicks – George Higgins – Albert Horton – George Houghton – Charles Hoye I – Nicholas Iarusso – Leonard Inzerra J – Albert Jalbert – Norman Jasset – Stephen J. Jenza – F. Harold Johnson Jr. – Sanford F. Jones K – Philip Katzin – Lawrence B. Kelly – Winston S. Kelly – James C. Kelso – Clayton Kingsbury – John R. Kix – Ernest Kingsbury – Clayton J. Kingsbury – Carl H. Knox – Eric H. Konicki – Ed Kulesza L – Peter Lago – Henry Lamoth – Herbert Lamphere – Don Lang – Robert Lareau – J. LeClaire – Clifford L’Heureaux – Conrad Leszkiewicz – Leo J. Levesque – John Levosoto – Steve Lewan – Ambrose Little (c) – Nicholas Longo – Mark H. Loony – John Luddy M – Daniel L. Mahoney – Curto D. Mailman – Harry Major – Don E. Makinson – Anthony Marcella – Joe Marinara – Tony Marinaro – Chester N. Marsh – Bernard Martin – H. E. Martin – James Mathews – Stanley Mattson – Frank T. Mazzei – Alfred Mazzola – William H. McGrath (c) – M.E. McGrew – Royce R. McRobbie – Winfree A. Meachum – Cecil F. Meadows – Phil Mendis – Paul Mickelson – Raymond Minette – Michael Mitchell – George W. Mollerd – Nicholas Mongelluzzo – Henry Morin – Theodore Mott – Edward J. Motyl – Raymond Mucci N – Joseph Narcisso – Richard Natale – Edward Naylor – Harry A. Nelson – Nat Neuer O – Joe Olson P – Pat Paolino – Richard Paradis – Roger W. Parent – Cecil A. Park, Jr. – Anthony Pavio – Frank Pease – Walter R. Peace – Settino Pellechia – Larry Pelligrini – Charles N. Perrotti – Robert G. Perry (Pery?) – Charles Peterson – Ralph T. Phelan – Joseph Pichard – Harold Pitts – Gennaro A. Pizzola – Arthur Pollier – Bernard Polselli – William Price (KIA) Q – Joe Qualls R – Joseph Radojisics – Robert M. Randolph – Harold Ravelson – Ernest Raymond – Harman H. Reed – Lloyd C. Renfro (c) – Lawrence Rennie – Al Revelle – Matthew Ricci – Philip R. Rice – Verne T. Richardson – Otis L. Riley – Lyle Rillahan – Louis R. Rinaldi – James Roach – Lawrence B. Rodd – John P. Rogus – Norman C. Rotherock – Charles W. Rowe S – Richard Sabin – C. H. Sackett – Charles Sakocuis – Anthony Salerno – Clyde Saunders – Jesse C. Savage, Jr. – Rocco Scali – Carl Scarzella – Anthony Schena – Edwin C. Schierman – Ivo Schommer (c) – Russ Schroeder – Arthur Scopino – Anthony Scordino – Allen W. Scott – Calvin C. Seavey – Fred Seltsam – Dominic L. Senzamici – Henry Senyko – Anthony Seodino – Fred Shattuck – Edgar Stiltner – Lawrence Shea – George Sheehan – John Shreder – James Signoretti – Peter A. Simione – Casmiere Siock – Leo Skeffington – Phil E. Smith – Wallace A. Smith – Robert Spears (KIA) – Joseph Stahecki – George W. Staib – Constant Stango – Anthony Stankus – Adolph J. Steckelbert – William E. Stevens – Clint Stillman (c) – Gilbert C. Stock – Clarence (Cal) Stolfi – Fred W. Stover – John Strielkauskas – William W. Sumner – Chester Swistak (c) – Robert J. Szantyr T – John C. Taggett – Leonard A. Talone – Kenneth J. Taylor (c) – Edward Thompson – Larkin V. Thornburgh – Al Timaldi – M. C. Tishkivich – Louis Tomasiello – Abner W. Tomkinson – Albert Toolini – Archie H. torosian – Fred C. Tousley – Roland F. Turcotte V – Robert Vator – William P. Volpe – Harold L. VonBrock – Henry VonLott W – Martin G. Weiss – Fred Welch – Clarence Wells – Richard Welton – Arthur E. Werner – Harry C. White – Vernon C. Wick – John Wilcox – John Willard – Elmore Willets (c) – Roman Wojtunik – Oliver Wyman Y – David P. Young (c) Z – John J. Zabbara – John R. Zivinskas Note: (KIA) denotes those killed in action. (c) denotes those who I have been in direct or indirect contact with.