Volunteer 7th Armored Division Historians Needed
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Last updated: May 2, 2008 - What's New?
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It is quite clear to me that, even in several lifetimes, I could not process the huge mountain of records about 7th Armored Division that exists. So I need very dedicated and astute volunteer historians to commit to intensive work on each of the different commands of the Division, some of which may take years to complete. Please read the following, and if you feel up to wrestling with this, click here to send me an e-mail. ------ Wesley Johnston (wwjohnston@aol.com)

What sort of effort is involved?

There are both relatively short-term and long-term efforts that you could do. You would also become a focal point for others interested in the command's history. Excellent examples of both short and long-term efforts come from family members of 87th Recon: we need similar efforts for each command of the Division.

Relatively short-term effort: After Action Reports

87th Recon Squadron family members Bob Porreca and Roy Boylan obtained and transcribed the complete After Action Reports of the Squadron. Mike Furlich then obtained a more legible copy of the original, and he and Roy revised the original transcription to correct errors, and Mike also did the tough job of looking up the names of the towns across Europe and finding the correct spellings of those town. This is a relatively short-term effort, though it was a very intense effort during that short term in order to produce the final document of 49 pages.

Long-term effort: Morning Reports and IDPFs

87 Recon daughter Bev Kent has been obtaining, transcribing, and indexing the Morning Reports, as well as obtaining many Individual Deceased Personnel Files of 87th Recon and sending me copies of the documents, as well as her transcripts and indexes. This has led to many updates on the 87 Recon deaths pages and the main 87 Recon web page, and the creation of the spreadsheet of 87 Recon daily locations and events. This is defnitely a long-term effort. Although Bev has been working at this for several years, it will take many more years to complete this project.

How would your work fit into the work on the rest of the Division?

I will provide help and will also assure some degree of consistency and accuracy. I'll give you guidance about how to obtain records, or I will send you images of the records if I have them readily at hand. Once you have processed a batch of records, you will send the batch to me, and I will check them over and post them to the auxiliary web page or to the appropriate battalion or deaths web pages. I'll also connect any inquirers to you, so that others interested in the command you are working on will be able to have a focal point to come together.

What are the basic records?

While there are additional records that I would like to see made available, the basic first phase goal is to make available at least the following textual records for every command of the Division:

  • After Action Reports: transcribe and post
  • Staff Journals (e.g. S-2, S-3): transcribe and post
  • Morning Reports: transcribe and post, initially just locations and Record of Events entries but eventually strength statistics and full name index
  • Individual Deceased Personnel Files (IDPF): extract into spreadsheet and web page of deaths in the command
  • General and Special Orders: transcribe and post
  • There are more, but these are what I see as the basic ones that I would like to post for every command of the Division.

    In addition to transcribing and posting these records (except for the IDPFs), the information contained in these records would be organized into updates for the following web pages for each command:

  • Organizataional Structure: Names of Officers, Leading Non-coms, and other enlisted men
  • Overseas Dead: completion of all of the basic information that is on the existing page of deaths

    What are the commands of the Division?

    Ideally, we would have at least one family member of each of the following commands take the responsibility for some or all of the research on that command. Right now, 38 AIB and 87 Recon are the only two that are active at that level.

    Click here for information about contacting me.
    Copyright © 2008 by Wesley Johnston
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