Headquarters company dispatched trains, supplies, and signals. The largest contingent of American soldier railroaders was in western Europe with more than 26,600 officers and enlisted men serving there by the end of the war. By May, the 701st was in Casablanca where it coordinated the work of three railway operating battalions, the 715th (Illinois Central Railroad), 719th (Texas and New Orleans Railroad Company), and 759th (Missouri Pacific Railroad). Shortly after the amphibious landings on the island of Luzon in January 1945, a company of MRS troops arrived on the island and began to rehabilitate the rail lines so they could operate the Manila Railway Company. For those traveling to Kohima for the 75th Anniversary event, have a safe journey, and carry our best wishes from those of us thinking of those brave men and women so many years ago. On 9 April, the 720th operated the first train across the new bridge. … They also supported British and the American forces fighting the Japanese in Burma. Author: J A Vargas; United States. 3 people found this helpful. During the time the MRS operated the Iranian State Railway, it handled more than four million long tons of freight. As the war effort increased, the War Department activated additional railway units including grand divisions to coordinate operations in overseas theaters of operations and shop battalions to support the operating battalions. Unlike other railway operating battalions, it did not have a civilian company sponsoring it. Club Soxo -- Edition/Format: Book : National government publication : English : Double anniversary ed The first railway operating battalion, the 727th, arrived in Africa in December 1942. Battle stars -- Technical Sergeant Louis L. Russel of the 713th Railway Operating Battalion described the scene on Wednesday 6 October:  “Charred and twisted cars were strewn around haphazardly, with lengths of rail cross ties still attached, pointing toward the sky.”  It was a mess, but the next day, First Lieutenant R.H. Anderson, a yardmaster from Newton, Kansas, was optimistic when he said, “I believe we can get a train out of this by Sunday.”  With everybody in the battalion, including conductors, engineers, and firemen working to clear the debris, Anderson proved correct. Helpful . While in England, the American railroaders conducted technical training, prepared American steam and diesel locomotives for use on the continent, and assembled prefabricated railcars shipped from the United States. 729th Railway Operating Battalion, View full catalog record. : s.n., 2008?] | A unique aspect of railroading in India was the use of elephants to switch cars when locomotives were not available. In July 1861, Confederate Brigadier General Joseph E. Johnston dramatically demonstrated the importance of railroads in modern warfare when he moved 12,000 troops by rail from Piedmont Station (now Delaplane), Virginia, to Manassas Junction, a distance of about fifty miles, to reinforce the Confederate forces assembled southwest of Washington, DC. The 702d Railway Grand Division, staffed mainly by railroad men from the Union Pacific Railroad, coordinated the operations of the four battalions in operating the Iranian State Railway which carried three out of five tons of Lend-Lease material shipped to the Soviet Union through the Persian Corridor during World War II. At its peak, it included eleven grand divisions, thirty-three railway operating battalions, and eleven railway shop battalions. Soldier was Ed Watson. Army. As in Italy, railroads and yards were prime targets for Allied bombers in the months before the landings in Normandy, France. or trackback from your own site. The last MRS unit, the 716th Railway Operating Battalion (Southern Pacific Company) left Europe in February 1946. We were established in 1983 as a member-based, charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All Authors / Contributors: J A Vargas; United States. On 11 July 1942, a “golden spike” ceremony marked the completion of fifty miles of grading and track laying between Camp Claiborne and Fort Polk. 243rd Engineer Haul Team; 291st Army Liaison Team. The intent was to rotate officers and enlisted men through the battalion for short tours of duty for training. Prepared under the auspices of the 729th Railroad Operating Battalion? T-4 Robert Schultz said, “I was a fireman on an iron ore boat on the Great Lakes when I was drafted. Originally published: Maastricht, Holland : 729th Railway Operating Battalion, Public Relations Section, 1945. 1 Overview 2 History 2.1 Lineage 2.2 Assignments 2.3 Stations 2.4 Aircraft 2.5 Operations 3 References It operates C-17 Globemaster III aircraft providing global airlift any time, any place. The telegraph and telephone line used to dispatch trains was erected by the 26th Signal Construction Battalion. Its duties overseas were in the ETO, and the battalion received credit for several campaigns. The only other changes to the end of January were the opening up of the branch out of Angleur south to Trois-Ponts on 17 January, and resumption of service on the Malmedy line to Sart-lez-Spa on 25 January. While the emphasis was on railroading, the soldiers attended basic combat training and the battalions all conducted disciplinary, physical, combat, and technical training in accordance with appropriate Army field manuals. More than 6,000 troops worked on the line. 729th Railway Operating Battalion Three US infantry divisions, the 29th, 30th and 35th IDs took Saint-Lô on or about July 19, and broke out of Saint-Lô on July 26. Army. Their efforts proved vital to the Allied victory. in Alaska, the Philippines and finally Korea. Notes: Cover title. With the rail yard back in operation, Naples became the primary port for supplying Fifth Army. | Army, World War, 1939-1945 -- Regimental Histories -- United States, United States -- Army -- 727th Railway Operating Battalion, World War II, World War, 1939-1945 -- Regimental histories -- United States -- 727th Railway Operating Battalion Publisher New York, Simmons-Boardman Pub. Four days later, six trains moving an average of 450 tons each, rolled to the forward railhead. At its peak the MRS operated 1,905 miles of railway in North Africa. A HISTORY OF THE 712THRAILWAY OPERATING BATTALION In the month of October 1943 at Camp Pluche, Louisiana, then Camp Harahan, there was born out of the old Fifth Provisional Battalion … After Cherbourg was captured the 2nd MRS set up operations there and soon two Railway Operating battalions were sent to Northern France the 728th and the 729th, along with the 707th Railway Grand Division. Theaters of operations with more than one grand division established an MRS headquarters. It is in the condition shown. , The division also maintained and operated the locomotives and cars. A. Vargas ... et. As new battalions arrived, the ones already on the continent moved forward behind the advancing armies. I try to buy items when they becomes available, but I do not have unlimited funds - consider making a donation to help this archive! 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