Rosalee Crew Horton has her father's separation and Honorable Discharge papers. There is an account of his pre-enlistment occupation when he was a construction machine operator. He "was employed by Clarke County, Osceola, Iowa for 6 1/2 years prior to entry into the Army. Operated Diesel caterpillar tractor, bulldozer, motor patrol, and scrapers in the maintenance and construction of roads. Cleaned, serviced and lubricated equipment. Made repairs using mechanics hand tools. Also drove up to 3-ton truck hauling general freight, dirt and gravel."

His period of service in the U.S. Army, Battery C 569th Field Artillery Battalion was from April 6, 1944, to April 30, 1946. He spent four months in Field Artillery Basic Training and 10 months each as a Light-Truck Driver and Auto Mechanic. He attained the rank of Tec 4.

George "served with Battery C, 569th Field Artillery Battalion in Germany and France for three months, drove up to 2 1/2 ton truck hauling military personnel, equipment and supplies. Drove over rough terrain. Serviced and lubricated vehicle and made repairs.

Has also worked in shop servicing and repairing gasoline powered military vehicles. Used all mechanics hand tools." George was discharged at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, having earned the American Theater Service Ribbon, European-African Middle Eastern Service Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and the WWII Victory Medal.

Rosalee also has a booklet of the history of the Battalion from 1944-1945, which shows their itinerary beginning with Camp Van Dorn April 17, 1944 to Camp Polk, Louisiana, to Fort Sill, Oklahoma in April, 1945. From there, train travel through Kansas, the tip of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, the tip of Pennsylvania on to Camp Shanks, New York, embarking for the European Theater of Operations on April 7, 1945.

They arrived at LeHavre, France on April 20, were taken to the Staging Area Camp Twenty Grand and Merzig to await orders from April 30 to May 4. Their final port in Europe was Camp Lucky Strike in preparation for return June 15-21, arriving at Newport News, Virginia July 4, 1945. In the listing of men and officers, George's name appears in "Enlisted Men," C Battery, Tech 5, address: 208 West Clay, Osceola, Iowa.

Their history appears as an on-the-spot report: Activated April 17, 1944, at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi, the 569th Field Artillery Battalion saw service on both sides of the Atlantic during the war with Germany, returning to the United State from Europe for reassignment to the Pacific only a few weeks before the sudden capitulation of Japan.

Originally slated for duty against the Japanese, following brief occupational duties in Germany, the battalion is now awaiting further orders at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, point of reassembly following its return from Europe. But on the basis of the speed with which the Japanese have been brought under control by the Allies, it is considered extremely unlikely that the 569th will see further overseas service as a unit.

Present commander of the battalion is Lt. Col. James F. Hanger, who has directed its activities almost since its inception. Although the unit was activated under Lt. Col. Albert B. Powell, Colonel Hanger was assigned the command on May 9, just 22 days following activation.

The battalion was organized and trained as a light artillery unit, and since its activation has been equipped with 105 millimeter howitzers — the light but hard-hitting weapon that has been credited with much of the terrific damage inflicted by American artillery on both the Germans and the Japanese. Although circumstances prevented the unit from seeing actual combat, its personnel can be compared favorably with the best of the light artillery battalions from the standpoint of speed, efficiency, accuracy and effectiveness of fire. It was on the basis of the high standard of efficiency attained by the battalion that it was selected for combat service in the European theater, only to be forestalled by the complete collapse of Germany before the combat zone could be reached.

Although the unit was activated in April of 1944, it was three months before it began actual training as a battalion since a majority of the enlisted personnel did not report to Camp Van Dorn until the latter part of July. Then began 13 weeks of intensive training, designed to prepare the unit for assignment to one of the active combat zones.

Completion of the 13 weeks of training at Camp Van Dorn found the 569th a toughened, well-trained force, and on October 30 the battalion left the swamps of Mississippi for Camp Polk, Louisiana, where the all-important Army Ground Forces firing tests lay ahead. In 2 1/2 weeks during which time the personnel bivouacked a few miles outside Camp Polk, all requirements were met in a series of tests through which the battalion passed with "flying colors."

After a two-day 700-mile motor march, the 569th arrived at Fort Sill, Oklahoma on November 18 to take up its duties as school troops for the Field Artillery school. Here in a series of exhaustive demonstrations for the School, the Field Artillery Officers Candidate School, and on several occasions for the Navy, the battalion reached its highest standard of efficiency. Firing almost daily, and frequently under adverse conditions, its firing batteries evoked frequent praise from officials of the school for their accuracy and efficiency. Because of the outstanding showing made by the battalion in these demonstrations, it was deemed that the unit was ready for combat service, and in mid-March the long awaited "alert" order was received.

On Easter Sunday, April 1, the battalion moved out of Fort Sill en route to Camp Shanks, New York, arriving at the P.O.E. on April 3. Four days of whirlwind activity found the 569th completely equipped and ready to sail, and on April 7 its personnel boarded the Navy transport U.S.S LeJeune from Staten Island.

The LeJeune docked in LeHavre, Fance on April 19, and after spending the night aboard ship in the harbor, the battalion debarked and was transported by a river boat, the former Chesapeake Bay packet, President Warfield, to Camp Twenty Grand, final staging area for combat-bound troops. On April 29 the 569th moved out in the direction of hostile territory, its weapons primed and its personnel ready for any eventuality. After an overnight bivouac at Reims, France, the trucks and guns of the battalion rolled onto enemy soil for the first time on April 30, crossing into Germany at a point only a few miles from the city of Luxembourg.

An air of expectancy hung over the outfit that day when it rolled into Merzig and occupied a bombed-out German hospital, its role in the conflict still undecided. For five days the unit awaited orders, but on May 4, amidst countless rumors of the impending collapse of Germany, the entire battalion was transferred to an area along the border of Central Germany and France. The 569th, it was announced, had been assigned the duty of guarding a 42-mile stretch of the border, extending westward from the town of Hanweiler, situated across the Bliess River from Sarreguimines, France. With Battalion Headquarters located at Pirmasens, each of the three firing batteries was assigned a specific zone of hostile territory: Battery "A" headquarters were located at Bliescastel. Battery "B" operated from Eppenbrunn, and Battery "C" maintained headquarters at Dahn. The battalion was charged with the responsibility of blocking the flight of the tottering Nazis into France, preventing marauding French from entering Germany, and generally, of curbing sabotage in the section of Germany occupied by the Allies. During this occupation period, two battalions of the French 26th Infantry were attached to the 569th to assist its members in patrolling the vital border area.

It was while these duties were being carried out that the war ended with Germany's surrender, and the battalion realized it was destined for a noncombatant role in the European theater.

On May 20 the battalion was withdrawn from the border posts and was transferred to a temporary training area, maintained by the XXIII Corps at a point near Oberstein-kreis-Birkenfeld in the foothills of the rugged Hunsbruk Mountains. For three weeks of a rigorous training schedule was followed, presumably in preparation for a direct shift to the Pacific. But on June 14th the unit received orders to move to Camp Lucky Strike near LeHavre, and for the first time it became known that the battalion would return to the States before being redeployed to the Pacific.

Arriving at Camp Lucky Strike on June 15, the 569th remained for just six days, during which time the unbelievable rumor was confirmed: all personnel would be granted 30-day furloughs on arriving in the States. Embarking at LeHavre on June 21, aboard the M.S. Japara, a Navy-chartered Dutch motor ship, the battalion returned to American soil on July 4, when the vessel docked at Newport News, Virginia after a slow but uneventful crossing. From Camp Patrick Henry, new Newport News, its members were sent on their way to the respective reception centered within 12 hours of their arrival. A furlough for every office and enlisted man was assured.

Reassembly of the unit at Fort Bragg early in August found the 569th along with the rest of the world, expectantly awaiting Japan's surrender. The official pronouncement of V-J Day, coupled with the smoothness and ease with which American forces occupied Japan, produced a drastic change in plans which originally had scheduled the battalion for combat duty against the non-subservient Nipponese.

At this writing, the future of the battalion is indefinite. Comparatively few of the men are as yet eligible for discharge, but nearly half the men have sufficient points to prevent them from being sent overseas. Reverting to the Army's own terms, the unit as a whole is just "sweating it out."

Since its inception, the 569th has served under three Armies and three Corps, both in the United Sates and in Europe. Following activation at Camp Van Dorn, it was attached to the XXI Corps of the 4th Army; at Fort Sill the Unit Served under the Army Ground Forces Replacement and School Command; in Germany, its duties were carried out under the XXIII Corps of the 15th Army, and at present, the battalion is attached to the XXXII Corps of the Second Army.



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Last Revised June 1, 2015