Gradin, William, T/5

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 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Technician Fifth Grade
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
345-Truck Driver, Light
Last MOS Group
Transportation Corps (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1944-1945, 345, 235th Replacement Battalion
Service Years
1943 - 1945

Technician Fifth Grade

Two Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
North Dakota
North Dakota
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Don Gradin-Family to remember Gradin, William, T/5.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
416 E. Lincoln
Box 172
Walcott, Iowa 52773

Date of Passing
Sep 02, 1994
Location of Interment
Memorial Park Cemetery - Davenport, Iowa
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Honorably Discharged WW II

 Unofficial Badges 

Blue Star

 Military Association Memberships
Post 548Chapter 2Post 1870, John E. Christiansen Post
  1946, American Legion, Post 548 (Member) (Walcott, Iowa) - Chap. Page
  1954, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Chapter 2 (Member) (Davenport, Iowa) - Chap. Page
  1958, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 1870, John E. Christiansen Post (National President) (Durant, Iowa) [Verified] - Chap. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Verified participation as a member of the 101st on 17 September 2012 after receipt of Dad's complete service records. This was done with the help of the Davenport office of Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa. A special thanks to Ms. Kay Rash for her dedication to completing the task that I was unable to carry out on my own.
D.E.G, Eldridge, Ia
Other Comments:

This information came from his DD-214, Personal Recollections, Information from Mike Ray, and the "Little Black Book" he carried.

Inducted Fort Snelling, Minnesota 24 August 1943

Assigned to the Paratroops somewhere in the south (unit??) where he broke the arches in feet during training exercises (rec'd a 10% disability for life) need info

Reassigned to Co. D, 106th Inf. Div., 424 Inf. Btn., Camp Atterbury, Indiana

Reassigned to a Replacement Co.(?), departed from Camp Miles Standish (?) 13 May 1944 need info

Landed in Northern Ireland 25 May 1944

Landed Isigny-sur-Mer, France 5 July 1944

42nd Repl. Btn., Trévières, France 14 July 1944

69th Repl. Btn., France 18 July 1944

73rd Repl. Btn., Trévières, France 25 July 1944

14th Repl. Div., Trévières, France 10 August 1944

37th Repl. Btn., Le Mans, France 12 October 1944

19th Repl. Btn., Bastogne, Belgium 20 October 1944

1st Repl. Btn., Huy, Belgium 26 October 1944

69th Motor Pool, Chevron, Belgium 8 November 1944

235th Repl. Co., Malmedy, Belgium 20 November 1944

235th Repl. Co. attached 85th Btn.,Germany, 20 March 1945

19th Repl. Depot, 1 September 1945

Camp Wings, Le Havre, France 24 September 1945

Boarded Ship, Le Havre, France 29 September 1945

Landed US of A, Boston, Mass. 6 October 1945

Camp McCoy, Wisconsin 10 October 1945

Official Separation for the U.S. Army, 5 December 1945


Personal Notes: from his eldest son and administrator of this page:

I spent a lot of time with my dad driving semi. He was retired and I was still trying to find my way. He related a ton of material about his years during WWII. I could use help verifying any of this


*He originally joined (was not drafted) the Army to be a paratrooper. He was sent south (I can only assume Fort Campbell, KY) for his training. During his training he broke the arches in both feet (for which he rec'd a 10% disability for the length of his life). From his descriptions I fell it was a free-fall off of a tower. The reason I think it was Fort Campbell is that he related a story of driving his company commander ( Fike, Fife, ?) to Nashville, TN where the Captain wanted to see the Grand Ol' Opry.


*After recuperating he was sent to Camp Atterbury, IN and assigned to Co. D, 424th Infantry Regiment, 106th Infantry Division, where he hooked up with Marion "Mike" Ray. Mike contacted my mom in about 1998 searching out my dad. I took the ball and ran with it maintaining an association until my job went "to hell" and I could no longer afford the time spent. Mike was one of those captured during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. He stayed in the Army and retired as a Lt. Colonel. Mike and others helped prepare dad to be a regular soldier by teaching him many of the things he missed during his time away. He was assigned to a Replacement Company sometime during this period and shipped out to Northern Ireland in preparation for the invasion of Europe. History shows that the 106th was a bottomless pit for replacements and comings and goings were quite common.


* He related several things about his experiences with Scotland, Northern Ireland and members of the opposite sex which I won't reveal.


* He landed in France 5 July 1944. He worked Graves Registration for some time. He had related that during this time he saw the burial of General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. who was the only man he ever saw buried in a proper casket during his entire overseas tenure.


* He was, at some point in time, assigned as a truck driver (due to his farming background and prior driving experience). He mentioned hauling out of the Port of Cherbourg, France. I am trying to catalog the names of the towns that he mentioned throughout France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. Sometime between his assignments of 10 August and 20 November 1944 he was assigned to the Red Ball Express. This is based on dates of the activation period from The Red Ball Express Wikipedia site.


* He arrived in Aachen the night the Burgomeister was murdered (abt 27 March 1945).


* He served with the Cadre in the provisional government in Bonn after the surrender.


* He served in both the 7th Army and the 1st Army (from the shoulder patches on a shirt) but I have no idea which and when.


* He often mentioned General Hodges.

 Countries Deployed To or Visited
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Submachine Gun

 Unit Assignments
101st Airborne Division 1st Battalion, 424th Infantry Adjutant General Units
  1943-1944, 101st Airborne Division
  1944-1944, 521, 1st Battalion, 424th Infantry /D Company
  1944-1945, 345, 235th Replacement Battalion
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Normandy Campaign (1944)1
  1944-1944 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Northern France Campaign (1944)
  1944-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Ardennes Alsace Campaign (1944-45)
  1944-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
  1944-1945 Ardennes Alsace Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of the Bulge1
  1945-1945 Central Europe Campaign (1945)/Victory in Europe Day (VE Day - 8May45)
  1945-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)5
  1945-1950 US Occupation of Germany (WWII)2
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