The Names Behind the Faces

Dad's photo album from his Army years.

Dad’s photo album from his Army years.

The pictures posted here and some of the ones used in my book come from my Dad’s photo album of his Army experience.¬† Here’s a shot of the album to give some idea of what I’m working with for this project. The scans I’ve used were done some years ago, and at that point I did not document the text written on the prints. Just this week I’ve started that process-reading what is on the pictures. It gives names to the faces and a window into my Dad’s time and who he knew and where he was. There are two sets of writing on most prints; printed names, dates and locations on the front borders and neat script on the back in my Dad’s hand. It appears that the front markings may have been added later but the script is in the first person and seems timed with the images. I believe Dad was getting his film processed on or near his station and then sending the prints home.

In the next post I will have more to share-the details as told by my Dad Pete about his buddies in the outfit. STAY TUNED!!!

With the 224th in Florida circa 1943

My dad behind the wheel of his “5×5” in the orange groves of central Florida

During the summer of 1943 the battalion lived and worked in central Florida. I’m adding words from the book and pictures from Dad’s album to give view of what the men were doing.

Pete's team putting up wire for the battery telco system

Pete’s team putting up wire for the battery telco system

Once the battalion arrived in July, they were “Placed under administrative jurisdiction of the 10th Provisional AA Group, located at Apopka, Florida; positions were taken up at Cannon Mills 30 July and in Kissimmee on 31 July. At this time plotting board personnel began training in the Synthetic Operations Room. Command procedure in new techniques were explained and practiced.”¬† Kissimmee is now the home of Disney World!!! My dad’s section in “C” Battery were learning by doing while setting up telephone communications for the battery. Part of this work included climbing¬† poles. My dad said he enjoyed the challenge, but had great respect for the possible dangers of that job.

Each battery had a telephone system with a simple switchboard. The crew manned the board by turn to keep the battery communications running.

Check back soon for more pictures and history!

Running wire included climbing poles. That's my dad Pete at left

Running wire included climbing poles. That’s my dad Pete at left