THE "4TH" BATTALION__Regimental Personnel Section


 


Regimental Personnel Section


WITHOUT its Personnel Section, the regiment could never have functioned in combat.  This vital part of the fighting organization, comprised of thirty-odd officers and men representing every company in the regiment, had the two-fold responsibility of handling the endless "paper work" of battle, and of acting as trustee for the personal interests of every individual man in the regiment.

LONG before the regiment left the United States, these men were laying the groundwork for the combat mission.  At the very beginning, it was they who greeted every man as he joined the regiment, assigning him to the unit where his capabilities, knowledge and temperament could be used to the best advantage.  And when the time came to prepare for overseas movement, there was the job of helping each man to settle his personal affairs, to see that his records were entirely in order, to see that he was ready for overseas duty.  Each company clerk was a personal counselor, a trusted friend to the men of his company, and worked up to twenty hours a day, seven days a week to fulfill his role.

DURING the ocean voyage and the Channel crossing, the clerks traveled with their companies, learning to know the newer men better, and cultivating the comradely relationships which were to be important during the combat period, when they would be separated from the companies for long periods.  The separation came when the regiment went into corps reserve in Belgium and Personnel reorganized to travel as a part of the consolidated Division Personnel Sections.

THE problems which -now faced the section were new, complex and of such great importance as to dwarf any with which it had previously coped.  Now it was work, guard, work, move--ever on the go.  Following closely after the forward elements across Germany, the section was constantly in touch with the fighting.  There were battle casualties to record, complicated morning reports to file, letters of condolence to write, allotments to care for, awards and decorations to process.  Each task required painstaking consideration; each was a personalized service performed for an individual man.  And whenever there was a chance, the clerks went up front to their companies.  Here was the opportunity to help solve the personal problems of the men, who were now too busy fighting to attend to their own interests.

AS V-E Day came and the men of the regiment rested and relaxed, the Personnel Section was tackling the gigantic problem of redeployment as it affected the regiment.

DURING the days of the regiment's reactivation (a period of more than three years--from June 1942 to August 1945--when deactivation finally took place) many of these men, naturally, had come and gone.  There were some few, such as C.W.O. Charles Gibson, T/Sgt. James Byrne, S/Sgt. Robert Swope, S/Sgt. Floyd Horn, T/5 George Quier, Cpl. Robert Gracey, Cpl. William Weiss, Sgt. William Moffitt, Sgt. Roland Moore, T/4 Claris Mauk, Sgt. Julius Gottlieb, T/4 Laurence Graber, Sgt. Arthur Hoffman, Sgt. Jay Lachot, Cpl. John Bevan, and others who had been with the regiment either since the actual reactivation or from the days of Fort George G. Meade.  For these men--and for all the others as well--there was a special sentiment (and a special sadness) in the last functions which they performed.  This was the breaking up of what they had watched be born and grow and--one might almost say--had, themselves, reared.  For all--for every little or big essential or gratuitous service which these men performed--a salute. In every sense, this was their war too--and theirs no less, the victory.

 


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