Sunday, September 28, 2008

WW II - 389th Infantry Regiment

My dad's platoon in Hawaii, 1944.
He is standing shirtless, center row, right end.

[Click photo to enlarge]

Signatures on back of photo

Men listed alphabetically (home state in parenthesis)
    John W. Belmonte (CN-?)
    Fletcher H. Campbell (OH)
    Eddie Ciesielski (IL)
    Eugene M. "Spud" Dayley (ID)
    Arnold Deutsch (NY)
    Louis C. George (NY)
    Joseph A. Isgro (NY)
    Warren H. Lathe (VT)
    Austin L. Lincoln (ME)
    Albert Montes (NM)
    Charles Richard Pitts (?)
    Ernest Reich (NY)
    George W. Retherford (FL)
    Russell W. Smith (NY)
    Alphonse Thomas Trask (MA)
    Manuel "Primo" Vierra (RI)
    Elmer Weaver (OK)

Open "Comments" below for additional notes.


  1. Hi Jim,
    My father served in Company D of the 389th Infantry Regiment in Hawaii. I just posted a couple of pictures to my blog Know any of these guys.

  2. Additional notes from George W. Retherford, May 31, 2006, with quotes from the book, History of the 389th Infantry Regiment in World War II, John G. Irvin, 1946:

    In mid-1944, mortar men from Company L, including Retherford and Campbell, among others, were detached with the Navy to the Philippines:

    "In March (1945), just before the regiment was relieved from the defense mission (Oahu), the first of the group of ninety-nine enlisted men and four officers who had gone on Detached Service with the Navy to the Philippines returned (joining the 389th at Camp Pali, 8 miles from Honolulu). These men, all mortar men, had been on DS since mid-1944. As members of a specially picked and trained group of infantrymen who fired chemical mortars from landing craft in support of assault troops in the landings on Leyte in October 1944, and in other landings in the islands, these men represented the largest contingent of 389th personnel ever in combat at the same time while still offocially members of the regiment. The mortar men, all of whom returned safely to their respective companies, were in the first group that fired the new 4.2 chemical mortar in a landing operation. The landing craft carrying the men had the job of moving up near the invasion beaches following the pre-landing naval bombardment and blasting the area still further before the infantrymen assaulted the beaches.

    "The 389th's 103 men who returned from this operations received a commendation from Major General Henry T. Burgin, Central Pacific Base Command CG. They received also the Combat Infantryman's Badge and from two to three battle stars, depending upon the number of invasions they had taken part in." (Page 44)

    Photo, first row, 2nd and 3rd men from left:

    Both men died in accidents - one from an unspent shell in Hawaii, the other from electrocution resulting from an accidental fire during the Osaka occupation:

    "Havoc reigned at Kanaoka Barracks on the night of November 26, 1945, when fire destroyed a large barracks housing 454 men of the regiment.... Approximately half the 3rd Battalion men lost everything they owned except what they were wearing. One man was electrocuted in the fire, five others were injured." (Page 73)

  3. Hi Jim,
    i am positive that my dad was among the 103 men who returned from the Navy detachment. I have papers indicating that my dad, along with all the returning men, received a commendation from Major General Burgin. i also learned that my dad was in Company "L". As I do more research, I realize there are so many questions i wish i had asked my dad.

    "A Fellow Traveler"
    Mike Deutsch
    Long Island, NY