Enlisted Men of the 32nd Station Hospital: Part II (Last Name B)

This is the second in a series of articles about the enlisted men who served in the unit while it was overseas between January 14, 1943 and May 8, 1945.  See Introduction to Enlisted Men of the 32nd Station Hospital for details pertaining to research and curatorial decisions in how I’m presenting them.  Each entry lists the man’s name (with variants in some cases), service number, and dates of birth and death.  I anticipate that this will be by far the longest article in the personnel series.


Donald A. Bailey, 36508630 (possibly July 2, 1917 – November 1, 1980)

Bailey joined the U.S. Army on July 1, 1942.  Private Bailey was assigned to the 32nd Station Hospital from Camp J.T. Robinson, Arkansas on September 14, 1942 per Transfer List 571, joining the unit at Camp Rucker, Alabama on September 16.  He was promoted to private 1st class on December 3, 1942.  Shortly after arriving overseas, Private 1st Class Bailey went on detached service to the Medical Supply Depot in Oran on the evening of February 8, 1943.  He returned on February 21.  He was promoted to technician 5th grade by July 1943.  He was transferred to Personnel Center 6 on February 12, 1944.

It is not possible to cross-reference his service number to an enlistment record, but the beginning of his service number indicates he was drafted and joined the U.S. Army in Illinois, Michigan, or Wisconsin.  His extremely common name makes it impossible to know anything else about him with certainty.  I did find a draft card for a Donald Albert Bailey who was born in Detroit on July 2, 1917 and was working at the Aluminum Company of America as of October 16, 1940.  A Donald Bailey with the same date of birth has an entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File giving service dates of July 16, 1942 through October 31, 1945.  It’s not uncommon to see a slight discrepancy in those dates (within about two weeks) when someone was inducted in a city and went on active duty at a military installation elsewhere.


Earl Robert Baker, 35283411 (October 1, 1917 – December 4, 2011)

Baker was born in Barberton, Ohio, the son of John Franklin (a bricklayer) and Florence Baker. He was recorded on the census on April 4, 1930 living in Akron, Ohio with his parents, two younger sisters, and two younger brothers.  (Apparently, one more sister was born later).

When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Baker was working for his father in Akron.  He was described standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 142 lbs., with blond hair, blue eyes, and glasses.

After he was drafted, Baker entered the U.S. Army at Camp Perry, Ohio on January 30, 1942.  Private Baker joined the 32nd Station Hospital from the Detachment, Medical Department, 4th Service Command at Fort Benning, Georgia on December 17, 1942.  Later that month, he traveled with the unit to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey and went overseas aboard the U.S.S. Ancon on January 14, 1943.  Private Baker served with the unit in Tlemcen, Algeria in 1943 and Caserta, Italy in 1944.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 3–7, 1944.  He was transferred to 1st Replacement Depot on December 10 or 11, 1944.  In the transfer document, his M.O.S. was 835 (supply clerk) and M.C.O. 034 (bricklayer).

Baker married Mary Louise Haas (a cashier-secretary, 1917–1981) on August 31, 1946 in Akron.  The couple raised two sons and two daughters.  In his later years, Baker became a sensation in Akron.  According to an obituary reproduced on his Find a Grave page:

Shortly after Louise died, Tom Boso, a brother Mason of Victory Lodge #649, encouraged him to become a chaperon and sponsor of Job’s Daughters, the Masonic girls group. The girls bought him purple suspenders- their colors are purple and white- and the Purple Man was born. He became passionate about purple. When he couldn’t find purple pants he had them tailor-made, he bought a car and had special paint brought out of retirement. For his second car even the painter was brought out of retirement.

Baker and his purple car were regular participants in local parades up until the time of his death, aged 94.


Charles Ernst Ballard, 35255578 (February 21, 1916 – January 18, 1995)

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Charles E. Ballard at the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy. It must have been taken after November 13, 1944, when he was promoted to master sergeant. (Courtesy of the Ballard family)

Ballard was born in Evansville, Indiana.  He was the son of George and Lydia Ballard.  According to an article in The Evansville Courier on January 26, 1945 entitled “Ballard is in Italy with Hospital Unit,” Ballard “was graduated from the F. J. Reitz high school in 1943.”  He was recorded on the census on April 9 or 10, 1940 living in Evansville with his parents and brother.  He was listed as a secretary working for a plastics manufacturer.  When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, he was living in Evansville and working at the Hoosier Lamp & Stamping Corporation.  At the time, he was described as standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 150 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes.

Ballard was drafted shortly after Pearl Harbor.  He entered the U.S. Army at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana on February 4, 1942.  He was a member of the unit by August 13, 1942, when he was promoted from private to sergeant.  Shortly after arriving in Algeria, he was promoted to technician 3rd grade on February 2, 1943.  He was promoted to technical sergeant on April 8, 1943.  Ballard continued to serve with the unit during operations the following year in Caserta, Italy.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from November 12–16, 1944. 

Ballard was promoted to master sergeant on November 13, 1944.  After operations in Caserta ceased on July 20, 1945, Ballard went on detached service to Staging Area No. 1 in Bagnoli on August 22, 1945.  There are some missing records from September 1–12, 1945, but it appears the seven enlisted men and three officers who went to the staging area shipped out back to the United States ahead of the rest of the unit; an October 7, 1945 morning report entry stated that they were on temporary duty to the United States as an advance detachment and were being transferred to the Boston Port of Embarkation.  However, his entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File indicates he had already been discharged, on September 15, 1945.  The rest of the unit arrived in the United States on October 8. 

According to his Find a Grave entry, after the war, he attended Purdue University and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1950.  He worked for Caterpillar until his retirement in 1978.  He married Aleen Mann (1924–2018) on September 3, 1949.  The couple raised a daughter and a son.  Ballard died in St. Louis, Missouri, aged 78.


Hubert Stanley Banker, 36184369 (May 3, 1921 – February 17, 1993)

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Hubert S. Banker was listed as standing in the back row, second from left in this photo taken in late 1944 in Caserta, Italy.  (Dwight McNelly and Dorothy Eggers Collection. Courtesy of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library)

Banker was born in Hamilton, Indiana, the first of six children born to Stanley F. (a farmer) and Muriel Banker (a housewife).  Banker was recorded on the census on April 4, 1930 living with his family in Franklin Township in DeKalb County, Indiana (which includes Hamilton).  The 1940 census indicates that the family moved to Quincy, Michigan by April 1, 1935.  At the time Banker was recorded on the census on April 11, 1940, his occupation was recorded as caretaker for the local National Youth Administration center.

When Banker registered for the draft on February 16, 1942, he was working for his father.  At the time, he was described as standing 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing 140 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes.

Banker was drafted and joined the U.S. Army in Kalamazoo, Michigan on July 1, 1942.  His civilian occupation was recorded as “semiskilled chauffeurs and drives, bus tax, truck, and tractor.”  Private Banker was assigned to the 32nd Station Hospital from Camp J.T. Robinson, Arkansas on September 14, 1942 per Transfer List 571, joining the unit at Camp Rucker, Alabama on September 16.  Banker served with the unit overseas in Tlemcen, Algeria in 1943 and Caserta, Italy in 1944.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 19–23, 1944.  He was transferred to the 1st Replacement Depot on November 24, 1944.  The transfer document appeared to list his M.O.S. as 623 (finance typist clerk).

I have been able to learn very little about his postwar life.  There’s a record of him marrying Francis J. Petsch in Indiana on December 31, 1946.  However, his Find a Grave entry lists his spouse as Gail Banker (1945–2019).


Carl Edward Bard, 16176390 (August 30, 1924 – November 23, 1967)

Bard was born in Emerson, Michigan to Byron and Jennie Bard.  He volunteered for the U.S. Army in Detroit on December 12, 1942.  His civilian occupation was listed as “Semiskilled chauffeurs and drivers, bus, taxi, truck, and tractor”.  Corporal Carl E. Bard was listed as being wounded in the Mediterranean Theatre on a list published in The Detroit Free Press on January 27, 1944.  His headstone states he was a corporal in the 3rd Ranger Battalion, suggesting he was wounded at Anzio.  That may have actually been a stroke of luck for Corporal Bard personally, since the 3rd Ranger Battalion was effectively wiped out during the Battle of Cisterna on January 30, 1944.

Corporal Bard joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy at 1400 hours on February 14, 1944 via the 2nd Replacement Depot/Personnel Center 6.  His rank was reduced to private on June 22, 1944.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 15–19, 1944.  He was promoted to technician 5th grade on December 11, 1944.  Prior to leaving the unit on April 22, 1945, his M.O.S. was listed as 309 (telephone operator).  He was transferred to the 3988th Signal Switchboard Operating Detachment (at least, I think that’s the full name of the unit, abbreviated in a morning report as “3988 Sig Switchboard Optg Det”).  He may have remained on the hospital grounds, since a morning report mentioned that the 3988th was attached for rations, quarters, and administration on April 22, 1945.

He married Alice Long (1926–1957) in Gladwin, Michigan on May 9, 1946. Bard’s name appeared on a list compiled for the 1982 reunion; he was listed as having lost contact with the unit due to an incorrect address, which was listed as “Route #3” in Ithaca, New York.  Unfortunately, his actual address was Route #3 in Ithaca, Michigan.  According to his obituary in The State Journal (Lansing, Michigan), he was survived by a wife, Delores, a daughter, and a son.


Earl Heckman Barker, 34004116, (November 11, 1914 – November 20, 2001?)

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Earl H. Barker in a detail from a 32nd Station Hospital Radiology Section photo taken in Tlemcen, Algeria on June 1, 1943 (Courtesy of the Bramnick family)

Barker was born in Mulberry, Florida to Robert and Minnie Mae Barker.  He had an older brother, Robert.  As of January 3, 1920, the family was recorded on the census as living in Ozona Township in Pinellas County, Florida. The Barkers had moved to Seffner, Florida by the time they were recorded again on the census on April 15, 1930.  Barker was living in Tampa when he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940.  At the time, he was listed as standing 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing 122 lbs., with blonde hair and hazel eyes.  He was unemployed at the time, but his civilian occupation was recorded as stenographer when he joined the army.

Barker was drafted shortly after the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 was implemented.  He joined the U.S. Army at Camp Blanding, Florida on December 7, 1940.  Curiously, 32nd Station Hospital records give his entry date as January 6, 1942.  Although draftees originally were required to serve one year on active duty (meaning Barker would have finished his service around the same day Pearl Harbor was attacked!), President Roosevelt managed to get Congress to pass an extension.  Although some older draftees were still discharged at one year, Barker, at 27, would have been too young for that provision.  Beyond theorizing that he got a hardship discharge in 1941 and then rejoined the following year, I’m unable to explain the discrepancy. 

Technician 5th Grade Barker was assigned to the unit on November 30, 1942 from Camp Blanding, Florida per Special Order No. 290 and joined the 32nd Station Hospital at Fort Benning, Georgia on December 2, 1942.  The transfer document stated he was qualified for the duty of clerk, general (in charge) at the rank of sergeant, though he didn’t get that promotion while he was with the unit.  Barker served with the unit in Tlemcen, Algeria (where he appeared in a group photo of Radiology Section personnel taken on June 1, 1943) and then Caserta, Italy.  On June 18, 1944 he went on temporary duty “with the 36th Gen Hosp to attend the Agripoli Rest Camp” for seven days.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 15–19, 1944.  He was transferred to the 1st Replacement Depot on November 24, 1944.  The transfer document listed his M.O.S. as 405 (clerk-typist) and M.C.O. as 055 (clerk, general).

A June 6, 1945 article about him in The Tampa Daily Times stated that “Before entering the army, Cpl. Barker was a civil service clerk with the Army Air Forces, Lakeland.”  The article also stated that “Cpl. Barker was with the X-ray department of a hospital unit” until he transferred to “the U.S. Army Air Forces in Italy”, where he was in “the air supply division as a clerk in the aircraft and accessories unit.”  A November 17, 1946 article in the Tampa Sunday Tribune indicated that he was back home by July 1945.

Barker’s name appeared on a list compiled for the unit’s 1982 reunion.  The list stated he had lost contact with the rest of the unit due to outdated or inaccurate addresses, with a last known address of 201 South Packard Street in Tampa.  Unfortunately, his actual address had been 201 South Packwood Avenue.

At the time of his mother’s death in 1968, Barker was living in California.  I found a record that he lived in Huntington Park, but I have been unable to learn anything more about him with any certainty.  There is an entry on Find a Grave for a Earl H. Barker (1914–2001) but no specific dates of birth that would indicate whether it was him or not.  An Ancestry.com family tree gives the date of death above, but I have been unable to confirm it through the usual sources (obituaries, Social Security Death Index, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File).


Albert Isiah Barney, Jr., 31125043 (August 18, 1912 – September 22, 1977)

Barney was born in Massachusetts in 1912, the son of Albert I. Barney, Sr and Rosealma (Rose) Barney.  His mother had immigrated from Quebec.  By 1915, the family had moved to Providence, Rhode Island.  His father had begun working for the Providence Fire Department by 1930.  As of April 1930, when he was recorded on the census, the younger Barney was living with his family in Cranston City, Rhode Island and working as a shipper in a chemical plant.  He is almost certainly the Albert Isiah Barney, Jr. who was working for the Downey Flake Doughnut Shop in Providence when he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940.  He was living with his fiancée, Janet Picard, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island at the time.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 134 lbs., with brown hair and hazel eyes.  Although the card gave his place of birth as Seekonk, Massachusetts, curiously, his date of birth was recorded as August 18, 1910 rather than 1912.

Interestingly, his enlistment record recorded him as working as a fireman and living in Hartford County, Connecticut when he joined the U.S. Army in Hartford on June 15, 1942.  (Though the 32nd Station Hospital’s payroll records also give the same date of him entering active duty, his U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File entry gives his date of active duty as June 29, 1942.)

Barney’s name appeared on Transfer List No. 955 (August 31, 1942), a list of men assigned from the Medical Replacement Training Center at Camp Pickett, Virginia to the 32nd Station Hospital at Camp Rucker, Alabama.  According to the 32nd Station Hospital’s morning reports, he was promoted from private 1st class to corporal on February 2, 1943, soon after the unit arrived overseas.  He was later promoted to technician 4th grade on April 8, 1943. 

A May 16, 1943 letter by 2nd Lieutenant Alice E. Griffin mentioned him: “Got up early for Mass and then this p.m. went to a sports event at the stadium.  One of our boys – Sgt Barney ran 6 miles in 38 minutes.  He comes from Providence and has a lot of trophies & medals.”

Technician 4th Grade Barney was transferred to the 2612th Engineer Firefighting Platoon on December 7, 1943.  There is also several records of him in the U.S. World War II Hospital Admission Card Files.  The most notable was a serious non-battle injuries in February 1945.  The card stated that he sustained a fracture that kept him hospitalized until he left the service in November 1945.  I have no idea if the card was digitized accurately, but it states that his injures were “Intentionally Inflicted by another person (except Military Enemy or Guard, Sentry, MP, etc.)”:

Diagnosis: Fracture, compound, comminuted with no nerve or artery involvement; Location: Phalanges of ring finger; Location: Abdomen, abdominal wall and pelvis: Inguinal region and groin; Causative Agent: Bullet, Missile Not Stated; Diagnosis: Dermatophytos

According to the B.I.R.L.S. file, he was discharged from the U.S. Army on November 16, 1945.  

Barney was living in Providence, Rhode Island as of 1958, when his father died.  It appears that he later moved to Florida, where he died, aged 65.


Stanley Oscar Bathrick, 36184525 (June 6, 1921 – August 15, 1976)

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If he was a dental technician for the entire war, there’s a good chance Bathrick is in this photo taken outside the 32nd Station Hospital Dental Clinic in Tlemcen, Algeria during 1943. A private 1st class (his rank at the time) is kneeling at center, but I don’t have any confirmation that it’s him. (Robert Silverman Collection)

Bathrick was born in Ferry Township, Michigan to John and Ida Bathrick.  Bathrick was recorded on the census on April 27, 1940 as living in Ferry, Michigan, but with his grandmother rather than his parents.

When Bathrick registered for the draft on February 16, 1942, he was described as standing 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing 125 lbs., with brown hair and hazel eyes.  He was working as a foundry worker when he married Marie P. Staples, (1923–1948) in Ferry, Michigan on February 28, 1942.  The couple divorced on June 9, 1945, shortly after his return from WWII.  One child was listed in the divorce record.

Bathrick was drafted and was inducted into the U.S. Army in Kalamazoo, Michigan on July 2, 1942 and went on active duty on July 15, 1942.  Private Bathrick was assigned to the 32nd Station Hospital from Camp J.T. Robinson, Arkansas on September 14, 1942 per Transfer List 571, joining the unit at Camp Rucker, Alabama on September 16.  He was promoted to private 1st class at Fort Benning, Georgia on December 3, 1942.

Bathrick served with the unit in Tlemcen, Algeria in 1943 and Caserta, Italy in 1944.  He was promoted to technician 5th grade on February 19, 1944.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 19–23, 1944.  On March 1, 1945, Technician 5th Grade Bathrick departed for temporary duty in the United States via the 7th Replacement Depot for “rehabilitation recuperation & recovery purpose.”  His M.O.S. was listed as 855 (dental technician).  With the end of hostilities in Europe, it became unnecessary for him to return to the unit.  On May 21, 1945, Headquarters Peninsular Base Section directed that the three officers and 14 enlisted men on temporary duty to the United States be released from the 32nd Station Hospital; indeed, his entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File indicates he had already been discharged on May 13, 1945.

After the war, Bathrick remarried, to Josephine Mathes (1913–1988).  Bathrick appeared on a 1954 Muskegon, Michigan directory as a machine operator.  He died in Hart, Michigan, aged 55.


Thomas Edison Baumgardner, 36486329 (March 20, 1906 – August 19, 1983)

Baumgardner was born in Padua, Illinois, the son of Thomas J. and Tillie Baumgardner.  He grew up in Funk’s Grove Township in McLean County, Illinois, though the Baumgardners moved to Bloomington by the time they were recorded on the census on April 17, 1930.  He married Doris Emma Johnson (1909–1970) in St. Charles, Missouri. When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Baumgardner was living in Bloomington, Illinois with his wife and working for the Williams Oil-O-Matic Co.  At the time, he was described as standing 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing 170 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.

Baumgardner joined the U.S. Army in Peoria, Illinois on May 31, 1943.  (His entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File gives his dates of service as June 14, 1943 through October 8, 1945.  However, it’s not uncommon to see someone inducted in a city before going on active duty several weeks later at a fort or camp.)  A December 15, 1943 news item in The Daily Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) stated:

Pvt. Thomas E. Baumgardner has arrived safely in north Africa according to a cablegram received by his wife, Mrs. Doris Baumgardner.  He is the son of Mrs. Tillie Baumgardner, 1020 East Olive street. Pvt. Baumgardner is in the ordnance department of the army.

Private Baumgardner joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy at 1300 hours on February 12, 1944 via the 2nd Replacement Depot/Personnel Center 6.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 3–7, 1944.  He was promoted to private 1st class on February 15, 1945.  He was transferred to the 300th General Hospital on July 30, 1945.

Baumgardner died in Danville, Illinois, aged 77.  No children were mentioned in his obituary, published in The Pantagraph on August 21, 1983.  The obituary stated that “Mr. Baumgardner was a machinist at the Eureka Co., retiring in 1971.”


Hubert Norman Beasley, 33883783 (October 22, 1912 – December 2, 2000)

Beasley was born in Four Oaks, North Carolina, the son of Robert C. and Mabel or Mable Lee Beasley.  I was unable to locate any census records that mentioned him, though an Ancestry.com family tree states that he was the eldest of 16 children.  The family was recorded on the census on May 17, 1930 living in Smithfield Township in Johnson County, North Carolina, but it appears that Hubert had already left home by that point.

Beasley registered for the draft in Norfolk, Virginia on October 26, 1940.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 11½ inches tall and weighing 165 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.  Several addresses were crossed off, indicating subsequent moves to Wilson and then New Bern, North Carolina.  He was drafted in 1944.  At the time he went on active duty, his civilian occupation was listed as skilled stationary engineer.

Beasley joined the U.S. Army at Fort Meade, Maryland on April 14, 1944.  Private Beasley joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy from the 27th Replacement Depot on April 7, 1945.  He was promoted to private 1st class on June 1, 1945.  He was transferred to the 300th General Hospital per Special Order No. 176, Headquarters Peninsular Base Section dated August 26, 1945 and departed three days later.  An entry in the U.S. Veterans’ Gravesites database indicates he reached technician 4th grade prior to his discharge (which occurred on August 5, 1946 according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File).

I was not able to learn very much information about his postwar life.  A death notice printed in The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina) stated he was a resident of Goldsboro, North Carolina and gave his name as Hubert Beasley Sr.  Though that would suggest he had at least one son, I was unable to learn anything else about him.


Chester Colbert Beavers, 38180488 (November 7, 1912 – February 3, 1996)

Beavers was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of Frank and Addie Beavers.  His father died when he was 5 and the family moved to Oklahoma, where his mother had been born and her parents still lived.  Chester was recorded on the census on January 12, 1920 living with his mother, younger sister, and an aunt and uncle at his grandparents’ residence in Tishomingo, Oklahoma.  When he was recorded on the census on April 17, 1940, he was stilling living in Tishomingo and working as a gas station attendant.  However, by the time he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, he was unemployed.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 9½ inches tall and weighing 150 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes.  Beavers married Alta Mae Mills (1919–2001) on September 21, 1940 in Oklahoma City.  The couple had one son.

At the time Beavers was drafted, his occupation was listed as waiter.  He joined the U.S. the U.S. Army in Oklahoma City on July 23, 1942.  His entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. death file gave his dates of service as August 5, 1942 through September 24, 1945, suggesting he was inducted in Oklahoma City and then went on active duty about two weeks later.  Private Beavers was transferred to the 32nd Station Hospital per Special Order #269, Headquarters, Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Barkeley, Texas on October 11, 1942.  After joining the unit at Camp Rucker, Alabama, he accompanied it to Fort Benning, Georgia and Camp Kilmer, New Jersey before going overseas on January 4, 1943.  He may have been promoted to private 1st class on April 8, 1943 while serving in Tlemcen, Algeria.  He was promoted to technician 5th grade effective June 21, 1943.

Shortly after the unit began operations in Caserta, Italy, Beavers was promoted to technician 4th grade on February 19, 1944.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from December 22–26, 1944.  On April 2, 1945, he departed the unit for temporary duty in the United States “for rehabilitation recuperation & recovery purposes” via the 7th Replacement Depot.  With the end of hostilities in Europe, it became unnecessary for him to return to the unit.  On May 21, 1945, Headquarters Peninsular Base Section directed that the three officers and 14 enlisted men on temporary duty to the United States be released from the 32nd Station Hospital.  His draft card had a penciled in annotation that he was discharged on September 24, 1945.  Oddly enough, his headstone gave his grade as private.  If so, the demotion must have occurred after his rotation home.

Chester and Alta Beavers eventually divorced, and Chester subsequently remarried to Bonnie Mae Phelps (née Chaney, 1914–1999).


Felton Begnaud, 38240131 (March 2, 1914 – February 13, 1968)

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Felton Begnaud in a detail from a 1945 photograph of the 32nd Station Hospital Red Sox (Courtesy of the Weiner family)

Begnaud was born in Cecilia, Louisiana.  An Ancestry.com family tree lists his parents as Adolph and Jeanne (Jane in some sources and Jean on her headstone) Begnaud.  He may be the Felton Begnaud who was recorded on the census on April 4, 1930 as a laborer living in St. Martin County, Louisiana.  He was listed as the adopted son of Joel and Martha Dupuis.

His occupation was listed as seaman on a 1940 Port Arthur, Texas directory.  When recorded on the census on April 4, 1940 he was listed as a cook aboard a tug and living with his mother, Jane LeBlanc as well as some of his siblings.  When Begnaud registered for the draft on October 20, 1940, he was living in Port Arthur and working for the Texas Company (Texaco) Marine Department.  At the time, he was described as standing 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing 180 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.

His occupation was recorded as waiter when he was drafted.  Begnaud joined the U.S. Army in Houston, Texas on September 18, 1942.  The headstone application made for him gives an enlistment date of October 2, 1942.  The discrepancy may be a matter of him being inducted in Houston and then going on active duty elsewhere shortly thereafter.

Private Begnaud joined the 32nd Station Hospital at Fort Benning, Georgia on November 28, 1942, transferring from the Medical Replacement Training Center at Camp Barkeley, Texas.  He was promoted to private 1st class on February 18, 1944.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from September 29–October 3, 1944 and again from December 10–14, 1944.  He was promoted to technician 5th grade on July 3, 1945.  His M.O.S. at the time was listed as 590 (duty soldier III).  He was transferred to the 24th General Hospital on July 25, 1945.  He was discharged from the U.S. Army on November 29, 1945.  His headstone states he was a technician 5th grade in the 687th Port Company, Transportation Corps (presumably his last unit, which would have been listed on his discharge paperwork).


Vernon Norman Behrendt, 36294101 (April 4, 1923 – April 24, 2018)

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Vernon Behrendt c. 1943. Given his Medical Department collar disc, it was probably taken during the time he was with the 32nd Station Hospital (Courtesy of the Behrendt family)

Behrendt was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  The son of Alfred (a butcher who had immigrated from Germany) and Leona Behrendt, he had three sisters and two brothers.  Nicknamed Pete, Behrendt graduated from Green Bay East High School in 1941.  When he registered for the draft on June 30, 1942, he was described as standing 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing 151 lbs., with black hair and blue eyes.  His employer was listed as Reimers Meat Market, where his father also worked.

Behrendt was drafted.  At the time he was inducted into the U.S. Army in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 2, 1943, his occupation was described as skilled meat cutter.  Private Behrendt joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Tlemcen, Algeria from the 7th Replacement Depot at 1900 hrs on June 17, 1943.  He was promoted to private 1st class on February 18, 1944, shortly .  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 7–11, 1944.  He was transferred to the 1st Replacement Depot on November 24, 1944.  The transfer document listed his M.O.S. as 590 (duty soldier III), which I believe may have indicated he was assigned to guard duties at the hospital.

Private 1st Class Behrendt became an infantryman in the 349th Infantry Regiment, 88th Infantry Division.  He earned the Combat Infantryman Badge and three campaign stars.  Presumably, these would have been the Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno (both earned with the 32nd Station Hospital), and Po Valley (earned with the 349th Infantry).  He told his family very few stories from the war.  One concerned an incident in the Po Valley, when American infantry advanced against what appeared to be only sporadic resistance, only for the Germans to open fire with multiple MG 42s, the infamous machine gun that Allied soldiers nicknamed “Hitler’s buzzsaw.”  However, Behrendt escaped injury during the battle.  His son recalled that Behrendt was at the Brenner Pass when the war in Europe ended.

Behrendt’s obituary (printed in the Green Bay Press-Gazette on April 26, 2018) stated in part:

Upon Vernon’s return [from World War II], he married Elaine Bailey at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Green Bay on June 1, 1946.  Vernon was a Foreman at Reimer Meats for over 30 years.  He was a member of St. Patrick’s Parish, and in his free time enjoyed bowling, woodworking, playing bingo, and spending time with this grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Vernon and Elaine Behrendt (1923–2011) raised two sons and a daughter.  To the best of my knowledge, Behrendt was the last surviving member of the 32nd Station Hospital from World War II when he died in Green Bay on April 24, 2018, aged 95.


Monroe Scott Bellomy, 36073515 (June 17, 1909 – November 5, 1997)

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Staff Sergeant Monroe S. Bellomy (Courtesy of the Bellomy family)

Bellomy was born in Illinois to Leslie and Bessie Bellomy.  (His draft card stated that he was born in Schuyler County, Illinois, while his obituary stated that he was born in Pleasantview, Illinois.)  He had a younger sister.  The Bellomy family was recorded on the census on January 9, 1920 living in the Village of Table Grove in Farmers Township, Illinois.  By April 9, 1930, the family had moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where Bellomy was working as a bellboy in a hotel.  He was recorded again on the census on April 19, 1940, living with his mother in Rushville, Illinois and working as a painter.  When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Bellomy was unemployed and living in Rushville.  He was described as standing 6 feet tall (though his son recalled his correct height was 5 feet, 10 inches) and weighing 165 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.

He married Helga C. Madsen (1918–2007) in Macomb, Illinois on March 22, 1942.  A March 31, 1942 article in the Mason City Globe-Gazette stated that “Mr. Bellomy is employed as bay supervisor on the bomb line at the Iowa ordnance plant and Mrs. Bellomy in the office of Day and Zimmerman, Inc., engineers.”  The couple lived in Burlington, Illinois until Bellomy was drafted shortly thereafter.  He was inducted into the U.S. Army on May 5, 1942 and went on active duty at Camp Grant, Illinois.

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Monroe Bellomy and his wife, Helga (Courtesy of the Bellomy family)

Corporal Bellomy was transferred to the 32nd Station Hospital on October 19, 1942, per Special Order No. 282, Headquarters Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Grant, Illinois.  He joined the unit at Fort Benning, Georgia.  He was promoted to sergeant on December 3, 1942.  Helga accompanied him during assignments at Camp Grant and Fort Benning, then moved back to her parents’ home in Mason City, Iowa once his unit began preparations to go overseas.  In late December 1942, Sergeant Bellomy accompanied the unit to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey and went overseas aboard the U.S.S. Ancon on January 14, 1943.  Bellomy was promoted to staff sergeant on February 2, 1943 while the unit was staging in Bouisseville, Algeria prior to beginning operations in nearby Tlemcen later that month.  That June, Helga gave birth to their first son.

In mid-December 1943, Bellomy and the rest of the unit sailed for Italy, where the unit resumed operations at a new compound in Caserta on January 15, 1944.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from September 29–October 3, 1944.

On December 5, 1944, Staff Sergeant Bellomy was attached to the 7th Replacement Depot for a 30 days’ temporary duty in the United States.  (From what I understand of these rotations, they also allowed for travel time on both ends in addition to the 30 days at home.)  A January 17, 1945 article in the Mason City Globe-Gazette stated:

S/Sgt. M. S. Bellomy is home from Italy following 2 years of overseas service visiting his family at 141 24th S. W.  This is the first time he has seen his son, now 18 months old.  S/Sgt. Bellomy has been serving with the 32nd station hospital in north Africa and Italy.  He will report to Jefferson Barracks, Mo., at the end of his 30 day furlough before returning overseas.

Staff Sergeant Bellomy returned to the unit in Caserta on March 2, 1945.  His M.O.S. was listed as 673 (medical N.C.O.) upon his return.  The hospital shut down operations on July 20, 1945 and went into staging in Naples on August 2, 1945 in preparation for redeployment for the Pacific Theater, though V-J Day soon rendered that unnecessary.  On September 22, 1945 the men of the 32nd Station Hospital sailed for the United States aboard the S.S. John Clarke.

Bellomy was one of a handful of enlisted men who served with the unit the entire time it was overseas, temporary duty to the United States notwithstanding.  After the 32nd Station Hospital arrived at the Boston Port of Embarkation on October 8, 1945, he was transferred to the Reception Center at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts.  At the time of his departure from the unit, his M.O.S. was 820 (subsistence N.C.O.).  After his discharge from the U.S. Army on October 17, 1945, the Bellomy family made their home in Mason City.  The Bellomys had second son after the war.  Bellomy’s obituary, printed in the Globe-Gazette on November 7, 1997 stated that Bellomy

worked as a salesman for the Holsum Bakery for 20 years.  He then was a salesman for Paul’s Mobile Homes for seven years and then operated his own business as an escort for oversize loads in the state of Iowa until his retirement in 1981.  In 1985 they moved to Apache Junction, Ariz., for nine years until their move to Owatonna three years ago.  He enjoyed hunting pheasants, fishing and bowling at Dick’s Bowling and also the Rosebowl.

He died in Owatonna, Minnesota, aged 88.


Lloyd Joseph Benore, 36161181 (December 22 or 23, 1915 – December 14, 1986)

Benore was born in Toledo, Ohio (according to his draft card, on December 22, 1915), the son of Dan and Mae Benore.  He was living in Detroit, Michigan when he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940.  At the time, he was described as standing 5 feet, 8½ inches tall and weighing 174 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.  He married a woman named Helen in Ohio on January 2, 1940; the couple divorced on July 16, 1942.  (According to an Ancestry.com family tree, he remarried to a woman named Caroline.)

Benore was drafted before the U.S. entered World War II, joining the U.S. Army on November 14, 1941 at Fort Custer, Michigan.  It’s unclear when he joined the 32nd Station Hospital, but it was before the unit went overseas.  Most likely, he was in a group that was transferred to the 32nd Station Hospital at Fort Benning, Georgia from Camp Wheeler, Georgia on November 30, 1942?  Corporal Benore was reduced to the rank of private effective January 13, 1943.  He was mentioned in Willard Havemeier memoir during the transatlantic crossing: “In order to while away the time, another enlisted man, Lloyd Benore and I put together a show while we were enroute.”  A poem that Private Benore wrote appeared in the May 1, 1943 issue of The Weekly Diagnosis.

Benore served with the unit in Algeria and Italy.  He was was promoted to private 1st class on May 12, 1943.  He was promoted to corporal effective June 21, 1943, but was demoted back to private on September 5, 1944.  He was one of 16 men transferred to the 1st Replacement Depot on November 17, 1944.  His M.O.S. at the time of transfer is a bit hard to read but appears to be 442 (entertainment specialist).  Though I wouldn’t think a station hospital would have any of that particular M.O.S. in its table of organization, it is consistent with Havemeier’s memoir!

Some of the men who transferred out of the unit in November 1944 ended up on the front lines.  Indeed, a May 17, 1945 article in The Detroit News stated that Private First Class Benore was wounded by “shell fragments in left leg” while serving in a “medical unit” in Italy.  It’s not clear if he was demoted or whether the August 20, 1943 news article that he had been promoted was inaccurate.  A hospital admission card confirms that he was a member of an unspecified Medical Department unit when he was wounded in the leg by fragments from an artillery shell.  He was admitted to a hospital in April 1945 and discharged from an unspecified general hospital the following month.  Benore left active duty on September 1, 1945.  His U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File entry matches the service dates from other sources but gave a date of birth of December 22, 1915.

Benore’s name appeared on a list of members of the unit compiled for the 1982 reunion as someone who had lost contact with the rest of the unit due to an outdated or inaccurate address, with a last known address of 60 Albert Street in North Arlington, New Jersey.

He married his third wife, Lorraine (1923–2005), in New Jersey in February 1967.  A November 27, 1967 news item in The Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey) indicates that the address in the 32nd Station Hospital reunion document was most likely accurate, if outdated: “The holiday weekend for North Arlington’s Lloyd and Lorraine Benore was at Puerto Rico.  Trip was via jet.  He is director Rets Electronic School, Kearny…”

Benore had moved to Dayton, Ohio by 1976.  He died in Ohio, aged 70.  His obituary, printed in the Dayton Daily News and Journal Herald, listed his wife, son and daughter as survivors.  (I believe they were his technically his stepson and stepdaughter.)


Otis J. Benson (probably Otis John Benson), 32115230 (probably May 31, 1912 – September 16, 1964)

Benson was born in New York state in 1912.  He was living in Queens, New York City when he was drafted (before the U.S. entered World War II).  He was inducted into the U.S. Army on April 22, 1941 in Jamaica, New York.  His occupation was recorded as general office clerk at the time.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing 105 lbs. at the time.  Private 1st Class Benson was transferred from the Detachment, Medical Department, 4th Service Command at Fort Benning, Georgia to the 32nd Station Hospital per Special Order No. 292 (Headquarters Fort Benning, November 28, 1942).  His duty was listed as laboratory technician, and qualified for the rank of technician 5th grade, though he didn’t get that promotion while with the unit.  He served with the unit for most of the time it was in operation in Algeria and Italy.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 19–23, 1944.  As of February 6, 1945, his M.O.S. was 657 (medical aidman or hospital orderly).  On June 4, 1945, he was transferred to the 7th Replacement Depot to return to the United States.

A probable match is Otis John Benson, born in New York City on May 31, 1912 to Resper Dale and Augusta Benson.  At the time he registered for the draft (though the date of registration was accidentally left blank on his card, it was probably “R-Day,” October 16, 1940), he was living in Jamaica, New York and working for the Tufano Contracting Corporation.  His description was slightly different than the enlistment data for the 32nd’s Benson: 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing 115 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.  An annotation to his draft card stated he was honorably discharged on August 16, 1945.  He subsequently moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he worked as a clerk/cashier.  He died there, aged 52.  The death certificate stated he was a veteran, but unfortunately left his service number blank.  I was not able to cross-reference his information though the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File either.  For that reason, I have rated this match as probable.  I have been unable to learn anything more about him.


George Leon Bessette, 31076601 (December 24, 1917 – November 30, 1965)

Bessette was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, the son of Louis and Elizabeth Bessette.  When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Bessette was living in Fitchburg and working for the Crocker, Burbank & Company (a paper manufacturer).  He was described as standing 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing 160 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes.

Bessette was drafted, and joined the U.S. Army on May 5, 1942.  Private Bessette joined the unit from the Detachment, Medical Department, 4th Service Command at Fort Benning, Georgia on December 17, 1942.  Not long after the unit’s arrival in Algeria, he was hospitalized at the 21st General Hospital on February 20, 1943.  Apparently due to his illness, he was transferred to the 1st Replacement Depot on March 11, 1943.  A hospital admission card indicates he was discharged from both the hospital and the military in August 1943.  Indeed, the application for headstone made on his behalf stated he was discharged from the U.S. Army on August 17, 1943.  He died in 1965, aged 47.


Louis D. Berman (likely Louis David Berman), 36532481 (likely August 31, 1902 – April 21, 1978)

It is not possible to cross-reference Berman’s service number to an enlistment card, but the beginning of the number indicates that he was drafted and entered the service in the states of Illinois, Michigan, or Wisconsin.  Private Berman joined the 32nd Station Hospital from the 7th Replacement Depot on March 25, 1945.  His M.O.S. was listed as 657 (medical aidman or hospital orderly) and M.C.O. 352.  He was transferred to the 7th Replacement Depot on May 26, 1945 to return to the United States.

Although his name isn’t necessarily uncommon, a likely match is the Louis David Berman who was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 31, 1902 to Israel and Rose Berman.  When he registered for the draft on February 16, 1942, he was living in Detroit, Michigan and working at the Capitol Music Company.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 7½ inches tall and weighing 160 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes.  His entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File states that he was on active duty from October 3, 1942 through June 23, 1945, which would seem to be consistent with 32nd Station Hospital’s records.  He married Irene Rusin (1917–2001) in Detroit on May 12, 1948.  He died in South Haven, Michigan, aged 75.  I wasn’t able to find an obituary for him, but his wife’s, published in The Herald-Palladium (St. Joseph, Michigan) on March 13, 2001, did not list any children.  I have been unable to learn anything else about him.


William Spence Bishop (Spence Bishop), 34189679 (July 16, 1918 – December 18, 1999)

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William Spence Bishop in a photo printed on June 11, 1944 (The Knoxville Journal)

Bishop was born in Riceville, Tennessee, the son of William D. and Glenda Bishop.  In some records, he was referred to as Spence Bishop.

When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Bishop was living in Erie, Tennessee and working for his father.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing 140 lbs., with blond hair and blue eyes.

Bishop was drafted, and joined the U.S. Army at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia on February 21, 1942.  His occupation was recorded as farm hand.  Private 1st Class Bishop was transferred from the Detachment, Medical Department, 4th Service Command at Fort Benning, Georgia to the 32nd Station Hospital per Special Order No. 292 (Headquarters Fort Benning, November 28, 1942).  His duty was listed as surgical technician.  He was promoted to technician 5th grade on August 10, 1943.  On June 18, 1944 he went on temporary duty “with the 36th Gen Hosp to attend the Agripoli Rest Camp” for seven days.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from November 20–24, 1944.  He was one of 16 enlisted men transferred to the 52nd Station Hospital on June 30, 1945.  His entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File indicates he was discharged on October 1, 1945.

His obituary, printed in the Daily Post Athenian on December 18, 1999 and reproduced on his Find a Grave entry, stated that he and his wife Frances Aileen Bishop (1925–2000) raised a daughter and a son.  It stated:

A lifelong resident of McMinn County, he was a son of the late William D. and Glena Dixon Bishop. He was a well-known carpenter and home builder in McMinn County until his retirement. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was of the Baptist faith.

Bishop died in Athens, Tennessee, aged 81.


Donald Gordon Black, 34609062 (February 21, 1924 – February 9, 2006)

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Private Don Black (background) reacting with dismay to Technician 5th Grade Stephen Hair sitting on his camera during a February 10, 1945 visit to Mt. Vesuvius (Dwight McNelly and Dorothy Eggers Collection. Courtesy of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library)

Black was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina, one of at least six children born to Jacob Sylvania and Julia Maude Black.  Census records indicate that he grew up in Flat Creek Township, North Carolina.  When he registered for the draft on June 30, 1942, he was living in Stocksville, North Carolina.  He was described as standing 6 feet tall and weighing 141 lbs., with brown hair and eyes. 

After he was drafted, Black was inducted into the U.S. Army at Camp Croft, South Carolina on March 11, 1943.  His North Carolina Statement of Service World War II form states he went on active duty on March 18, 1943 and served two years and 27 days overseas.  His list of decorations included the Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman Badge, earned in Italy prior to joining the 32nd Station Hospital.  It also stated that he earned the European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with campaign credit for the Naples-Foggia and Rome-Arno campaigns as well as an arrowhead device, suggesting that he participated in the amphibious operation at Solerno, Italy.  A hospital admission card stated that while he was an infantryman, Private Black was wounded in the lower leg by artillery fragments in June 1944 (which would have been during the Rome-Arno campaign) and hospitalized until he returned to duty in September.

Private Black was one of 61 men (including quite a few combat veterans) who joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy from the 7th Replacement Depot at 1000 hrs on November 12, 1944.  The transfer document indicated he was Infantry Branch with M.O.S. 405  (clerk-typist).  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from December 6–10, 1944.  Black was promoted to private 1st class on February 15, 1945.  He departed for the U.S. Army Rest Center, Rome on August 16, 1945 and returned on August 20.  After the 32nd Station Hospital arrived at the Boston Port of Embarkation on October 8, 1945, he was transferred to the Reception Center at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts.  At the time of his departure from the unit, his M.O.S. was 405 (clerk-typist).  Private 1st Class Black was honorably discharged on December 2, 1945.

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It had been almost a year since Vesuvius erupted, but Private Black found a place hot enough to set his walking stick on fire! (Dwight McNelly and Dorothy Eggers Collection. Courtesy of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library)

He attended the University of North Carolina after the war.  In 1950, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Business Administration there.  Black lived in Greensboro, North Carolina and Fort Lauderdale, Florida after the war, but I have been unable to learn very much else about him.


Ralph George Bomgarden, 36312372 (January 12, 1920 – September 30, 2010)

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Though not labeled, I believe it likely that this photo depicts 24 of the 25 men from the original 32nd Station Hospital cadre.  If so, it must have been taken at Camp Rucker, Alabama between June 25 and roughly August 13, 1942.  I suspect Bomgarden is in this photograph, but he’s not been identified yet.

Bomgarden was born in Forreston, Illinois to Gabe and Mary Bombgarden.  He had two sisters as well as a brother (who died very young).  He was recorded on the census on April 9, 1940 living with his family in Brookville Township, Illinois and working as a laborer on a farm.  When Bomgarden registered for the draft on July 1, 1941, he was living in Forreston and working for Peter Ruter in Baileyville, Illinois.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 138 lbs., with brown hair and hazel eyes.

After he was drafted, Bomgarden joined the U.S. Army at Camp Grant, Illinois on January 19, 1942.  His civilian occupation was listed as farm hand.  As a member of the original cadre of enlisted personnel to join the 32nd Station Hospital at Camp Rucker, Alabama in the summer of 1942, Bomgarden advanced rapidly.  On August 13, 1942, he was promoted from private to technician 5th grade. He was promoted to technician 4th grade on December 3, 1942 while stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia.

While he was in Tlemcen, Algeria, Bomgarden was subject to a curious series of rank changes.  A morning report entry stated that he was reduced to the grade of private on August 8, 1943 but then he was immediately promoted back to technician 5th grade on August 10.  Then he was demoted to private on September 1, 1943.

After the unit’s arrival in Italy, Private Bomgarden was placed on detached service with the 23rd General Hospital on January 2, 1944.  He returned to the unit on January 10, 1944, the day the hospital began setting up in Caserta.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 3–7, 1944.  He was transferred to the 1st Replacement Depot on November 24, 1944.  The transfer document listed his M.O.S. as 345 (truck driver, light).

Private Bomgarden’s son recalled that after leaving the 32nd Station Hospital, his father served in the 349th Infantry Regiment of the 88th Infantry Division, finishing the war in Austria.  (Another member of the hospital, Vernon Norman Behrendt, transferred to the 1st Replacement Depot on the same day and ended up in the same regiment.)

A January 25, 1945 news item in The Freeport Journal-Standard (Freeport, Illinois) stated:

Pvt. Ralph G. Bomgarden, 25, son of Gabe Bomgarden of Forreston, has completed two years of overseas service.  He has served in Africa and is now stationed in Italy.  He has been in service three years, and before going overseas received his early training at Savannah, Ga.; Barksdale, La.;; [sic] Camp Rucker, Ala., and Fort Benning, Ga.

After his discharge, Bomgarden returned to the family farm.  His obituary in the Journal-Standard stated that “Bomgarden farmed his entire life in Ogle County” and earned a Bronze Star Medal during the war.  He married Dorothy L. Heeren (1924–2010) in Forreston on January 10, 1946.  The couple raised two sons.  He died in Freeport, Illinois, aged 90.


James Clyde Bowen (Clyde Bowen), 34653760 (November 23, 1923 – April 30, 2003)

Bowen was born in Kershaw County, South Carolina, the son of Oliver and Rosie Bowen.  His name was recorded as Clyde Bowen in some records.  He had at least three younger brothers and a younger sister.  He was recorded on the census on May 9, 1930 and again on April 22, 1940, living with his family in Waltree Township, South Carolina.

When he registered for the draft on June 30, 1942, Bowen was unemployed and living in Blaney, South Carolina.  He was described as standing six feet tall and weighing 153 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.  After he was drafted, Bowen joined the U.S. Army at Fort Jackson, South Carolina on April 20, 1943.  His civilian occupation was recorded as carpenter.

A hospital admission card stated that in January 1944, he a member of an infantry unit when he was wounded in the thigh and sacral cord by a land mine.  He was discharged from the hospital the following month.  Private 1st Class Bowen joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy on March 3, 1945.  His previous unit was hard to read on the morning report, but appears to be the 613th Signal Service Company (“613 Sig Serv Co” though it might be 813).  His M.O.S. was listed as 060 (cook).  He was transferred to the 177th Military Police Company on March 24, 1945.  His entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File states that he was discharged from the U.S. Army on December 31, 1945.

He may be the James C. Bown of Lugoff, South Carolina who married a Margaret E. Jackson in Kershaw County, South Carolina.  If so, he later remarried.  His obituary, printed in The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina) on May 1, 2003 was very brief but mentioned that he was “a retired concrete superintendent”.


Roger D. Bowers, 35331556 (December 31, 1919 – September 12, 2012)

Bowers was born on December 31, 1919 in Tippecanoe, Ohio, the son of Alfred L. and Harriet F. Bowers.  Bowers had a younger sister and two younger brothers.  He was recorded on the census on April 2, 1930 living with his family in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.  The family moved to Boston, Ohio after April 1, 1935.  As of April 6, 1940, Bowers was working as a clerk in a grocery store.  The census stated that the family had been living in Cuyahoga Falls as of April 1, 1935.  Bowers was working for Ohio Bell Telephone Company when he married Odessa M. Treap in Summit County, Ohio on June 27, 1941.  

When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Bowers was living in Akron, Ohio and working as an installer for the Bell Telephone Company.  At the time, he was described as standing 6 feet, ¾ inches tall and weighing 165¼ lbs., with black hair and hazel eyes.

After Bowers was drafted, he was inducted into the U.S. Army in Akron, Ohio on July 14, 1942.  His civilian occupation was recorded as “semiskilled occupations in electroplating, galvanizing, and related processes”.  Private Bowers trained at Camp Pickett, Virginia and was assigned to the 32nd Station Hospital on September 4, 1942 per Transfer List No. 978.  He joined the unit at Camp Rucker, Alabama on September 10, 1942.  While serving with the unit at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was promoted to private 1st class on December 3, 1942. 

Bowers accompanied the unit to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey and went overseas from the New York Port of Embarkation on January 14, 1943.  During operations in Tlemcen, Algergia, he was promoted to technician 5th grade on May 12, 1943. 

A May 30, 1943 article in the Akron Beacon Journal mentioned him, though the paper was unaware of his recent promotion:

Last January P.F.C. Roger D. Bowers, 23, left for North Africa and now is serving there with the medical corps.  Son of Mr. And Mrs. Alfred Bowers, Virginia Kendall Park rd., Peninsular, he joined the army last July 28 and wen to Ford Benning, Ga., for his training.  His 10-month-old daughter was only five weeks old when her gather was inducted.  Bowers’ wife is the former Odessa Treap of Northampton.  He attended Hudson high school.

A clipping in my grandfather’s scrapbook from the unit newspaper in the fall of 1943 mentioned him:

The following night Rodger Bowers served the best hamburgers we’ve had since we left the “old country”.  They were abundant and Lt. Silverman stacked away the greatest number.  Due to rationing laws, and the morale of the home front, we cannot disclose the exact number.  Capt. Hall and Capt. Cohen were only also rans.

Bowers remained with the unit as it began operations in Caserta, Italy in January 1944.  He was promoted to technician 4th grade on August 15, 1944.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 7–11, 1944 and again from December 26–30, 1944.  A March 5, 1945 morning report entry listed his M.O.S. as 060 (cook).

After operations ended in Caserta during the summer of 1945, the unit went into staging in nearby Naples.  Bowers departed for the U.S. Army Rest Center, Rome on August 12, 1945 and returned on August 16.  He went on detached service to Staging Area No. 1 in Bagnoli on August 22, 1945.  There are some missing records, but it appears the seven enlisted men and three officers who went to the staging area shipped out back to the United States ahead of the rest of the unit; an October 7, 1945 morning report entry stated that they were on temporary duty to the United States as an advance detachment and were being transferred to the Boston Port of Embarkation, though it appears some members of the detachment had already been discharged by then.  The rest of the unit arrived in the United States on October 8. 

Bowers’s daughter JoAnn found this site back in 2019 and told me:

I have heard that many others enjoyed the food from my father’s kitchens—even some from other companies made it a point to visit when possible.  I did hear a couple tales about trips to the ration depot and some of the bargaining in order to make his men’s holiday meals more special. After the war, he always enjoyed cooking, but quantities for only the family were a challenge to him.  He cooked dinners for the groups and lodges he belonged to with no effort at all. In his last four years, while in an independent living facility, he would give the cooks some pointers and ideas about what those seniors REALLY wanted to be eating!

Roger and Odessa Bowers raised three sons and two daughters.  Bowers was living in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio when he attended the 32nd Station Hospital reunion in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1982. 

Bowers died in 2012, aged 93.  His obituary, printed in the Akron Beacon Journal on September 14, 2012, stated:

Roger served in the 107th Cavalry, Ohio National Guard, was a proud Army veteran of World War II where he served in the Medical Corps in North Africa, Italy, and Sicily, and was a member of the American Legion.  He retired from B.F. Goodrich Co. and the Ford Motor Company in Wallton Hills; was a Past Master of the Masonic Lodge and a 32nd Degree Mason.  He served 16 years as a Trustee for the former Northampton Township, was a member of their Volunteer Fire Department and the Northampton Historical Society.  Roger was a long-time active member of the Northampton Bible Church.  He and Odessa enjoyed belonging to several camping groups.


Hugh Bradford, 6394821 (April 1, 1914 – March 1986)

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Hugh Bradford (standing second from left) with his mother and some of his siblings in a postwar photograph (Courtesy of the Bradford family)

Bradford was born and raised Hollywood, Alabama, one of eight children born to Theodoric I. Bradford and Nancy Ann Bradford.  Bradford was living in Detroit, Michigan and working as a mechanic when he married Rose Bennett, a waitress, on July 26, 1939 in Wood County, Ohio.  It appears that the marriage didn’t last.

Bradford’s service number indicates that he was a prewar member of the Regular Army (though that does not rule out a period of separation from the service prior to World War II).  He is likely the Private 1st Class Hugh Bradford who was recorded on the census on April 7, 1940 as single and stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia.  The document stated that he was living in Scottsboro, Alabama (in Jackson County, where he grew up) as of April 1, 1935.

Private Bradford joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Tlemcen, Algeria at 1200 hours on September 21, 1943, per a letter from Headquarters 5th Army dated September 18, 1943.  He served with the unit in Tlemcen in the fall of 1943 and then Caserta, Italy in the winter and spring of 1944.  He departed the unit on May 4, 1944 at 0900 hours for rotation back to the United States via Personnel Center 6. 

A news item printed in The Progressive Age (Scottsboro, Alabama) on June 22, 1944 is consistent with the details of his departure:

Pvt. Hugh Bradford, son of Mr. and Mrs. T. I. Bradford, of Scottsboro Rt. 2, is home on a 25-day leave from Italy.  He has seen two years oversea [sic] service in England, North Africa, Sicily and Italy.  He was wounded in Sicily and was in the invasion of Africia, [sic] Sicily and Italy.  Pvt. Bradford has a younger brother, Cpl. Jack Bradford in Italy.  He will report back to Camp Butner, N. C., the 5th of July.

It appears that he was promoted rapidly after his return to the United States.  A February 1, 1945 news item in the The Progressive Age stated that Corporal Bradford was stationed in Baltimore, Maryland but spending nine days visiting his parents in Scottsboro.  An October 25, 1945 article in the same paper stated that Bradford was visiting home and that “Sgt Bradford has been in the service 10 years with 2 years overseas.  He wears the Purple Heart and 4 battle stars.  He will return to Baltimore, Md., for reassignment.”  (It is not clear if he was really in the U.S. Army from 1935–1945, because his marriage record suggested he was a civilian as of July 26, 1939.

There’s a record of him reenlisting (for three years according to the local paper) at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland on November 20, 1945 with the grade of technician 4th grade (equivalent to sergeant).  His civilian occupation was recorded as “skilled occupations in the manufacture of electrical machinery and accessories”.  A January 3, 1946 article in The Progressive Age stated that Staff Sergeant Hugh Bradford was still stationed in Baltimore. 

A February 21, 1946 article reported that he “has gone to Camp Blanding, Fla., after having ninety days leave.  He will go from there to New York for reassignment.”

He was mentioned again in a February 3, 1949 article in The Progressive Age:

Mr. and Mrs. John Kurek, of Chattanooga, and Miss Lois Bradford, of Fort Sanders Hospital, Knoxville, visited their mother, Mrs. Annie Bradford last week-end.  On their way back to Chattanooga in in [sic] the snow and ice storm they had a car wreck near Scottsboro.  Miss Bradford and Mrs. Kurek were slightly injured. S. Sgt. Hugh Bradford, who was with the party enroute to his camp in Massachusetts, received some scratches and bruises.

While stationed in Germany, he had a child, Margaret (or Margit) Ann Bradford, who was born in Munich on August 23, 1950.  He listed the child’s mother’s maiden name as Maria Katholisch on a later document.

A March 27, 1952 article in The Progressive Age stated:

T Sgt. Hugh Bradford and wife and little daughter are here visiting [his] mother, Mrs. Annie Bradford.  Sgt. Bradford married a girl from Frankfurt, Germany.  It is her first visit to the U. S.  She likes it very much.  After a few days here they will be at Over Field Air Base, Mass.

Given the mention of the air base and the fact that the U.S. Army had retired the rank of technical sergeant in 1948, it appears that Bradford must have transferred to the U.S. Air Force by then.  An October 5, 1952 article in the Montgomery Advertiser stated that Technical Sergeant Bradford was visiting again “from Germany, where he was stationed for three years at Rhein Main Air Force Base.  Mrs. Bradford was formerly Miss Margot Hahne, Frankfort, Germany.”  The couple divorced in Montgomery County, Alabama in July 1953.

Tragically, on March 23, 1955, while Technical Sergeant Bradford was stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base, Margaret Ann Bradford died, aged 4, from complications following a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.  After the tragedy, Bradford made his home in Chattanooga, Tennessee and after his death in March 1986, he was buried in Hamilton Memorial Gardens in Hixson, Tennessee (where his daughter was also buried).


Paul Bramnick, 33318534 (May 12, 1918 – October 5, 2006)

Bramnick-32nd-Radiology-Unit-str-Larger-Detail
Technician 5th Grade Paul Bramnick (standing at center) in a detail from a June 1, 1943 photo of the 32nd Station Hospital’s Radiology Section in Tlemcen, Algeria (Courtesy of the Bramnick family)

Bramnick was born and raised in Waterbury, Connecticut, the son of Louis and Anna Bramnick.  His parents were immigrants from Russia who had settled in Connecticut, where Louis worked as a glass finisher in a clock factory.  Bramnick had three younger sisters and a younger brother. 

Bramnick’s son told me: 

During high school, Paul had an after-school job as a soda fountain “jerk” at a local pharmacy. The owner of that pharmacy became my father’s mentor, and encouraged him to attend pharmacy school. As to whether he actually attended the school I am uncertain, but at some point during that time, he met someone else who suggested osteopathic college as a career path rather than pharmacology. As is the case with most poor immigrant families, education becomes the key to a better standard of living. My father’s family was no exception. As the oldest son, Paul’s education became the family’s priority, requiring everyone to work towards funding his education.

Bramnick was recorded on the census on April 5, 1940 living in Philadelphia with his mother and three siblings.  Although his occupation was listed as traveling salesman, though Bramnick’s son questioned the accuracy of that record since his father had only mentioned working in a pharmacy to put himself through school.

When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Bramnick was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania while attending the Philadelphia College of Osteopathy.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 8½ inches tall and weighing 147 lbs., and black hair and brown eyes.  He married Phyllis Samuels (1922–1958) in Philadelphia in 1942 prior to joining the U.S. Army.  The couple had a son and a daughter.

After he was drafted, Bramnick was inducted into the U.S. Army in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 19, 1942.  According to his Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Application for World War II Compensation form, he went on active duty on July 3, 1942 at Fort Meade, Maryland.  Close as he was to completing his degree, it seems that Bramnick would have made an excellent candidate for the Army Specialized Training Program (A.S.T.P.), but either by his own choice or military necessity, he was assigned to the Medical Replacement Training Center at Camp Pickett, Virginia.  Private Bramnick was assigned to the 32nd Station Hospital on September 4, 1942 per Transfer List No. 978.  He joined the unit at Camp Rucker, Alabama on September 10, 1942.  While stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was promoted to private 1st class on December 3, 1942. 

Bramnick traveled with the unit to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey and went overseas on January 14, 1943.  He served with the unit in Tlemcen, Algeria during operations beginning in February 1943.  He was promoted to technician 5th grade by June 1, 1943. 

Technician 5th Grade Bramnick remained with the unit during operations in Caserta, Italy beginning in January 1945.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 7–11, 1944 and again from January 15–19, 1945.  His M.O.S. as of February 17, 1945 was listed as 264 (x-ray technician).  He was one of 16 enlisted men transferred to the 52nd Station Hospital on June 30, 1945.  His Pennsylvania compensation application stated that his overseas service ended on July 18, 1945 and that he was honorably discharged on October 9, 1945 at Camp Crowder, Missouri.

Bramnicks
Phyllis and Paul Bramnick (Courtesy of the Bramnick family)

A March 14, 1947 article in The Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania) stated:

Dr. Paul Bramnick, Philadelphia, was appointed resident physician in radiology at the Allentown Osteopathic hospital recently, and has taken up his duties there.

Dr. Bramnick attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, and was graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathy.  He did work in radiology while based with the U. S. Army’s 32nd Station hospital in Italy and Africa during the war, and since his discharge in October 1945 has completed his interneship [sic] in the Warren hospital Phillipsburg, N. J.

The Bramnicks had a son and a daughter after the war.  They had moved to Phoenix, Arizona by 1950.  Dr. Bramnick ran an x-ray clinic there until the family moved to Michigan, where he became head of radiology at Flint General Hospital.  Tragically, Phyllis Bramnick died of a sudden illness in 1958, aged 36.  

After the death of his wife, Dr. Bramnick and his family moved to Los Angeles, California.  As of March 1960, when he remarried, to Dorothy Wilderman (who he met in a hospital gift shop), he was working at Victory Hospital in North Hollywood, California.  Paul and Dorothy had one daughter, Paul’s third child.  A November 26, 1961 article in the Los Angeles Times announced that he was appointed chairman of the Radiology Department there.  

Dr. Bramnick’s son told me:

Although he was highly regarded and praised by his medical colleagues for his excellent skills of reading films and making correct diagnoses throughout his career as a radiologist, he experienced some prejudice because of the fact that he was not credentialed as a Doctor of Medicine. M.D.s tended to consider D.O.s as sub-par physicians. He felt that not having the “M.D.” designation at the end of his name was limiting his career opportunities. He, therefore, enrolled at the University of California Irvine College of Medicine, and finally achieved his “Doctor of Medicine degree. Soon after, Paul became a board-certified physician in nuclear medicine.

He added:

His medical career included working for the Los Angeles County Fire and Police departments; Santa Fe Hospital (owned and built by the Santa Fe Railroad for its employee pensioners); and served a fellowship at the prestigious White Memorial Hospital (an Adventist faith-based hospital) of Los Angeles. Paul was known for his dedication to his field of medicine. There were only two major things of importance in his life: Family, and Medicine. The field of radiology, during his lifetime was changing rapidly, with new technologies propelling that change. Even in retirement, Paul stayed abreast of these changes through his constant, and continued reading of medical journals. I remember while growing up, my father worked in a makeshift office in our home’s den. There was a light box, and a tape recorder sitting on his desk where he spent most of his weekends reading films, and recording his findings as dictation that he would then use for typing out his own reports.

Paul was also known for his mentorship of minorities. He encouraged and trained many Blacks and Hispanics as x-ray technicians, several of whom later became doctors.

My father was a very humble man. He possessed a strong, principled character. He lived his life guided by the golden rule. He despised snobs and snobbery. He was never a liar, or a cheat. He did everything “by the book”.

The Bramnicks lived in Studio City, California until 1980, when Dr. Bramnick retired.  Afterward, they moved to Coronado.  Dr. Bramnick died in La Jolla, California, aged 87.


James L. Brennan, 31124017 (February 12, 1907 – March 7, 1950)

Private Brennan was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of James and Mary Brennan.  He appeared on the 1930 census living in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  His occupation was listed as “electric typing” at a printing company.  He was a machinist living in Fairfield County, Connecticut when he was drafted.  He was inducted into the U.S. Army in Hartford, Connecticut on June 5, 1942.

Private Brennan was assigned to the 32nd Station Hospital on August 31, 1942 per Transfer List No. 955.  His M.O.S. was listed as 345 (truck driver, light).  He accompanied the unit from Camp Rucker, Alabama to Fort Benning, Georgia and then Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.  Shortly after the unit arrived overseas, he was transferred to the 12th General Hospital on February 18, 1943.

According to an Application for Headstone or Marker, he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army on October 21, 1945 at the rank of corporal.  His unit (presumably at the time of discharge) was listed as the 3044th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company.


C.W. Bridges (Charles Wayne Bridges), 34395954 (April 5, 1922 – September 29, 1998)

Bridges was born in Marshall County, Alabama, the son of Arthur “A.C.” Bridges and Hattie Bridges.  He had at least three brothers and five sisters.  He was recorded on the census on April 24, 1930 living in Marshall County, Alabama with his his family.  He was recorded on the census on April 22, 1940, living with his family in Monrovia, Alabama and working as a farm hand.

When he registered for the draft (as C.W. Bridges) on June 30, 1942, he was living in Huntsville, Alabama and working for J.H. Burgess there.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing 160 lbs., with brown hair and hazel eyes.

After he was drafted, Bridges joined the U.S. Army at Fort McClellan, Alabama on October 21, 1942.  He had joined the unit by February 1943.  He may have been among those transferred from Camp Wheeler on November 30, 1942.  Regardless, he served with the 32nd Station Hospital in Tlemcen, Algeria in 1943.  After the unit arrived in Italy, he was placed on detached service with the 225th Station Hospital effective January 3, 1944.  He returned to the unit on January 10, 1944, the day it moved to Caserta to begin operations.  He was promoted to technician 5th grade on February 19, 1944.

Bridges was mentioned in a news item in The Huntsville Times on January 28, 1945 which stated: “CORP. C. W. BRIDGES, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Bridges, of Huntsville, is serving at a station hospital in Italy.”  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from November 12–16, 1944.  Hospital operations in Caserta ceased on July 20, 1945.  On August 7, 1945, Bridges began a temporary duty assignment to the 31st Staging Area Company.  He returned on August 27.  It appears that he left the unit sometime between September 1–12, 1945.  Morning reports from those dates are missing and he wasn’t on the roster compiled for the unit upon arrival at the Boston Port of Embarkation on October 8, 1945.

He was living in New Market, Alabama and working as a farmer when he married Iva Mae Harbin (1928–?) in Maysville, Alabama on May 11, 1946.

Bridges attended the 32nd Station Hospital’s 1982 reunion.  His headstone lists him as C W Bridges and states he was a technician 5th grade in the U.S. Army during World War II.  An entry on Find a Grave states he had one son.


James Bruno, 32355636 (February 4, 1910 – May 22, 1983)

Bruno born in Croton, New York on February 4, 1910.  When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, he was living in Yonkers, New York along with an unspecified relative name Sam Bruno.  He was working at the Alexander Smith Carpet Company.  At the time, he was described as standing 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing 165 lbs., with black hair and gray eyes.  The registrar noted that he had a “Crushed little finger, left hand” but it didn’t prevent him from being drafted later.

Bruno joined the U.S. Army at Fort Jay, New York on June 17, 1942.  His civilian occupation was recorded as vehicle mechanic.  Private Bruno trained at Camp Pickett, Virginia and was assigned to the 32nd Station Hospital on September 4, 1942 per Transfer List No. 978.  He joined the unit at Camp Rucker, Alabama on September 10, 1942.  Bruno accompanied the unit to Fort Benning, Georgia and Camp Kilmer, New Jersey and went overseas with the unit the following year.  He served in both Algeria and Italy.

While stationed in Caserta, Italy, he was promoted to private 1st class effective August 17, 1944.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 27–31, 1944 and from January 7–11, 1945.  He was promoted to technician 5th grade on July 3, 1945.  His M.O.S. at the time was listed as 014 (automotive mechanic).  On August 5, 1945, he was one of 15 men who left on temporary duty to Switzerland.  They returned on August 13.

Bruno was one of a handful of enlisted men who served with the unit the entire time it was overseas.  After the 32nd Station Hospital arrived at the Boston Port of Embarkation on October 8, 1945, Technician 5th Grade Bruno was transferred to the Reception Center at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts.  His entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File states that he was discharged from the U.S. Army on October 13, 1945.  Beyond the fact that he died at age 73 (probably while still residing in Yonkers), I have been unable to learn anything else about him.


Robert A. Bryant (Robert Ora Bryant), 31099361 (December 19, 1906 – April 30, 1965)

Bryant was born in Bangor, Maine to John and Mary Bryant.  His mother had immigrated to Maine from Canada.  Census records are a little strange, but it appears that Bryant had at least four sisters and four brothers.

After he was drafted, Bryant joined the U.S. Army in Bangor, Maine on April 23, 1942.  His civilian occupation was recorded as farm hand.  Private Bryant joined the 32nd Station Hospital in Caserta, Italy on April 24, 1944.  Private Bryant was one of 13 men transferred to the 17th General Hospital on July 6, 1944 per Special Order No. 182, Headquarters Peninsular Base Section, dated June 30, 1944.  The application for a headstone made by his sister after his death stated that he was honorably discharged on November 22, 1945.  Private Bryant’s unit (probably his last, which would have been listed on his discharge paperwork) was listed as the 262nd Station Hospital.  She listed his middle initial as O. rather than A., a discrepancy noted by the staff reviewing the paperwork (though the service number his sister supplied did match the 32nd Station Hospital’s records).  He died in Bangor, Maine, aged 58.


Edgar E. Buchanan (almost certainly Edgar Eukely Buchanan), 35495869 (almost certainly February 27, 1910 – June 22, 1971)

Buchanan was born in Kentucky in 1910.  After he was drafted, Buchanan joined the U.S. Army in Evansville, Indiana on September 30, 1942.  His civilian occupation was recorded as “semiskilled welders and flame cutters”.

He’s almost certainly the Edgar E. Buchanan mentioned in an October 2, 1942 list of names in The Paducah Sun-Democrat (Paducah, Kentucky).  The article stated that “Fifty-one of the 75 selectees who left Marshall county last month have passed their examination and have returned here for their 14 day furlough before reporting for duty at Fort Benjamin Harrison.”

Private Buchanan joined the 32nd Station Hospital on November 28, 1942 at Fort Benning, Georgia per Special Order No. 316, Headquarters Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Barkeley, Texas dated November 25, 1942.  He served with the unit in Tlemcen, Algeria and Caserta, Italy.  He may have been promoted to private 1st class on April 8, 1943 but he definitely had been promoted by July 1943.   His rank was reduced back to private on October 7, 1943.

After the unit arrived in Italy, he was placed on detached service with the 225th Station Hospital effective January 3, 1944.  He returned to the unit on January 10, 1944, the same day it moved to begin operations in Caserta.  Private Buchanan was one of 13 men transferred to the 17th General Hospital on July 6, 1944 per Special Order No. 182, Headquarters Peninsular Base Section, dated June 30, 1944.  A hospital admission card indicated that he was hospitalized at a general hospital in Indiana from April through June 1945.

A probable match was the Edgar Eukely Buchanan born February 27, 1910 in Benton, Kentucky (located in Marshall County).  He was the son of Robert Lee Buchanan.  When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Buchanan was living in Benton.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing 135 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.

He married Mabel Tyra (1922–2009) on April 30, 1946 in Henry Country, Tennessee.  Although I was unable to find an obituary for him, Mabel’s indicated that the couple had four sons and three daughters.  He died in Henderson Kentucky, aged 61.  His headstone states he was a private in World War II but only lists what was presumably his last unit, the 1517th Service Command Unit.  Because of his rather common name, the fact that his Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. death file entry doesn’t give his dates of service, and his enlistment data doesn’t give his home county (though the newspaper article would suggest he was indeed from Marshall County, Kentucky), I’ve rated this match as almost certain rather than confirmed at this time.


Bernard Joseph Bucher, 36312694 (October 24, 1916 – April 3, 1959)

Bucher-Detail
Bucher in a detail from a 1942 photo of the 32nd Station Hospital cadre (Courtesy of the Ballard family)

Bucher was born in Peoria, Illinois, the son of Emile and Pauline Bucher.  His parents had immigrated from Alsace-Lorraine and Austria, respectively.  When Bucher registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, he was living in Peoria and working for R.K. Gebhardt.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 8½ inches tall and weighing 180 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.  After he was drafted, he entered the U.S. Army at Camp Grant, Illinois on January 20, 1942.  His civilian occupation was listed as “semiskilled painters, construction and maintenance”.

He was already a member of the 32nd Station Hospital by August 13, 1942 when he was promoted from private to technician 5th grade.  A May 1945 photograph from the collection of Master Sergeant Charles Ballard identified Bucher as one of the unit’s original cadre of enlisted men, so he might have joined the unit as early as June 26, 1942.  He was promoted to technician 4th grade on December 3, 1942.  He was promoted to technician 3rd grade on May 12, 1943.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 27–31, 1944.  He was one of a handful of enlisted men who served with the unit the entire time it was overseas.  After the 32nd Station Hospital arrived at the Boston Port of Embarkation on October 8, 1945, he was transferred to the Reception Center at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts.  At the time of his departure from the unit, his M.O.S. was 637 (unknown, possibly an obsolete M.O.S. or typo).

He returned to Peoria after the war, where he was listed as a painter in directories from various years.  He married Irma Klopp (1915–1987) in Peoria on July 21, 1955.  He was listed as deceased on a list of members of the unit compiled for the 1982 reunion.  I have been unable to learn anything else about him.


Bill Richard Bucinski (Boleslaw Bucinski), 35029950 (probably April 19, 1919 – February 5, 1964)

Bucinski was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Michael and Mary Bucinski.  He had four older brothers and an older sister.  The 1920 census states that his parents had been born in Posen (which belonged to Prussia at the time they were born, but Poland after 1919 due to the Treaty of Versailles).  Although census records give his name as Boleslaw, he registered and served under the name of Bill Richard Bucinski.  (That they are the same person is confirmed by the fact that both had an address of 3940 East 64th Street in Cleveland.)  When Bucinski registered for on the draft on October 16, 1940, he was unemployed and living in Cleveland.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing 170 lbs., with brown hair and eyes.

Bucinski was drafted before the U.S. entry into World War II, joining the U.S. Army in Cleveland, Ohio on October 13, 1941.  Technician 5th Grade Bucinski joined the 32nd Station Hospital from the what looks like the 183rd Signal Service Warning Company on March 13, 1945.  (The morning report is a little hard to read, but it seems that the warning companies were Signal Corps units designed to warn of air raids.)  His M.O.S. appeared to be 345 (truck driver, light).  I am unable to find any mention of him in unit records after May 11, 1945; his name was not on the final list of men transferred to Camp Myles Standish on October 8, 1945.  I believe that he is the William R. Bucinski who died in Cleveland on February 5, 1964, aged 44.  Curiously, the headstone for Boleslaw Bucinski at the Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Cuyahoga Heights gives his dates of life as 1920–1964.  I have been unable to learn anything else about him.


Alex Jesse Buckosh, 35045015 (May 26, 1918 – April 15, 1986)

Buckosh was born in Lorain County, Ohio, the son of Louis and Catherine “Kate” Buckosh.  Buckosh had at least six brothers and two sisters.  He was recorded on the census on April 19, 1930 living with his family in Sheffield Township, Ohio.  He was recorded again on the census on May 23, 1940 living with his family in Sheffield, Ohio and working as a laborer in a steel mill.  When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, he was living in Elyria, Ohio and working at Elyria Steel & Tube.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighing 177 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes.

Buckosh was drafted before the U.S. entered World War II, joining the U.S. Army in Cleveland, Ohio on October 13, 1941.  Technician 5th Grade Buckosh joined the 32nd Station Hospital from from the what looks like the 183rd Signal Service Warning Company on March 13, 1945.  (The morning report is a little hard to read, but it seems that the warning companies were Signal Corps units designed to warn of air raids.)  His M.O.S. appeared to be listed as 514 (radar crewman), but if so, he undoubtedly would have been assigned a new one once he was a member of the hospital unit.  On June 4, 1945, he was transferred to the 7th Replacement Depot to return to the United States.  Buckosh’s entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File stated that he was discharged from the U.S. Army on August 15, 1945.  His wife was Helen F. Buckosh (1922–2008), with whom he raised four sons.  His entry in Ohio death records stated he was a millwright.  He died in Lorain, Ohio, aged 67.


James Edward Buteau, 6146895 (April 2, 1921 – October 22, 1990)

Buteau was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, the son of Napoleon and Mary Buteau.

According to his enlistment data, Buteau was born in New Hampshire and living in Coos County, New Hampshire when he volunteered for the U.S. Army on July 1, 1939.  Improbably, the data stated he was born in 1898, was a widower without dependents and had a post-graduate degree.  Errors were sometimes introduced when the microfilmed copy of the the original enlistment card was digitized, but his service number (known to be correct due to 32nd Station Hospital records) did indicate he originally enlisted as part of the prewar Regular Army.

After initially coming up empty, I tried another search with the assumption that some of the enlistment data was corrupted including his year of birth.  After all, though there were men in their 40s who served in the 32nd Station Hospital, it was rather unusual for someone to volunteer for the military at age 40 or 41!  I found a James Edward Buteau who was born in Manchester, New Hampshire on April 2, 1921.  A September 15, 1942 article in The Scranton Tribute (Scranton, Pennsylvania) announced the marriage of Mary Muir and Private James E. Buteau on June 24, 1942 at the Dunmore Presbyterian Church.  His parents were listed as “Mr. and Mrs. Napoleon Buteau, Birlin, N. H.”  Assuming that was supposed to be Berlin, it would be consistent with the enlistment data.  Further, the article stated:

Private Buteau is now stationed with the 54th Medical [Battalion], Camp Edwards, Mass.  He was formerly employed by the United States Government at the Panamanian Hospital, Panama City, Canal Zone.  He attended Dartmouth College and Panamanian University.

Indeed, he appeared on the 1940 census as a private in the U.S. Army living at the Post of Quarry Heights in the Panama Canal Zone.

Private 1st Class Buteau joined the 32nd Station Hospital on February 12, 1944 via the 2nd Replacement Depot/Personnel Center 6.   He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 31–November 5, 1944.  He was transferred to 1st Replacement Depot on December 10 or 11, 1944.  In the transfer document, his M.O.S. was 657 (medical aidman or hospital orderly).  Buteau’s U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File entry gives his dates of service as July 1, 1939 through June 29, 1945.

Because he was already in the U.S. Army when the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 was implemented, Buteau did not register until July 3, 1945, four days after his discharge.  He was unemployed and living with his wife in Olyphant, Pennsylvania. At the time, he was described as standing 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing 145 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes.

I’ve been able to find very little postwar information about him.  If his wartime marriage didn’t last, he might be the James E. Buteau who married Cecilia A. Kaczynski in Florida on July 23, 1948.  He also seems to have moved back to New Hampshire, because he appeared on a 1952 Manchester directory working as a finisher.


Robert Kenneth Butler (Kenneth Robert Butler), 12054888  (August 21, 1919 – November 21, 1981)

Butler was born and raised in Niagara Falls, New York.  It appears he was the only child of Harry and Irene Butler.  Although the New York State Birth Index recorded him as Robert K. Butler, his draft card listed him as Kenneth Robert Butler.  (Census records also refer to him as Kenneth Butler, but all known postwar records refer to him as Robert Kenneth Butler.)  He was recorded on the census in April 1940 living with his parents and working as the owner of a confectionary store.  When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, he was living in Niagara Falls and working at Carrigans Dairy.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 9½ inches tall and weighing 120 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes.

He volunteered for the U.S. Army shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, enlisting in Buffalo, New York on January 24, 1942. His civilian occupation was recorded as bus, taxi, truck, or tractor driver.  A hospital admission card from August 1942 stated that he was a member of a Signal Corps unit hospitalized at the 5th General Hospital due to illness; he returned to duty on October 1942.  The 5th General Hospital was located in Northern Ireland at the time.

Private 1st Class Butler was apparently a patient in the hospital who was reassigned to the unit on April 20, 1943.  This transfer was apparently deemed to be erroneous per a somewhat puzzling line on April 26, 1943: “FR ERRONEOUSLY ASGD & JD VOCO MBS to ORIGINAL STA.  PATIENT HOSP PER VOCO MBS DTD 4-23-43.”  That would seem to translate as “From erroneously assigned and joined per verbal order, commanding officer Mediterranean Base Section, to original station, patient in the hospital per verbal order, commanding officer, Mediterranean Base Section, dated April 23, 1943.  However, on May 8, 1943, he was officially transferred from the Detachment of Patients of the 32nd Station Hospital to become a member of the unit.  He was promoted to technician 5th grade effective June 21, 1943.  He was transferred to the 1st Replacement Depot on June 28, 1943.  He is still on July roster, indicating he remained attached to the 32nd Station Hospital, until he was dropped on November 16, 1943.  According to his entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File, he was discharged from the U.S. Army on October 15, 1945.

After a first marriage ended in divorce, he remarried in Arlington, Virginia on September 13, 1957 to Gloria Laura O’Mara (née McCollum), a secretary.  His occupation at the time was truck driver for a vending company.  I was unable to find an obituary for him, but according to her obituary, Gloria (1927–2014) had two sons with Robert K. Butler and may have adopted a daughter as well.


Walter Willard Butler, 36312808, (March 5, 1919 – December 22, 2007)

Ballard-Collection-Yonker-Ballard-Butler-cropped
From left to right: Harold Yonker, Charles Ballard, and Walter Butler (Courtesy of the Ballard family)

Butler was born in Gorham, Illinois, the son of Frank H. and Julia R. Butler.  He had five brothers and a sister.  According to his Find a Grave entry, he graduated from Gorham High School in 1938.

When he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, Butler was a college student living in Gorham, Illinois and attending Southern Illinois Normal University (now Southern Illinois University) in nearby Carbondale.  He was described as standing 5 feet, 7½ inches tall and weighing 136 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes.  He had completed two years of college by the time he was drafted shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  (His daughter told me that she believed he did not finish college after the war.)  Butler joined the U.S. Army at Camp Grant, Illinois on January 20, 1942.  His civilian occupation was recorded as primary school or kindergarten teacher.

Technical Sergeant Walter W. Butler was one of 25 men in the original cadre who joined the 32nd Station Hospital at Camp Rucker, Alabama during the summer of 1942.  The first time he was mentioned in extant unit records was August 24, 1942.

After moving with the 32nd Station Hospital to Fort Benning, Georgia and Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, Butler served with the unit overseas in Tlemcen, Algeria in 1943 and Caserta, Italy in 1944 and 1945.  He went on temporary duty to the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Rome from October 15–19, 1944.  On June 4, 1945, he was transferred to the 7th Replacement Depot to return to the United States.  According to his entry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs B.I.R.L.S. Death File, he was discharged from the U.S. Army on July 13, 1945.

In his memoir, Willard Havemeier wrote:

Sgt. Walter Butler was our supply sergeant the entire time our unit operated overseas.  He outlasted several supply officers because he was well trained and did his job very well.  He was in charge of supplying the needs of enlisted men: uniforms, etc.  He was also in charge of medical supply which required a great deal of work.  We called him “Whimpy”; he and I have secrets which are known only to us.

Butler was living in Mascoutah, Illinois when he attended the 32nd Station Hospital’s 1982 reunion in St. Petersburg, Florida.

His obituary, printed in The Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale, Illinois) on December 25, 2007 stated that Butler married his wife Ina (1920–1997) on December 24, 1941 in Equality, Illinois.  The couple raised two daughters.  His obituary stated:

Walter was a retired president and chairman of the board of the former First National Bank of Mascoutah. He was a World War II Army veteran, a member of St. John UCC in Mascoutah, member of VFW Post 7682 in Mascoutah and a past 40-year member of Mascoutah Lions Club.

Butler died in Mascoutah, Illinois, aged 88.  


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Last updated December 14, 2020

One thought on “Enlisted Men of the 32nd Station Hospital: Part II (Last Name B)

  1. Hi Lowell, I see you’re still collecting information…so awesome!! I am and I bet all of the families are so grateful for all that you’re doing! Your grandfather would be so proud!!! Hope you all are doing well. My family is all healthy and that’s all I ask for although it’s been really hard not being with them! Thank goodness for FaceTime and Zoom!!! Take care and be well!!! Love, Joan ❤️ Happy Hanukkah! 🕎

    Sent from my iPhone

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