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John Deere Battalion in Belgium WW2

John Deere Battalion in Belgium WW2

Karl Swartzel (View posts)
Posted: 987359665000
Hello My father was stationed in Belgium for two years during WW2. (Tank Inspector)
Looking for any additional info and or would love to hear from any of his friends.
Thank you
Karl

Re: John Deere Battalion in Belgium WW2

Posted: 1243715777000
Classification: Query
My father served in the 505 Ordnance Tank Maintanance Company of the John Deere Batalion as a tank maintenance and repair officer also in Belgium. I have a scrap book that he kept and would be interested in your father's name.
Dad past four years ago, but between my brothers and myself we have some knowlege of the battalion.
Don Flory

Re: John Deere Battalion in Belgium WW2

Posted: 1285616328000
Classification: Query
Hello,

I am from Belgium and by surprise I found out last week when coming back from an agricultural show in Ireland that a John Deere battalion had existed during WWII.I am very much interested in the WWII history since my grandfather and his family played an important role in the army as well as in the underground movement during WWII and more particularly in the battle of the Bulge (Bastogne). Grandfather also joined with his Belgian troops the 3rd Army of Patton and fought in the battle of the Bulge and went into Germany for the last assaults.
I myself collect and restore WWII vehicles and for my job I am involved in farming equipment and John Deere tractors. John Deere Europe uses our equipment quite a bit in their brochures. (The company name is Joskin) These 2 passions joined in the John Deere battalion. I really would like to know more about this battalion, it's role, campaign, pictures,...
I am restoring a Ward la France tank recovery truck at the moment and maybe it would be an opportunity to put the markings of a vehicle of the John Deere battalion on it. Maybe someone has pictures of the battalion. Did the battalion have a badge with John Deere? Did they have signs to identify from others? I really would be interested in more information since nobody of the members of our club (+/- 450 members and 1200 vehicles)has heard about this battalion.
Thank you for your help and if I can help you with some research, please let me know.
Best regards,

Jean-Marc

Re: John Deere Battalion in Belgium WW2

Posted: 1288456674000
Classification: Query
Karl, I had lunch last Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010, with Charlie Holmgren, a member of the battalion. He showed me several pictures he had taken and some of his activities during the war. Charlies is 89 years old but is sharp as a tack and would probably like to speak with you. WW II has always been an interest of mine and I've been to Normandy, Bastogne and several other WWII sites. Look forward to hearing from you. Give me a call if you like.

Roy Melton, Moline, Il., 309 762-2868

Re: John Deere Battalion in Belgium WW2

Posted: 1288459199000
Classification: Query
Don, I'm a WW II history buff and just learned of the John Deere battalion last week when I had lunch with an 89 year old veteran that served in the battalion. He shared some of his experiences and showed me about 20 pictures he had taken. We both live in Moline, Il and I'm sure he would like to hear from you. Please send me a message or call me at 309 762-2868.

Roy Melton
rjm545ord@mchsi.com

ps As you can see from my e-mail address I was in the 545 Ordnance Company, Special Weapons, Munster Germany from 1962-1964.

Re: John Deere Battalion in Belgium WW2

Posted: 1288489471000
Classification: Query
Jean-Marc,

It's ironic that I read your post tonight. I had lunch last Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010 with a WW II veteran who served in the John Deere Battalion. He showed me about 20 war time pictures and described some of his war times experiences. He landed at Omaha Beach in September 44 and spent most of the rest of the was in Belgium. He told me the name of the town but I can't recall it. I'll have to ask him tomorrow.

I am also very much interested in WW II history and have been to Normandy, Bastogne, Melmedy and several other battle sites and American, British and German war cemeteries. In 1995 my wife and I visted her distant cousins who live in Anzegan Tiegem, Belgium. One of their parents were in the Belgium Resistance and helped hide downed American & British pilots until they could det out of the country. Unfortunately three pilots, along with four Belgiums, were caught in a nearby town just as the Germans were fleeing that area and shot by the side of the road. We look forward to hearing from you. We live in Moline, Il and as you may know, Moline is John Deere's national headquarters and they have a big gift and souvenir shop there. You contact me directly at rjm545ord@mchsi.com.

Roy & Judy Melton
Moline, Il.

Re: John Deere Battalion in Belgium WW2

Posted: 1310319631000
Classification: Query
My father, James J. was in the battalion. He has a picture of the battalion (about 3'x 1') in his house. It doesn't list the names, but I was able to find him in it. he is 90 and still knows a few of his buddies. He never did know all of them. He worked for Deere & Webber before entering the service, is 90 years old now, and is at Mankato Impl. to this day. His father John G., was the Deere & Co. Service Mgr., staying on past mandatory retirement, until the 4010's were introduced (Deere wanted a clean break from the two cylinders)and I believe the picture hang in his office until he retired and at his death passed on to my father! I am very interested in anything about WW2 and would appreciate any info you might have on the JD battalion.

Re: John Deere Battalion in Belgium WW2

Posted: 1314843401000
Classification: Military
Surnames: Miers
My uncle, Milton Miers, was a member of the John Deere Battalion in WWII. I am attaching a picture of him and what appears to be several other members of the battalion believed to be taken in Los Angeles. I'd appreciate knowing if anyone knows some of the people in the photo, especially the civilians in front. He was from Crowley, Louisiana, and part owner in two Deere Tractor and Implement dealers and a hardware store. He spoke French and was surprised to learn that he could use his French among the Belgians.
Attachments:

Re: John Deere Battalion in Belgium WW2

Posted: 1316701739000
Classification: Query
Can’t help you with who is in the picture but I think the most amazing aspect of the photo is that it is integrated picture of service people. This is extremely rare as the armed forces were not integrated until after WWII by President Truman. Occasionally you find a picture of enlisted WWII Africa-Americans with white officers. I would be very interested to learn how this picture came about.

Deere is opening a new exhibit at their museum in Moline in 2012, I understand they are updating the WWII subject area, they may be interested in the story behind this picture also.

Re: John Deere Battalion in Belgium WW2

Posted: 1316714865000
Classification: Query
The picture is very intriguing, as you say, in that it contains some black soldiers, civilians, and a group of soldiers who do not all seem to be recruits. What the event was for the photograph is what we're trying to determine. We know that it was in Los Angeles in 1943, and also that it seems to have a number of sergeants and two LT's, as well as some different shoulder patches for divisions. My uncle, a battalion member, is in the first row, but he never explained the circumstances of the photo to any of his family. I have inquiries in to the archivists who hold the Whittington collections, and maybe they will have information for us. Do you happen to know the spelling of the Belgian town (Menar?) that the Battalion was occupying?
Thanks for your response!
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