Thanks To Thomas D. Murphy-14 Oct 1927-22 Nov 1999

These wonderful photos were taken from three photo albums that I inherited from a man I met through my membership in the 743rd reunion group. Thomas D. Murphy of Moorestown , NJ had served under my Dad in the 743rd and over the years we became friends and pen pals. He never had children and when faced with moving from his home he wrote to me and asked me if I wanted his WWII photo albums in which his mother had so carefully saved his photos.

 I gratefully accepted and I promised myself one day I would do something with them. My whole family helped with this project -my teen age sons helped me removed all of the photos from their now crumbly album pages - only to be pleasantly surprised that Don had carefully annotated the back of each one. We placed all of the photos in archival quality plastic sleeves. My son,  Alex digitally photographed over 200 of the photos ( these are the thumbprints  I use on the website)  and my husband, Brian  night after night, after he got home from work sat  beside with a magnifying glass reading me the annotations while I typed.

I joined the 743rd Reunion Organization in 1994 and was welcomed in and made to feel so wanted by the former members of this unit, many of them had known my Dad. At this point I must mention Floyd M.( Mac) McKechnie,  who was the President of the 743rd RR Operating Battalion Reunion Association during those years. What a warm and wonderful person!. He and his wife Virginia worked tirelessly organizing the units newsletters and reunions. Unfortunately, my children were young then I could not attend a reunion and have the pleasure of meeting him. But I felt I got to know him through years or correspondence and phone calls. To my knowledge the reunion group has disbanded. I was inspired and encouraged to continue my quest for information concerning my Dad and his military career by Don and Mac and may others. Thanks to them all !.

This website if dedicated to "The Men of the 743rd ROB "

There are many more of these photos and I will be putting more on soon. I will be glad to send a copy to anyone who is interested.

 

I like this picture even though it isn't so good. Otto Isdahl the big Swede" taking it easy in one of our cars.

The Captain couldn't find anything for the boy's to do in Hanover -so they policed up the area and did a good job of it.

Part of our gang in Antwerp Belguim.

Rehyl Germany French displaced persons being loaded into train.

Lt Robertson and myself in the pride of the Battalion. He got the car for us. None of the other officers would have taken the trouble. He is the only officer the men think any thing of.

Getting ready to go to work -short car at the end was the first car we got then came " The Flyer" We still have the other car and it is a rolling paint shop now.

More of the gang

Lloyd Graham (sp) & Harold Cummings ( New York ) Pete Randozzi ( Rhode Island) ? Judd( Benton Ark)

Aug 1944

Sonny Sasso, Lloyd Graham & Harold Cummings also Mr Judd.

One that didn't go off. Antwerp Belguim

"The Steen "

Here we are again along side " The Flyer" about the best picture of the car.

Joe Lukesic (sp) take in the door of " The Dixie Flyer" He worked on the B &O in Loraine, OH.We call him "Joe the Greek"

Here's the gang talking over the days work in Herne.We had a huddle like this every morning.

Northeim bombing wreckage

Munster Here's a realshot. One of our biys dropped a bomb right on the apron of this 2-10-0. It really makes for a swell picture.

Joe and Surby in another pile of wreckage. I took all these pictures with one of the boys camera

Tiny Grubisic(sp) Fred Ramsey, Paul Riggin, Paul Grabitz. Just about chow time and I told then we were having a poor meal so look how sad they are.

Satty, Poor Boy, Johnny, Dewes, myself and Stark with Walt Miller in front. Taken at Gelsenkirchen.

James Stafford and Wesley kellogg alongside our car. All dolled up for town.

We all were loaded in the truck headed for Antwerp in the advanced party that took us too Germany. Leon and Mike seeing us off.

Number 150

Guess who- alongside one of the American cars. This one was put together in England by the first GI railroaders- The latern is ready for night work.

Here we are on the platform in Herne- we are waiting for the engine to take us to work had to wear helmets and carry riffle in them days- that's me with the " X" closest to the food-K- rations.

Stenciling a train the first night in Herne. McRae, Miller, Lukesic and Pratt(sp) , Rich.

One of the condenser type on it's way to the states. These engines were along side us in the north yard also they seem to haunt us.

Some of the boys beside our big baby-it still is a curiosity.

Duisborg(sp) French railway gun brough from Paris to here it was to be turned into scrap and sent to the Krupp works at Rheinhausen.

North yard Atwerp we had just finished eating and we loading into the troop train. That was the car I rode in, the one marked allied forces.

John and myself loafing as usual.

Nancy- thats me at work in Rock Island car shop- North Little Rock. We took our technical training there- your Dad was in the Roundhouse and couldn't see me

Car Shop Rip track.

Al Wasserman the fellow who drew my picture more than once in the states -he is away at school now and I don't know whether he will come back.

Aug Squicciorino (sp) along side of 'Old 30412' in Antwerp

Here's tent #20 from the north yard. Bartley, Hendricks, Hugo, Sheriff, Smitty, Stewart and Lukes.

Some of the boys working around the cars in Hanover. Sheriff got his head right in the middle of it.

#2 blocking the crane Red Kennedy with a wedge, Syl Gionta, and Slaughter in the cab with two Belguim railroaders helping out.

Here is our truck that broke down on the way to the football game in Paris - we sure had a time that day

Some of the gang up in Germany-I didnt get in this one.

Here's one of the chowline just outside of Maastrict Holland on the way to Germany

Another of the " Dixie Band" if you have another one of these give one to Kay

Abe Rich and "Sasso" one of the dogs that we acquired along the line

Steve Sedrowe A co. driver alongside soem of their cars at Eichenburg.

RR Smith with " Sasso" hes from Harrisburg worked for the " Reading " only a little guy.

Walt Bowman at work on the POL plant in Atwerp. This was a German camoflauged car.

Andy Anderson on KP with me last Sunday thats our washing machine for the dishes.

Leo Popkin leaving our outfit for the 752nd -boy he was sad but I can't blame him.

Very poor picture of me taken by the " Flyer" I'm not really that dark.

On my way up town we have our office in this building. It was used as a customs office.Not a very good one. I tried to look serious .

Here's the Presidents car- not a very good one do you think ? Only a Plymouth.

President on tour.

There they go down the parkway-he sure was well guarded. Joe Hayes my old bubdy in " C' company ( from Philadelphia) took these. I was in Herbesthahl at the time.

Here is almost a full length picture of the "Flyer". Fratt was just painting the name on them -that's me in the window in the right hand corner.

This is our old yard at Antwerp, Don. That is one of the hundreds of troop trains that have come in there our cars were on this track on the left.

?

Al Wasserman alongside of one of the boxcars.The Germans were famous for.

The pistol packing washing ma'm. How do you like that G.I. washing machine? I really boiled the dirt out of the clothes. How do you like the rinse tub with running water? This was in Hermenthal, Germany (sp)

Heres the chow line moving into the butcher car at Hamm Germany.Notice that the tracks have been swept nice and clean the Captains idea glad I wasn't there.

The picture of our coach with Lt Robertson and Pfc Thomas Murphy. I was the one that names our coach " The Dixie Flyer" made in Eichenberg, Germany.

Tiny Grubisia in the cab of one of the German show engines shipped to the states.

W. Palmer my roomate in the cab of one of the German engines I took this one at Herne, Germany.

Weesel Germany

Here's a ME 109 that was shot down in the yard here. I looked in about one hundred planes for a radio or a compass but someone always beat me.

Myself, Stafford and Johnson on the Eiffel Tower as way up as far as we could go.

Munchen gladbach- he's the gun that our boys learned to hate as it sure was a pest. I had some of these fly over my head one night.

This is Cpl Walter Bowman with me on right. William Turbeville.

Antwerp

Traveling in style

Northheim

Al Wasserman getting in our truck on the way to Reims.

In the yards at St Lo

Pullman in the ESO "cooks" tours.

#70 T/S H.P Travel at the helm of one of our engines. He is the fellow that owns the camera. He also sleeps under me on the double deck bed, boy can he snore. He also plays the trombone.(No good)

#93

Fred Ramsey and Henry Rowan ( Jim) in front of the round house.

#72 Guess who ? Outside of our room in the school. German helmet was too small . I had just come back from work and had 4 days growth of whiskers. That is our G. I. Sweater.

T/S J. Held another one of the boys from my room caught in the act of washing up. We called to him and he turned around and the camera caught him swell.

Along the way.

Docks at Antwerp

#88

T/S Gerorge Ambrose at the throttle of one of our Limey engines.

Riding the rails

#83

Left to right

Harold Cummings NY- HO Pack-Texas-Joe Lukesic-OH

Just after G.I.ing the hallway-yes, we still do it over here.

Working on one of our many cars

#100 George Ambrose out in the back yard all dressed up for I can't guess what.

Shorty Mc Rae, Leo Doyle, Ed Retaycyczk (sp) I guess-Wilbur Conner, Freddy Savo along with our rolling machine shop.

Jimmy Mullin with his hat in the stack. What a character always up to something.

Jimmy Mullin and Sylvester Gionta two short guys of my room.

Al Livicihi, Sil Gionta and myself-look like coal miners just back from work.

#146

Here I am in the engineer seat on one of our diesels. You should have heard the horn blowing when we took this picture. Pretty good smile this time

One of the many German planes that are sitting on cars all over Germany. That is Glen Pratt (sp) on top of it. He is the painter of the outfit. He did the lettering on the " Dixie Flyer" he painted theatres in civilian life. Really knows his stuff.

#134

R Poyner on guard at the front of the school.

#105 One of our German cars with the gang.

Another view of the bunch of the car knocker from tent city.

#155

One of our diesels and a bunch of our fellows. The engines are now paited black. A couple of them were on a ship then was abandoned then floated again.At sea five months and full of salt when we got them but we put them in running order.

Some of our buys on one of our half tracks. Nothing can stop these babies. Leon Curreaga, Walter Bowman, Gilberto Mendez, Ted Francisco, Charles Cooper.

Paul Brown, Joe Orlando, Vic Salmi, Roland Blake, Pete Pandozzi, Jimmy Mullen, Ray Hallee and HO Pack at the throttle of one of our switch engines.

#133 G Am,brose and L Popkins working in the yard. Short circuit Popkin.

#135

Here is a view from the roundhouse or I should say a hill over looking it. Our school is directly in back of the house.

 

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