FIGHTING WITH THE 83RD – Two weeks ago, I received a new package of five letter covers from different enlisted men of the US Army during the Second World War. Since I’ve been involved with the 83rd Infantry Division lately, I also bought two covers of an officer who served in the M/330th, 83rd. These were written by Frank J. Markham.
The 83rd Division is actually very easy to research as most of their documents are available online through http://www.83rdinfdivdocs.org which are very nicely organized by Thijs Hodiamont. Footsteps Researchers has been working the past two years to image all of the Morning Reports at the Archives in St. Louis to make this site possible. It is because of this fantastic website that I was able to track down Markham through the Morning Reports of his unit, M Company, 330th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division.
Markham joined M Company as a replacement officer when the unit was in Normandy, France on the 19th of July, 1944. At the time he was a second lieutenant and upon joining, he probably replaced another officer who was sent on to another Company of the same regiment. Markham’s MOS was 1542, which stood for Infantry Unit Commander, which likely meant that he was a platoon leader.
On the 17th of October, Markham was in Luxembourg when he was taken off the line due to a disease. He rejoined his outfit three days later. Eventually, Markham was promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant on the 6th of November, 1944.
Markham continued to serve with his unit in the Hürtgen Forest and in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. But, on the 4th of January, when still in Belgium near the town of Malempre, he was somehow taken off the line due to a non-battle cause on the Line of Duty. He was transferred to the 102nd Evacuation Hospital and supposedly didn’t return to the unit. I wasn’t able to track Markham after that. Due to the circumstances of his transfer, I believe he suffered from trench foot or frostbite. Myra, our lead researcher at the Archives in St. Louis is pulling his service records… I wonder what they will tell about Markham’s service.
Unfortunately, he isn’t with us anymore. Markham passed away in 1993 at the age of 80.
- Morning Reports are the key to exact footsteps and can only be searched at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis where the WWII microfilm is held. Myra and the Footsteps Researchers Team in St. Louis work hard to get these documents for clients.
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