28th MP Platoon   



28thMP in South Wales 1943

Combat MP's generally busiest people in a front-line outfit

From  « Military Police Bulletin Nov-Dec 44 » 
Photos/infos by Sgt.George Marsden, 28thMP, 28thID

28th Division, now « somewhere in Germany », learns to appreciate work of its unit

That old jibe, « this place must be safe – the MP's are here » isn't used by the front-line troops of this outfit nowadays. If some GI does make such a sneering remark about the combat military police you can automatically peg him as a novice, because he simply hasn't been around long enough to know what he's talking about. 

A quick survey of the 28th' military police platoon will reveal to sceptics that combat MP's are not just trafic cops or killjoys who place « off limits » signs at the edges of towns. They're actually fighting soldiers and they can show you records to prove it. Some of them can show you purple hearts that weren't won back in the rear areas.




Gathemo, France 11-08-1944

When the first doughboys of this division fought their way into the outskirts of Percy, France, and deployed along the streets to search out snipers, seven MP's were standing around waiting for them inside the town. The MP's had moved into Percy to control trafic, only to find out that the trafic didn't caught up with them yet. So they helped the infantrymen round up the remaining snipers before settling down to policing trafic. These seven men were : Sgt Frank McClelland of Homestead, Pa., Sgt. Frank McKendrick and his brother Pfc. John, both from Philadelphia; Pfc. Marco Perovich of Torrence ca., Pfc. Alvaro Rduzzi of pen-Argyl, Pa. And Cpl. Paul Rooney of Renova Pa. And Cpl. Joseph Webb of Philadelphia.

Sgt. James W. Hess of Philadelphia and two companions, Pvt. Harry Rowe of Pardoe, Pa. And Pvt Thomas martin of columbia, Pa. Set up a trafic control point at a crossroads north of Percy. They were standing beside an American M8 armoured scout car that had been knocked out 15 minutes before by german anti-tank fire. Suddenly pvt. Rowe turned to Sgt. Hess with his hand to his chin, saying that he was bleeding. A sniper's bullet had grazed his face. The Sgt. Sent him back to the aid station with Pvt. Martin. Ten minutes later another bullet knocked Sgt. Hess' helmet from his head. He dropped to the ground as a second bullet hit the M8's hub about five inches from his head.
« I got up to direct trafic again » he said « when Lt. Koziak (Lt. Zygmont E. Koziak of Yonkers, New York, trafic control officer) came along and we decided to get the sniper. We thought he was in a farmhouse about 150 yards from the crossroads, and sure enough when we entered the farmyard we were pinned down to the ground by fire. We returned the fire and saw a figure dart out of a barn and jump the hedge. We continued to fire, then saw another figure hiding behind a dead cow about 50 yards from us. Lt Koziak covered me while I flushed the man – a civilian – when someone opened up on us with a burp gun. It sprayed the road for quite a while and held up trafic, so we called for some infantry to come forward and knock out the burp gunner. »

Near Florenville, Belgium, Cpl. Stephen Vajda of freemansburg, Pa. Pfc. Homer taunton of Philadelphia and Pfc. George Sefick of Kingston, Pa., were assigned to work with a task force. Their jeep  was third in the column, the first being a light tank. As they were moving down a road a Jerry antitank gun let loose and knocked out the light tank. The Mp's jumped from their jeep and ran into the brush at the edge of the road. The situation was relayed back to our artillery, which quickly knocked out the antitank gun.


Patrol 28thMP in the streets of Percy (France) 1944
Source:
"28th Infantry Division in World War II"  

Trafic control personnel are not the only MP's who see action. Pfc. Charles Jenkins of Josephine, Pa. And Pfc. George seifert of Coraopolis, Pa. have been non-battle casualties in a hospital and neither had seen action. Their first night back from the hospital they were stationed as a two man outpost at the entrance to the division forward CP near Trois Vierges, Luxembourg. About 10.30 that night they heard faint mumblings from the adjoining field and challenged the anonymous visitors. All they heard in reply were guttural mublings, so they fired about 30 rounds. In the darkness they could make out vague figures running away across the field, and upon investigation they found a german Mauser pistol, some bits of uniform caught on a barbed wire fence, a German shelter-half and a helmet.

 

At Gathemo, France, Pvt. Harry Rowe was at a trafic control post about 300 yards behind the main line of resistance. He had been on duty only a few minutes and hadn't had time to dig a slit trench.

Suddenly the jerries opened up with 88mm fire. The first shell burst about 25 yards away. Rowe dashed to the shell hole and jumped in. Another shell hit about 30 yards to his left. He sprinted to that hole and hit the bottom. Asked later why he shuttled from hole to hole he said, « i've always heard that shells never hit twice in the same place. »

 

Testimony that MP's must be rugged to handle their jobs is seen in the fact that all but six men in the division's MP platoon were on their feet directing trafic for more than two days straight- a total of 52 hours. This happened when the division was making a movement of about 100 miles during the German retreat toward the Seine river.

 

However , MP's are hand-picked not only for their physical fitness but also for their ability to handle ticklish situations with firm tact. In addition to enforcing « off limits » regulations in liberated or captured towns, there have been numerous occasions when they have had to settle altercations among civilians. One such case was in a belgian town where an MP saw two civilians arguing. One called the other a nazi collaborator and the other protested  so vigorously that the two men were soon fighting in the middle of the street. The MP broke it up.

                                  

                             Sgt.George Marsden, Bronze Star France 1944                                 


When the 28th MP's arrived in Rambrouch, Belgium,  ahead of other Allied troops they learned that an American P47 pilot had been killed that same day when his plane crashed close to the town. The civilians had put him in a casket, draped it with flowers and a home made American flag, and were preparing to bury the pilot when the MP's stopped them, carefully explaining that the American army buried his dead in military cemeteries. The Belgian people were deeply disappointed that they couldn't proceed with the ceremony honoring one of their liberators, and it was a difficult spot for the two MP's Pfc. Vincent Hillegoss of Roslyn and Pfc. James Miller of Elisabethtown, Pa.

 

Combat MP's are taught to shift for themselves, because it often is necessary for a trafic control team to spend several days at an isolated road junction far from mess lines and bivouac areas. Often these three-or-four man teams are stationed within 300 yards of the front lines, where theyre constantly in danger of shell bursts and snipers. They carry their own K or C-rations, which they supplement when possible with produce from neighboring farms.

 

Major William Fellman II of Oak Lane, Philadelphia, 28th Division Provost Marshall, has reason to believe that his Military Police Platoon is made up of some of the best soldiers in the division. When this organization entered combat the platoon was considerably overstrenght, and many MP's  were reassigned back to the front line infantry units. A rifle company commander who had seen some of the reassigned MP's in action against the enemy told Major Fellman, « If you have any more MP's that you can't keep, please give them to me. I could have a crack rifle company with just 50 of those boys and no one else. »

                                 

 28thID Boxing Finals 31/03/1944 S.Wales                                  Helmet George Klenzig 28thID, 28thMP


28th MP Platoon Song

The Pennsylvania Guardsman – September 1941

We’re the 28th Division Military Police,

Always on duty with seldom release.

We stand out on traffic at day and at

Night.

We don’t mind your laughing, we’re

Doing all right.

When you go by us on traffic,

Don’t give us the boo

Just look over and smile;

You know we’re human, too.

We don’t mind the names you call us

When you’re giving us the tease.

We’re boys who can take it

We’re the 28th M.P.’s.

If we are in town and check your

Dress,

You’ve got to look neat; the 28th is

The best.

So if we stop you to straighten your

Hat

Just put it on right – we have to do

That.

We’re all of us soldiers – 28th, we’re

The best.

We’ve never been beaten; and won’t

You can bet.

So if we say soldiers, just be at ease.

We’re here for your good – we’re the

28th M.P.’s.


ORIGINAL UNIT 

23 Mai 1834

Organisé comme les York Pennsylvania Riflemen

1864

Dissoute

1869

Réorganisé comme les York Rifles

20 Avril 1861

Au Service Fédéral pendant la guerre de sécession comme la Co K 2nd Regt. Pennsylvania volunteers.

26 Juillet 1861

Retiré

24 Août 1861

Au Service Fédéral comme la Co K 87th Regt. Pennsylvania volunteers.

13 Octobre 1864

Retiré du service Fédéral

27 Septembre 1866

Réorganisé comme les York Zouaves

30 Juin 1874

Désigné comme  Co. A 8th Regt. Infantry (York City Grays)

12 Mai 1898 

Au service fédéral pour la guerre Espagne – U.S.A. stationné Cp Alger Virginia, Cp Meade Pennsylvanie et  Augusta  en Georgie .

07 Mars 1899

Retiré du service fédéral.

09 Mai 1899

Réactivation comme la Pennsylvania National Guard.

09 Juillet 1916

Service fédéral pour la frontière Mexicaine.

27 Février 1917

Retiré du service fédéral.

15 Juillet 1917

Service fédéral pour la première guerre mondiale

11 Octobre 1917

Renommée comme la Co A 112th Infantry Regt.

04 Mai 1919

Retiré du service fédéral.

18 Novembre 1921

Réorganisé comme la 28th Military Police Co.

17 Février 1941

Au service Fédéral pour la seconde guerre mondiale


CHANGE ORGANIZATION


The 28th Military police Company was re-organized into the 28th Military Police Platoon at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana the 15th February 1942 by General Orders # 9, Par 3, HQ 28th Infantry Division.


Officers (OFF) & Enlisted Men (EM)

Dates

OFF

EM

Dates

OFF

EM

31/01/1944

3

95

29/02/1944

3

115

31/03/1944

3

117

30/04/1944

4

116

31/05/1944

4

116

30/06/1944

4

70

31/07/1944

4

68

31/08/1944

4

81

30/09/1944

4

88

31/10/1944

4

91

30/11/1944

4

97

31/12/1944

4

90

31/01/1945

4

101

28/02/1945

3

103

31/03/1945

5

124

30/04/1945

4

120

30/06/1945

4

76

31/07/1945

4

104

31/08/1945

4

104

30/09/1945

4

91

31/10/1945

4

102

03/12/1945

0

0

Source :  Morning Reports 28th M.P. Platoon

Camps permanent or temporary

01/03/1941

Arrivée Indiantown Gap, Pa.

09/01/1942

Départ Indiantown Gap, Pa.

19/01/1942

Arrivé Camp Livinston, La.

14/01/1943

Départ du Camp Livingston, La.

15/01/1943

Arrivée Camp Gordon Johnston, Fla.

05/06/1943

Départ Camp Gordon Johnston , Fla.

27/06/1943

Arrivée Camp Pickett, Va.

01/10/1943

Départ Camp Pickett, Va.

02/10/1943

Arrivée Camp Myles Standish, Mass. BOSTON Port of embarkation

09/10/1943

Départ Camp Myles Standish, Mass. BOSTON Port of embarkation

15/10/1943

Arrivée en Angleterre

17/04/1944

Départ Pembrokeshire, Tenby, Wales

17/04/1944

Arrivée Camp Chiseldon, Wiltshire, Angleterre

18/06/1944

Départ Camps Chiseldon Wiltshire, Angleterre

18/06/1944

Arrivée South Hampton, Angleterre

19/06/1944

Départ South Hampton, Angleterre

26/06/1944

Arrivée Omaha Beach, Normandie, France

27/06/1944

jusque 05/07/1945 Période d’action contre l’ennemi.

06/07/1945

Départ de Kaiserlautern, Allemagne

06/07/1945

Arrivée Camp Pittsburgh, Mourmelon, France

17/07/1945

Départ Camp Pittsburgh, Mourmelon, France

17/07/1945

Arrivée camp Old Gold, Fauville, France

25/07/1945

Départ Camp Old Gold, Fauville, France

26/07/1945

Arrivée à Le Havre, France Port of embarkation

26/07/1945

Départ de Le Havre, France Port of embarkation

02/08/1945

Arrivée à Boston, Mass, Etats Unis

04/08/1945

Départ Camp Myles Standish, Boston

06/08/1945

Arrivée Camp Shelby, Missisippi


Stations during action

23/04/44  Omaha beach

24/07/44  Transit Area Treveries, France

29/07/44  Agneaus

31/07/44  La Deni Seire

02/08/44  La Tilandiers

03/08/44  Margueray

04/08/44  Courson

06/08/44  Saint Sever, Calvados

10/08/44  Champ du Boult

12/08/44  Gathemo

14/08/44  Sourdeval

15/08/44  Gar

21/08/44  Barre

22/08/44  Beauche

23/08/44  Damville

24/08/44  Quitteboeuf

27/08/44  Houdan

28/08/44  Versailles

29/08/44  Paris , Saint Denis

30/08/44  Chatenay-en-France

31/08/44  Raray

03/09/44  Marest

04/09/44  Misy le compte

05/09/44  Wagnon

06/09/44  Boulzicourt

07/09/44  Douszy

08/09/44  Florenville, Belgique

10/09/44  Habay-la-Neuve

11/09/44  Trois Vierges, Luxembourg

04/10/44  Elsenborn, Belgique

25/10/44  Rott, Allemagne

19/11/44  Wiltz, Luxembourg

19/12/44  Sibret, Belgique

21/12/44  Vaus Les Rosières

22/12/44  Neufchateau

02/01/45  Charleville, France

17/01/45  Saint Marie aux Mines

01/02/45  Kayserberg

04/02/45  Colmar

08/02/45 Rouffach

14/02/45  Toul

19/02/45  Sprimont, Belgique

21/02/45  Wahlerscheid, Allemagne

08/03/45  Mulheim

17/03/45  Niedermendig

29/03/45  Frickhofen

10/04/45  Herzogenrath

23/04/45  Kaiserslautern

Source : After Action Reports

BATTLES

Bataille de Percy

29/07/44 – 05/08/44

Soutient du peloton à la Division à chasser la 7-ième armée Allemande en dehors de la Normandie.

Bataille de St-Gevar- Calvados

06/08/44 – 12/08/44

Soutient du peloton à la Division à chasser la 7-ième armée Allemande en dehors de la Normandie

Bataille de Gathemo

13/08/44 – 14/08/44

Soutient du peloton à la Division à chasser la 7-ième armée Allemande en dehors de la Normandie.

Poursuite vers la Ligne Siegfried

27/08/44 – 11/09/44

Soutient du peloton pour chasser les Allemands en dehors de la France, Belgique et Luxembourg.

Bataille de la Ligne Siegfried

12/09/44 – 27/10/44

Soutient du peloton à la Division à briser la Ligne Siegfried et contenir des lourdes contre-attaques.

Bataille de Foret de Hürtgen

28/10/44 – 18/11/44 

Soutient du peloton à la Division pour nettoyer la Foret de Hürtgen qui était solidement défendu

Bataille de l’Our

19/11/44 – 18/12/44

Soutient à la Division pour garder les positions sur la West Wall

Bataille des Ardennes

19/12/44 – 03/01/45

Soutient à la Division  pour garder les positions de défense contre des attaques et les avances ennemies

Bataille de la Meuse

04/01/45 – 17/01/45

Soutient à la Division pour garder les positions défensives  le long de La Meuse.

Bataille de la Poche de Colmar

18/01/45 – 14/02/45

Soutient à la Division à contenir et nettoyer la Poche.

Poussée vers le Rhin

15/02/45 - Fin

Soutient à la Division à nettoyer à l’ouest du Rhin les poches de résistance Allemande


Officiers commanding during important engagements


William Fellman II      

 

 Major

29/07/44                     

12/02/45

Frank Koziak

1st Lieutenant

12/02/45

16/03/45

William T. Hill

Major

16/03/45

29/03/45


KIA

"Battle of the Bulge" Ardennes 19/012/44  -  03/01/45

26 EM  MIA (Missing in Action)

3 EM WIA (Wounded in Action)

 

33016382     Sgt     Charles R. BRUCE - WIA

35096500     Pfc     Gilbert G. KASKE - WIA

33034132     Sgt     Frank H. Mc CLELAND - MIA

33028729     Sgt     Alex WYSHYVANUK - MIA

34150393     Cpl    Lousi J. LANDRUM Jr. -  MIA

33022582     Cpl    Stephen VAJDA Jr. - MIA

36607952     Pfc    Edward A. BIEGUS -  MIA

36104924     Pfc    Charles F. COLBERT - MIA

34044274     Pfc    Edward C. CHESNEY -  MIA

39327565     Pfc    Kenneth J. DAGMN - MIA

13101682     Pfc    Joseph T. FAY - MIA

39315906     Pfc     Leon S. GEIMER - MIA

32084816     Pfc     Joseph GOLDBURG - MIA

20306787     Pfc     Charles C. JENKINS - MIA

36382383     Pfc     Walter W. KIDD - MIA

33011581     Pfc     George S. KLENZING Jr. - MIA

32247658     Pfc     Willard F. MILHEARN - MIA

20305420     Pfc     Vincent F. Mc DERMITT - MIA

33034142     Pfc     Steve RADNICK - MIA

33022587     Pfc     George W. SEFICK - MIA

33034191     Pfc     George W. SEIFERT - MIA

33034205     Pfc     Andrew SEMEN - MIA

35043028     Pfc     Floyd C. SMITH - MIA

20300575     Pfc     Homer J TAUNTON - MIA

33022540     Pfc     Thomas TOGNELLI -  MIA

20301821     Pfc     Stanley W. ZINKO - MIA

6288969       Pvt     Ernest E. HARRISON  - MIA

N° Inconnu  Pvt      Alvin D. HOLDCRAFT - WIA

*

 

*

 

06/03/45

 

34100957     Pfc      Claude HYDE – WIA

*

 

Sources :  After Action reports et Battle Casualty Reports


DISTINGUISHED MEMBERS DURING COMBAT


Croix de Guerre

36647851   Pfc   H. FREIDMAN  par décision #332 du 25/01/45 du Gouvernement Français


Bronze Star


33016838  Sgt  Charles E. BRENCE    par   GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 27/02/45

20300531  Sgt. James W. HESS           par   GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 19/08/45

20319627  Pvt Harold E. MITCHELL  par   GO 28th  Inf Div HQ du 19/08/45


OFF & EM Bronze Star


20318342   Sgt     George F. MARSDEN           par GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 08/03/45

20300537   S/Sgt  Bernard MARGASAK          par GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 07/05/45

33033938   Cpl     Harold D. ELLIOTT             par GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 11/05/45

33034132   Sgt      Frank Mc CLELLAND        par GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 18/05/45

33034221   Sgt      Jack L. WILSON                  par  GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 18/05/45

20300212   Sgt      John E. MORRIS                  par GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 18/05/45

20300545   Sgt     Edward NEEDLES                par GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 23/05/45

20302762   Sgt     Michael FEDERCO               par GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 29/05/45

20302755   Pfc     Paul E. BONDMAN              par GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 29/05/45

0-1285506  Lt      John A. FOLEY                     par GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 05/06/45

33034207    Sgt    Wassil N. SERNIAK             par GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 05/06/45

20300531    S/Sgt  John F. KEOWN                  par GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 19/08/45

0-323317     Maj   William FELLMAN II          par GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 07/11/45

0-1287141   Lt      Zyzmont E. KOZIAK           par GO 28th Inf Div HQ du 13/10/45



AWARD UNIT

 


By GO37 of the 14th March 1945 the 28th MP Platoon was award the Meritorius Unit Citation for service during the period 16/12/1944 till 01/02/1945 meaning "Battle of the Bulge", defense of the Meuse and the battle for Colmar.

 

OFFICERS & EM RECOMMENDED FOR DECORATIONS

 


0-884917    Major        William T. HILL       pour la Croix de Guerre Française

36266317    Pfc        Charles  W. WHYMS    pour la Croix de Guerre Française

20300527    Pfc      Charles R. FINN  pour la croix de Guerre Luxembourgeoise





28thMP the 6th April 1945 

Author: Alex H.Vossen



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