28th MP Platoon
28thMP in South Wales 1943Combat MP's generally busiest people in a front-line outfitFrom « Military Police Bulletin Nov-Dec 44 » Photos/infos by Sgt.George Marsden, 28thMP, 28thID28th 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 11-08-1944When 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) 1944Source: "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 SongThe 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
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
You’ve got to look neat; the 28th is
So if we stop you to straighten your
Just put it on right – we have to do
We’re all of us soldiers – 28th, we’re
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
23 Mai 1834
Organisé comme les York Pennsylvania Riflemen
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
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
15 Juillet 1917
Service fédéral pour la première guerre mondiale
11 Octobre 1917
Renommée comme la Co A 112th Infantry Regt.
04 Mai 1919
18 Novembre 1921
Réorganisé comme la 28th Military Police Co.
17 Février 1941
Au service Fédéral pour la seconde guerre mondiale
CHANGE ORGANIZATIONThe 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)
Source : Morning Reports 28th M.P. PlatoonCamps permanent or temporary
Arrivée Indiantown Gap, Pa.
Départ Indiantown Gap, Pa.
Arrivé Camp Livinston, La.
Départ du Camp Livingston, La.
Arrivée Camp Gordon Johnston, Fla.
Départ Camp Gordon Johnston , Fla.
Arrivée Camp Pickett, Va.
Départ Camp Pickett, Va.
Arrivée Camp Myles Standish, Mass. BOSTON Port of embarkation
Départ Camp Myles Standish, Mass. BOSTON Port of embarkation
Arrivée en Angleterre
Départ Pembrokeshire, Tenby, Wales
Arrivée Camp Chiseldon, Wiltshire, Angleterre
Départ Camps Chiseldon Wiltshire, Angleterre
Arrivée South Hampton, Angleterre
Départ South Hampton, Angleterre
Arrivée Omaha Beach, Normandie, France
jusque 05/07/1945 Période d’action contre l’ennemi.
Départ de Kaiserlautern, Allemagne
Arrivée Camp Pittsburgh, Mourmelon, France
Départ Camp Pittsburgh, Mourmelon, France
Arrivée camp Old Gold, Fauville, France
Départ Camp Old Gold, Fauville, France
Arrivée à Le Havre, France Port of embarkation
Départ de Le Havre, France Port of embarkation
Arrivée à Boston, Mass, Etats Unis
Départ Camp Myles Standish, Boston
Arrivée Camp Shelby, Missisippi
Stations during action
23/04/44 Omaha beach
24/07/44 Transit Area Treveries, France
31/07/44 La Deni Seire
02/08/44 La Tilandiers
06/08/44 Saint Sever, Calvados
10/08/44 Champ du Boult
29/08/44 Paris , Saint Denis
04/09/44 Misy le compte
08/09/44 Florenville, Belgique
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
02/01/45 Charleville, France
17/01/45 Saint Marie aux Mines
19/02/45 Sprimont, Belgique
21/02/45 Wahlerscheid, Allemagne
Source : After Action ReportsBATTLES
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
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
William T. Hill
"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
34100957 Pfc Claude HYDE – WIA
Sources : After Action reports et Battle Casualty ReportsDISTINGUISHED MEMBERS DURING COMBAT
Croix de Guerre
36647851 Pfc H. FREIDMAN par décision #332 du 25/01/45 du Gouvernement Français
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
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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