Posted on July 9, 2012
Grandpa Forrester was Special Forces in WWII – an Alamo Scout
On May 30, 2004, my grandfather, Charles Forrester wrote this about his time in the Army in WWII. It is the last record I can find of his service, after contacting the government military records management office, it turns out they lost millions of records in a fire in the 70’s (paper records) and they all burned. My grandpa’s was one of them. My grandmother is still looking for other stuff from his military career, like discharge papers, etc. I’ll post them if I find them.
I have been trying to dig up as much specific information on his service areas and experiences so that I can do some research on the unit he was with and maybe contact anyone who knew him.
I also found out from my grandma that he was a member of the Army Special Forces: 6th Army Alamo Scouts which was a 6th Army Special Reconaissance Unit that specialized in liberating American POW’s from camps in the Pacific. Apparently 10 years ago or so, a man called my grandfather asking for information about his service in the Alamo Scouts – his name is on a roster of members of the group. I’m not sure why he never mentioned it in his listing below of everywhere he trained and served, because I did a bunch of digging and found that he completed the 6 week training camp and became a member of the scouts, but he was not assigned to an active team, so he was returned to his unit.
I did more research on the Alamo Scouts Home Page and found that he was listed as an official member and graduated as a PFC in the 7th class of scouts
But what is really cool, is that I found a quote from Grandpa listed on the head of the 2010 Newsletter from the Alamo Scouts group! The quote sounds exactly like something my badass grandpa would say, I can just imagine him saying it. Here is the quote, and I’ll post the PDF of the newsletter too.
LINK TO PDF FILE:
After returning to his unit from the Scouts, I found out that he was in a combat landing on Luzon – the fight for that island was the second biggest battle in the pacific, only surpassed by Okinawa. I was lucky enough to hear a few particular stories about his time there, I’ll update this post later if I can remember enough of them to write out…
WW II Memorial
P.O. Box 305
Calverton, NY 11933
World War II Registry of Remembrances:
Name: Charles E. Forrester
Hometown: Canute Oklahoma
Drafted into the Army at 18 years of age in September 1943.
Inducted at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Shipped to Camp Roberts, CA for 17 weeks of basic heavy weapons infantry training.
Sent to Ft. Ord, CA and Camp Stoneman.
Shipped out to Sydney, Australia then to Milne Bay, New guinea to a replacement depot.
From there was sent to MaffinBay, New Guinea and assigned to the 6th Engineer Combat Battalion of the 6th Infantry Division. Served at Maffin Bay, New Guinea, a combat area. The next stop was Sansapor on the Northern tip of New Guinea. From there to a combat landing at Lingayen
The type of work consisted of building roads, bridges, docks, demolition work, pulling guard in Combat areas.
Shipped to Korea during the occupation. Returned to Ft. Lewis, WA was discharged at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas in 1946.
Attained the rank of Staff Sgt.
Charles E. Forrester
UPDATE: My mom just sent me this note that my grandfather typed up about his experiences:
I graduated from high school in June 1943. I was inducted in the Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in October 1943. I went by train from Fort Sill to Camp Roberts, California for 17 weeks of basic training in a heavy weapons infantry, Company C, 89th Infantry Battalion with 81 mm mortars and 30 caliber water cooled machine guns. From there I went to Fort Ord, California and then to Camp Stoneman, near San Francisco. There I boarded a troop ship, the USS America, on my way to Sydney Australia, then on to Milne Bay, British New Guinea, and a replacement depot. From there we went to Maffin Bay, New Guinea by merchant vessel where I was received by first combat assignment, to the 6th Engineer Combat Battalion, 6th Infantry Division.
We moved up the east coast of New Guinea to Sansapor, where I trained for the combat landing at Lingayen Gulf, just north of Manila. We were in combat on Luzon and Bataan and were in northern Luzon when the war in the Pacific ended.
We left Luzon for Korea after the war was over in the Pacific and were part of the occupation forces there for about 6 months.
I boarded ship for Seattle, Washington, and Fort Lewis where I proceeded by train to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, then by bus to Oklahoma City, then home.
I left home in October 1943 and was back home January 1946. I spent 27 months in the Army, 24 of those months overseas, and was home before my 21st birthday.
I am proud to have served. I don’t know that I accomplished much. I never fired a shot at the enemy, even though we were under artillery fire a few times, so I don’t have much to brag about, but I am thankful that I never was wounded. I attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.