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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Army Assignments

M. D. Shore, S1/c, operating a forklift truck at the Navy supply depot at Guam, Marianas. June 8, 1945.
"Only a relatively small proportion of American soldiers made the invasions and fought on the front lines. Of the 11 million men in the U. S. Army in 1945, only 2 million were in combat divisions, of whom fewer than 700,000 were in the infantry-the “grunts” who did the fighting and most of the dying: They suffered 70 percent of the casualties. Every man in combat required 10 men in support. Young single men constituted a majority of these ground combat troops. 
"Most soldiers were assigned to the service and technical forces: the Chemical Warfare Service, the Corps of Engineers, the Medical Department, the Ordnance Department, the Quartermaster Corps, the Signal Corps, and the Transportation Corps. They supported the combat troops by training them; planning the battles the combat troops fought; transporting them; supplying them with food, shelter, clothing, weapons, and ammunition; buying and servicing their equipment; caring for the sick and wounded; operating the postal and financial services and the chaplaincy; running newspapers (The Stars and Stripes and base newspapers) and magazines (Yank and various unit publications); keeping records on them; getting them paid; running stores for them; and providing them with entertainment and rest-and-recreation facilities-all the multifarious tasks required to operate a modern military. Although they faced enemy guns only in unusual crisis situations, the millions who went overseas in support capacities were still at substantial risk-of accidents, submarines, the V-1 and V-2 bombs that the Germans rained on England, or the kamikaze planes in the Pacific." - Mitch Williamson

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