Thursday, March 02, 2006

Railway Operating Battalions

From: "Arnim Gerstenmeier"

A friend of mine is researching her dad's WW II career. He was employed by the Southern Pacific RR and served with the 715th Railway Operating Battalion in North Africa and Italy. Was the Southern Pacific a sponsor of that unit also?

Where do you suggest we look for information? After the war, he returned to the Southern Pacific and worked for that line (California) until his death.



Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Joel Rosenbaum"

There are several good sites for researching Railway operating battalions.

The Fort Sam Houston Museum in San Antonio, Texas is very helpful. Camp Cushing was established in the SP RR yards near Fort Sam Houston to train operating Railway Battalions during WWII. About a dozen units were trained there. I have a photo of the 721st Railway Operating Battalion at ceremonies at Camp Cushing in June 1943. Camp Cushing was named for 1880 Texas A&M grad EB Cushing. He saved Texas A&M from being closed and merged with the U of T, was a Chief Engineer for SP, and joined the Army during WWI in his 50's and served overseas on General Pershing staff. The Cushing Memorial Library and archives at Texas A&M is named in his honor. Cushing was also a Colonel in the Houston Light Infantry and once intervened with force to prevent a prisoner from being taken off a train and lynched. His brother who also once worked for SP was kidnaped by Mexican Bandits in Texas while working for the RR. They got the wrong Cushing and had hoped his ransom would make them rich.

Cushing father was a New England native who moved to Texas became a Houston Editor supported the Confederacy and there were calls for his lynching by the yankees at the end of the Civil War.

About a year and a half ago Railway History did an extensive article on Railway operating Battalions. ...

If you search the Web there is an interesting site for Raoul Santos who served with an operating RR battalion during WWII and has references, links, history and photos.

—Joel Rosenbaum

[from the R&LHS Newsgroup.]

3/02/2006 10:16 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Thornton Waite"

According to Carl Gray in "Railroading in 18 Countries," the 715th was sponsored by the Illinois Central.

[from the R&LHS Newsgroup.]

3/02/2006 10:17 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Subject: 715th ROB [A]

The 715th ROB was sponsored by the Illinois Central Railroad on 10/31/42.

Steel Rails to Victory Ron Ziel 1970

3/03/2006 4:55 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

See additional discussion.

4/15/2007 7:00 PM  

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