897th and 3562nd Ordnance HAM Companies, 1941-1945

First Army  897th Ordnance Heavy Automotive Maintenance Company
 3562nd Ordnance Heavy Automotive Maintenance Company
 1st Army, V Corps, European Theater of Operations
Belgium, 1944: the war rages on, the weather is lousy, and your truck's frame is bent. Who ya gonna call? The 897th, that's who! They performed difficult repairs under adverse conditions.
Welcome to this WWII history site commemorating the 897th and 3562nd Ordnance HAM Companies, maintained by the son of 897th veteran Julian Gocek. I love to hear from veterans and their families, current service people, and history buffs. With the passing of my father at age 97 in 2015, I doubt any 897th vets are still with us. Best wishes to all the families.
The site is laid out to be mobile-friendly, but with over 250 original wartime photos from the Gocek, Hammond, and Chenevey families, and others, watch your data usage. Just keep scrolling! Contact info at the bottom.
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This day in history: Thursday, November 18, 1943: New York Port of Embarkation, New York City, NY, USA.The company has boarded the HMS Andes, destined for Liverpool, England, and passed by the Statue of Liberty early in the morning. Upon leaving the harbor and the port of New York, the Andes is escorted for a period of time by an anti-submarine blimp and later accompanied by patrol aircraft; then the Andes is on its own. The ship observes anti-sub security precautions by moving in a zigzag course across the Atlantic. Two meals are served onboard and snacks are available from the British equivalent of an American PX. Many were the meals lost overboard due to seasickness. Special soap is available for taking baths in the salty sea water. Barracks bags are stored in the now empty swimming pool. Some of the more unfortunate enlisted men have to sleep on deck and as a result one enlisted man contracts pneumonia and is committed to the ship’s sick bay. Standing on the fantail at night and watching the moon shift from one side of the ship to the other as the ship zigzags is an interesting experience for all. No smoking is allowed on deck at night as a precaution against lurking subs. As the ship nears its objective, floating debris from a previously torpedoed ship is observed, such as crates, clothing, mattresses, and various other objects. Lifeboat drill becomes standard procedure and the crew also practices anti-aircraft gun firing at rockets which are sent up as targets.

William E. Lake's
Company history

December, 1944
Battle of Stavelot

Stateside 1943
Rose Bowl

Stateside training:

Stateside 1941
Camp Lee, VA

Stateside 1941
Camp Shelby, MS

Stateside 1941
Lake Charles, LA

Stateside 1942
Camp Murray, WA

Stateside 1942
Train Trip

Stateside 1942
Camp Young, CA

Stateside 1943
Palm Village, CA

Stateside 1943
Camp Haan, CA


The Way it Was

More Europe

Reader's Digest 1984
The Yanks in Britain

Postwar stuff, commentary:
New February, 2016, newly scanned and reconstructed 40" posters of the Camp Lee and Palm Village areas.


2004 dedication
WWII Memorial

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