(above insignia)13th Airborne Division Shoulder Patch
129th Airborne Engineer Battalion
he 129th Airborne Engineer Battalion was constituted on 13 May 1943. It was activated
on 15 July 1943 at Fort Bragg, NC under the command of Lt Col Allan A. Blatherwick. (picture right)
The Executive Officer was Major Elbert C Wallace. A month later, on 13 Agust 1943 the battalion became part of the 13th Airborne Division. After forming two glider companies and a headquarters and
service company the 129th was moved to the North area of Camp Mackall N.C. where it remained until alerted for
deployment oversea. At the end of September, 1944 Lt Col Blatherwick was transferred and the XO Major Elbert C Wallace
On the 19th of January 1945, the 129th moved from Camp Mackall NC to Camp Shanks, NY for
overseas deployment. Six days later the battalion arrived by train to New York and embarked on the U.S.A.T.
George Washington and landed in LeHarve, France on February 7th. On that same day the regiments were
packed into 40 and 8s bound for the staging area called Camp Lucky Strike, 200 miles SE of Le Harve in the town
of Auxerre, France.
In February, 1945, a new T/O was received by the battalion that authorized 2 parachute companies
and 1 glider company with 3 platoons. On March 1, 1945 the 596th Airborne Engineer Company of the 517th RCT
was incorporated into the battalion as Company B, 129th Airborne Engineer Battalion and commanded by 1st Lt.
Raymond Hild. Also, during this time the 13th Airborne Division was alerted
several times for possible operations, however each time the fast moving Army ground forces preempted the need for
an airborne operation.
After the German surrender on May 7, 1945 the 13th and 101st Airborne Divisions were notified
of their reassignment to the Pacific. In June, 1945 Major Wallace was transferred to the 17th
Airborne Division and Lt Col Stanley T.B. Johnson of the 139th AEB, 17th Airborne assumed command of
the 129th. The dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan in August, 1945 cancelled the redeployment of the 129th to the Pacific.
That same month the regiment was shipped home aboard the U.S.A.T Thomas Barry.
The 129th AEB arrived in New York Harbor on August 20th and was deactivated soon after at Camp Kilmer, NJ.
(picture above right: The staff of the 129th AEB - June, 1945. They are (left to right):
Capt C Pope S-2, Capt Kreml, Maj Sollenberg, Maj Kross, & Capt Lee.
(^^ Click Picture to Enlarge ^^) )
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