Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion

Camp Edwards Cape Cod, Massachusetts 1943

Charlie's War 1943 - 1946

A summer morning in July 1943, I boarded a train marked NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR.  This was after two days of induction into the US ARMY at Camp Upton, Long Island, NY. We were off to parts unknown.  As I looked out my train window I saw familiar places that I was leaving behind, my home, my family and friends.  Crossing over, the Hell Gate Bridge, we headed north. The entire troop train buzzed about where we were being taken to. After some hours we arrived at a place called, Camp Edwards, Massachusetts. We were quickly rounded up and sent to a theater where an Army officer did the welcoming.  “Welcome to Camp Edwards you are now in the 4th ENGINEERING SPECIAL BRIGADE.”  This is a highly specialized outfit and you have been selected for that reason. The Chiefs of Staff have designated that the, US Army Engineers will be the responsible agency to operate landing craft to deliver our troops to enemy shores. By August we had completed our basic training and quickly assigned to our permanent companies on Cape Cod. C. Martin, R. Cheung, J. Cianciulli, P. Finkeletein, S. Rowitt, J. Freeburg, and G. Rowe are now members of Headquarters Company.

Camp Edwards, Cape Cod 1943

The summer of 1943 the company was well organized and moved the operation to Washburn Island (Camp Washburn).  Major Gibbons was the Commanding Officer and 1st Sergeant Wilkins was charged with HQ CO. The company has a roster of 130 men, divided into Marine Operations, Communications, Clerks, Cooks, Mess Hall, Ordinance, etc.  Most of the boats used for training were Navy surplus and in rough shape.  Many civilian craft were on loan to the government for the war effort. By September the weather at the Cape began to change and made training and living in tents difficult. By September 14, 1943 the entire Regiment was moved to Camp Gordon Johnston, Florida.

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