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759th Arkansas Railroader

759th Arkansas Railroader

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Published by cunningb

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Published by: cunningb on Dec 28, 2011
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12/25/2013

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ITTLEROCKCHAPTERNRHS
VOLUME30 NUMBER I NOVEMBER 999
AgroupofyoungailroadsoldiersosewithMissouriPacific4-6-2No. 6624near he yardofficeatVan Buen, Arkansasn thespringof 1943.Theywerepanof the759thRailwayOperating attalion(GeneHull collection)
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(fhewar-time adonthe prcrious pagewassent in by Jitn Bennett)
RAIIREADII'GSETDIENS
by:Gene HUIIAlmostassoonas he smoke ndwater settled fter heJapaneseisitedPearlHarborn 7Dcccmber 941,he AmedcanWar Departmontealized1wouldneed ome ailroadingoldiers.Men iom many ailroadwerealled or acliveduty.Everyypeofrailroadexperienceasnccdcd fronofiicial ofllces o rackgangsOnewasas mportants heother. heywereassrgnedo thenewly brmedTranspo(ation ory.CampClaibome, ouisiana asselectedobctheArmypostrom which ailroadroopswouldbe rained.CampClaibornc adts own railroadwhere hemen eccivedheirbasic rainingThenheywereassignedocivilianoperatingrarlroadsor more ntenserainingOno uch utl'i1washc759th attalion ilitaryRailwayervice.heywcrctationedt VanBuren.Arkansas,D he MissouriPacific, CcrtralDivision.Afler thisraining, hemcnwouldbcable o operateailroadsnanyzoneof mtlitaryoperations he750thhad26 officers ndmorethan1,000menand hecampat Van Burenhad35 ramebuildings bout mile romdowntownEvery ivilia.nailroader n thedivisionhada militarycounterpartnd heailroad oldiersoonwere nownas he"MissouriPacificBattalion." wo officersn the battalion ereMissouriPacific xecutivesMajorLutherL. Lowewasassistant uperintendentftheMo.P.a1Pueblo,Colorado, ndCaptain ohn . Walshwasa Mo P. officerat St.LouisThebattalion ailed o NorthAfrica nJuly 1944 ndbeganebuildingwar-wreckedailroadsoruseby UrlcleSam's rmy.Under he command f Lt. Col EnestM Price f Tacoma,Washington,hemenoperatedrainsover he {tlasMountains. heyworesteelhelnets nsleadofslripedailroadaps ndcaniedsidearmsand carbines longwith handoilemandscoopshovcls.nfunrsia,trains anat nightunderblackout onditionsakingroops ndsupplieso hefiolt,prayinghenextbridgeor tunnelhad not been ombedOne50-mile lretchftrack had20tunnelsIn October945,he 750thwason ts wayhome After discharge,hemenwould continueninactiveeserve tatus. hebatlalion adserved ith rench roops n railwayervice ndhcFrenchovernmentrantedhemhe CroixdeGuerrewith Palm or militarybravery.Forseveral eeks uringhewinterof 1942-43heauthor workedwith severalfthese ellowsThedemandor railroadmen overseasequiredmany o departwith a veryminimumofexperience.uitea few failed o retum.Thephotoon he iont covershowsgroupofthe MissouriPacificBattalionn theyardat VanBuren, osedwith4-6-2No. 6624,passengeracific onscriptedor freightservice.Azkansas RaiTzoader

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