I am looking for information on the 40 and 8 soldiers of the american legion during WWII. There was something about there being 40 men and 8 horses on a train escaping..My grandfather says he was part of this and I recieved his uniform after his death.. I am very curious about this and if anyone could give me some information I would be truly gratefull... Thank you and God Bless..
P.S My Grandfathers Troop # Was #666, which seemed strange but that is what is on the lapel of his coat....
replied to: rhonda
Replied to: I am looking for information on the 40 and 8 soldiers...
"40 and 8" does not refer to any specific incident. French railroad cars were labelled 40 hommes 8 cheveau....meaning they could be loaded with either 40 men or 8 horses. GIs found this to be ironicly amusing.
If you want to start researching you need more information on your relative. There are books at the library that can assist. The best source is the service person's discharge papers which should include name, rank, service number, unit, etc.
Depending on the branch of service the unit would be broken down from smaller unit to larger unit. For example:
"H Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment"
"A Battery, 131st Field Artillery Battalion, 36th Infantry Divison"
"PT 223, Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 16"
the markings on the label of the coat might be some sort of unit insignia but those are usually on the shoulder.
replied to: riffraff
Replied to: "40 and 8" does not refer to any specific incident....
All of that is good advice. And also, be aware that the American Legion is a fraternity of military veterans, not a military unit in itself. His coat pin in all probability indicates a chapter of the American Legion, which has nothing to do with the unit he served with during the war. The local Legion chapter will include veterans from all services and all wars in living memory.
You can learn more about them at http://www.legion.org/. Hopefully that will help you make sense of the information you have, and clarify the questions you ask as you search for answers.