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The Aftermath
(80 Years Later)

 

October 2, 1943 Company B 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion (Combat) thought they were leaving the front (the Germans pulled out of Naples October 1, 1943), and were billeted at the Prince of Piedmont Artillery Barracks in Naples, Italy.  They along with the 36th Engineer Regiment 3rd Battalion Company H were very wrong.

 

The job for the Engineer’s was to defuse thousands of landmines in and around Naples left by the Germans.  For the first few days it seemed that stable.  Then on October 7, 1943 a bomb went off at the Naples Post Office.  The people killed were mostly civilians. 

 

Three days later Private Rumbaugh was just coming off of guard duty (0100-0500) and looking forward to some sleep Sunday Morning the 10th.  That was not to be as Company B was detailed to check out General Clark’s Headquarters at the Kings and Queens Palace.  Rumbaugh was one of the few Engineer’s who had gone to school at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.

 

The detail was lead by First Lieutenant Rightley, Sergeant Miale and Privates Sterling "Whitey" Thomas and Carroll Rumbaugh.  Back at the Barracks Company B had the third floor with the 36th Engineer Regiment Company H the second floor. 

 

Since it was Sunday morning men were playing cards, writing letters home and some getting ready for church.  Around 8:30 that morning Sunday had change for 45 Engineers as an explosion destroyed their Barracks.    

 

The Detail at the Kings and Queens Palace heard the explosion but didn’t realize that it was their building.  It was pure luck who survived that day.  Technical Five Tom Goins was left alone on his bed as that was all that was left around him with everything else in the room was destroyed, falling two stories below.

 

From all over Naples the American and British soldiers tried to dig out the men from both Companies.  The 307th soldiers lost 23 killed and 21 wounded.  The soldiers from the 36th Engineers lost 22 killed and 15 wounded.

 

All but one of the 307th wounded men was above the slabs of crushed concrete.  One man was buried alive though, Ted Gach.  Spoke with Ted and Sergeant Eplin about this explosion.  Ted said that he couldn’t even lift a finger he was so packed in.  For the first hour or so he heard other men calling out talking back and forth.  Eventually Ted said that all the voices went silent.

On the top of the pile Sergeant John Eplin was digging trying to find the men in his Squad.  After a few hours a Lieutenant tried to call off the search.  Eplin turned to this Officer and told him “Fuck You” and everyone kept digging.  John wasn’t going to rest until everyone from Company B was found, dead or alive.  Eventually Ted Gach was uncovered and didn’t return to duty until November of 1943.

 

The next Campaign for the 307th Abn Engr Bn (C) Company B had a bad result as well in Normandy losing 18 Killed, 38 POWs (and one who was killed as a POW) and 21 wounded meant that only 65 men coming back from the 142 who jumped 6 June 1944.

 

 

Brian N. Siddall

October 6, 2023
(Updated November 5, 2023)


The Aftermath of the October 10, 1943 Barracks Blast in Naples, Italy
(Links, ASNs are IDPFs, Names are Medical Reports & Rank are Photos)

ASN Name Rank Original Cemetery Original Plot Numbers Original Burial Date Cemetery Name Plot Numbers Date of Burial Final Burial Location Final Burial Plot Division Regiment Battalion Company Location of Death Date of Casualty
13086393 Johannsen, Donald F. Sergeant Pieta 01-02-10 10/12/1943 Naples B-10-109 11/10/1943 Sicily-Rome American Cemetery J-05-039 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
36523989 Gidner, Walter H. Corporal Pieta 01-02-23 10/12/1943 Naples B-08-090 11/9/1943 Rock Island National Cemetery E-88 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
35106831 Kirkland, Harold R. Corporal Pieta 01-02-26 10/12/1943 Naples B-08-085 11/9/1943 Campbellsville Cemetery
 
82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/12/1943
6998426 Smith, Roy E. Corporal Pieta 01-02-27 10/12/1943 Naples B-08-086 11/9/1943 Baltimore National Cemetery D 0 3597 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/12/1943
15053961 Ratliff, Russell O. Technician 5th Grade Pieta 01-02-21 10/12/1943 Naples B-08-098 11/9/1943 Ferguson Cemetery
 
82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1194
37018430 Thompson, Lewis E. Technician 5th Grade Pieta 01-01-07 10/16/1943 Naples I-01-007 7/11/1944 Fort Snelling National Cemetery Sec: C-3, Site: 7911 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
6975344 Butcher, Herbert W. Private First Class Pieta 01-02-15 10/12/1943 Naples B-09-102 11/10/1943 Long Island National Cemetery J, 14458 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
18134234 Hardy, Carl E. Private First Class Pieta 01-03-04 10/12/1943 Naples B-07-081 11/8/1943 Sicily-Rome American Cemetery F-10-055 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1944
13096498 Jordan, Joseph R. Private First Class Pieta A-01-15 10/16/1943 Naples I-02-015 7/11/1944 Sicily-Rome American Cemetery J-13-016 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
36042489 Kalat, Walter R. Private First Class Pieta A-01-16 10/16/1943 Naples I-02-016 7/11/1944 Sicily-Rome American Cemetery R-13-035 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
33030147 Koslosky, Joseph S. Private First Class Pieta 01-02-13 10/12/1943 Naples B-09-104 11/10/1943 Arlington National Cemetery Sec: 13, Site: 731 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
14097569 McCardle, A. M. Private First Class Pieta 01-02-24 10/12/1943 Naples B-08-089 11/9/1943 Indian Springs Cemetery
 
82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
37311800 Tilleskjor, Hugo R. Private First Class Pieta 01-03-05 10/13/1943 Naples B-07-074 11/8/1943 Sicily-Rome American Cemetery C-11-027 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
15078260 Coe, Robert T. Private Pieta 01-02-19 10/12/1943 Naples B-08-095 11/9/1943 Milford Cemetery
 
82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1194
36122826 Denoyer, Albert J. Private Pieta 01-02-12 10/12/1943 Naples B-09-103 11/10/1943 Sicily-Rome American Cemetery A-09-016 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
32359057 Fitzpatrick, William Private Pieta 01-03-03 10/12/1943 Naples B-07-080 11/8/1943 Long Island National Cemetery J, 14005 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
12082123 Forney, Llywllyn G. Private Pieta A-01-06 10/16/1943 Naples I-01-006 7/11/1944 Sicily-Rome American Cemetery J-12-010 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1944
35369597 Hartzer, William R. Private Pieta 01-02-16 10/12/1943 Naples B-08-094 11/9/1943 East Hill Cemetery
 
82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/12/1943
11034269 Otocki, Frank Private Pieta 01-03-01 10/12/1943 Naples B-07-078 11/8/1943 Notre Dame Cemetary
 
82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
12072477 Pultz, Glen M. Private Pieta 01-03-02 10/12/1943 Naples B-07-079 11/8/1943 Mount Pleasant Cemetery
 
82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
13083080 Roles, Robert M. Private Pieta 01-02-09 10/12/1943 Naples B-09-108 11/10/1943 Sicily-Rome American Cemetery I-01-20 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
33175008 Vastyshak, Joseph Private Pieta A-01-14 10/16/1943 Naples I-02-14 7/11/1944 Beverly National Cemetery C-0-2020 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
33356720 Vosburg, Wellington N. Private Pieta A-01-05 10/16/1943 Naples I-01-05 7/11/1944 Arlington National Cemetery Sec: 12, Site: 5721 82nd Abn Div
 
307th Abn Engr Bn Co B Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
37089479 Miller, Howard J. Staff Sergeant Pieta
 
10/12/1943 Naples
 

 
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Sec: 82 Site: 249
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
39171682 Cole, Roy K. Sergeant Pieta A-01-17 10/16/1943 Naples I-02-017 7/11/1944 Cornell Cemetery
 

 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
37163602 Hinderks, Conrad F. Sergeant Pieta
 
10/12/1943 Naples
 

 
Sicily-Rome American Cemetery F-01-39
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
36126596 Wionecki, Arthur E. Technician 4th Grade Pieta
 
10/12/1943 Naples
 

 
White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery
 

 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
33157182 Brassington, William T. Technician 5th Grade             Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Sec: 82 Site: 249
 
36th Engr Regt   Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
35292699 Cray, Howard M. Technician 5th Grade Pieta 01-02-22 10/12/1943 Naples B-08-088 11/9/1943 Zachary Taylor National Cemetery C,4
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
31108402 Croteau, Rosarie W. Technician 5th Grade Pieta
 
10/12/1943 Naples
 

 
Sicily-Rome American Cemetery C-12-34
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
35377868 Fioretti, Dominic R. Technician 5th Grade Pieta A-01-13 10/16/1943 Naples I-02-13 7/11/1944 Sacred Heart-Calvary Cemetery Lot: 13 Space: 3
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
32356363 Reilly, William J. Technician 5th Grade Pieta
 
10/12/1943 Naples
 

 
Saint John Cemetery and Mausoleum 9-W-113
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
36332971 Betlejewski, Alexande Private First Class Pieta 01-02-25 10/12/1943 Naples B-08-091 11/9/1943 Sicily-Rome American Cemetery J-11-45
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
13056838 Busko, Theodore P. Private First Class             Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Sec: 82 Site: 249
 
36th Engr Regt   Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
37163772 Hins, Gustof H. Private First Class Pieta 01-02-19 10/12/1943 Naples B-08-097 11/9/1943 Sicily-Rome American Cemetery A-14-13
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
36072319 Mize, Vernon W. Private First Class Pieta 01-02-09 10/12/1943 Naples
 

 
Bunker Hill Cemetery
 

 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
33409252 Coe, Evan L. Private Pieta A-01-07 10/12/1943 Naples A-01-007 11/9/1943 Evergreen Cemetery Sec: 09 Lot: 150
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
37121237 Grewe, Harry Y. Private Pieta
 
10/12/1943 Naples
 

 
Sicily-Rome American Cemetery E-15-45
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
16088406 Hanes, Louis G. Private Pieta 01-02-28 10/12/1943 Naples B-08-087 11/9/1943 Sicily-Rome American Cemetery A-15-09
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
33475782 MacWilliams, Malcom B. Private Pieta A-01-04 10/12/1943 Naples I-01-04 7/11/1944 Arlington National Cemetery Sec: 12, Site: 5290
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
36332481 Paulos, Michael T. Private Pieta
 
10/12/1943 Naples B-07-077 11/8/1943 St. Alex Cemetery, Patra, Greece
 

 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
35292639 Perry, Dallas W. Private Pieta 01-02-20 10/12/1943 Naples B-08-096 11/9/1943 Salem Church Cemetery
 

 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
38287757 Puga, Victor Private Pieta
 
10/12/1943 Naples
 

 
Sicily-Rome American Cemetery A-06-31
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
38003789 Sanchez, Alfredo M. Private             Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Sec: 82 Site: 249
 
36th Engr Regt   Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
32209821 Weinstein, George Private Pieta
 
10/12/1943 Naples
 

 
Sicily-Rome American Cemetery F-01-45
 
36th Engr Regt
 
Co H Killed in Barracks blast in Naples, Italy 10/10/1943
The Wounded for Company B 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion (Combat) Naples, Italy
(Links = Names are Medical Reports & Rank are Photos) Then Co H 36th Engr Regt (C)
ASN Name Rank Salerno After Action Status Date Platoon Height Weight
39160098 Fry, Walker O. Sergeant SWA 10/10/1943 1st Platoon 68 150
20454760 Southerland, Robert D. Sergeant SWA 10/10/1943 1st Platoon 64 125
19013840 Jewell, William E. Technician 4th Grade SWA 10/10/1943 1st Platoon 68 141
12049962 DeMaio, Enzo C. Corporal SWA 10/10/1943 1st Platoon 62 116
37330604 Kurtz, Edward J. Technician 5th Grade SWA 10/10/1943 2nd Platoon 70 155
36164336 Szakara, Michael Technician 5th Grade LWA 10/10/1943 1st Platoon 67 146
16085022 Cardew, Louis J. Private First Class SWA 10/10/1943 1st Platoon 70 151
14123593 Moser, Robert L. Private First Class SWA 10/10/1943 2nd Platoon 67 133
34147109 Pentecost, Cecil I. Private First Class SWA 10/10/1943 2nd Platoon 69 159
32193745 Catalano, Joseph Private SWA 10/10/1943 1st Platoon 70 146
20406903 Ellis, Elmer Private LWA 10/10/1943 1st Platoon 67 125
19099177 Gach, Theodore I. Private LWA 10/10/1943   67 167
37387750 Hosman, Billy A. Private SWA 10/10/1943 1st Platoon 70 142
12072158 Lapiers, Richard J. Private SWA 10/10/1943   69 145
11068184 Marceau, Joseph G. Private SWA 10/10/1943 2nd Platoon 68 165
6880370 Partridge, Walter J. Private SWA 10/10/1943   65 121
13081478 Rydzewski, Carl W. Private LWA 10/10/1943 1st Platoon 70 175
19142047 Schultz, Robert L. Private LWA 10/10/1943   68 140
35319828 Smith, Robert W. Private SWA 10/10/1943   66 164
17058476 Taylor, Raymond E. Private SWA 10/10/1943 1st Platoon 68 132
32175104 Tedeschi, Jack L. Private SWA 10/10/1943 1st Platoon 70 151
36222244 Uhreh, Andrew W. Staff Sergeant   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C) 70 150
34198222 Fancher, M.C. Corporal   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C) 75 141
34198731 Harris, John W. Corporal   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C) 69 139
32247719 Russell, James J. Corporal   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C) 70 170
12067518 Bishop, Charles E. Technician 5th Grade   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C) 69 145
33157868 Eckardt, Ernest E. Technician 5th Grade   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C) 67 221
36079366 Beckseyer, Elmer J. Private First Class   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C)    
37144458 Corkill, Paul Private First Class   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C)    
34198574 Yates, Elmer Private First Class   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C) 67 112
33347060 Balz, Arnold N. Private   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C) 69 150
36145552 Hamlett, John W. Private   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C) 69 180
35521124 Jackowski, Edward W. Private   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C) 69 152
34198509 Liggan, Charles A. Private   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C) 71 144
36197331 Stevens, Thomas B. Private   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C) 67 146
32333524 Walsh, Frederick A. Private   10/10/1943 Co H 36th Engr Regt (C) 65 125
               

Morning Reports October 1943 for Co H 36th Engr Regt
 


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