Monday, October 24, 2011

Military Monday - Edward John Lanctot

Edward John Lanctot 1921-2011
That's my Grampa.  Wasn't he handsome?  As I have previously mentioned in these posts, he served in the Army National Guard for South Dakota, 147th Field Artillery Battalion, Company E, during World War II.

In 1940, Ed enlisted in the 147th Field Artillery Battalion, South Dakota National Guard to become a “part of the greatest peacetime army in United States history.”  They received their basic training at Camp Ord, California.  In November 1940 the 147th Field Artillery Regiment of the South Dakota National Guard was called into Federal service. The 147th Field Artillery performed well at Fort Ord, prompting troops of the regular army 7th Infantry Division to talk about having the 147th assigned as the divisional artillery.
In November 1941, the 147th was ordered to overseas duty in the Philippines. The regiment was in Hawaii at the end of November. Members of the 147th enjoyed shore leave at Pearl Harbor just days before the Japanese assault. The regiment's convoy was a week west of Hawaii when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The attack on Pearl Harbor caused the 147th's convoy to be rerouted to Australia. For a time during the end of 1941 and the early months of 1942, the 147th was the only major Allied unit stationed in the Darwin area.
Ed Lanctot with his buddies
By December 1941, the 2d Battalion joined the full 147th Field Artillery, a National Guard unit from South Dakota, and the two battalions of the 148th Field Artillery, a National Guard unit from Idaho. This filled out the six-battalion artillery brigade initially scheduled to reinforce General MacArthur's troops in the Philippines. Following the diversion to Australia in late 1941, the 147th Field Artillery had remained at Darwin to reinforce the northern defenses of Australia, while the 2d Battalion, 131st Field Artillery, boarded transports for Java, arriving at Surabaja on 11 January 1942.
The 147th was reorganized in 1943 into the 147th and 260th Field Artillery Battalions. The 147th was the last field artillery regiment to be reorganized by the Army. The 147th Battalion built a solid record of combat service in New Guinea and the Philippines as part of the 158th Regimental Combat Team. The 260th Battalion spent the rest of the war driving trucks. These two battalions were the only units of the South Dakota National Guard to maintain a specific South Dakota identity during the war.[1]
One of the jobs assigned to the Field Artillery Battalion, apparently, was driving trucks (which I assume carried munitions of some sort).  Here is Ed's license to drive Army vehicles.

... and a picture of one of the trucks (that's my granduncle in that photo, also a member of the 147th):

When Ed returned to the states, he got married, went on a honeymoon, and then he had to report to Ft. Sam Houston for reassignment.  From there, he was assigned to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, and finally Ft. Snelling, Minnesota.  Ed eventually reached the rank of First Lieutenant and was discharged from the National Guard in 1944 after three years in the South Pacific.

Ed re-enlisted soon after discharge and was active during the Korean conflict.


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