801st Engineers banner


Home for thirty days

Meritorious Service Unit Award
(click to see larger image)

On 7 February 1945 the 801st Engineers were awarded the Meritorious Service Unit Award for "superior performance of duty in the performance of an exceptionally difficult task." But an even better reward awaited the men for finishing a job well done: 30 days leave.

Not everyone would be going home. A Post Engineer Company was activated to remain at Lagens Field to provide base maintenance. These men would be permanently leaving the 801st.

On 23 February the battalion boarded the Liberty ship William S. Evarts for the trip back to the States. Although the Evarts did not weigh anchor until the 25th it was still a better trip than they had experienced a year earlier. It was noted that the Evarts was a much cleaner ship than the John Clark. They were veteran sea travelers now, and knew the ropes. There was a great deal less seasickness. The German submarine threat was greatly reduced. And best of all, the men were heading home for a 30 day furlough.

The William S. Evarts docked at Newport News on 10 March, and the men again boarded the shuttle train for Camp Patrick Henry. With unexpected but welcome efficiency the 801st was processed through in less than 24 hours, and soon the men were scattering to reception centers, and eventually to family and friends throughout the United States.

Next: Geiger Field >



Family photos

Dad with the grandparents

Dad used his thirty day leave to head home. more >