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Discussion in 'Ground Commands, Stations, & Bases' started by BCBrinton, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. BCBrinton

    BCBrinton New Member

    Hi everyone--I wasn't sure where to start so thanks for your patience.

    I have come across a photo album from my Grandfather's World War II years, which includes friends, some ladies and even concentration camp victims. He never spoke about it much when I was a kid, and sadly I never thought to ask him for more information. The little I know is that he was some kind of mechanic, and I thought with B-17's or possibly the vehicles that serviced them...so here I am.

    I contacted the National Archives for his service records and unfortunately they believe his were amongst a large collection lost in a fire in 1973. They did send me his Separation Papers from 1945. It shows his Unit as 1197TH MP CO AAF 470TH BASE and the separation was completed at UNIT B SEP CTR#45 IMGR PA.

    This has me stumped as I cannot find any record of this unit, either with the AAF or anywhere. Let me know if anyone can help!

  2. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    The separation center should be IGMR, i.e.,

    Unit B Separation Center #45, Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, PA (IGMR)

    No luck yet on the other two units mentioned.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
  3. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the AAF forum BC,
    The problem with separation papers is they seldom reflect the actual unit in which the veteran served, but rather a convenient unit (for the military) from which to discharge WW II servicemen. If not too private would you scan and post this separation document. Adding the veterans name listed on your profile page S/Sgt Ivan G Toombs likely might help as well.

    Is this your grandfathers enlistment record from Cleveland, Ohio on 6 August 1941?


    Is this your grandfather's findagrave page, not yet a memorial without photos or brief bio...Normally the headstone reflects Army Air Forces service, this one does not which could be the fault of family members at the time of interment...?


    SSgt Ivan G Toombs, headstone.jpg

    Edit: From ancestry.com, the Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010, does list branch of service as AAC enlistment 6 Aug 1941, released 16 Dec 1945.
    Ivan G Toombs
    Obituary, The Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) · Thu, May 30, 1985 · Main Edition · Page 37. Sadly does not include an MOS description.
    Ivan G. Toombs, obit 1985.jpg

    In the meantime, (adding to the confusion perhaps) From the AAF AND ATTACHED UNITS BY STATION IN CONTINENTAL U. S FROM 1 SEP 1939 TO 2 SEP 1945, the 1197th Military Police Co (Aviation) during 1 Mar 43 to 1 Jun 43 was stationed at Daniel Field, Augusta, GA; not recorded where they served during 1945. Also at Daniel Field, Augusta, GA was the 1197 Quartermaster Company, Service Group from 20 Jul 43 to unknown date. Again unknown were this unit was in 1945 or if it still existed.

    Nothing in this record indicates these units had service at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, PA, however that does not mean they were not represented there during 1945 (by the way my dad was discharged there from an Armored Division, so it was a major separation center for all services).

    Additionally the 470th Base Unit (if that is the unit your notation describes?) was stationed at March Field, Riverside, CA from 25 Jan 45 to 5 Apr 45. There are some other [470th] AAF possibilities, likely not helpful without further information about S/Sgt Ivan G Toombs.

    Back to the separation document, it should list when he was deployed overseas and when he returned, if he was overseas. It should also offer his MOS: Military Occupational Specialty, often a 3 or 4 digit number (his job). Posting the document might help without asking 20 questions.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  4. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Attached is an excerpt from ARMY AIR FORCES OVERSEAS STATION LIST ON 1 MAY 1945 (a snapshot in time of that date). This excerpt shows Military Police Company's (in the 1190's sequence), Aviation; and where they were stationed. Sadly the 1197th Military Police Company, Aviation is not listed, they may have already rotated back to the United States.

    Edit: Here is another possibility, 470th Base might refer to UK, USAAF Station 470

    Search this document for 470


    Some wiki data here:


    4th Strategic Air Depot (Hitcham)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  5. BCBrinton

    BCBrinton New Member

    I have attached are his separation papers. So it appears he may have been a mechanic with a MP unit assigned to an AAF base in the ETO between Dec '43 and Dec '45. Everyone here has given me some great starts to look further--I appreciate the help!

    Attached Files:

  6. Parker

    Parker Member

    Box 36 of the Separation report shows that he spent two years in the ETO. The 'organization' shown in box 6 is the stateside unit from which he was discharged and has no connection with the unit where he served, it was just a unit of convenience. There is nothing in that report that gives any indication of where he actually served for those two years other than somewhere in the ETO. Boxes 32 and 33 pretty much confirm that he was not in a flight crew at any point.

    Toombs Separation Report.jpg
    Airwar likes this.
  7. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Blaine.
    It is always good to see the document firsthand. I have exhausted my references searching for the 1197th Military Police Company (Aviation). I have sent an email to Bernie Shearon, also an AAF forum member http://forum.armyairforces.com/members/bernies.162/ who is our last resident expert related to Ground and Service Commands, asking if he may have more information about this unit.

    The 1197th Military Police Company (Aviation) may or may not be related to the unit he served with in the ETO. I have seen it both ways on discharge papers. Sometimes it is a convenience unit for discharge purposes, sometimes not.

    Sadly Bernie has not yet replied and also has not logged onto the forum since 28 January this year. Hopefully he will have more details.

    More bad news, a search of the Air Force History Index (holdings of documents at AFHRA, Maxwell, AFB) yielded no results searching COMPANY/1197/MILITARY POLICE AVIATION. There were a few records for other Military Police Company's (Aviation) but not many.


    Here is another guess from his separation, [Box 31 Military Qualifications] MM = Marksman, I suspect T.S.M.G. = Thompson Sub Machine Gun
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  8. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    MP can be also reading as Motor Parts Co.
  9. bernies

    bernies New Member

    As far as I know the 1197th MP Co never went overseas. If that is correct, it would have been disbanded in 1944. On the other hand, if there's a typo reversing digits, the 1179th MP Co, Avn (which was also activated at Daniel Field on 1 February 1943) did move overseas and was stationed at Caserta, Italy. I don't know if that unit was inactivated in theater or returned to the states. Scott is right about the 470 unit number, and AAF Base Unit numbered in the 400s would have been on the west coast under 4th Air Force. and I don't know of any AAF units at Indiantown Gap during WW II after 1942.
    25Kingman49 likes this.
  10. Parker

    Parker Member

    Wouldn't that have been the MTO? Or wouldn't that distinction be reflected in the Discharge papers?
  11. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    BCBrinton, you mentioned a photo album in the first post. Are any of the photos identifiable as to location? Is anything written in the album or in or on the photos that might suggest where they were taken? Do any of the scenes show cities or towns or identifiable landmarks? Are there any airplanes in any of the photos with identifiable squadron or group markings on the sides, wings or tail? Any vehicles with markings?
    25Kingman49 likes this.
  12. bernies

    bernies New Member

    While historians may make a distinction between the Mediterranean and European Theaters, the official theater name was the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater (abbreviated on the discharge papers as EAME), which included Italy.
    Airwar likes this.

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