This photo hung in our house all of my life. My dad was proud of this photo. I have a letter that he sent to my mom and young son dated August 1942. He had just spent his first day in the army and thought he would be ok if he just took it a day at a time. He was drafted into the army with a son born and another on it's way.
Every time I pick this up I have to search for Jesse Thomas Burgus standing in this photo. He is in the fourth row from from the top and the far right side. This is the platoon that he was assigned to when he left basic training. On the back of the photo it says. Battery B 89th CA(AA), Washington D.C.
Digital cameras are funny as it detected that the photo is a little out of focus on the right side. When I took the picture the camera would come back to me asking if someone had blinked. My dad would have been in this photo at the end of basic training. He would have been 25 years of age by the time he was through with basic.
The higher ranked soldiers were all in the front row and the dog has his eyes protected from the flash.
My dad knew how many men were in the picture as he had counted them. I wouldn't want to guess. I don't know this for sure but I expect they were divided up and assigned to different platoons as time went on. My dad was reassigned on when he went overseas. With 1,200 World War 2 soldiers dying each day I am certain the majority of these guys are not alive.
My dad was old for being drafted into the army. He was one of the oldest among all the other draftees. Some of these guys were 19 and 20 in 1943 when this was taken. The youngest ones drafted could be in their upper 80's early 90's now. I wonder as I look at the picture which ones went overseas for battle and where in the parts of the world that they were assigned.
Dad was in Washington DC for a year or more then placed in a new platoon that was shipped to Belgium. They were then sent on to the Battle of the Bulge. The number of men who died in the total Battle of the Bulge was 35,000 men.
As my life settles down, I plan to create a blog just for my dad's World War 2 photos. I have a lot of army photos that I need to share with my brothers and I think blogging them will make them out there for others who are interested to see also.
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