Bull Sheet Messkit

SEQUEL TO “LOST AND FOUND” by Ed Vickstrom

A continuation of last year’s “Bull Sheet” release regarding a mess kit cover found in a 1944 bivouac area located near BULLINGEN, Belgium, bearing the barely recognizable identification clues of: “Orvell, C-6401, Crom, Ireland” and, as later deciphered, a date of “April 29, 1941.” Also, the seemingly hopeless appeal “anyone having identifying information, please contact Sgt Ross Stevens.” Needle in the haystack? Not so.

From memory, an ex-keeper of the Association records figured that this was likely Warren O. Crow otherwise known during his 107th and 245th days simply as “Orv” – a derivation of middle name erroneously thought spelled as Orveil. A field message to Crow’s Wellston, MI dugout resulted in a prompt, excited verification from his wifey correspondent, Rita, that he was indeed the one-time owner of the vintage WWI issued piece of equipment. Further evidence was a copy of his “WD AGO Form 53-55, Honorable Discharge” officially identifying him as Sgt Warren O. Crow, ASN 36156104 (note – the C-6401 was a numerical transposition) entering  service on April 29, 1941 (that date resolved too) at Kalamazoo, MI from hometown of Brethren, Mich.

Still in civvies, the new Selective Service Trainee was assigned directly from the induction center to Training Company No. 8, 127th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division, Camp Livingston, Louisiana. Explanation: Early on before Pearl Harbor and declaration of war, units in training, including the 107th Engr Regt, were charged with the responsibility of equipping/basic training their inducted replacements. Seven months later the now trained “ground pounder” was one of dozens 127th to 107th volunteer transfers (to Co F?) immediately before the regiment’s abrupt 3-day train movement to Fort Dix.

The Seel-Stevens-Vickstrom-Crow coordination of effort reunited “Orv” with the badly deteriorated mess kit cover – 59 years after separation sometime during the 254’s Oct 2-Dec 16, 1944, bivouac SW of BULLINGEN. Jean-Louis Seel’s thoughtful letter accompanying the item’s return to “Orv” tells the rest of the story.