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 Dated:  June 5, 2009

Company C
310TH Engineer Battalion

Company C
Camp Shelby, Mississippi
- February 1943

    This group photo of 310th Engineer Combat Battalion, Company C was taken during training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.  Camp Shelby is located south of Hattisburg, MS and was the camp where the 85th Infantry Division was formed and trained.  Soon after this photo was taken, the 85th Division and attached units left for advanced training in Louisana.  Then they went to the Desert Training Center in Arizona before they eventually departed from Fort Dix, NJ for the Italian Front.
    See other individual photos of the 310th Engineers taken during training and in Italy at:  310th Engineer, Co. B
     Go to 
Operational Report of 310th Engineers for an official operational report of their actions in Italy.

    Due to the large format, the photo was divided into 3 composites.  Each section can be viewed closer to see faces. Click on image to Enlarge.  Then select "Return" in your web browser to return to this page.

1 2

      Info on Section of the Photo

  1 - Soldier in front row holds a guidon representing  310 Engineer Combat Battalion, Company "C" .  
   2 Banner across bottom of photo reads:  'Company "C" 310 Engineers - Camp Shelby - Feb' .  According to this date and history of 85th Division, this photo was taken February 1943.  In March, the 85th Division left Camp Shelby for maneuvers in Louisana and then on to desert training in California.   Glenn Seymour was identified as the soldier on the top row to the right of the tree in the background.
   3 - Bottom corner printed in white:  - American Photo Co. Camp Shelby.

Uniform Details:  Each enlisted man is wearing the 4-button tunic with neck-tie.  Each wears the Distinguishing Unit Insignia(DUI) for the 31th Engineers on the collars and the overseas cap. The collar discs with "US" and the Engineer branch insignia would also be worn on the upper collar lapel.   The "CD" Custer Division shoulder patch is seen on their left shoulder, notably on the soldiers on the right of the photo. There seems to be a mixture of dark overseas caps and lighter khaki ones.  Some may not have the DUI on their caps.
   The 5 Officers in Section 2 are wearing their dark chocolate tunic with a cloth belt and their "pink" slacks.  They wear their rank insignia on their overseas cap.  Oddly, I don't see any NCO ranks above Staff Sergeant.  There are a few T-5's and T-4's tech sergeants.  Other than officers, I only see 3 enlisted men wearing award ribbons on their left breast.  These would be earned when they get to Italy.

Pvt Lee McCloud
Photo of Private Lee McCloud of Company C.
Photo taken at Camp Shelby, possibly at the same time of the above group photo,
except that he appears to be wearing a dark shirt and is missing the DUI pin on his hat and collar.

Unit Description and Facts

Go To Operational Report of 310th Engineers for an official history of 310th Engineer Battalion.

Engineers - This was a support group that assisted the infantry companies in the field.  Engineers built bridges, improved roads, cleared roads of mine fields and destroyed enemy obstacles and bridges with demolitions. Several of the support groups in the 85th Division was designated with 310th; for example, 310th Medical Detachment, 310th Military Police.

   A regimental combat team is similar in composition to a division.  A strike force is built up around each regiment, consisting of the regiment, an artillery battalion and a company of engineers.  The combat team is given the number of the regiment around which it is built; for example, the team which included the 338th Infantry Regiment was known as the 338th Combat Team or 338th RCT.

The following are excerpts from "The 85th Infantry Division in World War II" by P. Schultz that tell a little info about the 310th Engineer Battalion and their principal duties.

March 26, 1943 - The 85th Division was ordered to Louisana, near Caney and Leesville, for maneuvers.  General Haislip was transferred and General Coulter replaced him as commander.
Camp Pilot Knob, July 1943.  - "The 85th seemed to settle  down to a period of developent of intense coordinated fire power.  Even Lt. Col. John D. Cole's 310th Enginners, whose principal duties in combat were to be maintaining roads and building bridges, took a concentrated course in infantry tactics and spent several days going through small-unit firing problems using live ammunition."
Newport News, December 24, 1943 - The second part of the 85th Division, including the 310th Engineer Battalion sails for Casablanca on the USS William A. Mann.
Near Naples, Italy, April 1944.  Four miles from Cellole, ten miles behind the Font Lines.
   "In the rear areas, on the south side of Mount Massico, were the rear echelon of the 85th Division Headquarters and the 85th Quartermaster Company in Mondragone; the 310th Medical Battalino, 310thEngineer Battalion, 85th Recon Troop, and 785th Ordnance Company in the vicinity of Mondragone."
    "All combat units of the Division sent representatives at this time to two schools which were operating.  These were the Special Scouting and Patrolling School conducted by the Fifth Army, and the Mine Warefare School conducted by the 85th Division's 310th Engineer Battalion." {pg 58}
The Gothic Line, August 1944 -  "Fifth and Eighth Armies were now moving slowly closer to Florence and the Arno River.  Headquarters of both armies had several plans under consideration for crossing the Arno.  River-crossing training of the 85th Division was stepped up.  On 2-3 August, Companies A, B, and C of the 310th Engineer Battalion, with two companies of the aattached 1st Battalion, 19th Engineer Regiment, moved to the banks of the Elsa River south of Certaldo, where they practiced bridge construction for ten days.  This river was fifty feet wide and from three to four feet deep.  The engineers, working every day, built and dismantled foot bridges and treadway bridges.  They also fashioned 'flying ferries' of M-2 assault boats.  The rest of the Division continued to occupy itself with river-crossing problems, and Division and unit commander prepared plans for crossing the Arno west of Signa, which was west of Florence."   {pg 114}
Firenzuola, September 1944 -  "The Division and corps engineers not only repaired and maintained these roads under very difficult conditions, but they built several new roads.  The longest single road constructed by the 85th Division's 310th Engineer Battalion extended from Firenzuola to Sasso di San Zanobi, a distance of eight miles." {pg 154}
Idice River Valley, October 1944 - "The terrain still offered great difficulties, although it was not as rugged as the montains in the Gothic Line.  The domed hills were so closely crowded together that from the sides and summit of one it was difficult to see more than the next immediate hills.  The roads, as usual, were second-class---not to be confused with American second-class roads.  They ran north through the Division sector in the winding valley of the Torrente Idice.  At times, installations on one side of the Idice were isolated from units on theother side and the river frequently ran so full and swift that it was impossible to ford it.  Toward the end of October, the 310th Engineer Battalion had to construct an overhead tramway in order to get supplies and equipment across to the 310th Medical Battalion on the east bank.  Many times the supplies were carried across the swollen stream in assault boats."   {pg 155}

For more photos of the 310th Engineer:    Group Photo Company B   or  310th Engineer.

Biographies of 310th Engineers:  Lt. Stancy Lewis T/Sgt Winfred TolbertPfc Warren Stitchenotch, &  Pvt Lee McCloud.

For an official history of this unit's service to the 85th Division, go to Operational Report of 310th Engineers.

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