Joe and the Engineers:
From post-war records I find indications that Joe was a PFC in Company E
of the 345th Engineers General Service Regiment (EGSR).
A blog post from 6thcorpscombatengineers.com gives the following:
The 345th Engineer General Service Regiment was activated on 15 June 1942 at Camp
Crowder, Mo. The 345th was deactivated at Foggia, Italy on June 30, 1946.
In Italy they were under the command of The Peninsular Base Section.
- Northern Apennines
There are several mentions of the 345th EGSR in "THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS: THE WAR AGAINST GERMANY".
Tasks of Base Section Engineers
Base section engineers drew a multitude of assignments. Many of them were calls for a few men to sweep mines,
clear away debris, or repair plumbing. Others' tasks were larger. The ninety-five work orders the 345th
Engineer General Service Regiment handled in August 1944 ranged from repairing a water faucet at Villa Maria
(the General Officers Rest Camp in Naples) to installing 225 pieces of equipment for a huge quartermaster
laundry and dry cleaning plant at Bagnoli.
This unit was the first base section engineer construction organization in
Naples. Its early assignments included setting up an engineer and a quartermaster depot,
repairing railroads, building POW camps, and working on the Serino
aqueduct. The 345th was also responsible for all street and sewer repair in
Naples, although civilians did the actual work.