Because of the kindness of his family and that of the staff at Cornwall's Regimental Museum, who recognised him and contacted us, we now know this soldier's name. He was indeed in the US 38th Engineers and his name was Elbert D Mann of Alabama. We've also learned that the taller Tec4 in our photos was also in the 38th and was called Hoyt Oliver. After leaving the Cotswolds the 38th moved to Cornwall and Elbert was stationed in the area near the Museum. (You can obtain more information about Cornwall's Regimental Museum via our links page.)Before England, Elbert helped build the Ascension Island airstrip, a feat achieved in only ninety days, and then worked in French West Africa, possibly at Port-Etienne in Mauritania and elsewhere. He left Cornwall for Normandy as part of an Engineering Special Brigade shortly after D-Day. Despite being wounded and contracting malaria, Elbert survived the war but died relatively young, so far having left no trace of an old 18thC diary among his possessions or his family's recollections.
Again these photos show little sign of plant growth suggesting a date early in the year. This fits with the arrival in Sarsden of the 38th's Company B on 17th January, 1944, which we know from his letters Elbert was part of. Prior to this Elbert had been in Company F.
Our photo extract (bottom left) shows Elbert with land girl Margaret. Do you recognise Elbert and can you add anything to our knowledge about him or his Tech4 friend Hoyt Oliver? If so, please contact us using the link above.
|Elbert D Mann
Elbert with land girl Margaret
|Elbert with Tec4 friend
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