A tribute to the FBI - - - - the "Forgotten Bastards of Iran"
Herbert Bernard Ragsdale
"A Railroader Goes To War"
The World War II Diary of
PFC Herbert Bernard Ragsdale
762d Railway Diesel Shop Battalion
3d Military Railway Service
Persian Gulf Command
World War II
Now In Print - The World War II Diary of PFC Herbert B. Ragsdale
(sorry ... currently
out of print)
|Before shipping out to the Persian Gulf, my father, along with countless other (if not most) soldier-railroaders, went through training at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. I am very pleased to be able to present a couple of items from this time in our history.
First, I have created a PDF file of a booklet entitled "On the Occasion of The Completion of the Claiborne and Polk Military Railway." This booklet was created July 11, 1942 by the 711th Engineer Railway Operating Battalion.
Secondly, I have placed a group of photos, taken at Camp Claiborne during the buildup phase, into an
online album. Many thanks to George J. Orphan for his generous gift of these items.
From 2 August to 31 August 1941, Herbert attended a "Citizens' Military Training Camp,"
held at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, where he received the basic course of instruction, as follows:
"For physically fit male citizens of the United States, 17 to 25 years of age. Previous military experience not required. Applicants must possess average intelligence, be able to read and write English, and be of good moral character. This course provides preliminary military training, including physical development, athletics, school of the soldier, squad and company drill, rifle marksmanship, first aid, camp sanitation, personal hygiene, military courtesy, meaning of discipline, studies in citizenship, and preliminary training in different arms: Infantry, Field Artillery, Cavalry, Coast Artillery Corps, and Signal Corps. Those taking this course will be given the opportunity to qualify for the next higher, or Red Course." As far as is known, Herbert did not attend the Red Course.
Herbert served with the United States Army during World War Two, having entered into service on 13 October 1942, and being separated from service on 17 December 1945, at the Separation Center, Camp Atterbury, Indiana. After his initial training at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, Herbert served almost his entire tour of duty with the 762nd Railway Shop Battalion, Persian Gulf Command, which was stationed in Iran (formerly known as Persia). Herbert was trained and served as a Light Truck Driver, and earned the Driver and Mechanic Badge; he also qualified as Marksman with the rifle. He was awarded the Victory Medal, the EAME Theater Ribbon, and a Good Conduct Ribbon.
Herbert compiled a diary of his adventures and exploits while serving in the Persian Gulf during World War II, and I have transcribed the diary and was able to publish it in 1995. The entire diary is now provided as listed below:
(Based on research conducted by the author so as to gain a better understanding of why Herbert was stationed in Iran during World War II)
(These are the actual diary entries, as made by Herbert during his time in the Persian Gulf)
1943 | 1944 |
The design of the insignia was approved in 1944 for the Persian Gulf Service Command, whose mission was to insure the uninterrupted flow of lend-lease arms and supplies to Russia. The red scimitar, from the flag of Iran, represents the warlike spirit of the descendants of the ancient Persians. The seven-pointed white star, taken from the flag of the Kingdom of Iraq, represents the purity and religion of the Middle East. The green shield denotes the agriculture of old Persia and also stands for Islam, the dominant religion both of Iran and Iraq. The colors red and green are also adapted from the flags of Iran and Iraq.
Worn from: 29 August 1944 - 31 December 1945
World War II Day By Day
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