* For a direct link to the updates on this research file: click here *

The Flag - The Names - The Research - 'We Are Only Moving Forward!'

They were twelve young men. Twelve young Americans. Twelve young Americans who made it all the way up here, to the heart of Germany... Some
had come in all the way from Normandy, and made their way through France, Belgium, Luxembourg.... others arrived later, as replacements to the
Regiment.... replacing those who had been killed, missing or wounded in action.... Of these men some had been wounded themselves, some had been
decorated. But at this very moment, on the 16th of April, in 1945, they decided to write their names on this captured enemy flag. The ultimate relic,
a souvenir that was now marked with their names. Was that flag 'liberated' by them? Or did one of them win it in a poker game? Was it traded for
something even more valuable like: smokes, some decent chow, booze or other German souvenirs? Would these twelve young Americans make it all
the way through the war? Which one of them took the flag home? And did they ever see each other again back home? Who were these twelve men?
To which specific Unit did the men belong? 'Item Company' of which Regiment, which Division? And how is it, this flag was put up in an estate sale
exactly 70 years after these young American soldiers had signed it near Chemnitz, Germany. Who wouldn't want to hold on to this piece of history?

Our friend Peter Kuntz bought a signed WWII 'swastika flag' during an estate sale in the US. Sadly there was no additional information to the flag.
Since we were triggered by the lack of information, we kinda dove in, head first. And Peter provided us with pictures of the signed flag, as a start....
Hundreds of thousands of such flags were made since the early 1930's. Many of these flags were taken home as war souvenirs by American soldiers.
The only thing that makes 'our' liberated flag unique, are the names signed on it. Those of twelve young Americans in Chemnitz, on April 16th 1945.

                                Obviously an ultimate 'souvenir' from World War II. A veteran 'bring back'. But in which unit did the men who signed this flag, serve?

                                There are 12 names (with US state info) on the flag, here they are, alphabetically:

                                James C. Andersson Jr. - Tennessee
                                M.J. Boylstein - Houston, Pennsylvania
                                L.G. Brown - North Carolina
                                C.R. Brugger - Lancaster, Pennsylvania
                                Joe Greenlee - Indiana
                                Ronald C. Jeffers - Petersburg, Virginia
                                Gene McMaster - New Jersey
                                Slim Main - Bend, Oregon
                                Johnny O'Keefe - Pittsburgh
                                Cecil Sheffield - Cedar Keys, Florida
                                Gaylord A. Towne - Wellfleet, Nebraska
                                H.E. Young Jr. - Ohio

Text on the flag: "Chemnitz Germany - April 16 1945 - Company I - Machine Gun Section"

Chemnitz is in the East of Germany, about 30 miles from the city of Dresden.
German Army units in Chemnitz surrendered to the 87th Infantry Division.
It would make sense that the men who signed this flag were with the 87th.
But we did not find any connections or material to support that theory...
The next step? Cross referencing archives, Google & Yellow Pages?

This particular section of the captured flag was signed by: "Slim Main, M.J. Boylstein, Ronald C. Jeffers and Gaylord A. Towne"

Even before starting extracting info from archives, we experienced a split second flash of familiarity with 'that' name...
The name 'Gaylord A. Towne' sure did ring a bell. It is not a name you come across often. Seen it before. Could it be?
Cross referencing with 80th Infantry Division research (the 'Blue Ridge Division' is a staple in our current research).
A full match? Gaylord A. Towne (I-Co - 318th Infantry Regiment): here is his Silver Star Citation from May 1945:

'...The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918,
takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Sergeant Gaylord A. Towne (ASN: 37751391),
United States Army, for gallantry in action serving with Company I, 318th Infantry Regiment,
80th Infantry Division
, in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United
States on 31 March 1945 in Germany. On that date, the rifle company in which Sergeant Towne
served as squad leader was delayed in its attack on Nieder Mollrich, Germany, by intense mortar
and automatic weapons fire from concealed positions within its sector. Sergeant Towne voluntarily
crawled over three hundred yards and despite the heavy concentration of mortar and artillery fire
directed at him located and returned to give the enemy gun positions, which were neutralized by
artillery fire... Sergeant G.A. Towne's courage, initiative, skill, and devotion to duty enabled the
company to gain its objective and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military
service, and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army....'

Headquarters, 80th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 134 (May 23, 1945)

Date of Action: 31st of March, 1945.
2 weeks later 'our' flag was signed.

I-Company, 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division. Well: that sure matches the 'Company I' on the flag!
Digging in our 80th Infantry Division archives, we even managed to find 80th Inf. Div. General Order No. 134:

Could it be this flag is truly signed by Silver Star Medal recipient Gaylord A. Towne? It sure looks like it!
But we need more proof, to rule out that freaky coincidence... But we are only moving forward from here!

"Joe Greenlee - Indiana" and "L.G. Brown - North Carolina" - signed right here

We're thinking the men who signed this flag, were with I/318 of the 80th Infantry Division, but we want to
find some more proof just to be sure. With 11 other names, the mission is to find another match in I/318.
How do you verify if a person served within a Company? You need rosters.... Since we don't have all the
exact company rosters for the regiments (& attached units) of the 80th Division, we went for a long shot:
Replacement Rosters of men added to a Regiment from Replacement Battalions, as listed in the Special
Orders, sorted by company... Well, we started digging, all the way back, starting in September of 1944.
Then, after going cross eyed from checking lists of names.., we found the list of names of men added to
I-Company - 318th Infantry Regiment - in the 80th Infantry Division Special Orders, Nr. 219 (1944):

Listed is Private Joseph C. Greenlee, replacement to I-Company of the 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division!
His listed MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) is 607, which is: '(Light) Mortar Crewman' (gunnery/gunnery control).
Mortar Men and Machine Gunners? (Maybe a 'Heavy Weapon' section?). 'Machine Gun Section' is written on the flag!
By now we're suspecting that the men, who signed this flag, served mostly with I-Company, 318th Infantry Regiment!

A 3rd 'ID' came when we found replacement Pfc. Milton J. Boylstein, ASN: 33714517 (Special Orders Nr. 23 - 1945)

Next to the names of Cecil Sheffield and H.E. Young Jr. the flag is also signed: "They have had it"

If Towne, Greenlee & Boylstein where with I-Company, 318th IR, then maybe Cecil Sheffield...
And guess what? This flag isn't signed by just one Silver Star Medal recipient, but by TWO:

'The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure
in presenting the Silver Star to: Technical Sergeant (then Sergeant) Cecil J. Sheffield (ASN: 34243089),
United States Army, for gallantry in action while serving with Company I of the 318th Infantry Regiment,
80th Infantry Division, in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United States on
April 2nd, 1945 in Germany. Near Oberzwehren, when the enemy launched a fierce three hour attack,
Technical Sergeant Sheffield displayed outstanding leadership and gallantry. Skillfully he placed his
squad in position, and continually exposed himself to severe enemy fire to direct on the hostile forces
effective mortar fire which killed 57, wounded 28, and routed the remainder of the enemy. Technical
Sergeant Sheffield's courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the
military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army...'

Headquarters, 80th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 246 (October 5, 1945)

Date of Action: 2nd of April, 1945.

This action took place only two days after Sergeant Gaylord A. Towne was drawn up for his Silver Star.

Furthermore: Cecil Sheffield was obviously in charge of mortar men (squad), as mentioned in the citation.
I betcha Joe C. Greenlee was one of those mortar men. Makes perfect sense that they both signed this flag!

And, yes... we did find the original 80th Infantry Division General Orders No. 134 of October 5th, 1945:

SECTION II: (As Cecil Sheffield was not presented with the Silver Star Medal Posthumously)

4 men, who signed this flag, are now positivily ID'd to have served with I-Co 318, 80th Infantry Division.
And we are confident and still 'only moving forward', as the motto of the 80th Infantry Division dictates!

"James C. Andersson Jr. - Tennessee"

James C. Anderson Jr: we found 4 possible matches to the name. The first is a Charles Anderson Jr. ASN: 32220648.
I know, it is not 'James Charles Anderson Jr', but what is in a first, or middle name? This Anderson did serve in the
same Battalion as the other men, 3rd Battalion 318th Infantry Regiment. According to Special Orders 1944 Nr. 260,
he was a replacement in 'H' Company (not 'I' Company). Then again, his MOS... 607 '(Light) Mortar Crewman'.

Then there's Pfc. James C. Anderson IV, ASN: 38456524 (mentioned in General Orders #58 (1944), but he's from Texas.

The National Archives came up with an exact match: Anderson, James, C, Jr. from Tennessee, ASN: 44040799.
He enlisted in September 1944. Haven't found anything on him, relating to the 318th. But we're still searching.

Then we came across a Morning Report from: I-Co, 318th Infantry Regiment, for the 13th of April, 1945.
Drawn up at Erfurt, Germany (roughly 100 kilometers from Chemnitz -mentioned on the flag-) the name
'Anderson, James C. Sr.' stands out. A private with Assigned Serial Nr: 44041528. The report code reads:
'Above 10 EM aptd Pfc as of 8 Apr 45 per 0 6 Co I, 318th Inf' which indicates that James C. Anderson was
among 10 Enlisted Men who were appointed Private First Class as of April 8th 1945, within Co-I, 318th.

Right, I can hear you say: 'Hey, that is Senior and not Junior'. I agree, and will make it even worse.
Checking the NARA datebase, ASN: 44041528 is the ASN for a man named William D. Hilliard Jr.
A search for James C. Anderson Sr. in NARA (not Jr) gave us ASN: 44041529, not ASN: 44041528.
He signed 'James C. Anderson Jr.' on the flag. It says Senior in NARA and in the Morning Report.
Then again: the Morning Report also lists an incorrect ASN for James Anderson. I'm sure it's him.

This makes for 5 positive ID's right now, of men who signed this flag, al serving with I/318 of the 80th Infantry Division.
But we are not done yet. So many Special Orders, General Orders and Morning Reports of the 'Blue Ridge' to check!

Hope you are bearing with us. This has turned from routine research into a quest, by now... Moving forward!

We are in deep. Checking the various kinds of reports from July 1944 to October 1945 for names, listed rosters and ASN's.
Replacement Roster for I-Company, 318th Infantry Regiment (February 1945). Charles R. Brugger listed right there!

This makes for 6 positive ID's (so far), of men who signed this flag, all serving with I/318 of the 80th Infantry Division.

                                Six more names to find. Here they are alphabetically:

                                L.G. Brown - North Carolina
                                Ronald C. Jeffers - Petersburg, Virginia
                                Gene McMaster - New Jersey
                                Slim Main - Bend, Oregon
                                Johnny O'Keefe - Pittsburgh
                                H.E. Young Jr. - Ohio

We would have never guessed we'd make it as far as finding 6 out of the 12 names on this flag.
Still we are only moving forward... Which means trying to find these remaining 6 men...
Heck, we had nothing to start with in the beginning, and look where we are now!

Company Order Nr. 2 (1945) for Company "I", 318TH Infantry - January 7th, 1945: Brown, Granville L.
ASN: 39053619, a promotion from Private to Private First Class, 'under the provisions of AR 615-5'.

No doubt in my mind, so unless I come across another L.G. Brown or G.L. Brown: this is number 7!

Another Company Order: Nr. 5 (1945) for Company "I", 318TH Infantry - March 24th, 1945:
You will recognize the names of Gaylord A. Towne and Charles R. Brugger. We have already
found proof they belonged to I-Co 318. Towne: received the Silver Star (for an action a week
after this promotion to Pfc).... And Brugger is the replacement we found in a February 1945
roster... Take another look at the names in the list above. Look carefully.... Armor E. Main.

I know: it does not say 'Slim Main'. But isn't 'Slim' a nickname, like 'Red' 'Curly' or 'Shifty'?
But don't worry, I'll present you more proof. He signed the flag, being from Oregon. So I took
his Serial Number: 39727636, and checked NARA. Guess what: NATIVITY - 95 - OREGON.
Armor Main, who did serve with the 318th Infantry Regiment, was known as: 'Slim' Main...

This is a positive ID: number eight out of the twelve men who signed the flag.
To you, the reader of this article, it is just another step... But by now we've
been working on this article for two months. And we ain't stopping now...

Above: Morning Report of I/318th I.R. - October 4th 1944 - 1 Mile East of Millery, France.
6 Enlisted Men to I/318 (all Military Occupation Specialty 745: Army Rifleman), including
Harry E. Young Jr. ASN: 35097927, Private First Class, from 71st Replacement Battalion.

Below: Another entry in a Morning report of I/318, 3 months later, shows Harry E. Young Jr.
being transferred from duty to sick, reporting to: '305th Medical Battalion Clearing Station',
LD indicating 'Line of Duty'. Then from sick to 'Lost to Hospital' unknown 'NBC' indicating
Non-battle Casualty. When you've digested all of that: there was a Correction to the January
1st Morning Report, after moving from Ettelbruck to Schieren, Luxembourg. What changed?

February 23rd 1945, shows Staff Sergeant Harry E. Young Jr. status: from Duty to being
Lightly Wounded in Action (again to 305th Med Clr Sta - but still entitled to combat pay)

...to be lost to hospital, reported February 27th 1945, Morning Report (near Mettendorf)...

Harry E. Young Jr. makes for our 9th ID'd man of I-Company 318th I.R. on this flag.

We are still searching for: Ronald C. Jeffers - Gene McMaster and Johnny O'Keefe.


First we came across the fact that previously ID'd flag-signer Joseph C. Greenlee was WIA,
December 5th 1944. The MR reads 'From LWA -Light Wounded in Action- lost to hospital'
(MR of the 7th). But we already know he'll be back with I-Co 318, signing that flag in April.

Even though he's reported 'from duty to sick (Line of Duty)' again, on the 8th of April 1945.

April 1945, and I-Company is in the thick of it. Men are lost: KIA, WIA, sick or battle fatigue.
On the 10th of April, only six days before the nazi flag is signed, three replacements, sent from
the 2nd Reinforcement Depot, join I/318. Among them: Eugene J. McMaster ASN: 32279206.

'Gene McMasters' signing the flag, is Eugene J. McMaster from Hudson, New Jersey. Our 10th ID!

By now, our research is almost coming to an end. We're checking the April 1945 Morning Reports,
and still looking for the last two names on the flag: Ronald C. Jeffers and Johnny O'Keefe. In a few
weeks the war will be over. VE Day, Victory in Europe, May 8th 1945 (7th for the Commonwealth).

But for now: we are in mid April 1945, and still with I-Co of the 318th Infantry Regiment, of the
80th Infantry Division. Mid April. Wait a second: the flag was signed on the 16th of April 1945...
No better source to check the whereabouts of these (at least) 10 men of I/318, than these reports!

April 1945: here are the locations of I/318, as mentioned in the original I/318 Morning Reports:

I-Co 318th IR moves from Kassel (April 5th 1945), to Apfelstadt - Egstedt - Melchendorf - Erfurt
to less than a mile from Ziegelheim on the 15th of April 1945. Added info on that last status reads:
'Company cleaning weapons & equipment'. Kassel to Ziegelheim, now taking time for maintenance.

April 1945: Kassel to Apfelstadt - Egstedt - Melchendorf and Erfurt.

Then from Erfurt to Ziegelheim, arriving on the 15th of April 1945.

On the 16th of April, 1945, the flag was signed (as noted on the flag).
So what will the I/318 Morning Report, of the 16th of April, tell us?

On the 16th of April, 1945, I-Company of 318th Infantry Regiment, is at
Wittgensdorf, Germany. That isn't anything like 'Chemnitz' as has been
written on the flag... Now this fact does not seem to add up... or does it?

Zooming in on a current map of Chemnitz, and there it is:
'Chemnitz-Wittgensdorf'. No doubt, proof, 100% I/318.

On the 16th of April, 1945, I-Company of 318th Infantry Regiment, is at Chemnitz(-Wittgensdorf).
The I/318 Morning Report informs us that the Company is billeted and that weapons and quarters
were inspected. 32 men attended a movie. Perfect time and place to sign a recently 'liberated' flag.

By now we have proven that at least 10 men of I/318 have signed this flag, at Chemnitz, on the
16th of April, 1945. We are still missing 2 of the 12 men, not yet confirmed by I/318 reports....
What happens after the 16th of April 1945? Back to the Morning reports, and back to details.

Leaving Wittgensdorf, on the 19th of April 1945, I/318 was transported by truck, forming a convoy.
This convoy was attacked by an enemy aircraft. In the early morning, one of the trucks left the road
and rolled of an embankment. As a result 1 EM (Enlisted Man) lost his life. On the Morning Report
of the 20th of April, men are listed 'LD', all with 'truck-mishap' related injuries (head, neck, ribs...)

On the 21st of April 1945, one of our flag signers, Joseph C. Greenlee, now a Private First Class (a private
when we first ID'd him), is reported with a changing status from 'sick' 'LD' (Line of Duty) and lost to the
305th Medical battalion Clearing Station, to 'duty' reassigned and 'jd' (joined) from 53rd Reinfor. Batt.

Replacement Eugene McMaster is promoted from Pvt to Pfc on April 15th, 1945 (MR: April 24th)...
Our most 'fresh' flag signer sure found his way within I/318..., since he joined on the 6th of April!

At the end of April 1945, I-Company had been put on outpost guard at a PW/DP (Prisoner of War/Displaced Persons) Camp.
After being relieved by a Cavalry Unit, I/318 departed Nurnberg, crossing the Danube river by pontoon bridge to Hofling.

April 29th - May 1st 1945: I/318 from Hofling, Hofdorf to Hofen,
crossing the Tsar river supporting the 13th Armored Division.

May 2nd - 4th 1945: Cleaning up behind the 13th Armored Division
and crossing the Inn river in assault boats, to the Branau area.

May 5th 1945: with a Private listed AWOL, Item-Company 318th Infantry
Regiment is 'maintaining road blocks in the vicinity of Braunau (Austria)'.

May 7th 1945: flag signer Eugene McMaster is mentioned in the I/318 MR:
'from duty to sick (LD), lost to 305th Med Clr Sta as of 26 April 45 NBC (NBI
Tra amp finger GS UD-1)'
Translated: Eugene's status changes from duty to
sick (Line of Duty) (26th of April) Trauma finger amputated Gun Shot NBC
(Non-Battle Casualty) NBI (Non-Battle Injury): Eugene will be leaving I/318.

May 7th 1945 also means VE Day: Victory in Europe, Germany surrenders!

On the 8th of May the I/318 Morning Report's 'Record of Events' reads:
'Company remained in billets in Attang, Austria. Official announcement
was read to the Co by Captain Sassome that the war would be officially
over as of midnight 8 May 1945'.
That is it: war is over for I-Co 318.

War is over, and we have a positive ID on 10 of the 12 men who have signed
that liberated Nazi Flag in Chemnitz, on the 16th of April 1945. We're only
missing 2 of the men who signed it: Ronald C. Jeffers and Johnny O'Keefe.

Now: go back to the Morning Report above. Check the 2nd name mentioned
in that report. Who had made Pvt to Private First Class? Ronald C. Jeffers,
ASN: 33541232. Couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to... May 8th 1945...
Ronald C. Jeffers makes for the 11th positive ID, another I/318 man found!

By now we are running out of reports and logical options... Only the long shots left...
We're gonna recap our results and publish this article, while Johnny O'Keefe will be
on our minds. Could be forever. It could seriously take forever. Maybe he will be the
'one that got away'... He signed the flag, made it all the way through the war without
ending up in a morning report, casualty list, medical report. I hope he made it home.
Hope he led a long and prosperous life. Maybe it was 'his' flag. I'd like to think that.

Here is to Johnny O'Keefe from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And his fellow men of I/318!

In the end this flag was bought at an estate sale near Altoona, Pennsylvania, 2014. 70 years after it was signed in Chemnitz.
Three of the men who signed the flag, were from Pennsylvania: Milton J. Boylstein, C.R. Brugger and... Johnny O'Keefe...

- Name - Born - ASN - CO - MOS - Rank - Home State
- James C. Andersson Jr. - 1926 - 44041529 - I/318 - Private First Class (April 8 1945) - Dyer, Tennessee
- Milton J. Boylstein (8) - 1916 - 33714517 - I/318 - 745 (Rifle Man) - Private First Class (January 24 1945) - Houston, Pennsylvania
- Granville L. Brown - - 39053619 - I/318 - Private First Class (January 7 1945) - North Carolina
- C.R. Brugger (7) - 1926 - 33934780 - I/318 - 745 (Rifle Man) - Private First Class (March 24 1945) - Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- Joseph 'Joe' C. Greenlee (2) - 1924, Sept 30 - 35144949 - I/318 - 607 (Mortar) + 745 - Private First Class (April 21 1945) - Indiana
- Ronald C. Jeffers (3) - 1923 - 33541232 - I/318 - Private First Class (May 8 1945) - Petersburg, Virginia
- Eugene 'Gene' J. McMaster (4) - 1916, Jan 2 - 32279206 - I/318 - 745 (Rifle Man) - Private First Class (May 7 1945) - New Jersey
- Armor 'Slim' E. Main - 1914 - 39727636 - I/318 - Private First Class (March 24 1945) - Bend, Oregon
- Johnny O'Keefe (5) - 1921, Aug 13 - 13061233 - M/318 - Sergeant (December 1945) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Cecil Sheffield - 1921 - 34243089 - I/318 - Technical Sergeant (October 5 1945) - Cedar Keys, Florida
- Gaylord A. Towne (6) - 1926, May 19 - 37751391 - I/318 - Sergeant (March 31 1945) - Wellfleet, Nebraska
- H.E. 'Scoop' Young Jr. (1) - 1923 - 35097927 - I/318 - 653 and 745 - Staff Sergeant (January 4 1945) - Ohio

Without giving away too much: check out the updates (1) to (7) at the end of this article!
Update (8) is everything we hoped for, when we started this case in the fall of 2014!

*********************************************** UPDATES *******************************************************

Publishing this article on the 17th of December, 2014, led to a snowball effect of information.
We will be keeping you informed with some updates, posted in this section of the article:

(1) Since it could very well be that by now you are just about 'data numb'..... I will just
point out that H.E. Young was nicknamed 'Scoop' as mentioned in the list above. It
is not written on the flag or found in reports... But remember those long shots I did
mention? Here's a clipping from the August 1945, 318th Regiment 'Hamper News':

May very well be this nickname was only adopted for 'Hamper News'. Still a good find.

Two other I/318 men are named in this edition of the official unofficial 318 newspaper:

Staff Sergeant Tom Jackson and Private First Class John Duvall (with a picture!).
Neither of these two signed 'our' flag, but still a good find! Two men of I/318...

I-Company, 318th Infantry Regiment will always be on our minds. We hope to add
even more information to this article, in years to come. Maybe even pictures of the
'Twelve'. After all: we started out with just the picture of a signed German flag...
..turning out to be signed by at least 2 Silver Star- and 1 Bronze Star recipients!

(2) Joseph C. Greenlee: from El Paso (Texas), passed away on the 13th of February, 2009, at the age of 84.
He was born on September 30th, 1924, and retired from the Army in 1968, at the rank of Major.
His obituary, published in the El Paso Times, also tells us he was a Bronze Star recipient:

(3) Ronald C. Jeffers: (age 91) was contacted on the 17th of December, 2014.
We sure hope that he will be able to give us some more information!

(4) Eugene 'Gene' J. McMaster: passed away on the 16th of March, 1983.

(5) Johnny O'Keefe: we think we may have found him... in M-Co 318 (!)
If our info is correct, he passed away on the 28th of June, 1986.

The listed ASN: 13061233 confirms that John J. O'Keefe enlisted in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1942.
S/Sgt O'Keefe is buried at Saint Teresa of Avila Cemetery, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA.

(6) Gaylord A. Towne: passed away on the 12th of October, 1979.

(7) C.R. Brugger may have passed away in September 2010. No further confirmation yet.

B R E A K I N G     N E W S

(8) In July of 2016, we were contacted by Randy J. Boylstein, the son of Milford J. Boylstein. Fantastic News!
We were thrilled that Randy wanted to share some pictures of Milford and the men of I/318!

Above: Sgt. Milford J. Boylstein - Item Company - 318th Infantry Regiment - 80th Infantry Division,
posing next to the sign reading 'Co-I - 318'. Further more the sign reads: 'WP Plat' which indicates
'Weapons Platoon'. Milfords Machine Gun Squad (or 'Section') was part of I/318 Weapons Platoon:
exactly what was written on the captured Swastika Flag! For us this is THE ultimate picture giving
provenance to all our research on this specific signed 'souvenir' WWII nazi swastika flag (so far!)

The WWII US Army IRTC Booklet 'I am a Doughboy' gives a perfect breakdown of the typical Infantry Regiment
Weapons Platoon, and more specific (in our case): the (light) Machine-Gun Squad, as shown in the image above.

This booklet was handed out to GI's who had completed Basic Infantry Training at the various Camps across
the US such as: Camp Blanding, Camp Croft, Camp Fannin, Camp Hood, Camp Roberts, Camp Robinson,
Camp Wheeler, Camp Wolters and Fort McClellan. The 64-page booklet is broken down into chapters all
starting out by saying: 'I am a member of...' - Rifle Company - Heavy Weapons Co. - Cannon Co. -
Antitank Co. - Headquarters Co. - The Service Co. - plus a seperate section on Field Training.
The copy above is from the personal collection of Sergeant Milford J. Boylstein (I/318)


If anyone has more info on these men of I-Company 318th Infantry Regiment:
feel free to contact us directly at:
PRT Research - 80th Infantry Division

Para Research Team: Signed Flag - I-Co - 318th Infantry Regiment - 80th Infantry Division
Special thanks to A. Z. Adkins Jr. (H/317) & Andy Adkins for groundbreaking research,
to Randy J. Boylstein, son of Milford J. Boylstein (I-Company, 318th Infantry Reg.),
to Sandra Smith, daughter of Major General Paul F. Smith (WWII CO of F/507).