The 341st Engineers Regiment was organized November, 1922, by a few reserve army officers in Boston Massachusetts. However, it was not activated until March 1942, at Ford Ord, California. It was headed by Capt. W. C. Leonard with a cadre of enlisted men from the 35th Engineers.
During April, 1942, Lt. Col. Albert L. Lane arrived from Fort Belvoir, Virginia, with staff officers and enlisted men. Additional men from Fort Leonardwood, Fort Belvoir, the 13th Engineers and 15th Engineers also arrived to form the 341st Engineers Regiment. On April 25, 1942, the outfit departed the U. S. A. by rail and arrived in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada, in early May. The assignment was to construct an all weather road from Fort St. John to Fort Nelson, B. C.
The Cat Camp was organized by Lt. L. C. Goldberg, S/Sgt. Gene Julian, Sgt. David C. Hudson, Sgt Wilfred Grondine, Sgt Fred Filger, and Cpl. Willie H. Lesikar. Many other men were furnished from each company to make up the crew to operate the heavy equipment. The balance of the men of each company added bridges, culverts, cut timbers, made corduroy roads and improvements along the way.
In September, 1942, at Mile 558, Contact Creek, the Alcan Highway was opened from the U. S. A. to Alaska. After the 341st Engineers had completed the original assignment, they were stationed from Whitehorse, Yukon, to the south along the highway to keep the bridges and road open for the winter supply line to Alaska.
The 341st Engineers Regiment returned to the U. S. A. on July 29, 1943. It was moved to Camp Sutton, North Carolina. Some were assigned short furloughs. We were assigned a new commander, Col. Edward H. Coe, who took over the Regiment. He set up a vigorous combat training schedule, sent out cadres, and took on replacements preparing for a new assignment to an unknown destination.
We left the U. S. A. on October 20, 1943, on the USS Siboney. We disembarked at Cardiff, Wales, England, on November 2, 1943. The Regiment stationed its companies at different locations throughout Southwest England, where the men received additional training. They operated an "Assault Battle Range" at Slapton Sands. Each company had assignments along the South Coast of England until the invasion of France on June 6, 1944.
The 341st Engineers Regiment landed in Normandy at Utah Beachhead on June 23, 1943. Men and equipment assignments were roads, repairs, bridges, stockades for prisoners, railroads, food, fuel, and as infantry men and reconnaissance. The 341st Engineers were much in demand due to their experience and their being a well seasoned outfit.
Much of the 341st Regiment was involved in the "Battle of the Bulge". Many men were transferred to the infantry. Several were injured, killed or taken prisoner of war. Several companies were trapped behind the German lines when the Bulge started. However, when the Germans had moved on without coming in contact, our troops worked their way back to better areas.
The original Co. "E" was transferred to airstrip duties. A new Co. "E" was formed with cadre and replacements. Some men were assigned to the 243rd Engineers with Capt. George Kinder and were credited with putting the first pontoon bridge across the Rhine River. Many men of the 341st Engineers worked on the Remagen Bridge trying to save it before it gave way. Some men lost their lives there. Many others were set up with gun crews for protection from the air attacks.
As the war progressed each of the companies was assigned to railroads and bridges. The assignments were to aid all transportation. The A.S.C.Z. (Advance Section of Communications Zone) worked in front of and at the rear of the front lines.
When the war ended some of the companies were near the Austria border.
The 341st Engineers Regiment was well known for their service by all of the armies at the fronts. They were called on by the 101 Airborne, Third Army and many other units in the front lines. They served in five campaigns in Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe.
The 341st Engineers Regiment moved to the South of France. Most of the original men were then transferred out for return to the U. S. A. by air. Most had discharge points well over 105.
The 341st Regiment was reorganized by Col. Robert W. Price and was sent to the South Pacific. However, the war ended before landing in the South Pacific. The outfit returned to the U. S. A.
This is an unofficial story of the history that took place while constructing the Alaska Highway. If there are any comments please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org