In January and February of 1943, a great battle was waged on the plains and in the swamps of the
Bayou country. It was the Battle of Louisiana with the 90th Motorized Division pitted against the 77th Infantry
Division. A rugged, intensive, training maneuver, it emphasized with unforgettable force the final purpose of all
combat training: The Battle Is The Pay-Off!
Two months later, in Camp Berkeley, Texas, the unit was demotorized and redesignated the 90th
Infantry Division a combat team which was to create a name for battlefield courage second to none on the
battle grounds of Europe.
As a part of the 90th Motorized Division, the 209th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company took
part in the Louisiana maneuvers. With the re-designation of the Division, this company became the 790th
Ordnance Light Maintenance Company.
In September, the Division, and the company, departed for the California-Arizona Maneuver Area.
Here the well-named Camp Granite was set up (better remembered by the men as The Rock). This was a
barren plateau established fifty miles from nowhere, or 225 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Three months of
intensive training and strenuous maneuvers followed. Then, back to civilization.
Fort Dix, New Jersey!
Civilization. Ice cream. Chicken. Passes to New York. Passes to Trenton, Furloughs home. Pretty girls.
Wine. And women. And song. And dancing . . . Oh, happy day!
Then, suddenly, playtime was over.
The company was re-equipped, overage was dropped, weapons were zeroed in, A quick, hectic week
at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, for final processing. And the boat!
The company boarded Ship on 23 March 1944 at Staten Island. That night the motors turned, the great
liner throbbed with power and moved slowly out to sea. The next morning it turned back. Engine trouble. Six
days, six long, impatient days the men stayed aboard, anchored solidly to the 23rd Street Pier, while mechanics
and craftsmen labored below.
On the 29th, the motors hummed once again. The docks crept away from the ship. The waters were still
and smooth. The convoy was large. And without further mishap or adventure, almost disappointing in its
tranquility and peace, the troopship touched foreign soil Liverpool, England on 10 April 1944.
790th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company was overseas.
An English locomotive with its procession of midget cars was waiting. The company climbed in and
minutes later was jerking and bouncing through the impenetrable fog and blackness. At Bridge North a transfer
was made to trucks. Another short trip followed to Colon Hall, approximately 7 miles from Kidderminster, the
companys permanent station while in England,