Researching the medics of the 4th Armored Division and publishing the findings on this website has enriched my life in many ways. The most exciting experiences that it brings me are when people contact me with questions about the service of their veteran relatives or share information on a veteran’s service with me.
Recently, Joe Korzeniowski, son of Tec5 Joseph N. Korzeniowski (33138952), Company C 46th Armored Medical Battalion, shared his father’s wartime photos and service related documents. As you will see, they are amazing!
I am honored to be given the opportunity by Mr. Korzeniowski to research these documents and to use them here to share the story of Tec5 Korzeniowski with you. Because there are so many photos I will publish this story in a multi-part series.
This is part one. It will cover the induction into the Army at Fort Meade and basic training at AFRTC, Fort Knox, KY.
Joseph Kohler was born on January 14th, 1920. After his mother passed when he was 3 years old, he was taken in by the Korzeniowski family who lived in the Baltimore area in Maryland. Later, Joseph changed his name to that of his “new” family: Korzeniowski. He not only adopted their name but also their Polish customs.
He was inducted into the Army on February 7th, 1942 at Fort Meade, MD.
These photos, taken by Joseph Korzeniowski, show a Mass celebrated at Fort Meade in front of the main brick barracks, shown in this postcard (not part of the collection).
AFRTC, Fort Knox, KY
After his induction, he was sent for basic training at the Armored Force Replacement Training Center (AFRTC) at Fort Knox, KY.
In September 1940, the Secretary of War authorized the establishment of the Armored Force School and Replacement Center, but already by October 1940, it was split into two: the Armored Force School and the Armored Force Replacement Training Center. The purpose of the AFRTC was to train replacements for the armored divisions and separate tank battalions. (Before the center’s establishment, the only two armored divisions in the US Army had the responsibility to train all replacements (and cadres) for future armored divisions). This meant replacements for all functions in an armored division, including medics. The thought at the time was that it was best to train all men destined to serve in armored units together in one location so they would be familiarized with the unique characteristics of armored warfare.
The first trainees started training in February 1941. Initially, basic training was 12 weeks. The replacements were trained according to the estimated need for personnel. So 31% of the men were thought to be needed as light tank replacements and 3% of the men were trained as replacement medics.
On August 26th, 1941 the AFRTC was directed to train only “strictly armored elements” (tank and armored force recon units). All other training, such as medical training, would from that moment on be performed by specialized training centers such as the Medical Replacement Training Centers.
One interesting fact is that after his relieve of command of the 4th Armored Division, Major General John S. Wood became the commanding general of the AFRTC on January 24th, 1945.
Between February 1942 and September 1945, the AFRTC trained a total of 168,000 replacements.
Joseph Korzeniowski took these photos at the AFRTC in the spring of 1942. They show many of his comrades who would accompany Joseph to the 46th Armored Medical Battalion.
Joseph Korzeniowski at AFRTC, Fort Knox, KY
Inspections, marching and bivouacing
Group photos at AFRTC
Recreation at Fort Knox: games of horseshoes.
Camp duties AFRTC
Wilber Jones. He also joined Company C, 46th AMB at Pine Camp, NY
Ralph E. Bowman. He joined the medical detachment of the 66th Armored Field Artillery Battalion at Pine Camp, NY
Sigmund A. Lowrusewicz (31067287). He served in Company B, 46th AMB. He was promoted to Tec5 on October 27th, 1943.
The other man shown is possibly John M. Evanstanko (33164265). He joined Company C, 46th AMB at Pine Camp, NY.
Thomas S. Owsianiecki (33138955). He served with Joseph Korzeniowski at Company C, 46th AMB. He was promoted to Tec5.
Joseph F. Vodolo (32131425). He joined the medical detachment of the 35th Armored Regiment, later 35th Tank Battalion. He was promoted to Tec3.
Another photos of Sigmund A. Lowrusewicz (31067287), B/46.
Delma W. Meadows (34178838). He served with Joseph Korzeniowski at Company C, 46th AMB. He was LWA (lightly wounded in action) on September 12th, 1944 but remained on duty at that time.
The other man is possibly Max W. Kerbs (32038492). He served with Company B, 46th AMB.
Departure from AFRTC, Fort Knox, KY to Pine Camp, NY to join the 4th Armored Division