May 29, 1942 Sendoff to Fort Niagara, NY
On May 29, 1942, Russell was selected for service, and transported along with a contingent of men from Endicott NY, to Fort Niagara, NY. At the time, Russell was 23 years old, and was living amongst his relatives – which included his brother Willard & his wife Grace Wadsworth, and other brother Wilson and his wife Helen. Russell left behind his job with IBM Corporation.
April, 1944 moved to New York City NY
Just under 2 years of being stationed at Fort Niagara, NY – Russell was moved to a new temporary “staging” area – New York City, NY.
April 6 1944 Shipped OUT: New York City, NY to Scotland
Russell was shipped out from New York City – to Scotland on April 6, 1944. He was on a large ship called the “Ile de France”, and arrived in Firth of Clyde, Scotland on April 14, 1944. The trip took 8 days to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
The ship took an irregular course enroute to Scotland, because it was not escorted by a convoy, and thus the boat should have sufficient speed to outrun any attackers. Ran into several storms, one of which lasted for 3 days – resulting in “mountainous” waves.
April 14, 1944 From the Coast of Scotland, to Manchester, England
Dropped anchor in Gurock Scotland…and within 24 hours was on a train traveling to Manchester England.
Mail has now become censored, and the use of V-Mail begins. Mail is censored so that exact locations are not made known.He has been stationed to the European Civil Affairs Division of the US Army.
Russell could not reveal his location to his family, until nearly 1 year later.
May 1944 – October 1944 Manchester, England
Russell becomes acclimated with Europe. Traffic operates on the opposite side of the road, the currency needs to be understood. He spends a portion of his stay in England housed in private homes along with other GI’s. The English show incredible hospitality to American servicemen.
October 1944 – Southamton, England to Rochefort on Y, France
Boarded a liberty ship at Southampton England, and headed across the English Channel to Omaha Beach, France. They remained on the boat for approximately 10 days, before going in to shore. Once on shore, and after a few days of pitching tents, Russell along with his convoy settled into Rochefort on Y, just 25 miles south of Paris.
From there, they later moved to Troyes, France – which is 90 miles southeast of Paris.
May 1945 – Shipped to Bad Homburg, Germany
Relocated from his last position in Troyes, France – to Bad Homburg Germany. Bad Homburg in the Taunus mountains, is approximately 10 miles north of Frankfurt, Germany.
November 1945 Germany, to France…then shipped back to Boston Massachussetts
With rough seas, spent 9 days crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the vessel “Rennselaer Victory”. Left Antwerp, France and arrived in the Port of Boston on December 4, 1945.
Once on US soil, was processed to Camp Miles Standish, MA, and then put on a train enroute to Fort Dix. During this train ride, Russell enjoyed a “chance” encounter with his brother Howard – who was one of the MP’s walking the train. This was the first time Russell and Howard had seen each other in nearly 2 years. Russell was discharged from the US Army on December 8, 1945.
Returned to his old job at IBM, and living with his brother Wilson and family in Vestal, NY.