The Trials & Triumphs of a Regimental Commander During World War Ii

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Trafford Publishing, Jul 21, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages

This is a memoir by Colonel Thomas A. Glass of his military training and experiences prior to, during and after World War II. It is a very personal account which details what army life was like for a young officer and his wife. As a very junior second lieutenant he served as supply officer and transportation officer for the harbor defenses of Honolulu. In 1940, he reported to the just activated 21st Engineer Aviation Regiment, the first regiment dealing specifically with aviation in the Corps of Engineers.

In 1942 he activated and took command of the 816th Engineer Aviation Battalion which built a heavy bomber base at Gosfield in Essex, England. In August of 1943 he was promoted to commanding officer of the newly formed 925th Engineer Aviation Regiment which built heavy bomber bases, air depots and other air facilities in England. The 925th Engineer Aviation Regiment served in Normandy and in the middle of July of 1944, was assigned the mission of supporting and providing the necessary airfield facilities for the XIX Tactical Air Command, the air arm of General Patton's 3rd Army. Except for brief periods in Germany when the 925th was temporarily attached to 1st Army and 7th Army, the 925th remained with 3rd Army. The 925th built the first airfield across the Rhine River at Eudenbach.

After the war Colonel Glass served in the Engineers Office, U. S. Headquarters Army Air Force in the Pentagon. He studied major heavy earth moving equipment companies, and then became Chief, Procurement Division, Office Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army. He transferred to the Air Force and supervised the move of MATS (Military Air Transport Service) to Andrews Air Force Base. The book concludes with his resignation from the Air Force in 1949 caused by the conflict of career and family.

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About the author (2005)

Thomas A. Glass was a 1933 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He served in the Coast Artillery until 1938 when he transferred to the Corps of Engineers. He subsequently received his master's degree in civil engineering from Cornell University.

In 1940 he was assigned to the newly formed 21st Engineer Aviation Regiment, the first heavy earth moving equipped engineer unit in the military. In August of 1942 he took the 816th Engineer Aviation Battalion to England to build a heavy bomber base at Gosfield, England. Battalions and later the 925th Engineer Aviation Regiment under his command built a series of heavy bomber bases, air depots and other air installations in southern England leading up to the time of the invasion in 1944. On the continent the 925th built close in fighter support airfields for General Patton's Third Army in its race across France. In addition the 925th repaired and extended such major airfields as Orly in France, Frankfurt Rhein Main and Y-80 at Wiesbaden in Germany. Under his command the 925th built, or extended and /or repaired 120 airfields, 77 of those on the continent of Europe.

His military awards include ETO Ribbon with 5 battle stars, 2 bronze stars, and he was awarded the French Croix de Guerre avec Etoile de Vermeil from General Charles De Gaulle for exceptional services rendered in the liberation of France. After World War II Colonel Glass served as Chief, Procurement Division, Office Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army before transferring to the Air Force. He resigned from the service in 1949, and worked for Caterpillar Tractor Company until his retirement. Colonel Thomas A. Glass died in 2004. He was 93 years old.

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