Photo History of the Black 95th Engineer General Service Regiment in World War II in Two Volumes Published


Update in January, 2018: I am now working on a first volume of my father’s World War II letters, “Letters From the Alcan Highway by Captain Stuart V. Bradley” that I hope to complete by June.

Update in December: An excellent history of the Black 93rd Engineer Regiment, which built the part of the Alcan Highway in the Yukon Territory, has been written by Christine & Dennis McClure called “We Fought the Road” just published in October. I am enjoying the book very much. It can be found HERE at their website.

Railway Station Press is publishing the Photo History of the Black 95th Engineer General Service Regiment in World War II.  You can go to HERE to see the Kickstarter Campaign. The photo above is the Army Post Office 998 based in Dawson Creek, British Columbia.

The 95th Engineer General Service Regiment was formed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia in April of 1941. It consisted of African American troops mostly from the southern United States and white officers. In 1942 they were sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to train for deployment in North Africa. Instead, they were one of three black engineer regiments (along with four white regiments) sent to British Columbia, the Yukon and Alaska to build the pioneer road from Fort Dawson, British Columbia to Fairbanks, Alaska called the Alcan (Alaska) Highway. The 95th was assigned the section from Fort St. John north to Fort Nelson, British Columbia. The Peace River was a major obstacle to cross. My father who was from Minnesota, Lt. Stuart Bradley (later Captain), was a supply officer. It turned out to be one of the coldest winters on record.

The next assignment for the 95th began in July of 1943 and was in England and Wales to build training and invasion camps in preparation for D-Day. Two weeks after D-Day in 1944 the 95th crossed the English Channel into Normandy, France. Their task then turned to repairing damaged train tracks and bridges, often destroyed by the Germans as they retreated. After some time in Liege, Belgium they were on the border with Germany during the Battle of the Bulge in the late winter of 1944 and found themselves close to the front line. Once in Germany they traveled as far east as Gera, which later became part of East Germany, before being pulled back to France.

They were kept at Camp Lucky Strike for 45 days waiting for a ship back to the United States when most units only spent a week at most, in the camp. There were two reasons for this; combat units were needed for a possible transfer to the Pacific, and they were waiting for a ship just the right size for the 95th as white soldiers did not want to share a ship with black troops. They finally shipped out on August 5th, 1945 and arrived back in United States on August 12th.

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The 19th Century Women of Wellington, Ohio Book is Now Available

Update on November 25th, 2017: The Book is available for sale here.

Nicole M. Hayes has written an excellent book that Railway Station Press is going to publish as it’s second book after The 1907 Autobiography of Henry Martin Bradley.

Nicole has been writing a blog on the 19th Century History of Wellington, Ohio for the last four years.  She has had blog posts about Henry Martin Bradley who grew up in Wellington and the Howk family, a family of Dutch ancestry who the Bradleys married into.  Nicole has a Master’s Degree in American History from William & Mary and has worked at Harvard University, Colonial Williamsburg and Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

We expect to publish and ship this book in December, 2017.  You can order the book for $18 with free Media Mail shipping by sending a check to “Railway Station Press” at P. O. Box 2327, Alexandria, VA 22301.

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Wellington Final Cover copy

This is the front cover of Nicole Hayes’s book.

Wellington, Ohio Plat Map from 1857

Bradley 100 Acres in SE corner Seciton 1 1857

As Henry described it in his 1907 Autobiography, his father William Bradley owned one hundred acres, in the southeast corner of Wellington Township in Lorain County, Ohio where they relocated from Massachusetts in 1835.  He wrote that they lived four miles from the village of Wellington which can be seen on the map below.

There are a total of three parcels in Wellington Township owned by Bradleys and a large number of parcels owned by Howks, the Dutch family that many Bradleys married into.  In fact, the William Bradley farm had Howks on either side of it in Section One.

SE Part of Wellington Township 1857

This 1857 map is in the Library of Congress collection and is available online.

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The Dutch Connection: Howk, Van Orden & Gansevoort Families

There is a history of the English Bradley family members marrying into Dutch families.  A previous blog post describes the connection in Lee, Massachusetts and Wellington, Ohio to the Howk family. My maternal grandmother was a Van Orden and she traced her family back to the owners of the Van Orden farm which is now occupied by a hotel in Manhattan.

Henry Martin Bradley’s second son, Charles Henry Bradley, married Magdalena Gansevoort Ten Eyck (1855 to 1913) of the prominent Albany, New York Ten Eyck family (they owned the Ten Eyck Hotel in Albany). Her ancestry can also be traced back to the Gansevoort family who moved to Albany in 1660. She was named after Magdalena Gansevoort (1777 to 1863) who married Jacob A. Ten Eyck in 1795. My 3rd cousin, Kevin Leslie, owns an oil painting of Jacob Ten Eyck. Ten Eyck is actually German and the Gansevoort family is Dutch.

Magdalina Ten Eyck

Magdalena Gansevoort Ten Eyck (1855 to 1913)

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