Color Guard at Camp Butner

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Record 332/959
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Collection Meeleus
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
Description Gelatin print of the Color Guard at Camp Butner.
Year Range from 1943
Event World War II
Year range to 1943
Medium Photographic Paper
Notes Group photograph of members of the Color Guard, 974th Air Base Security Group at Camp Butner, NC. The color sergeant stands at center with the American flag, while the two sergeants flank him with rifles at "Parade Rest". The enlisted men of this unit were African-Americans, while the officers were white. Harry Meeleus commanded a company of the 974th until they were disbanded.
Harry G. T. Meeleus was born in Oshkosh, WI on September 4, 1908, the son of Edward E. and Olga Ziegenhagen Meeleus. He was drafted into the 32nd Division, Wisconsin National Guard in March 1941 and served in Louisiana. He was released to inactive reserves due to his age in July 1941. Harry was then called back to active duty after Pearl Harbor and attended Officer Training School at Fort Benning, GA and graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant. He returned to Oshkosh on leave and married Helen Hunter on November 21, 1942. He first commanded a company of the 974th Air Base Security Group in North Carolina, composed of African-Americans, but the unit was disbanded. He was then assigned to the 106th Division in Indiana. Prior to service in Europe, 75% of the unit was shipped over as replacements for other units. Harry was then assigned command of the Headquarters Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 422nd Infantry. They landed in Belgium in November 1944 and were soon sent into the front lines. The Division was over run at the Battle of the Bulge on December 16, 1944 and Harry was captured and sent to a German prisoner of war camp. He was finally liberated on May 2, 1945. He returned to Oshkosh on furlough on June 8, 1945. Following the war he worked for T & J Manufacturing Company. He died in Oshkosh, WI on January 12, 2003.
Object ID P2001.84.84
Object Name Print, Photographic
People Meeleus, Harry G.T.
Place Camp Butner, NC
Print size 3.5" x 5.25"
Subjects World War II
United States Army
United States Army Air Force
Prisoners of war
Flag bearers
Title Color Guard at Camp Butner
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009