130th Chemical Processing Company: Case Study

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In the company photograph of the 130th Chemical Company the three friends are pictured sitting together shoulder to shoulder, just as they joined the Army together, trained together, and stationed together in London, where on July 3, 1944, died together. Prior to their enlistment in the Army, Robert H. Cook, Philip J. Conley, and Chester R. Peterson were close friends while living in Portland. The three friends left for training together in January 1943, and were assigned to the 130th Chemical Processing Company at Camp Sibert, Alabama. The primary mission for the Chemical Processing Company was to provide protective clothing for troops in case of a chemical attack. The men of the 130th were trained to operate impregnating plants,…show more content…
The V-1 was an unmanned winged bomb, and at a preset distance its engine would cut out and the bomb would go into a dive falling indiscriminately on the neighborhoods of London. As the Nazi’s started their V-1 reign of terror and destruction upon the neighborhoods of London, the men of the 130th helped in the rescue and evacuation of civilians from their bombed out homes. They would later be trained by British Rescue Squads in the removal of debris and the search for survivors. On July 1 and 2, 1944, after another V-1 attack the men of the 130th were putting their new training to work in the Sloane Court Area. On Monday morning July 3, the company again was preparing for another day of search and rescue work. At 7:30 a.m., while the men were loading into a truck just outside their billet, a V-1 bomb dropped suddenly out of the morning London haze. The force of the bomb completely destroyed one billet and nearly two others. The troop filled truck was blasted into the side of the buildings. It was the single most loss of life of U.S. servicemen in Great Britain, 62 men of the 130th were killed in the explosion, among those killed were S/Sgt Robert H. Cooke, S/Sgt., Philip J. Conley, and T/Sgt. Chester R.

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