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Remembering World War II
Cyril Joseph Rudolph
Cyril Joseph Rudolph Private 1st Class 31303535 188th Port Company (Company A), 488th Port Battalion, Transportation Corps, US Army August 7, 1923 Louisbourg, Cape Breton, NS March 12, 1943 Boston, Massachusetts Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts 19 5 feet, 7 inches Light Blonde Grey February 7, 1944 20 Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford, Mass., US WWII Section, Row A, Grave 37 Cyril Joseph Rudolph was the son of James Frederick Rudolph (1888-1928) and Eva Ethel Alice (Townsend) Rudolph (1891-1972). His father was born in Liscomb, Guysborough Co., NS. His mother was born in Louisbourg, Cape Breton, NS. Cyril had two brothers, James Townsend Rudolph (1917-2001) and Clayton Leonard Rudolph (1921-2006) and a sister Muriel Jeannette Rudolph (1925-1999). His brother Clayton served in the US Navy. His brother James, served as a Sergeant in the US Army in the Second World War (from July 30, 1942 to January 10, 1946). His sister married Paul Roderick Gantz (1920-1995) of Louisville, Kentucky, on May 20, 1945 in Medford, Mass. Paul served as a Machinist’s Mate 1st Class in the US Navy in WWII. When Cyril registered for the Draft on June 30, 1942, he was working for Charles Clark of the Maine Wood Co. in South Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He and his mother were living at 77 Quincy Street in Medford, Mass. Cyril enlisted March 12, 1943, in Boston, Mass. And served with the 488th Port Battalion. The 488th Port Battalion was activated December 12, 1942 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, Pennsylvania. It consisted of Headquarters Company and 4 companies – A, B, C, and D. These were later changed to the 188th, 189th, 190th and 191st Port Companies. Officer personnel came from various training facilities, and enlisted personnel were sought who had any experience in crane operating, stevedoring, longshore, tugs, barges, and any civilian occupation related to port operations. After six months of intensive training at the “Gap,” mostly on a mock-up ship affectionately called the “SS Neversail,” the Battalion moved by troop train to the Boston port area for overseas assignment. Nearly assigned to Churchill, Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada which was being considered as a shipping alternative to New York City due to the many ship sinkings by German U-boats, but this assignment never materialized. Instead, the 488th Port Battalion was loaded on board a cruise ship, the USS Santa Rosa, converted to a troop carrier. The Santa Rosa carried 5500 troops and the first contingent of 500 Women Army Corps (WAC’s) sailed out of New York harbor, without escort, avoiding waiting German submarines. The 488th arrived in Oran, Algeria, on the African continent, in August 1943 and was subsequently transported to Naples, Italy in September. In Naples, the 488th was assigned the main Pier One for cargo unloading. Sudden bombings at night interrupted operations but the 488th was still able to set cargo discharging records. Food, ammunition, gas, tanks, and even locomotives were unloaded. Records set in unloading in 3 months at Naples qualified the 488th for the assignment for the Anzio landing. Three heavily loaded cargo ships made the initial landing at Anzio – the SS John Banvard, the SS Brete Harte, and the SS Herbert. On January 26, 1944 the SS Herbert was abandoned at 5:20PM and the SS John Banvard was rocked by two near misses from glider bombs and abandoned at 6:15PM. Hundreds of personnel of the 488th were now in the winter waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Some were in the water for over two hours before being rescued. On February 7, 1944 80 men from the 188th Port Company (A Co.) were killed or injured in dive bombings of LST’s – these, plus others, losses required reinforcements with A Company of the 384th Port Battalion. Private 1st Class Joseph Cyril Rudolph’s date of death is recorded as February 7, 1944. It is therefore believed he was one of the 80 casualties from these enemy dive bombings February 7th during the Battle of Anzio (which ran from January 22, 1944 – June 5, 1944).
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