Sunday, April 7, 2013

Next Research Stage - Bumgarner and Rodarte

I've mostly finished reading the Battalion Daily Journals for the 2/503rd Airborne Infantry, which were supplied through the assistance of Donald Budrejko of American International Solutions in Reston.  Don (a retired naval aviator) gave me great research rates, and did a bang-up job of meticulously scanning every page, converting the mess into pdf files, and uploading it all to Dropbox.  This was a great solution because it was fast, and it allowed me to have copies on multiple computers.

My next step is to get through the General Courts-Martial files for SP4 James Rodarte and SGT Roy Bumgarner.  At 1,743 pages, this set should be faster to read than the Daily Journals.  Since these files are held at the National Archives in St. Louis, I had to hire a different researcher to get these, and Elizabeth Terry in Missouri came to the rescue.  She gave me great rates for the project, which also gave her a chance to learn to photograph the files and use Dropbox for transfers.  The GCM files include exhibits, and the following notice:

They are not kidding with the warning.  The prosecution exhibits, which were the first pages of the Rodarte file that Elizabeth sent, are absolutely grotesque - photos of corpses decapitated by a hand grenade.  Don't worry, I won't be posting those.  You can't unsee that stuff.

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