Searching For Our WWII Veterans – Amazing What You Find

Dad’s Gun

I posted this picture in 2011 with an article about the 276th Armored Field Artillery Battalion that my father-in-law, Dewey Paul Whitaker, served in during WWII. This is the gun he served on named “Cry’N Room.” The group of men in the photo are from his battery, but my father-in-law is not in the picture.

The photo we have does not have any names on it so the men have always been unknown.

Recently while researching for information about his father, Donald Rotett found this picture on my website. He recognized the picture and his father, Edwin J. Rottet (front row second from the left). He had the same picture and his copy had the names listed on the back.

“Left to Right Front row: {Lennon or Sernon}, Rottet, Stover, Erly. 2nd row: O’Brien, Swank, Bruce “Hedge row,” Clifford, {Peppers or Geppers}. (one name missing)

Per the roster in the History of the 276th Armored Field Artillery Battalion

Lennon, William F., Pfc., Trfd to Valley Forge Gen Hosp., Phoenixville, Penn. 29 August 1945 – Battery A

Rottet, Edwin J., Sgt., 1342 Leopold St., Jasper, Ind. – Battery A

Stover, Russel J., Sgt., 229 Main St., Olyphant, Penn. – Battery A

Erby, Charles E., Tec 5, Rt. 2, Newport, Tenn. – Battery A

O’Brien, Joseph H., Pfc., 189 Grand Ave., Englewood, N. J. – Battery A

Schwank, Henry V., Pfc., Discharged 10 September 1945. – Battery A

? Arwine, Bruce C., Pfc., Rt. 1, Corryton, Tenn. – Only Bruce listed in Battery A

Clifford, Joseph T., Pfc., Box 72, Stevenson, Conn. – Battery A

Peppers, Henry W., Pfc., Trfd to 177th FA Gp June 1945 – Battery A

Later, Donald contacted me to tell me about a model kit he found that had “Cry’N Room” as the name of the gun. We went online and found the kit made by a company in Italy. We couldn’t order directly from the overseas company so we searched and found a U.S. distributer. Our grandson is putting it together for us. It will be so cool to have a model of the gun Paul Whitaker served on to display in our home.

The model maker must have Googled the M7 looking for pictures on the internet, because the above picture comes up in the search results. They selected “Cry’N Room” for the decal on the model. We are so grateful they did because it represents memories of our fathers’ service.

Thanks to Donald Rottet for the names of the men in the picture and thanks for the information on the model of the M7 Priest. And thanks to everyone who has contacted me via my website. I appreciate all the questions and comments. I may not be able to help you every time, but I will try to get back to you.

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