(as related to the 475th M.P.E.G. Co.)
Definition - Service Unit
A service unit is a support unit as opposed to "combat" unit.
The role of a service unit is in support of the combat troops who are doing
the actual battleground fighting. Typical service units are those
of the Quartermaster Corps (Supply), Medical Corps
(behind the line hospitals), Engineers (construction units),
and Military Police Escort Guard Companies (guarding and transporting
of enemy prisoners of war. See "Bibliography and Notes, 6.).
Definition - Military Police Escort Guard Company
A company consists of four "line" sections and a "headquarters"
section. Each line section consists of three squads
of 8 to 10 Privates and Privates, First Class under
the leadership of a Corporal. The section, which
roughly approximates an infantry platoon,
is lead by a "buck" sergeant.
The headquarters section is comprised of
various administrative elements and the company
officers. Services include mess, clerks, supply, and transportation.
Clerks are under the immediate leadership of the First Sergeant, the ranking
enlisted man in the company. The mess sergeant has in his command
a first cook and several other cooks. The supply
unit is under the aegis of the supply sergeant and an armorer-articifer.
Transportation consists of a motor pool sergeant, drivers, and possibly
a mechanic. The officer contingent consists of a captain and three lieutenants.
The usual number of enlisted men in such a company is 135.
Definition - training of a Military Police Escort Guard Company.
The basic training of such a company first of all prepares the men
and the unit to be Military Policemen.
Techniques of hand-to-hand combat and
police methods of subduing perpetrators were
taught. The use of the billy club in policing situations was imparted
to the recruits.
Weapons training started with rifles. In the instance of
the 475th the rifles were at different times either the '98
Lee-Enfield or '03 Springfield. Never was this company issued the Garand
M1. The Springfield was fired for record. Bayonets were issued and
bayonet training with straw-filled dummies was carried out.
Other weapons were fired for familiarization, not for record.
They included the 1911 Colt Pistol as well as the 6 shot
revolver, both .45 caliber. The M1
carbine, .30 caliber, was also fired as were the Thompson Submachine
Gun and several varieties of 12 gauge shotguns.
Eventually the Model 1897 pump shotgun with cooling fin was the standard
"riot" gun. In addition training was received on the .30 caliber
light machine gun and the Browning automatic
rifle (B.A.R.). Fragmentation hand grenades were
included in the training and each enlisted man was permitted
to pull the pin on one such grenade and throw it in
the stiff-armed overhand fashion prescribed by the Army.
Chemical warfare training consisted of classes, use of the World
War I type gas mask in both the "gas house" and during tear gas "attacks"
from gas-generating trucks during hikes. When we
went overseas, the new type gas masks were issued along with "protective"
clothing. During the time of the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944) the
company was given training on .50 caliber heavy machine guns
and the guard towers of P.W.E. #1 in Spring Hill, near Bourton-on-the-Hill,
Cots., England were fitted with such weapons.