ERNEST J. DERRY
Technician Fifth Grade | Corps of Engineers
In early January 1944 the 4th Engineer Brigade learned that it would move overseas, and the 1st Battalion, 534th Boat and Shore Regiment was charged with the logistics of packing and equipping the brigade.
Ernest Derry was drafted in early 1943 to serve as a mechanic in the amphibious engineers. A thin grocery clerk of thirty-six, he was among the members of C Company busy preparing the brigade for overseas movement. They arrived in Australia in May 1944 and immediately were put to work fabricating steel barges, a job many of them disliked hoping they would instead get into combat.
They continued this duty for months until eventually moving to the Philippines to support operations through the islands. This is the helmet Derry wore during his time in the Pacific and while a humble example, holds a great story of having been there.