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Caleb Albert Stinsman

PVT in 406th Engineer Combat Co

Military occupational specialty: 78 (electrician)


Born 1923 in NJ, Died 1992

County of residence at enlistment: Camden County, NJ
Other residence(s): Gloucester City, NJ; Glassboro, NJ
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Source: Special Order 19, 23d HQ, Camp Forrest, 7 April 1944;; photo courtesy Find a Grave

Caleb Stinsman was born on December 21, 1923 in Gloucester City, NJ, the oldest of eleven sons. His father was a "huxter," retailing on his own account. By 1940, Caleb had completed seventh grade and was working as an unpaid helper for his father.

When he registered for the draft, on June 30, 1942, he was working at Fosler's Laundry. He was one of 15 young men from Gloucester City who enlisted in the Army between March 15-22, 1943; all but three of them were 18 or 19 years old. On March 25, they found themselves on a train headed to Camp Gordon, Georgia. There they would join the newly activated 293rd Engineer Combat Battalion, and be assigned to Company A. That spring and summer they trained in Georgia and Tennessee, and that fall boarded a train for Camp Pilot Knob, aka the Desert Training Center, five miles from Yuma, Arizona (just inside the California border). In mid-January 1944, the commander of the 293rd received an order to detach his best company for a secret mission. He selected Company A, and by January 30, 1944 the men were back in Tennessee. On April 7, 1944, Company A of the 293rd was officially reassigned and renamed as the 406th Engineer Combat Company, and the unit boarded a ship to England in early May.

That July, as the men of the 406th headed across England on their way to the war, the train stopped in the city of Gloucester. Here the local NAAFI (the organization that runs recreation, canteens, and PXs for British servicemen) served them tea, which was quaffed amid cheers from the soldiers from Gloucester City, New Jersey.

After their service in the Ghost Army all 15 men returned to the states. They were feted on July 14, 1945 by the Third Ward Regular Democratic Club while back in Gloucester City on 30-day furloughs. Caleb was discharged on October 23, 1945 and returned to Gloucester City. He re-enlisted in 1947 for less than five months.

In 1949 Caleb was one of 80 Gloucester City veterans honored with a new memorial stained-glass window at Second Methodist Church (now Trinity Methodist) in Gloucester City.

He had married Isabella Harriet Finger in 1944, before he went to Europe. He may have married again later. He was a member of VFW Post 3620 in Gloucester City, but nothing else is known of his life or work. He died in Glassboro, NJ on September 29, 1992 and is buried at Beverly National Cemetery. No wife or children were mentioned in his death notice.


1992 Find a Grave record (see below)


1930 census

1940 census

1942 draft card

1943 article in the Morning Post (Camden, NJ) about him and 14 other Gloucester veterans of the 406th Engineers—all of them (plus others from the area) were being sent to Fort Dix for training

1943 article in the Courier-Post (Camden, NJ); he is stationed in LA

1944 New Jersey marriage index

1945 article in the Morning Post (Camden, NJ) about him and 14 other Gloucester veterans of the 406th Engineers

1949 article in the Courier-Post (Camden, NJ) re his church honoring WW2 vets in stained glass

1992 US Veterans' Gravesites

1992 Find a Grave record

1992 VA death record

1992 Social Security Applications and Claims Index

1992 death notice in Courier-Post (Camden, NJ); name misspelled in headline

406th Unit History Compiled

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