Raoul Santos - Pronounced in
Portuguese as "rule" or "rail" depending which relative you ask, served with the Army Service Forces, and specifically with the 716th, 732nd, and 744th Railway Operating Battalions.
Raoul had the distinction of serving with Three railway Battalions, before his
transfer back home. Originally the family only knew that he was a Sergeant/clerk with Headquarters Military Intelligence. After a two year search I finally came up with enough clues to pinpoint his exact units. I have many people to thank for helping me find his unit and I will list them all on my sources page. Raoul was the oldest member of the Santos family, my Grandmother on my mother's side, Mary Santos Arruda. He was her oldest brother. Prior to WWII Raoul worked at the Naval Torpedo Station in Newport Rhode Island as a shop clerk in the Automatic Department. He was an assistant foreman earning $28.84 per week, making torpedoes for the war effort. He lived at 190 Earle Street in the Portuguese community of New Bedford, Massachusetts. He was the only member of his family to graduate high school. This may not seem like much today but back in the 1940's this was a big deal for an immigrant family's son to graduate from high school. Raoul was drafted much to his surprise on November 18, 1943. The Armed forces had reached the bottom of it's manpower pool and had extended the draft age from 18 to 35 years for all able bodied men. Raoul was 35. I cannot even imagine what must have gone though his mind when he received that letter from Uncle Sam in the mail. But Raoul answered the call from his country and like so many others and reported for duty, leaving behind his wife of five years; Yvonne.
This is his story and the story of the 716th, 732nd, and 744th Railway