17th Armored Engineer Battalion in World War 2

17th Engineers during World War Two

Ralph Sirico - Roll of Honor

Ralph Sirico

Unit: 17 Engr Bn 2nd Armd Div, Company Unknown Rank: CorporalBorn: 1910
Foto van Ralph Sirico

Biografische informatie

Headstone Corporal Ralph Sirico

Headstone Corporal Ralph Sirico

Corporal Ralph Sirico

Corporal Ralph Sirico

Location grave of  Corporal Ralph Sirico at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial , Belgium

Where was Corporal Ralph Sirico wounded in action? 


Campaign: Rhineland Campaign, Breeching the Siegfried Line

(Source: Unit History 17th Armored Engineer Battalion)

General Leland Hobbs’ 30th Infantry Division would be assisted by the 2nd Armored Division, which would exploit the 30th Division’s penetration of the Siegfried Line, while their flanks were protected by the 29th Infantry Division.
The 30th Infantry Division, with elements of the 29th Infantry and 2nd Armored divisions, continued its push southwards between 13–16 October, in the sector of the village of Würselen; however, even with heavy air support, they were unsuccessful in breaking through German defenses and linking up with allied forces to the south. The Germans took advantage of the narrow front to pound advancing attackers with artillery, and progress remained slow as German tanks used houses as bunkers to surprise and overwhelm American foot soldiers.

(Source: wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Aachen)

Germany, on 13 October 1944, when his organization participated in a coordinated infantry-tank attack destined to isolate the large German garrison which was tenaciously defending the city of Aachen. In the first day’s action, when infantrymen ran into murderous small-arms and mortar fire, Capt. Burt dismounted from his tank about 200 yards to the rear and moved forward on foot beyond the infantry positions, where, as the enemy concentrated a tremendous volume of fire upon him, he calmly motioned his tanks into good firing positions.

(Source: Medal of Honor Citation: BURT, JAMES M.Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Company B, 66th Armored Regiment, 2d Armored Division. Place and date: Near Wurselen, Germany, 13 October 1944)

On 12 October 1944 the 3rd Battalion was attached to the 116th In-fantry Regiment of the 30th Infantry Division at Bardenburg. The regiment’s mission was to attack toward Wurselen with the goal of cutting the routes leading north and northwest out of Aachen. The attack south began on 13 October, with each of the three tank companies (G, H, and B) attached to a battalion of the 116th Infantry. The attack advanced slowly over the next several days as the Germans fought with everything they had. Their resis-tance was so intense on 16 October that the American battalion was unable to advance even three hundred yards as they had done the day before. Ger-man attacks were frequent and employed heavy concentrations of mortar and artillery fire, a desperate bid to keep Aachen from being encircled.’

(Source: Iron Knights: The U.S. 66th Armored Regiment in World War II by Gordon A. Blaker)


Unfortunately there is no infromation about the Company of the 17th Armored Engineer Battalion that Corporal Sirico served in.

Company A 17th Armored Engineer Battalion, in Combat Command B

The resources tells us that around the 13th of october the plantoons of Company A of the 17th Engineers saw a lot of action.
With the 117t Infantry Regiment of the 30th Infantry Division on the 10th of October they attacked Schaufenberg, and cuptured it, Engineers laid mines and boobytraps.
Then on the 13th of October 1944, Combat Command B with the 66th Armored Division, a battalion of the 116th infantry, 29th infantry Division, and 1 platoon of A Company, 17th Engineers start to attack toward Wurselen with the goal of cutting the routes leading north and northwest out of Aachen. The Germans fought with everthing they had and had heavy of mortar and artillery fire. Finally they closed the cap at the south of Aachen.

Company B and C  17th Armored Engineer Battalion, in Combat Command A

Company B, 17th Armored Engineer Battalion with two platoons in Combat Command A captured the town of Oidtweiler on October 10th and built defensive positions at the North flank of the gap.
The position were improved with trip and barbed wire, the enemy was ofentimes only 300 yards away, heavy barrages of artillery and mortars caused many casualties.
(Source: Book: Hells on Wheels 1942 – 1945 by Donald E. Houston)

The A, B and C Companies of the 17th Armored Engineer Battalion were part of two Combat Commands A and B. Around the day that Corporal Ralph Sirico died from his wounds Combat Command B was doing an attack with tanks and infantry and aparantly the Engineers were also tasked with regualar infantry actions. Or he was wounded by artillery or mortars, its hard to tell. We know that Corporal Ralph Sirico died of wounds, so he could be wounded days or even weeks before.

On the day that Corporal Ralph Sirico died of his wounds on October 13th,  Private First Class  Farris D. Smith from Company A  and Private George M. Natale were Killed in Action .

Location where Corporal Ralph Sirico was mortally wounded in action:

Around the 13th of October Combat Commands were active around Schaufenberg and Wurselen.


Official casualty list

Casualtylist Ralp Sirico- Bronx County- Ney York detail

Casualtylist Ralp Sirico- Bronx County- Ney York detail

Temporary Burial at Henri Chapelle, Belgium

Temporary Burial at Henri Chapelle Belgium

Temporary Burial at Henri Chapelle Belgium

The location of the house where Ralph Sirico lived with the family, as an 20year old “plumber”:

Adress:2251 Bassford Ave, Bronx, NY 10457, United States

United States Census, 1930 Ralph Serico*

*(Serico was not the correct spelling, Sirico was the correct spelling of the name)

Name Ralph Serico
Event Type Census
Event Date 1930
Event Place Bronx (Districts 501-750), Bronx, New York, United States
Gender Male
Age 20
Marital Status Single
Race White
Race (Original) White
Relationship to Head of Household Son
Relationship to Head of Household (Original) Son
Birth Year (Estimated) 1910
Birthplace Pennsylvania
Father’s Birthplace Italy
Mother’s Birthplace Italy
Sheet Letter B
Sheet Number 2

(The Senus 1930 also mentions that in 1930 Ralph Sirico was an “plumber”.)

Ralph Siroco 1930 sensus

Ralph Siroco 1930 sensus

Felicia Serico Head F 44 Italy
Ralph Serico Son M 20 Pennsylvania
Susie Serico Daughter F 18 Pennsylvania
Floyd Serico Son M 16 Pennsylvania
Mary Serico Daughter F 14 Pennsylvania
Helen Serico Daughter F 13 Pennsylvania
Rose Serico Daughter F 11 Pennsylvania
Victoria Serico Daughter F 10 Pennsylvania

Father is:  Emilio Serico
Mother is: Mary Donnellan

Enlistment Record of Private Ralph Sirico

Name Ralph Sirico
Name (Original) SIRICO RALPH
Event Type Military Service
Event Date 25 May 1942
Term of Enlistment Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Event Place Ft Jay, Governors Island, New York, United States
Race White
Citizenship Status citizen
Birth Year 1910
Education Level Grammar school
Civilian Occupation Carpenters
Marital Status Married
Military Rank Private
Army Branch Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Army Component Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source Reference Civil Life
Serial Number 32343165
Affiliate ARC Identifier 1263923
Box Film Number 05002.164




Categorieën: 17 Engr Bn 2nd Armd Div – Company Unknown