THE BELGIAN ENGINEER / PIONEER UNITS

1944 - 1946

 

SHORT HISTORY

 

In the agreements between the Belgian Government and SHAEF
 was foreseen to raise a number of Engineer/Pioneer units.

4 Army Engineer Battalions, 4 Pioneer Battalions, and several other small enigineer units would be raised.

Most of those units were to be put at the disposal of the 21st Army Group.

March 1945, Leopoldscanal, Belgium.
The 1st Army Engineer Battalion contructs a Bailey Bridge.
1 British Corps Standing Instructions
as issued to the 1st Army Engineer Battalion.

 

The Army Engineer Battalions were a great help to the 21st Army Group in reconstructing roads
and vital military infrastructure in the Netherlands and in Occupied Germany.

Heist-aan-Zee, belgium, August 11 1945.
The 4th Army Engineer Battalion on parade.
Front left : Major DE NYS, Commanding Officer.

The Pioneer Battalions had not such a heavy equipment as the Army Engineer Battalions,
and were mostly used by the 21st Army Group for road maintenance, guarding of vital infrastructure, etc.

Hamburg, July 21 1945.
The 1st Pioneer Battalion on parade.
Occupied Germany, Vlatho, September 12 1945.
The 2nd Pioneer Battalion raising of the flag.

 

 

Oostende , Belgian Coast, 1945.
General ERSKINE inspects the 1st Pioneer Battalion on parade.
Oostende , Belgian Coast, 1945.
The 3rd Company of the 1st Pioneer Battalion on parade.

Several smaller units were also raised, such as Artisan Works Companies, Army Troop Companies,
Railway Construction Companies, Railway Operating Companies, a Pontoneer Company
and a Electro Mechanic Company
.

 
Lieutenant VAN LIPPEVELDE Emile, 1st Belgian Railway Construction Company.
Died near Tilburg, Netherlands, July 25 1945.
   
   
Men of the 1st Electro Mechanical Company.    

The Pontoneer Company helped the British Naval Authorities in Antwerp with the demining of the river Schelde.

September 1945, Xanten, Occupied Germany.
1st Army Engineer Battalion exercises with ferrymaterial.
September 1945, Weeze, Occupied Germany.
Roadworks by the 1st Army Engineer Battalion.

Only the 1st and 2nd Army Engineer Battalion, and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Pioneer Battalion
really took part in wartime operations.

The Engineer Company of the 1st Belgian Infantry Brigade "Piron" was incorparated into
the 1st Army Engineer Battalion in December 1944
when the Brigade was reorganised end of November 1944.

 
Pay Book Private VANDERSTRAETEN Oscar
1st Railway Construction Company
  May 1945, Dülken, Occupied Germany.
Village where the 2 Army Engineer Battalion was billeted.

 

UNIT Raised Place To
21st Army Group
Disbanded Commanding Officers
1st Army Engineer Battalion February 4 1945 Heist March 18 1945 Renamed
1st Eng Bat / 1st Inf Div
January 10 1946
Major GALANT
2nd Army Engineer Battalion January 20 1945 Heist April 29 1945 Renamed
2nd Eng Bat / 2nd Inf Div
June 15 1946
Major LELOUP
3rd Army Engineer Battalion March 12 1945 Heist June 5 1945 July 17 1946 Major GALLEZ
4th Army Engineer Battalion January 15 1945 Heist July 17 1945 March 1946 Major DE NYS
Major SCHNEIDER
1st Pioneer Battalion December 17 1944 Hoogboom January 16 1945 March 311946 Major RENAUT
Major VERBEENEN
2nd Pioneer Battalion November 23 1944 Hoogboom December 16 1944 October 1944 Major VAN EERDEWEGH
Major DETIER
3rd Pioneer Battalion January 15 1945 Hoogboom March 1945 Transformed into
4th Woodcutters Corps
February 10 1946
Major HANESSE
Major PANIER
4th Pioneer Battalion February 14 1945 Hoogboom March 20 1945 December 31 1945 Major DERIDDER
Major MONTLIBERT
1st Artisan Construction Company March 5 1945 Braine l'Alleud May 1945 November 30 1945 (?) Major THONON
2nd Artisan Construction Company March 5 1945 Braine l'Alleud May 1 1945 January 20 1946 Senior Captain ROSE
3rd Artisan Construction Company March 12 1945 Hoogboom April 24 1945 January 20 1946 Senior Captain COLING
4th Artisan Construction Company March 12 1945 Hoogboom April 24 1945 December 21 1945 (?) Senior Captain DELIÈVRE
5th Artisan Construction Company June 20 1945 Braine l'Alleud August 18 1945 December 20 1945 Major DOBBELEER
6th Artisan Construction Company June 20 1945 Braine l'Alleud August 1945 December 31 1945 (?) Senior Captain BAUWENS
1st Army Troop Company February 5 1945 Braine l'Alleud March 14 1945 January 19 1946 Senior Captain AUBERTIN
2nd Army Troop Company March 12 1945 Hoogboom April 22 1945 January 20 1946 Senior Captain RENAUT
1st Railway Construction Company February 3 1945 Mons May 11 1945 December 12 1945 Senior Captain PATOUX
2nd Railway Construction Company March 19 1945 Erquelinnes June 1 1945 January 15 1946 Senior Captain
VAN DE WEGHE
1st Railway Operating Company February 3 1945 Mons May 9 1945

?

Senior Captain MASSART
2nd Railway Operating Company March 19 1945 Erquelinnes April 24 1945 Renamed
2nd Railway Operating Company / Railway Battalion
September 6 1945
Senior Captain
VAN DE STEEN
The Pontoneer Company October 10 1944 Burcht

-

June 9 1945 Senior Captain
DE GALLATHAY
1st Electro Mechanic Company February 5 1945 Braine l'Alleud March 14 1945 December 31 1945 (?) Senior Captain
DE GALLATHAY

 

FORMATION BADGES AND INSIGNIA
OF THE ENGINEER/PIONEER UNITS
1944-1946