Welcome to Larry's Lounge Tribute Page
for the
778th TANK BATTALION

- Last Updated March 27, 2009



This page is dedicated to all who served with the 778th TBn ...
those that died in battle, those that died since, and those still with us ...
as well as to the men that served with the units they were attached to.

Guenter "Shorty" Kurtz
In 1945 C-Company took in Guenter "Shorty" Kurtz, a 15-year-old boy
"all alone in a destroyed country" after being separated from his family.
He worked as kitchen help & stayed with the men in Weiden, Germany
for 11/2 years. He is looking to contact surviving members or any family
members of the soldiers. He remembers the names Tedrow, Walter
Serzega, Willard Henderson, John Conley, & Jerry Malloy. He would
also like to get more information about C-Company during the time he
was with them. To contact Shorty send email to: StahlKurtz at t-online.de
To contact the webmaster email: piglt at comcast.net.



"Each of us has a story of an incident or happening that should be told.
The 778th Tank Battalion has no official history, no casualty list, or list
of decorations and very little in the archives that houses military history.
We have members of the 778th Tank Battalion interred at Normandy
American Cemetery, Lorraine American Cemetery and Luxembourg
American Cemetery, and yet there is no published history of the
778th on file in the Military History Institute."

George Nicholson
Formerly of The 778th Tank Battalion
Headquarters Company, Assault Gun Platoon
Third Army, Army Of The United States


What follows is my attempt to help alleviate this grievous wrong.
To let the world know of the 778th Tank Battalion . . .
and men like George and my great-uncle Sidney.
Men who fought so people like you and me could be free.






Marker dedicated at Fort Knox, Kentucky
September 24, 1999


778 TANK BATTALION
DEDICATED TO THE MEN OF
THE 778TH TANK BATTALION
WHO SERVED WITH HONOR AND
DIGNITY IN WORLD WAR II.
ENTERED COMBAT NOV. 5, 1944.
350 WOUNDED. 49 KIA AND
176 DAYS CONTINUOUS
CONTACT WITH THE ENEMY.
NORTHERN FRANCE       ARDENNES-ALSACE
RHINELAND                  CENTRAL EUROPE
11TH AD      26 DIV      94 DIV      95 DIV



On September 20, 1943, the 778th Tank Battalion came into existence
after the reorganization plan of the 11th Armored Division.

On September 15, 1944 the 778th TBn arrived on the beaches of Cherbourg, France.
From there they went to join General George S. Patton's Third Army.

They entered combat on November 5, 1944
and engaged in 176 consecutive days on the front lines ...
the second highest number of days served in the European theater.

The 778th TBn were the spearhead for the famed
26th, 94th, and 95th Divisions of the Third Army
in four out of five major European theater campaigns:
Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, Central Europe.

The 778th played a major role in the capture of Metz,

(Prior to this the city had fallen only once by military attack -
to Atilla the Hun in 451 AD)

and paved the way for the Third Army to sweep the Rhine
by breaking through the Siegfried Switch Line.



778th TANK BATTALION
ACCOLADES
Presidential Unit CitationA-Co 3rd Platoon
Presidential Unit CitationB-Co 1st Platoon
Third ArmyGeneral George S. Patton
20 Corps CitationLt. Gen. Walten H. Walker
94th Infantry DivisionMaj. Gen. Harry J. Maloney
95th Infantry DivisionMaj. Gen. Harry L. Twaddle
Medaillede la France Liberee
Medaillede Metz, France

The men of the 778th received the first two Distinguished Service Crosses
awarded by the 95th Infantry Division.



778th TANK BATTALION
MEN KILLED IN ACTION
RANKNAME SERIAL NO UNIT DATE KIABATTLE
PVTBashaw, Wallace P. Jr. B-CO11/30/44 Saarlautern / Saarlouis *
 Blessing, Leroy D-CO 
SGTBridges, John F. B-CO03/07/45
 Butler, Perone W. A-CO04/02/45
PFCCawthorn, Isaac N.  05/31/45
T/5Chapelle, Charles. B.  SV-CO12/14/44Saarlautern / Saarlouis *
S/SGTCrandell, Ralph T. A-CO03/16/45
PVTFazekas, Frank C-CO03/15/45
 Fennel, Edward35715034C-CO12/02/44
CPLFord, Michael3257272A-CO10/22/44
1st LTFoy, George T.01017552B-CO02/20/45
SGTFulk, Bobby E.37237644HDQ-CO03/07/45
CPGates, Virgil V.33257194B-CO12/30/44
CPLGuttierrez, Gilbert A.37237644A-CO02/27/45
PFCHoerth, Harold N. HDQ-CO08/01/45
T/5Hottenstein, William E. C-CO12/01/44Saarlautern / Saarlouis *
PFCHudson, John F.32590819HDQ-CO11/23/44Metz
PVTKrukowski, Henry S. HDQ-CO03/07/45
PFCKushner, Ruben HD-CO12/14/44Saarlautern / Saarlouis *
PFCLanahan, Charles K. A-CO03/28/45
 Maec, George M.36276039SV-CO12/15/44
 Magli, George H. Jr. SV-CO11/01/44Saarlautern / Saarlouis *
PFCMaloney, Wiliiam P. D-CO02/20/45
 McComas, Fred C-CO02/15/45
PVTMcMahon, Vivian L. SV-CO12/15/45Saarlautern / Saarlouis *
 Mentz, Charles A. A-CO02/15/45
S/SGTMitan, Steve B-CO11/30/44Saarlautern / Saarlouis *
T/5Nicholas, Joseph D-CO11/15/44Metz
T/4Patino, Tovivo  12/15/44Saarlautern / Saarlouis *
CPLPearrin, Floyd38328854HDQ-CO03/07/45
PFCPeterson, Robert C. A-CO03/27/45
1st LTQuattromani, H.010118741D-CO 
PVTRace, Richard E.  03/15/45
T/5Richardson, Marion J. C-CO Saarlautern / Saarlouis *
T/5Ryland, Willard C.   Saarlautern / Saarlouis *
 Sutten, Gerald B-CO11/30/44
PFCTaylor, Clyde HDQ-CO03/07/45
2nd LTTucker, James V. HDQ-CO12/14/45
S/SGTTull, Harvey B. C-CO03/12/45
SGTTuski, Henry L.39399310HDQ-CO11/23/44Metz
T/ 4Warfel, Robert L.32480709C-CO11/21/44Metz
S/SGTWestmoreland, James14022135B-CO12/01/44
T/5Wittingen, Harvey J. B-CO11/30/44Saarlautern / Saarlouis *

* Saarlouis was called Saarlautern from 1935 - 1945
(to change the French name to German)


INTERRED IN EUROPEAN CEMETARIES

NORMANDY, FRANCE
Ford, Michael

HAMM, LUXEMBOURG
Bridges, John F.
Crandell, Ralph T.
Fazekas, Frank
Foy, George T.
Fulk, Bobby E.
Guttierrez, Gilbert A.
Krukowski, Henry S.
Lanahan, Charles K.
Maloney, William P.
Pearrin, Floyd
Peterson, Robert C.
Race, Richard E.

LORRAINE, FRANCE - SAINT AVOID
Bashaw, Wallace P. Jr.
Cawthorn, Isaac N.
Hoerth, Harold N.
Hottenstein, William E.
Hudson, John F.
McMahon, Vivian L.
Richardson, Marion J.
Ryland, Willard C.
Tuski, Henry L.
Warfel, Robert L.
Westmoreland, James



DISTINGUISHED MEMBERS

MEDALRANKNAME
Silver Star *1st LTAraujo, Alfred S.
Silver Star1st LTLeonhardt, Harry
Silver Star1st LTPhillips, Charles W. Jr.
Silver Star1st LTSchelin, Carl
Silver Star2nd LTBaresich, John
Silver Star1st SGTRiggio, Ricardo
Silver StarS/SGTBell, James, N.
Silver StarS/SGTStephens, William A.
Silver Star *SGTFulk, Bobby E.
Silver StarSGTRichard, Ralph
Silver StarCPLBrady, James
Silver Star *CPLPearrin, Floyd
Silver StarT/5Duffy, Harry
Silver Star *T/5Richardson, Marion J.
Bronze StarLT COLBishop, Preston R.
Bronze StarCAPTCastle, Wesley W.
Bronze StarCAPTGoldman, Philip W.
Bronze StarCAPTGriffin, Gerald E.
Bronze StarCAPTKendrick, Herbert E.
Bronze StarCAPTLarimer, Charles W.
Bronze StarLTMottilla, Richard
Bronze Star1st LTAbernathy, Thomas J.
Bronze Star1st LT Araujo, Alfred S.
Bronze Star1st LTDalbey, William C.
Bronze Star1st LTKrob, Norbert
Bronze Star1st LTLeonhardt, Harry
Bronze Star1st LTRieber, Harold M.
Bronze Star1st LTSilbaugh, Walter, R.
Bronze Star2nd LTBaresich, John
Bronze Star2nd LTFoster, William B.
Bronze Star2nd LTJones, Alfred J.
Bronze Star2nd LTThomas, Alfred F.
Bronze StarM/SGTPowell, Frank L.
Bronze Star1st SGTMurphy, Joseph H.
Bronze Star1st SGTPodbesek, John
Bronze Star1st SGTRichards, John T.
Bronze Star1st SGTTurner, Lawrence P.
Bronze StarS/SGTBurke, George W.
Bronze StarS/SGTCharlton, Robert
Bronze StarS/SGTGaston, Harold V.
Bronze StarS/SGTLonzy, Seymore W. Jr.
Bronze StarS/SGTPrasil, Charles J.
Bronze StarS/SGTSchuman, Donald W.
Bronze StarS/SGTShimek, Tony R.
Bronze StarS/SGTWest, J.W.
Bronze StarS/SGTWood, Arthur E.
Bronze Star *SGTBounds, Emery
Bronze StarSGTChance, Glenn R.
Bronze StarSGTCraney, Paul
Bronze StarSGTReynolds, Robert E.
Bronze StarSGTShaffer, Arthur
Bronze StarSGTSzymt, Thadious
Bronze StarSGTThomson, Herbert E.
Bronze StarSGTTull, Harvey B.
Bronze StarT/SGTBlack, Richard A.
Bronze StarT/SGTLeeper, Marion D.
Bronze StarT/SGTTura, George L.
Bronze StarT/SGTWazny, Floyd P.
Bronze StarCPLAtillio, Margarita
Bronze Star *CPLBarend, Kenneth
Bronze StarT/5Friedman, Raymond S.
Bronze StarT/5Huffman, Darrell L.
Bronze Star *T/5Nicholson, George
Bronze StarT/4Bednick, Emil
Bronze StarT/4Perry, Harry E.
Bronze StarT/4Sanford, Claude
Bronze StarT/4Thornberg, Thomas C.
Bronze StarT/4Winnebrenner, Ivan R.
Bronze StarPFCBruun, Carl V.
Bronze StarPFCFitzgerald, Richard C.
Bronze StarPFCGrover, Lorin A.
Bronze StarPFCKnoblock, Oniel L.
Bronze StarPFCLans, Louis
Bronze StarPFCLasco, John
Bronze StarPFCLerro, Angelo
Bronze StarPFCStump, Russell
Bronze StarPFCSuydam, Harry L.
Bronze StarPVTSmith, Wilbur B.
Bronze StarPVTWolf, Marion W.
Bronze Star Tregre, Ben
DSCS/SGTRhodes, Wilson B.
DSCSGTSemdarek, James T.
DSCCPLSmith, Crowell J.
* awarded posthumously
*Oak Leaf Cluster
* received 2 Oak Leaf Clusters (most decorated soldier in battalion)
*With Valor



PURPLE HEART RECIPIENTS

Under the provisions of Army regulation 600-45
the Purple Heart was awarded to the following men
for wounds received in action on the dates indicated.

RANKNAMEUNITDATE
1st LTAbernathy, Thomas J. 12/01/44
CPLAndrews, Mason K. 02/15/45
1st LTAnderson, Arnold V. 02/20/45
PFCArgento, John L.D-CO11/18/44
CPLBaranko, MichaelHDQ-CO03/07/45
CPLBarend, Kenneth 03/15/45
PVTBashaw, Wallace P. Jr. *B-CO11/30/44
T/4Belford, George G. 02/22/45
SGTBell, DonaldC-CO11/14/44
PVTBell, J.R.C-CO11/18/44
S/SGTBell, James N. 02/15/45
T/5Bellenoit, Joseph R. 12/15/44
PFCBlackwell, Charles J. 12/24/44
 Blessing, Leroy *D-CO 
SGTBradley, Noel D. 11/14/44
SGTBridges, John F. *B-CO03/07/45
SGTBruno, Russell L.*D-CO05/04/45
S/SGTBurke, George W.B-CO11/18/44
2nd LTButlep, Walter 11/17/44
 Butler, Perone W. *A-CO04/02/45
T/4Cascoli, AmericoA-CO03/25/45
SGTChance, Glenn R. *  
T/5Chapelle, Charles B. *SV-CO12/14/44
CPLCondinizo, SalvatoreHDQ-CO03/07/45
CPLCrain, Howard J. 02/28/45
S/SGTCrandell, Ralph T. *A-CO03/16/45
SGTCraney, Paul R.  
PFCCawthorn, Isaac N. * 05/31/45
PVTDiPietro, AngeloC-CO11/19/44
PVTFazekas, Frank *C-CO03/15/45
 Fennel, Edward *C-CO12/02/44
CPLFord, Michael *A-CO10/22/44
T/5Fox, Harry S. 03/13/45
1st LTFoy, George T. *B-CO02/20/45
SGTFulk, Bobby E. *HDQ-CO03/07/45
CPLGates, Virgil V. *B-CO12/30/44
SGTGraffagnino, Vincent P. 11/14/44
PVTGrindley, Howard B.C-CO11/18/44
2nd LTGrubbs, Irvin A.B-CO12/01/44
CPLGuttierrez, Gilbert A. *A-CO02/27/45
T/5Hanson, Julius H. 02/22/45
PVTHellar, Morton I. 01/02/45
PFCHoerth, Harold N. *HDQ-CO08/01/45
PVTHoffman, Darrel W. 02/03/45
PFCHorn, Maxwell, M. 02/27/45
T/5Hottenstein, William E. *C-CO12/01/44
CAPTHoward, Willard F.SERV12/15/44
CPLHudak, Matthew Jr. 03/15/45
PFCHudson, John E. *HDQ-CO11/23/44
PFCIngram, Alfred L. 02/28/45
PFCJansen, George A. 02/28/45
CPTJaszczor, Edward 11/17/44
1st LTJones, Alfred H.D-CO12/22/44
CPLKendzierski, RaymondHDQ-CO11/21/44
1st LTKrob, NorbertA-CO 
PVTKrukowski, Henry S. *HDQ-CO03/07/45
PFCKushner, Ruben *HDQ-CO12/14/44
PFCLanahan, Charles K. *A-CO03/28/45
T/5Lane, Louis E. 04/22/45
PFCLanier, Elliott E. 12/24/44
T/4Lantis, Richard L. 01/20/44
T/4Lotic 03/22/45
2nd LTLudes, Bernard J. 11/16/44
 Maec, George M. *SV-CO12/15/44
 Magli, George W. Jr. *SV-CO11/01/44
PFCMaloney, William P. *D-CO02/20/45
SGTMargarita, Attillio 02/15/45
 McComas, Fred *C-CO02/15/45
SGTMcGriff, Curtis H. 03/07/45
PVTMcMahon, Vivian L. *SV-CO12/15/45
 Mentz, Charles A. *A-CO02/15/45
S/SGTMentz, Charles F. 04/18/45
T/4Miller, Arthur D. 12/15/44
 Mitan, Steve *B-CO11/30/44
PVTMoore, Wallace D.C-CO11/27/44
1st LTMottilla, RichardKOREA1950
T/4Musitano, Matale N. 12/24/44
T/5Nicholas, Joseph *D-CO11/15/44
T/5Nicholson, George C.HDQ-CO03/07/45
PVTPalmer, Edward Ray Sr.A-CO03/31/45
T/4Patino, Tovivo * 12/15/44
T/5Patterson, Joseph Jr. 12/15/44
CPLPearrin, Floyd *HDQ-CO03/07/45
T/4Perry, Harry R. 12/18/44
PFCPeterson, Robert C. *A-CO03/27/45
SGTPollet, Delbert F.D-CO11/18/44
PFCPoorto, John R. 02/22/45
S/SGTPrasil, Charles J.A-CO02/15/45
PVTPresley, William  
S/SGTPrieur, William T. *A-CO04/08/45
1st LTQuattromani, H. *D-CO 
PVTRace, Richard E. * 03/15/45
T/5Richardson, Marion J. *C-CO 
S/SGTRhodesC-CO11/15/45
PFCRopwe, Alvin C. 12/15/44
CPLRossi, James 03/07/45
T/5Ryland, Willard C. *  
1st LTSavage, ThomasC-CO12/03/44
1st LTSchelin, CarlHDQ-CO03/07/45
PVTSchroeder, William J. 03/02/45
S/SGTSchuman, Donald W.  
SGTSemradok, James T. 02/17/45
SGTShaffer, ArthurHDQ-CO03/07/45
PFCShulver, Richmond F. 01/05/45
2nd LTSinger, MiltonHDQ-CO MED12/15/44
S/SGTSquires, Alfred F. 03/20/45
1st LTStrittmater, Carl E.  
 Sutten, Gerald *B-CO11/30/44
CPLSzmyt, ThaddeusA-CO01/01/45
PFCTaylor, Clyde *HDQ-CO03/07/45
2nd LTThomas, Alfred F.   
 Tregre, BenA-CO 
PFCTromer, Fred L. Jr. 11/14/44
2nd LTTucker, James V. *HDQ-CO02/14/45
S/SGTTull, Harvey B. *C-CO03/12/45
SGTTuski, Henry L. *HDQ-CO11/23/44
T/4Ubl, Paul R. 12/03/44
PVTVadeboncouer, Philip L. 05/07/45
T/4Warfel, Robert L. *C-CO11/21/44
2nd LTWest, J.W.  
S/SGTWestmoreland, James *B-CO12/01/44
SGTWichowski, Joseph S. 03/15/45
 Wittingen, harvey J. *B-CO11/30/44
* awarded posthumously
*Oak Leaf Cluster (award of second citation of same medal)



SOME MEN OF THE 778th TBN



TOP ROW
Peter Sosenko, William Foster*, Angelo Lerro,
Jesus Gomez, Bobby Fulk**, Raymond Kenderski
BOTTOM ROW
Harry Hoerth**, Raymond Friedman, Russell Stump,
George Nicholson, Ralph Westrich

* Received Battlefield Commission
** Killed in Action




Photo taken around December 10, 1944
at Wadgassen, Germany on the Siegfried Line.
Tanks were used as Artillery pieces as the men fired
into Saarlouis (then Saarlautern), Germany on the Saar River.



THE FALL OF METZ

November 14th, 1944
The 778th Tank Battalion arrived at Briey, France, where most of the tanks
changed their tracks from steel to rubber and added flotation wedges to the
new tracks. While doing this they were visited by General George S. Patton,
Commanding General of The Third Army - contact had been established
with the 95th Infantry Division. Each tank platoon of every Company was
attached to different Infantry Regiments and Battalions of the 95th Infantry.
This included the Assault Gun, Mortar and Reconnaissance Platoons.

Colonel Robert L. Bacon was given the command of the 1st Battalion, 377th
Infantry Regiment, Second Battalion, 378th Infantry Regiment, two Companies
from the 807 Tank Destroyer Battalion, and D Company 778th Tank Battalion.
The mission - to drive into the outskirts of Metz in three days, sweep south,
clear the East bank of the Moselle, and attack.

November 15th, 1944
At 08:00 hours the First Battalion of the 378 Infantry Regiment and B Company
778th Tank Battalion moved forward to attack Fort le Feves (the northern most
fort line). At 10:00 hours the main effort was launched by the 95th Infantry
Division when the 377th Infantry Regiment drove south of Maizieres les Metz.
The infantry attack spearheaded by medium tanks of the 778th Tank Battalion
made steady progress. By 11:00 hours the approaches to Metz from the
North and Northwest were commanded by Americans. When night fell
the regimental objective had been reached.

At twilight the forces were fighting hard in the town of Woippy (less than three
miles from Metz). The battle for Woippy continued until the afternoon of the
following day when the last Germans were captured or driven from the town.
Corporal CJ Smith of C Company 778th Tank Battalion was awarded the
Distinguished Service Cross for his part in the fight at Woippy. Smith's tank
received a direct hit while inside the village. He continued to fire the tank gun
while his crew left the tank. He dismounted the 30-caliber machine gun
and fought alone until help arrived.

November 19th, 1944
The 95th Infantry Division crossed the last barrier which lay between it
and the heart of Metz. The crossing was supported by the fires of two
battalions of artillery, a company of 778th Tanks, two platoons of
81MM mortars and three platoons of heavy machine guns.

November 20th, 1944
The Assault Gun Platoon (led by First Lieutenant Walter Silbaugh) moved
south from Maizieres-les-Metz to Su-La-Reviere. This city was at a heavy
pontoon bridge across from Chambiere Island and the Kaserine. Their flank
was protected by Private Henry L. Tuski, a tank commander (he had been
reduced in rank at Camp Miles Standish but was still the tank commander),
who had won this "least hazardous" task by drawing straws.

After crossing river on the pontoon bridge they headed to the gates of the
Kaserine. They lined up along a heavy iron fence and proceeded to fire
at the barracks. Private Tuski's tank was parked in front of a shed in the
yard of the barracks. In the shed was a 75MM Antitank gun and he was
hit three times. One of the shells penetrated the turret. PFC John Hudson
and Pvt. Tuski were killed in the turret. Pvt. Tuski was promoted to
Sergeant the next day. They were the first men from
Headquarters Company to be killed in action.

The Assault Gun Platoon lined up five Assault Gun Tanks with 105MM guns
and fired a lasting barrage on the Kaserine. Their sixth tank was covering
their flank and was knocked out by a pac-40 75MM anti tank gun.

After a short time a tank was requested for more action across the
courtyard to help secure the upper part of the Kaserine. The crew of
this tank was Sgt. Bobby E. Fulk, Cpl. Floyd Pearrin, Tech 5
George Nicholson, PFC Russell Stump and PFC Ralph Westrich.
They moved in between the barracks and started firing - they fired
every round of ammunition they had in the tank. When the
smoke and dust cleared, the Germans decided to surrender. It was
in the next barracks that General Kittle, Commander of Metz,
was captured later that same day.

November 21st, 1944
The Casein was assaulted with the help of Assault Gun Platoon of the
778th Tank Battalion. Control was gained of the first floor, however,
the Germans resisted stubbornly in the second and third floors.
A tank was brought up and its accurate fire quickly destroyed the
upper part of the Kaserine - which led the defenders to surrender.

Company L 377th Infantry Regiment's initial objective for the day was to
take a church that the Germans were using as an observation post for
the artillery firing on the bridges. They had little difficulty in capturing the
church - with the assistance of the Assault Gun Platoon. Initially grenades
were thrown into the open doorway. Then the door was slammed shut.
There was an S curve in the street and a ten inch field of fire - Sgt. Fulk
sighted the gun through the breach to the door of the church. Thanks to
10 rounds fired at point blank range the Germans in the church
surrendered and the men rushed in to secure the church. Company L
continued to clear the eastern part of Chambiere Island.
PFC Stump and Cpl. Pearrin received the Bronze Star for their actions.

November 22nd, 1944
At 14:35 hours the Commanding Officer of the 377th Infantry Regiment
notified Division that the last resistance of the city was over come.
At 14:38 hours he informed XX Corps that all resistance
in the City of Metz was at an end.

Ammunition expended by the Assault Gun Platoon in eight days:
105MM HE (High explosive) - 1700 rounds
105MM HEAT (High Explosive Anti Tank) - 300 rounds
Cal .30 - 20000 rounds
Cal .50 - 500 rounds
Fragmentary Grenades - 9 rounds



778th TANK BATTALION
HISTORICAL SUMMARY
ORGANIZEDCamp Berkeley, Texas; Sept 21, 1943
TRAINEDCamp Berkeley, Texas
Camp Howze, Texas
EMBARKEDBoston, Mass; Sept 2, 1944
(SS Monticello)
DOCKEDCherbourg, France; Sept 15, 1944
EQUIPPEDValognes, France
TRIED/FIRST BATTLEMetz, France; Nov 15, 1944
ATTACHED26th, 94th, 95th Infantry Divisions
(THIRD ARMY)
CITED95th Inf Div, XX Corps, Third Army
RESTEDNEVER -
176 days of continuous contact with enemy
HALTEDV-E Day
COMMANDED BYLieutenant Colonel Reston R. Bishop



HEADQUARTERS
THIRD STATES ARMY
APO 403
GENERAL ORDERS
9 MAY 1945
NUMBER 98
SOLDIERS OF THE THIRD ARMY PAST AND PRESENT


During the 281 days of incessant and victorious combat, your penetration
have advanced farther in less time than any other army in history. You have
fought your way across 24 major rivers and innumerable lesser streams. You
have liberated or conquered more than 80,000 square miles of territory, including
1500 cities and towns, and some 12,000 inhabited places. Prior to the termination of
active hostilities, you had captured in battle 965,000 enemy soldiers and killed
or wounded at least 500,000 others. France, Belgium, Luxembourg,
Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia bear witness to your exploits.

All the men and women of the six corps and thirty-nine divisions that have at
different times been members of this Army have done their duty. Each deserves
credit. The enduring valor of the combat troops has been paralleled and made
possible by the often unpublished activities of the supply,administrative,
and medical services of the Army and the Communication Zone troops
supporting it. Nor should we forget our comrades of the other Armies and
the Air Force, particularly of the XIX Tactical Air Command,
by whose aide or under whose wings we have the honor to fight with.

In proudly contemplating our achievements, let us never forget our heroic dead
whose graves mark the course of our victorious advances, nor our wounded
whose sacrifices aided so much to our success.

I should be both ungrateful and wanting in candor if I failed to acknowledge the
debt we owe to our Chiefs of Staff, Generals Gaffey and Gay, and to the officers
and men of the General Staff Sections of the Army Headquarters.

The termination of fighting in Europe does not remove the opportunities for other
outstanding and equally difficult achievements in the days which are to come.
In some ways the immediate future will demand of you more fortitude than has the
past because, without the inspiration of combat you must maintain - by your
dress, deportment, and efficiency - not only the prestige of Third Army but also
the honor of the United States. I have complete confidence that you will not fail.

During the course of this war I have received promotions and decorations
far above and beyond my individual merit. You won them; I as your representative
wear them. The one honor which is mine and mine alone is that of having
commanded such an incomparable group of Americans, the record of whose
forttitude, audacity, and valor will endure as long as history lasts.

/s/ G.S. Patton Jr.
/t/ G.S. Patton Jr.
General
Reproduced by Headquarters 26Th Infantry Division, 20 May 1945






Nuremberg, Germany in front of the Sportz Plaza.
Photo taken on July 25, 1945, after VEL day.



HEADQUARTERS 778TH TANK BATTALION
OFFICE OF THE BATTALION COMMANDER

CAMP BARKLEY, TEXAS
27 SEPTEMBER 1943

SPECIAL ORDER NUMBER 4


1. The following named Officers having been assigned to this Battalion, per Par. 39, 80 235,
HEADQUARTERS 11TH ARMOURED DIVISION dated 20 September 1943 are
assigned to Companies indicated above their respective names effective 20 Sept. 1943.

HEADQUARTERS
LT COLFrank J. Spettel014613INF
MAJArthur I. Davenport0234348CAV
MAJFredrick B. Judson0301120INF
CAPTHenry Bachrach01010264INF
CAPTPhilip W. Goldman0456110INF
CAPTRobert C. Roffey0296881CAV
1ST LTJohn M. Markel01013167INF
2ND LTAnthony R. Dambrauskas01015022INF
2ND LTJohn W. Holly01016296INF

HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
1ST LTSamuel J. Atkins, Jr.01012803INF
1ST LTCarter B. Fuller, Jr.01014324INF
1ST LTThomas B. Savage01012915INF
2ND LTJ.M. Tucker01017115INF
2ND LTGustave Steiner01017349INF
2ND LTWalter R. Silbaugh01018733CAV
2ND LTCharles W. Waddey, III0525501INF
2ND LTDavid Mittelman01017656INF

COMPANY "A"
1ST LTWesley W. Castle01013362INF
1ST LTNorbert F. Krob01015298CAV
2ND LTJohn M. Besser01015893INF
2ND LTWalter F. Baird01015410CAV
2ND LTHarry A. Leonhardt01018758INF
2ND LTArnold V. Anderson0518866INF
2ND LTWalter L. Precourt01017560CAV
2ND LTSelwyn Goodman01017645INF

COMPANY "B"
CAPTGerald B. Griffin0101283 CAV
1ST LTAlex E. Roth01015058INF
1ST LTCarl A. Schelin01014320INF
1ST LTWilliam O. Smith0330363CAV
2ND LTIrvin A. Grubbs01017872INF
2ND LTMarcus E. Kennedy01018806INF
2ND LTDavid J. Wolper01018739INF
2ND LTTony A. Pivato01018830CAV

COMPANY "C"
CAPTCharles Larimer01010184 INF
1ST LTAlfred S. Araujo01013191INF
1ST LTCharles A. Summers01011620CAV
2ND LTEugene I. Kresh01017827INF
2ND LTRichard A. Mottila01017986CAV
2ND LTHarold M. Rieber01018719INF
2ND LTClaude J. Smith01018750INF

COMPANY "D"
CAPTWilliam S. Rice0450348INF
1ST LTGeorge T. Foy01017552INF
1ST LTHerbert E. Kendrick0446450INF
2ND LTNorman L. Fiero01017444INF
2ND LTErnest L. Howell01011892INF
2ND LTHarry Quattromanx01018741INF
2ND LTDaniel J. Scott01018823CAV

SERVICE COMPANY
1ST LTWillard F. Howard01012743INF
1ST LTJohn W. Kershner01016227INF
2ND LTHenry P. Blaksney01018764INF
2ND LTRichard B. Bushman01018810INF
2ND LTMilton Singer01017959CAV
2ND LTCarl E. Strittmater01018771CAV
WOJGMax E. CampbellW-2121148USA


2. Having been assigned to this BATTALION per Par. 19 S0 240 HEADQUARTERS
11TH ARMOURED DIVISION, dated 25 September 1943 1st. LT. THEODORE
N. ADAMS 0361740 MC is assigned to Med. Dst. effective 25 September 1943.

3. UP AR 605-115 leave of absence for fifteen (15) days effective as of 4 October
1943 is granted 2nd. Lt. Anthony Dambrauskas 01015022 Inf.

By Order of Lt. Col. Frank J Spettel:

JOHN W. HOLLY
2ND.LT. 778TH TK. BN
ADJUTANT OFFICIAL

/S/ JOHN W. HOLLY
/T/ JOHN W. HOLLY
2ND. LT. 778TH TANK BATTALION




SOME MEN OF HEADQUARTERS COMPANY



Camp Barkley, Texas (September 1943)
Taken after separation from the 11th Armored Division



778th TANK BATTALION
1944 ITINERARY
Left Camp HouzeAugust 25
Arrived Camp Myles StandishAugust 28
Arrived Boston PortSeptember 4
Arrived Cherbourg, FranceSeptember 15
Arrived ValognesSeptember 16
Arrived BricquebecSeptember 28
Left for FrontNovember 6
Arrived VilledieuNovember 6
Arrived La Ferte MaceNovember 7
Arrived La Ferte VidameNovember 8
Through ParisNovember 9
Arrived Clichy s. BoisNovember 9
Arrived La Ferte S S JNovember 10
Arrived Chalons s. MarneNovember 11
Arrived BrieyNovember 12
Arrived Cite d'HagondangeNovember 14
Arrived MetzNovember 23
Arrived GlatignyNovember 26
Arrived BoulayNovember 28
Arrived Altforweiler, GermanyDecember 5
Arrived Ober PerlFebruary 17
Arrived TrassemFebruary 26
Arrived BeurigMarch 6
Arrived TawernMarch 9
Arrived SchillingenMarch 16
Arrived HermeskeilMarch 17
Arrived BirkenfeldMarch 18
Arrived AussemMarch 19
Arrived NiederlinxweilerMarch 20
Arrived MolschbachMarch 21
Arrived Gau OdernheimMarch 23
Crossed Rhine RiverMarch 25
Arrived ErfeldenMarch 25
Arrived DarmstadtMarch 26
Arrived JugesheimMarch 27
Arrived LangendiebachMarch 30
Arrived WittgenbornMarch 31
Arrived SchletzenhausenApril 1
Arrived FuldaApril 3
Arrived SchleidApril 4
Arrived RosaApril 5
Arrived SuhlApril 7
Arrived SchleusingenApril 10
Arrived SchalkauApril 12
Arrived SonnebergApril 13
Arrived HelmbrechtsApril 15
Arrived StreitauApril 19
Arrived KemnathApril 20
Arrived KaltenbrunnApril 22
Arrived HabburgApril 23
Arrived Bruck id OpfApril 24
Arrived FalkensteinApril 25
Arrived SchwarzachApril 26
Arrived BergApril 28
Arrived Ob-EgingApril 29
Arrived Aicha v. W.April 30
Arrived BulchbergMay 1
Arrived Putzleinsdorf, AustriaMay 3
Arrived UlrichsbergMay 6
V-E Day UlrichsbergMay 8
Arrived Bahnhof Salnau, CzechoslovakiaMay 23



Many questions have been posed about the 778th . . .
Here are a few with answers:


WHAT WAS IT LIKE IN 1941 TO 1945 DURING WWII?

Most all able bodied men from 18 to 38 were in the service. There was very
little dissension about going into the military,in fact a lot of young enlisted
on there 18th birthday, and finished school when they returned. There was
a lot of patriotism evident, even flag raising. Everyone was in the service,
even those who had religious objections were there as cooks, medics, office
and other non-combat rolls. The young men who were on the street were
all in uniform. It was against the law to be in the service and out of uniform.

WHERE DID YOU SLEEP IN THE WINTER?

When we were in France we slept outside.
If we slept in the barns the French would charge the U.S. Government rent for each soldier.
When we were in Germany we occupied the houses that we captured.
When we were on the outskirts of the Seigfried Line we stayed in one house for a month.
We fixed up the house with electricity, running water, & toilets.
We had beer on tap, Schnapps, real potatoes, beef from wounded cows, and hot water.
This was on the front lines.

HOW MANY TANKS IN THE BATTALION?

There were about 80 Tanks in the Battalion.

A-Co: 3 platoons of five 76mm M4 Sherman Tanks,
one 105mm M4a3 Assault Gun Sherman Tank, one 76mm M4 Sherman Tank
for the Company Comander, 17 MediumTanks (30 Tons).

B-Co: Same as above but 75MM M4 Sherman Tanks and 1 Assault Gun. 17 MediumTanks.

C-Co: Same as above 75MM M4 Shermans and 1 Assault Gun. 17 Medium Tanks.

D-Company: Same as above except they had a 37MM cannon in the turret. 17 Light Tanks (18 Tons).

Service Co: Tank retrivers, Tanks with dozer blades spikes, (for hedge rows and other obstacles),
Tanks with flails with chains (for land mines to clear our paths.

Hdq- Co: One Platoon of 3 Assault guns with 105mm M4A3 Shermans
and three M4 Shermand with 75mm Cannons. The assault guns
were for support and street fighting - they had larger guns
and inflicted more damage that the 76mm & 75mm guns.

There were three other tanks of Hdq-Co: one for the Battalion Commander,
one for the Battalion Adjudicant, and one for the Artillary Observer.
They never used these tanks and they were used as needed by other companies
or the men as temporary replacments.

George Nicholson was an Assault gun driver in Headquarters Company.



RELATED LINKS

11th Armored Division Association "778th Tank Battalion, the Route to Battle"
Written by George Nicholson
95th Infantry Division The Iron Men of Metz
The Virtual Museum



In Memory
A special thanks to George Nicholson (8/9/20-3/21/08),
unofficial unit historian and veteran of the 778th,
for sharing the above information with me -
and allowing me to share it with the world.

Without his efforts the story of these valiant
men may have remained untold.




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