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14th Armored Division

Discussion in 'Military Service Records & Genealogical Research' started by JoshArterburn, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. JoshArterburn

    JoshArterburn Member

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    Shortly after I started to learn more about my grandfather's time in the Army. I found out that his brother had also served during WWII. I got in contact with his son, He told me that his father served under George S. Patton and that he drove a Half-Track in Germany. My question to all the experts on this site is. What would have been the role of a Half-track driver during Patton's march? I'm also interested in any info that can be gained from the caption on the back of the first picture. It reads:


    "March 3, 1945
    IRL, Germany
    I'm very proud of this old Half-
    Track she done her part"
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    He is the one holding the wrench.
    [​IMG]

    I just recently got more info on him he served in the 14th Armored Division after his discharge he joined the Colorado National Guard

    Now that I know he lived in Blue Hill after he was discharged. I am hoping to get his discharge from the county clerk. So I can maybe narrow down what unit he served with.

    Any info on the 14th Armored Division, or Half Track drivers in Germany is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. adambhoy

    adambhoy Member

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    There is a town called Irl in Germany; it's just outside of Regensburg. The 14th Armored wouldn't have been near it on or about March 3, 1945, however. Sometimes captions on the back of old photos can be off though. Either the name of the town could be wrong, or the date, or both. Cool photos! Looks like he is wearing a Combat Infantryman Badge in the top photo--seems like both he AND his half-track done their parts!
     
  3. RD3

    RD3 Member

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    Since he has a CIB, I suppose he served in one of the Armored Infantry Battalions of the division:

    19th Armored Infantry Battalion
    62nd Armored Infantry Battalion
    68th Armored Infantry Battalion

    An excellent site about the 14th:Main Menu Page

    Half-tracks were used for a large range of duties: transport of troops, recon, etc.. It's important to know the unit in which the half-track was used.
     
  4. JoshArterburn

    JoshArterburn Member

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    Thanks guys! He is wearing a CIB, his son pointed it out to me when he emailed me the pictures. I'm not that familiar with the requirements for a CIB. Are those 3 units the only ones that could have earned CIB's?

    The date could be wrong, it kinda looks like it says May. I wrote march cause that is what his son told me when I got the pictures.

    Thanks for the link RD3, I'm gonna send them an email and see if they have a rooster.
     
  5. JoshArterburn

    JoshArterburn Member

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    Update,

    Sadly the County Clerk doesn't have any records. However his son did give me some more info. He is relaying it to me as he learns it from his mother.

    RD3 did say that Half-Tracks were used for Recon, so that seems to fit. However does this info fit with any of the 3 units listed above?
     
  6. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude Patron  

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    Josh, here's the criteria you asked for concerning the Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB).

    Eligibility: An infantryman or Special Forces soldier
    Awarded for: Being personally present, and under hostile fire, while serving in assigned, primary infantry or special forces duty in a unit actively engaging the enemy in ground combat.

    Just being in a hostile fire situation did not rate a CIB. You had to be an infantryman to be eligible. For example, a truck driver or some sort of service and support personnel get involved in a fire fight would not receive a CIB. If you remember in the movie "Saving Private Ryan", the translator, Cpl Upham would not receive a CIB for his actions. Neither would the medic. Medics have their own award called the Combat Medic Badge or CMB.

    The US Army used the half track extensively in the ETO as an infantry carrier, a weapons platform and tractor. The armored infantry battalions assigned to the armored divisions were half-track'ed into battle, just like the armored personnel carriers are used today. Early on, anti-tank guns were mounted on half tracks (and trucks), but upon later development the motor gun carriages (tank destroyers) made this weapons system obsolete. Also some artillery units in the armored divisions had they guns pulled by half tracks prior to the introduction of self propelled guns.

    Also, US Army Cavalry Groups were mechanized and used half tracks in their operations. Cavalry groups conducted
    reconnaissance, screening and utility missions, such as the 2nd Cavalry Groups' "rescue" of the famous Lipizzaner Stallions from behind Soviet lines in Czechoslovakia in 1945.

    source:wiki
     
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  7. Natman

    Natman Member Patron  

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  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Patron  

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  9. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude Patron  

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    I'd be able to nail down some more info, but my copy of Stanton's is at home.
     
  10. JoshArterburn

    JoshArterburn Member

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    Thank you so much! This info has really helped, and gave me a better understanding of what my uncle went through. He died before I was born, but from the info I have gained so far its clear he was a truly amazing man.


    Thank you! The first thing I did after I got the email was I googled the 14th and recon. The 94th came up, but I wasn’t sure if it fit. Would the men of he 94th been eligible for a CIB?


    Thanks, and even if I find out he wasn't in the 62nd. It still should be an interesting read.

    Thank you again
     
  11. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    A "spearhead group" of a US Armored Division would not exclusively be the integral (not attached) cavalry recon squadron, such as the 94th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized). In an exploitation operation an armored division would generally form two or more Task Forces composed of tanks, armored infantry, cavalry recon, and armored engineers. Depending on the perceived threat of contact, the advance could be led by recon armored cars, tanks, or dismounted infantry.

    Nevertheless a commander could develop a confidence in a particular "point element" and the lead Task Forces might become somewhat fixed in composition.

    Although there were many half-tracks outside the armored infantry most were found there. The CIB is a strong indicator that your uncle served in one of the three armored infantry battalions.
     
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  12. JoshArterburn

    JoshArterburn Member

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    Thank you. The Spearhead thing threw me off. I wasn't sure if it fit with the rest of the info we had. Your explanation has definitely cleared it up, and adds a new layer to this already amazing story.

    I emailed his son the list of Armored infantry battalions, and told him to mention them to his mother to see if anyone of them rings a bell. She's kinda of my only hope, now that I learned he was with the 10th Armored Division when he was discharged. Even if I find a DD-214, it wont tell me the unit he was with in the 14th.

    Learning all this new info has me pretty excited, and it totally slipped my mind. I should have added this info in the first post. Clarence was awarded the Bronze Star.

    I told him it sounded like a Bronze Star, he confirmed that. He also told me that it has an oak leaf cluster on it.
     
  13. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    You mean you don't carry it with you? :eek:
     
  14. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Hi Josh, I love your enthusiasm for recovering your family history.

    When I come across these threads I sometimes do a quick Google search to see if I can find something related that I have not searched before. I tried "half-track driver" and came across this audio archive for Leo Cripps, 10th AD. I clicked on No. 3 "WWII Memories - Half-track", and at first he describes operating a half-track, and then, he describes how the 10th AD organized their point element! How timely!

    WWII Memories of Leo Cripps : Leo Cripps : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

    With the Bronze Stars you might find his unit if he is cited in Orders from the 14th AD. Not sure exactly where to search but someone else here might know.


    I also like the graphics you make for your signature. What's the blue polar bear patch?

    One other thing, regiment is usually abbreviated Rgt. But it is also correct to leave that out, so "78th Coast Artillery" means "78th Coast Artillery Regiment" just as "8th Infantry" means "8th Infantry Regiment" -- just US Army tradition going way back. But for general use it's probably better to have the regiment spelled out, or Rgt.
     
  15. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude Patron  

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    No, there's limited space on my motorcycle!
     
  16. JoshArterburn

    JoshArterburn Member

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    Thank you for the kind words, and the heads up on my mistake.

    The polar bear patch is the Alaskan Defense Command patch, Delbert (my grandfather) Fought in the battle for Attu. He served as an ammunition handler on a Bofors 40mm Anti Aircraft gun.

    I also have to extend a huge thank you for the link to the Audio of Leo Cripps. I'm listening to it as I type this, its amazing hearing a first hand account from a half track driver.

    [​IMG]

    Don't leave home without it!
    LOL
     
  17. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Alaska Defense Command

    and from the Wiki: ADC


    Update: Rats! You beat me to it, Josh.
     
  18. JoshArterburn

    JoshArterburn Member

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    Sorry, I had to do it hahaha

    Thanks for posting the links!
     
  19. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude Patron  

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    That Stanton book will just about fill up a saddle bag you know!
     
  20. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    I'm surprised no one has digitized it yet. What's Opana P. doing these days? :D
     

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