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Making sense of WWII Activities (767th Tank Batallion)

Discussion in 'Land Warfare in the Pacific' started by wolves69, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    The souvenir seems to confirm he was on Leyte with the 767th. It is also possible that Stanton is wrong and all or part of the unit served in the Southern Philippines campaign. For me, when there is an official document that shows a veteran served in a particular campaign and a post-war history disagrees the "tie" goes to the veteran. Hopefully the PANG museum will have more on the subject.

    I'll keep an eye out for more information (I am trying to locate my copy of Gen. Eichechelberger's history of Eight Army and will check it for references to the 767th when it resurfaces.)

    Please let us know what you learn from your research. It is always interesting to see how these things turn out.
     
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  2. wolves69

    wolves69 recruit

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    Since I'm somewhat new to WWII research, I'm assuming "Stanton" is standard reference? So, which would take precedence Stanton or USA PAM 672-1? Of course, I'll keep everyone informed. Its always better to share information ;-)
     
  3. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    Sorry, .... Yes Stanton is a standard reference. Your grandfather's Report of Separation takes precedence unless at some point your research clearly demonstrates differently.

    Good hunting!
     
  4. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, the 767th Tk BN was at Leyte under Sixth U.S. Army. It made the assault landing with the 7th ID, staging from Maui, so after it was at Kwajalein and Eniewtok it returned to Hawaii. Then it gets really interesting - I had forgotten all about this one. On the completion of its operations on Luzon, on 7 April 1945 it was "transferred from station Leyte, less troops and equipment, and transferred to station Oahu." On Oahu, the 766th Tank Battalion was inactivated on 6 April 1945, and then immediately reactivated as the 767th Tank Battalion (they also stripped the 762d TK BN, inactivated on 10 April, to fill up the "new" battalion). :D The personnel and equipment of the battalion on Luzon were then turned over to other units...likely including wolves69's grandfather.

    So he was then transferred to one of the battalions on Leyte, the 706th or 763d, that went to Okinawa.

    Meanwhile, the 767th was at Schofield barracks on 15 August 1945, when it was assigned as part of the occupation forces for Japan with the 98th ID. At that point, the battalion was training for transition to the Heavy Tank M26, but hastily re-equipped with 18 Medium Tanks M4A3 (76mm) with periscope flamethrower and ten POA flamethrowers mounted on Medium Tanks M4A1 105mm, and an unknown number of standard M4A3 (76mm) and probably 18 Light Tanks M24.

    Given that his departure date from Okinawa is "unknown" and that he arrived in the US on 16 August, I suspect that a similar unit designation legerdemain was used to re-assign him to B Company, 767th Tank Battalion. It is also possible, that when the 767th prepared for its movement to Japan, it sloughed off its high points men and assigned them as B Company and he just got included with them (it is actually unclear if B Company actually went to Japan).

    By the way, it turns out that MOS 531 was the prewar designator for "cannoneer" and was so generic it was superseded in 1944 and was no longer used. Also BTW, for operations in the Marshall Island and Philippines, the 767th Tank Battalion was equipped with Medium Tanks M4A1 (75mm) and Light Tanks M3A1 and M5A1. Some of the M3A1 were eventually equipped with flame projectors.
     
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  5. wolves69

    wolves69 recruit

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    . Things seem to be making more sense....I think. So, to oversimplify, he fought in Kwaj w/767, immediately went to Luzon w/767, and transferred/assigned to the 706 or 763 for Okinawa while keeping the 767th for demobilization. He probably was assigned the M4A1 during most of his time. I saw M4A1 because he joined the 109FA PANG unit in town because of similar equipment (mostly 105 self propelled-pure speculation based on a statement 20 years ago).

    One last bit of oral history, and this was his favorite: his tank became disabled as they were at the front when the unit backtracked leaving them in no mans land. He, his crew, and a mascot dog, survived several days eating coconuts and using the “trap door” under the tank to hide from Japanese Patrols. Appearently, to him, the tank looked so bad, the japs never fragged the vehicle upon approach and the dog never barked (but always warned when Japs were in the facility). They were rescued and his tank was back in action before he and his men were given the medical ok for diaharrea (eating too many coconuts). The family associated this action with the 73 days lost under Art of War 103, but I surmise it was his commandeering a tank and running through the Dole Plantation(he called the Dole family cowards (NFI).....Something about delays (red tape) and not being able to go home. I also think this event had something to do with a demotion to CPL on his discharge.
     
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  6. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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  7. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, took me a while to find the question... :D

    Specifically, Gene Eric Salecker, Rolling Thunder Against the Rising Sun.

    Generally, my manuscript of For Purpose of Service Test.
     
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  8. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    TANKS ! :)
     
  9. wolves69

    wolves69 recruit

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    Great info and guidance! Thank you everyone. Now, I have one more mystery to ponder. Going through his possessions, I found an envelope and a picture of him wearing a Presidential Unit Citation. If only possession were really 9/10ths of the law! It appears he felt he had earned it. I haven’t looked at the other units that he may have had detached service, so was this an error on his part or did I miss something? Or was this one of those cases that he was allowed to wear the distinction on his current unit prior activities? At the time he was with the PA National Guard, Battery B, 109th Field Arty . He possessed another Ribbon, The Philippine Defense Ribbon, that He (rightfully) did not wear, unlike the PUC. Thoughts?
     
  10. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The DUC is a unit award, so he was eligible to wear it. The Philippine Defense was an individual award.
     
  11. wolves69

    wolves69 recruit

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    Hi Rich, I understand. I guess my question and comment was only clear to me. I know he didn’t earn the PI Medal based on his record (wrong period of time). But the DUC later/PUC I AM BAFFLED me on what unit he earned it with. At first glance, I thought it was with the 767th, but the Arm pamphletcampaign register, doesn’t credit the 767. However, He felt he did or he wouldn’t have worn it. I know he didn’t wear it at time of separation. These are all little clues on his record. After the war, he was with the 109th FA. I don’t recall that unit earning the award so I’m guessing it may have been with a WWII unit, if any.
     
  12. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    109th FA's DUC was for Ardennes. If he was a unit member he wore it. They do to this day.
     
  13. wolves69

    wolves69 recruit

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    Ahhh, so would he wear it after discharge? If he had an opportunity to wear the uniform?
     
  14. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The DUC was awarded to the 109th FA for its actions in the Ardennes in WW2. It is a unit award, as opposed to an individual award. So any member of the unit since, is authorized to and should wear the decoration. He would wear it as part of his uniform after he became a member of the 109th FA PANG. He was discharged from the RA as a member of the 767th Tank BN. That was before he joined the PANG, so no, he would not have worn a DUC awarded to a PANG unit after he was discharged, but before he joined the PANG. If you mean after he was discharged from the PANG then that is different.
     
  15. wolves69

    wolves69 recruit

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    Surprise, surprise. Hanging on my Grandmother's wall was a his PreWWII photo of his company: Company G, 21st Infantry, November 1940 taken at Scofield Barracks. A little more light on his activities.
     
  16. Chelsea Edsall

    Chelsea Edsall New Member

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    Hello!

    I am new to all of this, and a little late to your conversation, but my grandfather was also in Company B of the 767th Tank Battalion. He passed away but we have recorded conversations of his time serving in the war. He did not like to talk about it much, but we do know that he also fought at Kwajalein Atoll and Okinawa. Everything I have read on the 767th Tank Battalion says Leyete, but he never mentioned being there. Possibly transfer like your grandfather?

    Our family was looking for more information on how he went from Kwajalein to Okinawa. What unit he would have been apart of at that point. We have read the 767th After Action Report.

    He was shot in Okinawa and transferred to Tripler Hospital. He received 2 Purple Hearts.

    One story that he did tell was from Okinawa. His crew had to go through the escape hatch after their tank hit a land mine. One guy in their tank was severely shell shocked and refused to leave the tank, they attempted the drag him out when the tank was hit again and my grandfather took on a significant amount shrapnel to his knees (he had trouble walking, especially in his later years from this). They were surrounded by japs, and laid in a “field” over night (I think, possibly longer) until the Marines came through and brought them back to safety.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  17. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Stanton got his campaign service information the unit from the Unit Citation and Campaign Participation Credit Register, US Army, July 1961. I have a copy of it.

    The 767th received credit for Eastern Mandates [Ground] (31 Jan to 22 Jul 1944) and Leyte (17 Oct to 1 July 1945). The Eastern Mandates are the Marshall Islands.

    Do you have anything from him other than the AGO 53-55 "discharge paper" tying him to service with the 767th Tank Battalion?
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019

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