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14th Armored Division


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#1 JoshArterburn

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 03:53 AM

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"
Posted ImagePosted Image


He is the one holding the wrench.
Posted Image

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

Dad did stay around Blue Hill for a few months after the war. Then he moved back to Denver and went back to work at Gates Rubber Co. Where he worked until he Joined the Colorado National Guard and worked for them also. It was the 3650th Ord. Company they were a direct combat support Co. They worked on tanks, trucks 155 selfpropelled guns. He became the First Sargent was in that position untill he was discharged due to failing heath.


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!

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#2 adambhoy

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 05:24 AM

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

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:36 AM

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

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:11 AM

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!


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.


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.

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#5 JoshArterburn

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:55 PM

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.

He was with the 14th through the war but had to come home with the Tenth Armoured Div. as he did not have enough points


He was with what they called a SpearHead group I guess a part of Recon.


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?

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#6 A-58

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:56 AM

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

Edited by A-58, 23 March 2012 - 01:13 AM.

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"On the Plains of Hesitation, lies the blackened bones of countless millions who,
at the dawn of victory sat down to rest, and resting died"....

(Adlai Stevenson to Harry Truman on discussing the pros and cons of dropping the big one, or so I'm told)


#7 Natman

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:24 AM

Josh,
The 94th Cavalry Recon Squadron was attached to the 14th AD (as mentioned by A-58), here's a link to some AAR's covering the 14th and some of their attached units: World War II Operational Documents The 94th Cav is the 2nd one down.

Here's a link to a few pix of the of the 68th AIB: 68th Armored Infantry Battilion, 14th Armored Division

Good luck with your search.
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#8 LRusso216

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:34 AM

You could also look at these AARs for the 62nd. They are from CARL and a bit hard to read, but they may be of use. After action report, 62nd Armored Infantry Battalion, 14th Armored Division, Nov 44 thru Apr 45. :: World War II Operational Documents

image001.png

Lou


#9 A-58

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:28 AM

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

"On the Plains of Hesitation, lies the blackened bones of countless millions who,
at the dawn of victory sat down to rest, and resting died"....

(Adlai Stevenson to Harry Truman on discussing the pros and cons of dropping the big one, or so I'm told)


#10 JoshArterburn

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 09:20 AM

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


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.


Josh,
The 94th Cavalry Recon Squadron was attached to the 14th AD (as mentioned by A-58), here's a link to some AAR's covering the 14th and some of their attached units: World War II Operational Documents The 94th Cav is the 2nd one down.

Here's a link to a few pix of the of the 68th AIB: 68th Armored Infantry Battilion, 14th Armored Division

Good luck with your search.


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?


You could also look at these AARs for the 62nd. They are from CARL and a bit hard to read, but they may be of use. After action report, 62nd Armored Infantry Battalion, 14th Armored Division, Nov 44 thru Apr 45. :: World War II Operational Documents


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

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


Thank you again

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#11 Earthican

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:29 PM

He was with what they called a SpearHead group I guess a part of Recon.


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.

Edited by Earthican, 23 March 2012 - 01:38 PM.

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#12 JoshArterburn

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 12:07 AM

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.


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.

Dad did have medals one I think was for a time when held the Germans off with his submachine gun while the othr guys pulled back and thenhe had to get himself out of there.


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.

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#13 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 01:51 AM

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


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

Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


halvorsonpto129ir37id3.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

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PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#14 Earthican

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 02:18 PM

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

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 05:38 PM

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


No, there's limited space on my motorcycle!

"On the Plains of Hesitation, lies the blackened bones of countless millions who,
at the dawn of victory sat down to rest, and resting died"....

(Adlai Stevenson to Harry Truman on discussing the pros and cons of dropping the big one, or so I'm told)


#16 JoshArterburn

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:22 PM

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.


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.

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



No, there's limited space on my motorcycle!


Posted Image

Don't leave home without it!
LOL

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#17 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:29 PM

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


Alaska Defense Command

and from the Wiki: ADC


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

Edited by TD-Tommy776, 24 March 2012 - 11:32 PM.
A day late and a dollar short... as usual.

Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


halvorsonpto129ir37id3.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

bannereto776tdv2.png

PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#18 JoshArterburn

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:37 PM

Alaska Defense Command

and from the Wiki: ADC


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


Sorry, I had to do it hahaha

Thanks for posting the links!

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#19 A-58

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:32 AM

That Stanton book will just about fill up a saddle bag you know!

"On the Plains of Hesitation, lies the blackened bones of countless millions who,
at the dawn of victory sat down to rest, and resting died"....

(Adlai Stevenson to Harry Truman on discussing the pros and cons of dropping the big one, or so I'm told)


#20 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 09:47 PM

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

Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


halvorsonpto129ir37id3.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

bannereto776tdv2.png

PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#21 A-58

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:00 AM

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


He should create an app for it. Man that would come in handy eh?

"On the Plains of Hesitation, lies the blackened bones of countless millions who,
at the dawn of victory sat down to rest, and resting died"....

(Adlai Stevenson to Harry Truman on discussing the pros and cons of dropping the big one, or so I'm told)


#22 JoshArterburn

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:01 AM

Update,


I received an email from the president of the 14th Armored Division Association, who was a member of the 48th Tank Battalion. He was able to locate Clarence in the Division history, and informed me that Clarence fought with the 68th Armored Infantry Battalion.


Your great uncle is listed in the Division History as Pvt. Clarence E. Arterburn entering the service from Blue Hill, Nebr.. He is listed as being in the Headquarters Company of the 68th Armored Infantry Battalion. So, He traveled in a half-track. I suspect he was made a T/4 toward the wars end like I was made a Sgt. after I gunned for the lieutenant during the actual fighting and he then gave me command of a new M-24 light tank. Being a T/4 and a half-track driver would generally indicate that he was driving officers.




I wasn’t sure if we would ever learn the specific unit he served with. So it goes without saying I am ecstatic to have this info.


It seems like I say this every time I post, but its well deserved. Thank you to everyone who has assisted me in this journey, and to everyone who makes this wonderful site possible.
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#23 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:29 PM

That's great news, Josh. I am very pleased to hear that you were able to get that info.

Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


halvorsonpto129ir37id3.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

bannereto776tdv2.png

PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#24 LRusso216

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:32 AM

It's always good to hear of success stories. Post away Josh. We need your kind of validation.

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#25 RD3

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 05:56 AM

Very nice to hear that the input of the members of the forum leads to fine results.




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