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193rd Tank Battalion

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by jawatson, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. jawatson

    jawatson recruit

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    Brand new to the forum and also seeking information on the 193rd. My father, a gunner with the 193rd never spoke of his WWII experiences until just prior to his passing in 2008. I just ordered Gordon Rottman's book on Okinowa. My father shared one story with me that matches very well with this author's description of the ambush of the 193rd at Kakazu and Nishibaru Ridges where they apparantly lost all but eight tanks while on Okinowa in 1945. My father also spent time in the Philipines, and do know he had a rough experience at Christmas. This seems to correspond to operations with the 72nd? infantry following the Battle of Leyte Gulf on Oct 1944. Any information is welcomed.

    regards, JAW :)
     
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  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Welcome aboard, JA. I moved this post to its own thread since the other was over a year old. This way, it will be easier for others to find.

    Good luck.
     
  3. jdcsa

    jdcsa Member

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    My father was in co. B, 193rd Tank Battalion.
     
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  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Here's an excerpt that seems to corresopond with what you have discovered:

    The 27th Infantry Division made a preliminary attack on the night of the 18 April as bridges were secretly built across the Machinato Inlet that separated Uchitomari and Machinato on the west coast. The 106th Infantry managed to secure a valuable foothold on the very northwest end of the Urasoe-Mura Escarpment and cleared Machinato Village with a bold night attack. The main attack was launched at 06.40 on 19 April after a opening barrage by twenty-seven artillery battalions with naval gunfire and aircraft attacked the Japanese rear area. The 7th Infantry Division attacked in the direction of Skyline Ridge that anchored the eastern end of the Japanese defence lines but made little progress against strong resistance. The 96th Infantry Division met equally determined resistance as it attacked between the Tombstone and Nishibaru Ridges and suffered the same lack of success. The 27th continued to hold its ground on the south side of the Machinato Inlet and made some gains along the Urasoe-Mura Escarpment but failed in its assault on Kakazu Ridge when the 193rd Tank Battalion became separated from the 1/105 resulting in the loss of some 22 tanks.
    Operation Iceberg: The Assault on Okinawa - The Last Battle of World War II (Part 1) April - June 1945

    You might also check this site Patton Museum - Education and Research - Archives- K-L for archival material on the unit.

    There are also references to the 193rd in this article about Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.
    Gilbert Islands Campaign: Capturing Makin Atoll » HistoryNet
     
  5. jawatson

    jawatson recruit

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    Many thanks, lots of useful links! JDCSA, who was your father? I have a poster of Company B dated 1941 Fort Benning, led by Capt. Edwin B. Allen. My father, M. J. A. watson, appears at the bottom of the page.
     
  6. garysly

    garysly recruit

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    My dad also served in the 193rd Tank battalion - in the HQ company as an M5 tank mechanic. He also drove an LVT-2 at Makin. You might like to take a look at his photos - They are posted on the web here.
     
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  7. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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    On 2 April 2010, I found and scanned at the NARA a Signal
    Corps photo of tank "Chuck-a-luck," C-13, of the 193rd.

    According to the caption, the photo was taken 27 April 1945
    near Kakazu Ridge, Okinawa.

    If anyone wants a copy of the image, III-SC 421432, just let me know.


    Dave
     
  8. garysly

    garysly recruit

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    jawatson,

    Your comment about your dad serving in the Leyte campaign had me a bit puzzled, since I didn't think the 193rd Tank Battalion ever went there. Anyway, I did a bit of research and this is what I came up with:

    In Nov 1943 elements of the 27th Infantry Division and attached 193rd Tank Battalion assault Makin Island.

    In Jun 1944 the 4th Tank Group was formed, comprised of the 193rd and 3 new tank battalions: 762nd, 763rd and 766th. Personnel from the 193rd were transferred to these new battalions to form a cadre.

    The 766th Tk Bn accompanied the 27th division at Kwajalein, Eniwetok, and Saipan (one Co each landing).
    The 762nd Tk Bn (2 Cos) accompanied the 27th division at Saipan.
    The 763rd Tk Bn was assigned to the 96th Infantry Division and went with them to the Philippines (Leyte) and Okinawa.

    After Saipan, both the 27th Infantry Division and the attached 193rd Tank Battalion (which had remained in Hawaii) were assigned to Tenth US Army and went to base camp in the New Hebrides, and from there to Okinawa.

    Could it be that your dad was one of those transferred from the 193rd to the 763rd? Seems a possible explanation.
     
  9. jmboyle21

    jmboyle21 recruit

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    My great uncle was a tank commander of the 193rd. I do not know too much about his time there but he was a good man and I named my son after him. He received three bronze stars while there and I have his discharge papers. His name was Quentin Sarrow. Like I said he was a good man. My son is Quinten Edward Boyle. We changed the spelling of the first name so that it is spelled the way my uncle pronounced it.
     
  10. jdcsa

    jdcsa Member

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    I would love to get any pictures of the 193rd., My father is still with us, he is 89 yoa, but his memory is still very sharp. His eyes light up every time I can sit him down and show him some pictures. The ones that jog his memory are worth more than money!
    We are so blessed to be the siblings of such brave men, that gave their all, to make this country all that it is today!
    jdunn208@centurytel.net
    my fathers name is James C. Dunn
     
  11. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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    Attached is the Signal Corps photo of the 193rd I had mentioned in an
    earlier thread.

    If anyone would like a high-res version of this image, just let me know.


    Dave
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    I found this mention of the 193rd at "HyperWar"; It is worth the time to 'wade' through the site as the amount of information is mind-boggling.

    The capture of Makin, 20-24, Novmeber 1943

    HyperWar: American Forces in Action: The Capture of Makin (20 - 24 November 1943) [Taking the West Tan Barrier]

    The westward movement was strengthened by tank support. At noon Colonel McDonough left the line temporarily to talk directly to the tank crews at the beach. He summoned Capt. Wayne C. Sikes, a tank officer, to control their operations near the center of the line while Lt. Col, Harmon L. Edmondson, commanding the 193d Tank Battalion, led two mediums at once to the south shore. By 1230, five mediums had come to the ocean end of the line in response to a call from Capt. Francis P. Leonard of Company F. While crossing the island, they sprayed the trees with 37-mm fire, and upon coining up to the 1st Platoon, they sought the source of concealed heavy machine-gun and rifle fire, and also joined in cleaning out several shelters. An hour later Captain Sikes led other medium tanks against a strongly entrenched position in the center.

    edit: forgot to add a picture:: light tanks of Company C, 193rd Tank Bn.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    I should have read garysly's entire post! Same link, salute coming your way.
     
  14. jdcsa

    jdcsa Member

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  15. VAD

    VAD recruit

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    Brand new to this site and this thread. My uncle was also with Co. B 193rd Tank Bn. as an Agent Liaison in the Ryukus - I'm searching for any info re: that deployment and for others who may have been in his unit. Thanks.
     
  16. magnasus

    magnasus recruit

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    The 193rd Tank Battalion became the 131st Armor after WWII. It remaind that way until 2008 when we returned from Iraq. 131st Cavalry(Formerly 193rd Tank Battalion) is headquartered in Enterprise, Alabama. Their are a bunch of pictures in the hallways dating back since the unit began. The number to the Armory is 1-334-347-0051. Since it was the oldest continously serving armor unit in the Army's inventory, they are currently trying to acquire as much as they can about thier history. The unit still to this day celebrates its actions during World War II by wearing polynesian shirts at private gatherings, and having a polynesian war club on the unit creats that are worn on their black Cavalry Stetsons. Sergeant Major Bill Green would be the most informative of the unit's history.

    SSG John Carden
     
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  17. magnasus

    magnasus recruit

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    It's good to know somethings never change.


    View attachment 15719
    131st Armor(Formerly the 193rd Tank Battalion) in central Iraq in 2007.
     

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  18. magnasus

    magnasus recruit

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    Don't know much about world war 2 but I served with this unit in Iraq in 2007. Here's it's lineage though if your trying to look for records. Its now headquartered in Enterprise, Alabama.
    The Grandfather of the 131st Armor was first constituted in 1920 as the 39th Tank Company of the 39th Infantry Division of the Alabama Army National Guard. However, organization of the unit in Ozark, Alabama, did not come until 11 May 1921. After 2 years of serving with 39th Company Infantry Division, the unit was redesignated as the 31st Tank Company of the 31st Infantry Division in July 1923.
    ... The next 17 years passed with little or no change in the organization and status of the 31st Tank Company. On 1 September
    1940, the unit was relieved from assignment with 31st Infantry Division and redesignated as Company “B”, 193rd Tank Division.
    In anticipation of the outbreak of World War II, the 193rd Tank Battalion was inducted into Federal Service on 6 January 1941. The unit moved from home station in Ozark, Alabama to Fort Benning, Georgia. The first overseas duty came when the unit moved to Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, where the unit remained for training until 4 December 1944. On this date, the unit was attached to the 27th Infantry Division at Esperito Santo, New Herbrides. The first trial in combat came on 27 March 1945 when the unit participated in an assault landing on the Ryukyus Islands with elements of the 27th Division. This operation was completed on 2 July 1945; 95 days later.
    At the conclusion of World War II, the organization returned to the United States and was deactivated on 21 January 1946 at Vancouver Barracks, Washington. Approximately 22 months later, on 13 November 1947, the unit was reorganized, expanded, and redesignated as the 131st Tank Battalion, Alabama Army National Guard, and was granted Federal Recognition with the battalion headquarters located in Ozark, Alabama.
    During 1949, Company A, 131 Tank Battalion, located in Headland, AL, was awarded the Eisenhower Trophy and the Third US Army National Guard Trophy for outstanding achievements in training. On 1 February 1950, the 131st Tank Battalion was redesignated the 131st Tank Battalion 131st Heavy Tank Battalion.
    On 3 September 1950, shortly after the outbreak of the Korean Conflict, the battalion was relieved from it’s assignment to the Alabama Army National Guard and again ordered into Active Federal Service for the second time in existence as an Armor unit. The battalion was moved to the United States Army Armor Center, Fort Knox, Kentucky, on 16 September 1950, and became part of the School Troops.
    As a unit assigned to School Troops at the Armor Center, the battalion had a two-fold mission. The primary was to support the Armor School by furnishing vehicles and troops that were utilized as instructional aids by various departments of the Armor School. The
    Secondary mission was to maintain and implement plans for the retraining of the battalion to combat proficiency in minimum time frame in event the battalion was to be relieved of it’s primary mission.
    For a short period of time in 1952, the battalion alternately trained for two weeks and supported Armor School for two weeks. During the training periods, special emphasis was placed on qualifying all individuals on both individual and crew served weapons.
    In addition, the battalion was called upon to participate in numerous special activities such as demonstrations, making training
    films, and furnishing Armor support for other training units. During the period June 1951 to June 1952, the battalion furnished personnel and equipment to participate in the filming of two motion pictures. The first was the Paramount picture “The Tanks are Coming”. The second was a training film titled “Armored Engineer Support”, filmed under the direction of the Field Engineer Division, US Army Armor School, in support of the Office of Chief of Engineers.
    The battalion also furnished a special detail to the United
    States Military Academy at West Point, New York, to aid in the Armor training of the cadets during the summer of 1951 and 1952. Elements of the battalion also assisted Army Field Forces Board Number 2 in testing new Armor vehicles and equipment, notably the M-46 Medium Tank.
    The battalions, nor any subordinate units, were deployed overseas during the Korean Conflict, but personnel, as individuals, were ordered overseas as fillers for other units. All told, over three-fourths of the battalion personnel were sent overseas to either Japan or Korea. The remainder of the original battalion personnel were discharged from active duty at Fort Knox, Kentucky, upon termination of their two-year active duty mobilization call and returned to home stations as individuals.
    On 1 October 1952, the battalion was reactivated as the 131st Tank Battalion, Alabama Army National Guard, with the headquarters again located at Ozark, Alabama, and line companies located in communities in Southeast Alabama. Company A at Headland,Company B at Hartford, and Company C at Opp, Alabama.
    On 1 October 1956, the battalion was redesignated as the 131st Tank Battalion (90mm gun) with addition of “D” Company as line company located in Brantley, Alabama. On 2 May 1959, the battalion was again reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 131st Armor, Alabama Army National Guard. On 1 November 1960, the battalion was attached to the newly organized 231st Armor Group for administration.
    On 1 October 1961, the battalion was again mobilized into Active Federal Service during the Berlin Crisis. The unit was assigned to the Desert Training Center located at Fort Irwin, California, for further training and testing. While on this duty, the battalion was brought to training readiness standards and successfully completed a Battalion Army Training Test and was then tasked to test training readiness of other Active Army units. While at Fort Irwin, the battalion was selected to participate as the Armor Battalion in a division maneuver called “Bristle Cone”. On 12 August 1962, the battalion was once again released to State of Alabama control with no change in units or home station locations.
    The battalion and all subordinate units were called to Active Duty in Federal Service on 11 June 1963 for 6 days and again on 10 September 1963 for 3 days for purpose for maintaining order and enforcing Federal Court Orders in objective areas within the State of Alabama.
    On 30 April 1964, the battalion was reorganized as 1st Battalion, 131st Armor, at which time Company “A” was relocated to Ozark from Headland and Company “D” located at Brantley was lost to another command. Company “A” remained at Ozark until 25 January 1965, at which time it was moved to Ariton, Alabama.
    The battalion’s most recent reorganization occurred 01 October 2000. Under this reorganization the battalion’s Company A was re-stationed to Centre, AL which was formerly Company A, 1st Battalion, 152d Armor. The former Company A located at Samson, AL was re-designated as Detachment 1, Company C, 1st Battalion, 131st Armor.
     
  19. magnasus

    magnasus recruit

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    131st Cav(formerly B Co. 193rd Tank Battalion) would love to also have a copy of this to add to our collection.
    You can email it a copy to john.j.carden@us.army.mil
    I deeply appreciate it.
     
  20. Up From Marseille

    Up From Marseille Member

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