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12th Armored Division >> General Discussion >> 771 tank battalion
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Author Topic:  771 tank battalion
KeithT
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Posts: 24
From: Baltimore
Registered: 12/26/2011
posted 12/26/2011 7:51:01 PM    Click here to view the profile for KeithT  Click here to email KeithT  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello. My grandpop who recently turned 90, was in the 12th. He was in the 23rd, company C. His name is Ralph Harman Miller although the military has his middle name as "Herman".

The past few months, with the help of this website, I have been developing his story trying to follow his foot steps through the war. I have photos and newspaper articles and some documents I will eventually scan after I get everything together so I can contribute back to this website.

In all his paper work, I found some letter heads which have the armored division logo but say 771. It says 771st tank battalion and then says Ardenne, Central Europe, Rhineland. I have a stack of these papers, they obviously must have been for correspondence. His ration card also says 771st. My mother has in a shadow box, a photo of a German Colonel with the Germans gun, magazine, holster, belt and belt buckle. He was an officer he captured either after the Germans surrendered or just before, I dont have the full story yet. In the box is a 771 AD patch.

Maybe I am a terrible researcher but I am wondering what 771 was? Was it an actual battalion or was it something short lived or was it made up as a part of the mystery division? I have searched for a while but havent found much about it. Maybe someone can help fill me in, Id appreciate it.

Thanks
-Keith

Ps. Ralph is doing ok, I saw him today. He is starting to get a little hard to talk to but hes still sharp. Hes hanging in there.


MikeWoldenberg
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Posts: 867
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 12/26/2011 8:38:10 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello Keith, The 771st Tank Battalion was part of the
84th Rail splitter Division. I entered the following in
Google: 771st Tank Battalion.


The big question: What has the 771st to do with
the 23d?????

Was your grandfather with the 23d in training, or did
he arrive later, and if he did, then when?
There is a lot of material on this Battalion and on the 84th
Division. It is possible that one or more tank companies
from this Battalion may have been assigned to the 12th
Armored, although I have no information that this
happened. It is something to look for. Also, just maybe
he was reassigned from the 771st to the 23d. Or perhaps
he had a friend or relative with the 771st.

So this gets us started.

Mike Woldenberg

KeithT
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Posts: 24
From: Baltimore
Registered: 12/26/2011
posted 12/27/2011 12:20:38 AM    Click here to view the profile for KeithT  Click here to email KeithT  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hey Mike,

Well Ill have to do some reading as I couldn't find that but I will check up on it. My brother is also curious.

I know he was drafted and went to KY and TX like everyone else. I have a pic, or multiple pics of him in training (he was a tank driver) and he managed to crash a tank THROUGH a house in KY and the army had to pay for it. I will get the full story on this. I have multiple patches of the 12 and I have his portrait wearing a 12th patch in uniform.

My cousin said that he had mentioned that when Ralph arrived in France they were under fire, in a random war story he was telling as we all used to sit around and talk when we were in WV for fam reunion. I was too young to hold on to the stories, but we know from written experiences that the 23rd arrived to a liberated France. "Maybe he arrived early" my Cousin wrote in a recent email to me. I have other documents saying he was in the 23rd, but he did mention to me a few weeks ago that companies changed. You werent always in Company C , with replacements and fallen men you jumped around esp if you werent promoted. I have a new paper article, well multiple ones about Weyersheim. He was in St Dietrich tank and Lt Guitteauu was in command. The 2 tanks picked off at least eleven tanks and some other armored vehicles. This story is briefly written in the history of the 23rd...

I will read more tomorrow and post...

Thanks.

MikeWoldenberg
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Member # 16

Posts: 867
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 12/27/2011 11:49:43 AM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Keith, Your grandfather was in a decisive battle that
turned back the German offensive. They literally ran out
of tanks and could not replace the ones (11)that were taken
out by Dietrich and Vickless' tanks! They also killed many German infantry at that time. Buy the book:

CROSSING THE ZORN. (by Jones???) Perhaps the Museum can sell you
a copy, or buy it on Amazon.

I have a theory that your grandfather somehow was in on the invasion of southern France on August 15, 1944,
in Operation Dragoon. The 12th Armored and the
84th Division were part of the the 7th?? Army, and
I guess men could be transferred more easily within
the same Army, than between armies.

So maybe your grandfather was assigned to fill a gap
in the 84th within their tank battalion(s). Once the
invasion was accomplished, perhaps he was reassigned
to the 23d Tank Battalion once the 12th Armored
reached France from England in November 1944.
The 12th Armored went into France in Le Havre, I think.
The front was already in eastern France.

I want to reiterate that if your grandfather was in Dietrich's tank, which was paired with the Vickless tank, then he
participated in a decisive battle and inflicted terrible damage on the enemy.

Mike Woldenberg


KeithT
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From: Baltimore
Registered: 12/26/2011
posted 12/27/2011 1:13:24 PM    Click here to view the profile for KeithT  Click here to email KeithT  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Mike, I sent you an email of an article.

-Keith

Guest
Unregistered

posted 12/29/2011 1:04:12 AM  Reply w/Quote
Hi Gentlemen,
My Father was a tank driver with the 23rd Tank Bn. Hq. Co. He drove the S-3 tank. After the end of hostilities and during the occupation, many servicemen were transfered into other units as the 12th AD was sending some men home, units were getting smaller, soon to disband. During this time, my Father was transfered to the 84th Infantry Division. I still have his uniform, with the 12th AD patch on the right shoulder, and the 84th patch on the left shoulder. I remember asking my Dad what the red patch with the axe splitting the log was for, and he told me how he finished his overseas tour with the 84th. Maybe this is also what happened to your Grandfather. Consider yourself very fortunate that he is still around to tell you his story.

MikeWoldenberg
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Posts: 867
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
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posted 12/29/2011 12:02:14 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello! Thank you for that idea. Keith and I have
been writing back and forth on regular email and
we have considered this idea, and I thank you for
this confirmation. We still have not excluded the
possibility that Keith's grandfather was not in on
the invasion of southern France (Operation Dragoon)
because he recalls an invasion, and I think it unlikely
that he was at Normandy. Your idea is the simplest
and very likely.

Mike Woldenberg

KeithT
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Posts: 24
From: Baltimore
Registered: 12/26/2011
posted 12/29/2011 3:16:12 PM    Click here to view the profile for KeithT  Click here to email KeithT  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
That would make the most sense really. He was in CCR, company C so I highly doubt he had many points at all really. Im sure he spent most of the war thinking about women and playing guitar, aside from trying to survive as well as do his job.

When he says Normandy he most likely refers to La Havre since it is pretty close to the Normandy beaches. I wonder if a lot of them did. He does seem fascinated with D Day, my aunt recently visited the Normandy beaches and brought him back a hat about D Day. He loves it and wears it all the time, but this doesnt mean he was there. Its quite possible they visited the after math in November when the 12th arrived, I believe they had a few days while Patton and Patch decided where to send them. My mother may be quite confused about whether he was at ANY D Day or not or she knows something we havent figured out yet.

The 771 patch is in the shadow box, he may have kept that patch with the German's possessions since that is the patch he wore at the time. My aunt has a new paper article framed that gives info about that capture I will ask her to scan it for me, I cant quite remember what it says. It has a picture of him on the Germans motorcycle (w sidecar I think), its pretty sweet. Its the only 771 patch we have, all the 12th patches were together I think I have 6 of them.

I do think he was assigned to 771 during clean up and possible preparation for Japan. It is starting to make the most sense really.



Guest
Unregistered

posted 12/29/2011 4:48:27 PM  Reply w/Quote
I have a book of Tank Battalions of the US Army, and it shows the 771st was attached to the 84th Inf. Div. on April 24, 1945. If your Grandfather was with the 23rd Tank Bn. during training in the USA, he would have shipped overseas with the 12th AD months after D-Day. When I used to ask my Dad about his time over there, he remembered his buddies in Hq. Co. He couldn't remember names of places or dates of events. He told me that they were always on the move and he didn't have time to think about where they were or what day it was. My Dad's tank was knocked out by a panzerfaust while they were in a column driving toward the Rhine. His was the 3rd tank back from the point. The first two tanks were also KO'ed as well as other tanks. The Battalion Commander was badly wounded. The 23rd was ambushed that day by an enemy waiting on the other side of a blind curve in the road. They had the road zeroed-in with AT, panzerfaust, and small arms. General Patton ordered the Mystery Division to move fast, and keep moving no matter what the cost, until they reach the Rhine. Through research, we found out that the ambush took place on March 19, 1945, just outside the town of Lohnsfeld. My Dad would have been 90 yrs. old on his next birthday.

MikeWoldenberg
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Posts: 867
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
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posted 12/29/2011 11:52:20 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Dear "Guest", Thanks so much for participating.
It really helps confirm some of our guesses as to what
happened to Keith's grandfather. I have to look up
the action that you wrote about that happened on
March 19th.

My Uncle wrote that he felt that he was in front of the whole Division during the time of the Mystery Division
when the 12th raced towards and along the Rhine.
(He probably was not).

Keith, the awarding of "points" for time in combat
is NOT RELATED to your grandfather being in
Combat Command R. He fought and was in danger
just about the same as in Combat Commands A and B.

Mike W.

KeithT
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posted 12/30/2011 11:42:44 AM    Click here to view the profile for KeithT  Click here to email KeithT  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Isnt that the battle where Vickless' tank was hit, the germans were posted up in trenches on the side of the road waiting? I wondered where Ralphs tank would have been, possibly near the end since I know his driving; hed have no trouble keeping up. That is if they placed them like that.

I would believe Ralph was reassigned in August since his ration card stamped 771 says August 9, 1945. I imagine his other papers were lost, I cant imagine how hard it was to hold on to things especially when you had to abandon you tank from time to time. He did say as he was alone behind enemy lines for over 5 days he refused to carry a weapon since he would stand a better chance going as a prisoner if he was caught.

KeithT
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Registered: 12/26/2011
posted 12/30/2011 2:10:22 PM    Click here to view the profile for KeithT  Click here to email KeithT  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
I guess my curiosity takes me to wonder what he might have done in the 771. Liberate camps? I did notice a book about the 771 history maybe thats worth checking out.

My Uncle Wayne sent me this in an email, Wayne is Ralph's Nephew and Greg is Wayne's brother.

"Gregg took some video last year and he talked briefly about the war. He has mention one of the concentration camps several times but I don't remember the name. Seems like he prounounced it "Atkenwaller". "

That's exactly how he pronounced it to me about a month ago but I couldn't figure it out. I dont know much about the camps I havent gotten that far in to my research yet. He was very quick to mention that camp.


MikeWoldenberg
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Posts: 867
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
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posted 12/30/2011 8:00:16 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Keith and Guest, I checked "A History of the
23d Tank Battalion" on this website. Consult
the chapter entitled "Mystery Division."
This describes the ambush. Vickless was not
killed then. I read of his death in this
book. There was a wild chase of a German
soldier driving a team of horses, and Vickless'
tank chased him. I forget the details now,
but I think this took place on April 1,
Easteer Sunday. Check it out.

I will work on the identity of the liberated
camp. Liberations had all been achieved by
May 8, or shortly thereafter.

Mike Woldenberg

MikeWoldenberg
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Posts: 867
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
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posted 12/30/2011 8:36:55 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Keith, This concerns the liberation of the
camp your grandfather called "Aktenwaller".

There was a civilian internment camp called Attenweiler. Pronounced: AT ten vy ler
in German. This camp was in the vicinity
of Biberach, south of Ulm. It was an
internment camp for civilians from the Channel Islands. These people were British, and I am
not sure whether they preferred to speak English or French. They were not POWs.
The camp was known as Ilag V-B-Biberach (for Internment Camp V -B -Biberach).

You might ask your grandfather if the prisoners spoke English or French.
There were children in the camp.

This is in an area somewhat west of where I
thought the 12th Armored operated. Perhaps
the liberation took place a few days after
May 8.

Everything I have said is a guess and needs
to be confirmed by asking about children and
the language of theprisoners, and whether
they were all civilians.

Mike

Alan Ostergaard
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posted 12/30/2011 9:27:58 PM    Click here to view the profile for Alan Ostergaard  Click here to email Alan Ostergaard  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
I was "guest" before, I've now decided to stop procrastinating and go ahead and register here. My Father was Arthur Ostergaard. He was with the 12th AD almost since its beginning. I remember him telling me how much he liked and respected Col. Meigs, their Battalion CO who was KIA on the Alsatian Plain. I know the 12th AD participated in the liberation of Landsburg, but I don't recall the names of the others. I will try to look them up. Chances are, Keith, your Grandfather was in the 771st during the occupation. The concentration camps were already liberated by then. Soldiers who didn't have enough points to ship out, stayed in war torn Germany and pulled routine duty. My Dad was one of these men. They manned road blocks, pulled guard duty, etc. My Dad was billetted in a town near the Danube River, and went fishing whenever he could. I was also told that potatoes were plentiful and some of them were used to make schnapps. Mike, I have a copy of "A History of the 23rd Tank Battalion." James Feezel, my Dad's Assistant Driver/Bow Gunner, wrote his account of the story of "The Ambush at Lohnsfeld." There are a couple of other accounts of the ambush in the book. At the 1993 reunion in Las Vegas we found the dates and locations in the Battalion After Battle Reports on display in the Plaza Hotel.

MikeWoldenberg
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Posts: 867
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
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posted 12/31/2011 11:34:15 AM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote


Alan, Google Kauferring Camps. The 11
camps are mapped, and the names are given.

I am not sure whether you know that "A
History of the 23d Tank Battalion" is
reproduced on this website under BOOKS AND
WRITTEN EXPERIENCES.

Also Jim Feezel has given a video interview.
See ORAL HISTORY VIDEOS.

Thanks for the clue as to the whereabouts
of the "After Action Reports." Perhaps the
unit Rep has them still.

Mike

KeithT
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posted 12/31/2011 5:59:22 PM    Click here to view the profile for KeithT  Click here to email KeithT  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
I will read about these camps, because right now I don't know much except he has mentioned the one. I plan to go see him in a few weeks (hes about 2 hours away, 10 min from my Aunts). Hes best just after he has his coffee just like the rest of us.

I assume there is a way to get army reports? I have heard you can get battle reports with his signature. I know a woman who sent in and got her Uncles navy reports from his time in the Pacific. I have another grandfather (passed before my birth) that I am going to work on soon. I know his brother was KIA somewhere in France. My fam knows nothing about either one of their time in the service. He was a Staff Sgt in the Pacific.

Happy New Year, and thank you both for all the help.

Geoff Lackey
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posted 1/3/2012 8:35:48 PM    Click here to view the profile for Geoff Lackey  Click here to email Geoff Lackey  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
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Geoff Lackey
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posted 1/3/2012 8:41:51 PM    Click here to view the profile for Geoff Lackey  Click here to email Geoff Lackey  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello all, I am the Unit Rep for the 23rd Tank Battalion, and find this topic fascinating. First of all, I can't contribute much to Keith's request for information on the possible 771st association, but I think you guys have done a good job to help on your own.

I wanted to address 2 things: 1) Mike's statement that maybe the UR possibly has the after action reports. Unfortunately, no, I've never seen them, and 2) I am glad to hear that after action reports were filed. You see, Alan, my dad was wounded at the ambush on Lohnsfeld; that's the reason for my interest in that particular event. But in an earlier post, you mention seeing these reports at the 1993 reunion. Please tell me more. Sorry to take this topic off-track, but I needed to respond. Alan, if you would, call me or e-mail me. My contact info is in the monthly HCN. Thanks to all.

Geoff Lackey
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From: Columbia, TN
Registered: 8/16/2009
posted 1/4/2012 12:45:39 PM    Click here to view the profile for Geoff Lackey  Click here to email Geoff Lackey  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Also, Keith T, is your grandfather a member of the 12th Armored Division Association? If not, we should sign him up. The association publishes a monthly "Hellcat News", which is a great resource for information and a way for other vets to keep in touch. Please let me know.

KeithT
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posted 1/4/2012 4:36:39 PM    Click here to view the profile for KeithT  Click here to email KeithT  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Well some 10 years ago he had a stroke. He was living by himself in Baltimore City, speeding everywhere, playing music, going out to see live music and getting his morning coffee at Mcdonalds in the mall with his flock of ladies.

The home he is in now keeps him "comfortable," but well call it medicated. Did he keep in touch with war buddies? I dont know. You see he raised 7 girls, only 3 I think were his, the others from my Grandmom. He never talked much about the war to them obviously which is why I only knew a few small details until this past year when Cousin Wayne sparked my interest with "Hellcats' and having 3 tanks shot out from him etc etc.

Ralphs physical condition is one thing but the medication is slowing down his brain. I did manage to show him his old pictures to get some information, he was able to tell me (this was a month ago).

These old pictures are small too, so I was impressed. It made me realize I need to gather up what I can, lay it all out and chose my questions carefully. Sometimes he likes to talk for 10 min then sleep talk then sleep. Getting there early while he has his coffee is good, hell sing and ask questions. I dont know if he can read or not, maybe a few big words or so. He is in no condition to keep up with war buddies unless someone goes to visit him.

Sorry I know thats a little much and maybe personal but its what Im up against. He is 90 and I think hes got a few years in him, but the medication is only gonna get heavier. He was able to tell me his tank was hit in the Stainwald area when a 88 tore through the side. Tossed him out of the tank with not even a bruise and killed the other 3 guys. I just wish Id have started this years ago there would be so much more to learn...

In a few photos there this blond hair guy. Ralph told me he was Company C (23rd) with him and his name is Ross but they called him Shorty. Shorty was his buddy and made it through the war. He was from Arkansas and Ralph said Shorty used to make him laugh a lot. Any idea who Ross is? I couldnt find him in the roster. Maybe he wasnt 23rd but in CCR.

..had to clean it up a lil...

KeithT
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Posts: 24
From: Baltimore
Registered: 12/26/2011
posted 1/12/2012 11:37:59 AM    Click here to view the profile for KeithT  Click here to email KeithT  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
I started reading "crossing the zorn" I just got it the other day. It appears to be full of some really good stuff. I plan to try and knock that book out in reasonable time.

Aunt Viola is going to send me another 1 or 2 news articles, one is about capturing the German Colonel. Anything else will prob be something I already have.

Uncle Wayne is sending me a video they took in 2010. Ralph talks about the war for maybe 10 min or so. He even mentions being transferred at the end of the war (which we concluded). He says they arrived in La Havre and went down to Austria. He mentions being in England while buzz bombs were hitting (I think that went on for months). He said they liberated 3 camps, Ill have to find out whether he was in the 12th or 771 for that.

Ill see what I can get out of the video when it arrives...

MikeWoldenberg
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posted 1/19/2012 7:44:00 AM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Keith, I have come to the following
deductions. Your grandfather was transferred
to the 84th division after the war. He most
probably did not participate in a D Day
because the 12th arrived in November of
1944, after the invasions in Normandy and
the south of France in August of 1944.

With regard to the liberation of the concentration camps: It is likely that he
was in on the liberation of Kauferring camp
IV, (Hurlach) also known as one of the Dachau subcamps. There were 11 of these
Kauferring camps, and the chief one was
Landsberg, (Camp number may be 1) and it is probable he was in on that as well.

I am not sure which other camp in that group
he may have helped liberate.

Mike


KeithT
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posted 1/20/2012 3:42:45 PM    Click here to view the profile for KeithT  Click here to email KeithT  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Thanks Mike.

My mother and my aunt are going to visit him on Sunday, I wont be able to go. This aunt is one who recently gave me all of his paper work and other things. Ralph told her to take it when they cleared out his home. I do plan on going very soon when I have more information laid out.

My aunt has confirmed about one of the Dachau subcamps. I gave my mother a few simple questions she can probably get out of him. Ill keep the progress posted on here...

And by the way, Crossing the Zorn is amazing. I can probably find out some other details to compliment the stories that have already been written.

KeithT
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posted 2/4/2012 12:57:14 PM    Click here to view the profile for KeithT  Click here to email KeithT  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Sad to say Ralph passed away this morning, he was 90. I thought about visiting him next weekend during my birthday, talk to him about music and get some war out of him. He was always a humble man so he never talked in great detail unless it was about a guitar player, but thanks to this site, Mike Woldenburg, and everone who contributed I learned how to piece together everything he mentioned even though Im not finished yet. He never had much to say about the ambush on Weyersheim but I imagine he might have been one of the few out of that bunch who came home after the war. I dont think he was happy about the slaughter, he rarely mentioned the horrible things. I have a ton of information to document, maybe my great grandkids can read about Ralph during that insane war.



MikeWoldenberg
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posted 2/4/2012 9:41:49 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
I am so sorry to hear the news. I will
be in touch by regular email.

Mike

Guest
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posted 3/24/2012 4:32:14 PM  Reply w/Quote
I am the curator of a part of a museum in the German city of Schwaebisch Hall that portrays the 48 years of the presence of the US Army at a former post near by called Dolan Barracks. It was turned over to the Germans in 1993. The first unit to occupy what was to become Dolan Barracks right after the war was C Company 771st Tank Battalion. The post was named after LT John Dolan who was KIA and awarded a Silver Star for his action. I only have a letter head of the 771st in the display. I would like very much to have a patch of the battalion. Could anyone help me please? Thanks, George Finley

MikeWoldenberg
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posted 3/29/2012 8:06:51 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello,

The 771st Tank destroyer battalion,
or simply the 771st Tank Battalion,
was attached at times with the 84th
(Rail splitter) Infantry Division.
I suggest you look in Google for
both units. The 771st had no connection
with the 12th Armored Division or its tank
battalions. However,
some 12th Armored men were assigned to the unit as they they were sent home.
Mike Woldenberg

KeithT
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posted 4/1/2012 1:21:12 PM    Click here to view the profile for KeithT  Click here to email KeithT  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
You can probably find a patch on ebay or online somewhere. I have multiple 12th patches from Ralph but we only have 1 771 and it is on display in a shadow box with a german colonels side arm and accessories. Ralph must have kept that patch with the souvenirs...



Guest
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posted 9/20/2014 10:01:39 AM  Reply w/Quote
I'm also doing research on my dad. He was with the 771st Tank Battalion attached to the 84th infantry. He was wounded on Jan. 8th, 1945 and was awarded the bronze star. All I know is that the action was in Belgium. Do you have any information on where I could get more details?

Thank You.

Guest
Unregistered

posted 11/9/2014 2:48:02 AM  Reply w/Quote
Hallo from Germany

according to the OOB for Europe the 771st Tank Battalion was attached to the 48th Div. from 20 Dec.44 until 21 March 45 and 2nd April 45 until 30. June.
The 84th Div. completed its operation in Belgium on 1st Feb. 45 and moved to the Netherlands closed to the German border. After some river crossing and Infantry-Tank training near Marienberg (Gerrmany), under the supervision of Comp. C, 771st Tank Bn, they crossed the river Roer on the 23rd Feb. near Linnich in operation "Grenade". Comp. C,771st Tank Bn. supported the 335th Inf. during the attack on Doveren. This is according to the After Action Report for Feb. from the 335th. Inf.


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posted 12/17/2015 10:55:53 AM  Reply w/Quote
Keith,
This maybe of some interest to you:

www.shermantank.nl/M4A3(76)W.htm

regards
Johan

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posted 9/5/2016 7:50:49 PM  Reply w/Quote
THE HISTORY OF THE 771st TANK BATTALION:Title of book by Edwin Castagna. Copyright 1946. Printed by, Lederer, Street & Zeus Co, Berkeley, Ca. My family has this book because my Uncle, "an outstanding tanker and a deadly gunner" [pg 49] from Co.B was KIA on 27 February 1945 near Rickelrath, Germany. I did find a Ralph M. Miller pfc. in the index.


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posted 9/5/2016 8:30:15 PM  Reply w/Quote
Regarding Bronze Star, awarded 8 Jan 1945. 771st History: [pg 30]: "Near LaBatty (Belgium?), infantry became isolated by fire and bad terrain. Tanks sent to break through reported this would be impossible to accomplish. But one tank commander did not think so. Sgt. Moore chose his ground carefully and maneuvered through fire and over exposed ground and made contact." Towns mentioned in previous paragraph; Grandmenil and Odeigne.

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posted 9/24/2016 11:24:15 AM  Reply w/Quote
i adopted the grave of Robert C Everhart in Margraten Netherlands, Robert was KIA near Linnich Germany as a member of the 771th tank battallion. The unit is a mystery for me, at the time nov 44 attached to the 102nd infantry division, is the 771th Tank Destroyer battallion the same unit ? any help welcome here

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posted 10/10/2016 5:02:30 PM  Reply w/Quote
Robert C Everhart: KIA, 30 Nov 1944, along with 6 other men of the 771 that day. This battle was "First Blood" for the 771st in the "Race for the Roer" This is in the book posted here on 9/5/16. All I can find is that, in this battle, they supported the 3rd Bn. 405th Inf. All the families of those who were killed in action were given copies of this book.

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posted 10/14/2016 1:58:48 PM  Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by Guest:
Robert C Everhart: KIA, 30 Nov 1944, along with 6 other men of the 771 that day. This battle was "First Blood" for the 771st in the "Race for the Roer" This is in the book posted here on 9/5/16. All I can find is that, in this battle, they supported the 3rd Bn. 405th Inf. All the families of those who were killed in action were given copies of this book.


thanks, in a book abouth the 102nd inf.div i found that 3 tanks of the 771th on 30 nov ended up in a mine-field and got knocked out

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posted 12/17/2016 7:25:40 PM  Reply w/Quote
My father was a M4 SHERMAN DRIVER in bastogne during the bulge 72 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK.

Dad was in the 771st armored replacement btln also, I believe company C, also called the Commanches.

After the breakout of the Bulge some elements of the 771st were sent to Czechoslovakia where dads tank liberated a CC camp which I don't remember the name.

In the 1980's he and the remaining group received a plaque from Reagan during the holocaust memorial opening for the liberation of 1500 Czech jews.

Dad, Ross Thomas May, died in 2004 but members of his tank who I met as a child were tank CMDR Cap't Ackerman of Denver Co., Sgt Esposito of Chicago but others I forgot.

One gunner of his tank was I think his name was a pfc Sullivan was killed xmas eve, 1944, in Bastogne when their Sherman was hit by a 88 AP ROUND, all others were wounded but remained fighting in a replacement M4.

As I remember he told me that the majority of the M4 CREWS of the 771st were either wounded or killed.

MIKE MAY
IN SALEM, OREGON

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posted 12/17/2016 7:33:19 PM  Reply w/Quote
Sorry for the migration from the 12th AD but for the original posters comments about the 771st battalions

More info: The 771'st Armored replacement BTLN WAS originally part of the 35th btln but once in the ETO is was a separate entity and 1 of only 2 or 4 btln's that were assigned as armored assets to the 82 airborne division.

During 3 reunions that I attended as a child with dad I remember them being called the Armored Bastards of Bastogne.

Mike May

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posted 12/17/2016 7:48:06 PM  Reply w/Quote
Other elements of the 771st were also assigned as Armored assets to the other Airborne units as others have mentioned.

When dad died on Labor day 2004, on his arm still visible was the 771'st tatoo as other members of his crew had done somewhere in France after D-DAY.

Mike