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12th Armored Division >> General Discussion >> Albin j. Dolence
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Author Topic:  Albin j. Dolence
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posted 6/3/2014 2:00:10 AM  Reply w/Quote
I am seeking information about my uncle, Albin .j. Dolence, tec 5, 23rd tank battalion, 12th armored division, killed in action in France in tank, 1/17/45, never recovered. Does anyone have more info or can you point me in direction to learn more about the battle, etc?

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posted 6/3/2014 11:09:03 AM  Reply w/Quote
look in Battles in left column. Herrlisheim and Colmar. good for a start.

harry dhans
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From: Abilene,TX
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posted 6/3/2014 3:21:49 PM    Click here to view the profile for harry dhans  Click here to email harry dhans  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
he enlisted January 14,1943 at Cleveland, Ohio. Would have been in the battle for Herrlisheim. Haven't found which Company that he was with or I could tell a little more about it. Tanks were being knocked out on both sides.
He is buried in Epinal, France American Military Cemetery

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posted 6/3/2014 6:32:17 PM  Reply w/Quote
Your Uncle, Albin Dolence was in A Company. I'm very sorry about your Uncle. A Company was wiped-out on Jan. 17, 1945, just North of Stainwald Woods. A task force consisting of the 66th Armored Infantry Battalion, and A & C Companies of the 23rd Tank Bn. was awaiting orders, since early morning to attack. The railroad tracks between Herrlisheim and Gambsheim, were the objective. A Company Commander, Capt. Lange was told that the Stainwald woods had been cleared, and the task force was ordered to attack at 10:30 AM, after a long wait. But the woods had not been cleared! So, unknowingly, A Company tanks went forward in an open field, directly into the muzzles of 88mm anti-tank guns placed on the east side of the railroad embankment. They were chewed-up really bad, 14 tanks were knocked-out that day. It's more than likely, your uncle was part of that task force on that fateful day. Captain Lange also lost his life in that action.

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posted 6/3/2014 11:41:52 PM  Reply w/Quote
Thank you for sharing. Does this mean he was one of the Hellcats? Is there any cross reference to photos so I could find any photos of him? Again, many thanks.

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posted 6/4/2014 12:42:34 PM  Reply w/Quote
Your uncle was a "Hellcat," since the 23rd Tank Bn. was an element of the 12th AD. As far as photos are concerned, there are some photos on this website, and a video narrative by Lise Pommois called, Baptism Under Fire, that features the 23rd Tank Bn. in operations around Alsace, and Herrlisheim. It would be a long shot to find a picture of your uncle, or a mention of his name here, but it's worth a try. The 12th AD Association has a monthly publication called The Hellcat News. The unit representative for the 23rd Tank Bn. is Geoff Lackey. His father served in A Company, 23rd. He might have known your uncle. You can contact Geoff at, lackeys@charter.net. He can have your questions published in the Hellcat News.

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posted 6/4/2014 1:00:54 PM  Reply w/Quote
Sadly, your uncle was killed along with 100's of other men of the 12th AD in and around Herrlisheim, due to inept leadership poor decisions, and lack of communication, from the high levels of command within the division. Enemy strength in the area was grossly under estimated. Men and tanks in relatively small task forces, were thrown across flat, open, muddy fields, criss-crossed with rivers and canals, while the enemy, in far superior numbers, waited with guns zeroed-in on strategic spots.

MikeWoldenberg
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posted 6/5/2014 5:48:41 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello, Please click on BOOKS AND WRITTEN EXPERIENCES. Then click on A HISTORY OF THE 23RD TANK BATTALION. Then read the pages
23 to 43 on the battle of Herrlisheim. Also,
read the article on the left column. DEATH OF
AN AMERICAN COMBAT COMMAND. Also, see if you
can buy the recent book CROSSING THE ZORN.
Note that the 17th Armored Infantry Battalion
fought with the 23d Tank Battalion. Read what George Hatt wrote on the 17th at Herrlisheim in
BOOKS AND WRITTEN EXPERIENCES. Reading about the 17th will help you understand how
the tanks and infantry worked together. There are other books about the 17th on the
long list of BOOKS AND WRITTEN EXPERIENCES.

Mike W


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posted 6/7/2014 10:16:29 AM  Reply w/Quote
Thank you everyone.