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12th Armored Division >> General Discussion >> Edson Alonzo Dean Jr.
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Author Topic:  Edson Alonzo Dean Jr.
Richard Dean
Junior Member
Member # 36310

Posts: 4
From: Wiesbaden Germany
Registered: 9/3/2018
posted 9/3/2018 11:18:08 AM    Click here to view the profile for Richard Dean  Click here to email Richard Dean  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello, I am a Soldier stationed in Germany and am hoping to retrace my grandfathers route thru Germany during WWII. I have some basic information, but not a lot. Regrettably the national archives reported his records destroyed in a fire. He was a CPL and according to his discharge papers he arrived into the ETO 29MAR45 and departed 12AUG45. He was honorably discharged from the Army 17NOV45. He served as a gunner in the 12th armored division and spoke of how he helped liberate a camp. I believe it was a POW camp but am not sure. Any information would be extremely helpful.
Thank you,
-Rick

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 989
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 9/3/2018 9:34:08 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello, Edson Dean was in the 714th Tank Battalion,
Company A. You said he was a gunner. He did this job in a Sherman (medium) tank.

I will look for the specific camp or camps liberated by
714 A.

Best regards, Mike Woldenberg

Bob Scherer
Junior Member
Member # 119

Posts: 62
From: Yardley, PA
Registered: 10/11/2005
posted 9/3/2018 10:39:15 PM    Click here to view the profile for Bob Scherer  Click here to email Bob Scherer  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello Richard,
We still have a few A/714 vets with us. Most vets don't use email so I'll have to write to them to see if they remember Edson. I'll also work on putting together a route for you. May take me some time. When you contacted the Archives, did you call or actually submit a request? Many records were destroyed, but some finance and medical records that were not stored in St Louis survived and provide much info. I'll work your request. Best of luck! Bob Scherer

Richard Dean
Junior Member
Member # 36310

Posts: 4
From: Wiesbaden Germany
Registered: 9/3/2018
posted 9/4/2018 6:42:47 AM    Click here to view the profile for Richard Dean  Click here to email Richard Dean  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Mike, Bob,
Thank you both so much! Simply knowing his co and bn has allowed myself and other family members to research a lot more than previously.
Bob, when you write to the A/714 vets, please ask them if there is anything that they would like from me. Maybe I could send them the photos I take documenting the trip? Maybe there is somewhere special they would like to see?
I submitted my request to the national archives via the website. They wrote back and said that the only available archival record was his final pay voucher, which of course we ordered.
Thanks again for the help,
-Rick

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 989
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 9/4/2018 12:14:44 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello Richard, I found a reference to Ed Dean stating that he was in a tank with Charlie Hake. The tank
suffered a hit by a panzerfaust (bazooka) and Charlie
Hake was killed. On the same page we learn that A-
714th was in on the liberation of the Landsberg concentration camps. There were 10 or 11 of these,
and we know that the 12th Armored liberated camp IV
(Hurlach). But they were in on others. Bob and I hope to refine our knowledge on this point. (Landsberg prison was a state prison and Hitler spent time there when he wrote Mein Kampf.

So start here:

https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth861609/m1/22/zoom/?q=Hake&resolution=1.7572669044424274&lat=3683.636890026469&lon=1338.743232534851

MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 989
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 9/4/2018 1:12:53 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Rick, When you examine the After Action Report for
the 714th that I have sent by regular email, look for
the location of Company A on April 25th.. This was the
day that Ed's tank was hit by a panzer faust, and the
tank commander (???) Charlie Hake was killed.

Mike

Richard Dean
Junior Member
Member # 36310

Posts: 4
From: Wiesbaden Germany
Registered: 9/3/2018
posted 9/4/2018 5:26:14 PM    Click here to view the profile for Richard Dean  Click here to email Richard Dean  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Gentlemen,
This is amazing, I really appreciate the work that you are putting into this. I've forwarded the after action report to other family members and am creating a timeline with locations from it. It is difficult to read, but I am extremely appreciative that you have maintained it. It definitely contains a wealth of information. I may have missed it, but I didn't see my grandfathers name in the article. Was it in there or another reference?
-Rick


MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 989
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 9/4/2018 9:56:08 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth861683/m1/16/zoom/?q=Hake&resolution=1.7796939523627304&lat=2505.141259167906&lon=844.2941326217452

The page given above describes a camp liberated by
714, co. A. 3 days before the end of the war. It was for women political prisoners. Town is Aichach.

To answer your question: I found only one mention of your grandfather's name. In passing, the writer said he was in Hake's tank when Hake was killed. So I started lookint for references to Charlie Hake.

I will try and find again the initial reference to your grandfather

Mike.



Bob Bitting
Junior Member
Member # 36077

Posts: 6
From: Mooresville, NC
Registered: 2/15/2018
posted 9/18/2018 8:26:23 AM    Click here to view the profile for Bob Bitting  Click here to email Bob Bitting  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello Richard,
My father, Robert S. Bitting, was in A/714th TB as a tank crewman. I have photos of most of the tank crews taken at wars end and some from my father's collection. Here is a link to a Google photo album.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Jymow67paHACmv7B7


Richard Dean
Junior Member
Member # 36310

Posts: 4
From: Wiesbaden Germany
Registered: 9/3/2018
posted 9/19/2018 5:50:57 AM    Click here to view the profile for Richard Dean  Click here to email Richard Dean  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Bob, These are amazing! Thank you sharing! Do you mind if I share? I know a lot of people that would love to see those.
-Rick

Bob Bitting
Junior Member
Member # 36077

Posts: 6
From: Mooresville, NC
Registered: 2/15/2018
posted 9/19/2018 2:28:41 PM    Click here to view the profile for Bob Bitting  Click here to email Bob Bitting  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Yes Rick, Please share!