704th Tank Destroyer Battalion

Unit History:  Activated on 15 December, 1941 at Camp Pine, New York.  Arrived in the United Kingdom by April 1944.  First battalion in the ETO to receive M18's in May.  Landed at Utah Beach on 13 July.  Participated in Cobra breakout at end of month, advanced into Brittany.  Raced east across France, passing north of Orleans, and crossed the Moselle River to Luneville in early September, remaining in the general area through October.  Fought in Morhange region in November and crossed the Saar River by month’s end.  Deployed to Ardennes on 19 December. Fought around Bastogne in January, 1945, then moved back south.  Advanced into Germany near Sinz in February, fighting through Siegfried Line and into the Saar-Moselle triangle.  Supported drive to Bitburg in March and reached Rhine by mid-month.  Crossed the river on 24 March at Nierstein.  Roared east to Gotha by 4 April, passed through Harz Mountains to Bayreuth in late April.  Entered Czechoslovakia at Volyne on 6 May.  Attached to: 101st Airborne Division; 4th Armored Division; 26th, 87th, 94th Infantry divisions; 6th Cavalry Group.  History text from the book The Tank Killers by Harry Yeide.  Used by permission.

Combat Equipment:  7/44 - M18

Commanding Officers:  Lt. Col. Cameron (Original CO);  Lt. Col. Sears;  Lt. Col. Storck;  Delk M. Oden;  Lt. Col. William A. Bailey (8/17/44)(KIA 9/19/44);  Lt. Col. Henry P. Heid (10/1/44);  Major Dan C. Alanis (10/1/44);  Lt. Col. James W. Bidwell (12/14/44)

Code Name/s:  Harpoon

Campaign Credits:   Normandy.......................Jun. 6, to Jul. 24, 1944

                                 Northern France...............Jul. 25, to Sept. 14, 1944

                                 Rhineland........................Sept. 15, 1944 to Mar. 21, 1945

                                 Ardennes-Alsace..............Dec. 16, 1944 to Jan 25, 1945

                                 Central Europe.................Mar. 22, to May 11, 1945

Awards:  Distinguished Unit Citation

                Croix De Guerre (French or Belgium "Cross of War")

Location August 1945:  Ulmen, Germany

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  The Men of the 704: An Illustrated and Spoken History of the 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion.  This is a 111 page hardcover book, published by Saint Vincent College, Oct. 1, 1998.  This book might still be available through some of the rare, collectible or military booksellers.  I have a copy of this book and would be willing to review it closer if you are looking for specific information.  Email me with your request.  It's mainly stories from the veterans but does include a number of photos and historical info.  One nice item is a re-done Table of Organization for the unit, which I have copied here.  It shows the unit had 35 Officers, 634 Enlisted Men, 36 - M18 TD's and 123 other vehicles.

The following documents (#2 & 3) have been provided courtesy of Publications of the Saint Vincent College Center for Northern Appalachian Studies, Latrobe PA, 15650. Richard David Wissolik, Ph.D., Director. http://www.stvincent.edu/napp

2.)  Thomas Evans Oral History / C Company Combat Diary / 704th Unit History - This document includes the oral history of Captain Thomas J. Evans of C Company, 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion, titled "Reluctant Valor" and the Combat Diary of C Company by First Sergeant Walter E. Mullen Jr. and T/4 Norman E. Macomber.  Included in the history is a listing of personnel and awards.  There is also a short written history of the 704th by Walter C. Righton, representing the 704th TD Bn Association.

3.)  "To Hell With the Germans! Drive on Garrison!" - This is the story of Dr. Richard R. Buchanan "Doc", MD, who was the Battalion Surgeon and includes information on his time with the unit.

4.)  CODE NAME: HARPOON - The Combat History of the 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion (Self-Propelled), edited by Lonnie Gill.  Contains an overview of combat operations and also the "Unit History of the 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion, from D-Day plus 36 to V-E Day" which includes a roster of personnel.  Courtesy of Lonnie Gill.

          Part 1.............................19 Pages

          Part 2.............................19 Pages

          Part 3.............................22 Pages

          Part 4.............................21 Pages

5.)  After Action Reports - from the Combined Arms Research Library of the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

          Jul. 1-31, 1944................1 Page

          Aug. 1-31, 1944..............5 Pages

          Sep. 1-30, 1944...............3 Pages

          Oct. 1-31, 1944...............3 Pages

          Nov. 1-30, 1944..............2 Pages

          Jan. 1-31, 1945...............4 Pages (includes summary)

          Feb. 1-28, 1945...............3 Pages

          Mar. 1-31, 1945...............3 Pages

          May 1-31, 1945...............2 Pages

6.)  Photo Gallery

7.)  Miscellaneous Documents

          Oct. 11, 1943................ .45 Cal. Qualification - Camp Maxey, TX.  Courtesy of James B. Graham, III

          Oct. 11, 1943................ .30 Cal. Qualification - Camp Maxey, TX.  Courtesy of James B. Graham, III

          Oct. 11, 1943..................3 inch Sub Caliber Qual. - Camp Maxey, TX.  Courtesy of James B. Graham, III

8.)  Various Orders-from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, Abilene, Kansas.

           General Order #41, Unit Reorganization, May 15, 1943..................1 Page

         General Order #72, Unit Assignments, July 21, 1943.....................2 Pages

         Special Order #17, June 22, 1943................................................9 Pages

9.)  E.T.O. Echoes Articles (704th Tank Destroyer Battalion Publication)

         Life in an M18 Hellcat in Combat - by Phil Hosey, Co. A.  Courtesy of James B. Graham, III

         Diary Entry for July 25, 1944 - by 1st. Sgt. Roy Roberson, Co. A.  Courtesy of James B. Graham, III

         Diary Entry for Sep. 19, 1944 - by 1st. Sgt. Roy Roberson, Co. A.  Courtesy of James B. Graham, III

10.)  4th Armored Division through Europe - D+36 to D+337.  Courtesy of James B. Graham, III