899th Tank Destroyer Battalion

Unit History:  The 99th Antitank Battalion was redesignated as the 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion on 15 December, 1941.  Arrived at Casablanca on 26 January, 1943, where they were issued new M10's.  Deployed to Gafsa-El Guettar sector, Tunisia, on 16 March, 1943.  Established first American contact with British Eighth Army on 7 April, 1943. Arrived Naples area, Italy, on 10 November, 1943.  Almost immediately shifted to United Kingdom.  Liaison personnel accompanied second glider lift of 82d Airborne Division during invasion of Normandy.  Battalion proper landed at Utah Beach on D-Day.  Helped capture Cherbourg late June.  Supported Cobra breakout late July, advanced through Mayenne. ,Entered Belgium 2 September, backed 9th Infantry Division operations in vicinity of Monschau and Hofen, Germany.  Fought in Rötgen/Hürtgen Forest region in October.  Elements deployed in first days of Battle of the Bulge to stop German advance, others remained in VII Corps area.  Supported attack to capture Roer River dams in February, 1945.  Largely converted to M36's that same month.  Crossed Roer River 28 February.  Advanced to Rhine near Bad Godesberg and first elements crossed into Remagen bridgehead on 8 March.  Joined attack on Ruhr Pocket in April, then moved east into Harz Mountains.  Moved to Mulde River for link-up with Soviet forces, achieved 27 April.  Began occupation duty in Bernburg 3 May, 1945.  Attached to: 82d Airborne Division; 1st Armored Division; 1st, 4th, 9th Infantry divisions.  History text from the book The Tank Killers by Harry Yeide.  Used by permission.

Combat Equipment: 3/43 - M10; 2/45 - M36 & M36B1

Commanding Officers:  Lt. Col. Ransom (Original CO, 7/1/40);  Lt. Col. Herbert J. McChrystal (10/20/41);  Lt. Col. Maxwell A. Tincher (3/43)

Code Name/s:  Jersey

Campaign Credits:   Tunisia...........................Nov. 17, to May 13, 1942

                                 Rome Arno......................Jan. 22, to Sept. 9, 1944

                                 Normandy.......................Jun. 6, to Jul. 24, 1944 (Amphib)

                                 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:  Venwegen, Germany

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  Wikipedia entry for Herschel F. Briles- Medal of Honor recipient (February 7, 1914 – July 17, 1994)

2.)  899th Our Battalion "Blue Book"- Publisher: Knorr & Hirrh of Munich, Germany.  Copy provided courtesy of Rusty Coleman whose father, James H. Coleman, served in Company "A" of the 899th.

                       Part 1...........................................20 Pages

                       Part 2...........................................26 Pages

3.)  Operations Report June 2-18, 1944 - Provided courtesy of Rusty Coleman.

The following documents and information are provided courtesy of Colonel Cecil R. French.

4.)  Unit History by Colonel Cecil R. French (Ret) - Colonel French compiled this history on 17 February, 1995, for presentation at the dedication of the Battalion’s Monument, at Fort Knox, KY, on 8 September, 1995.  The Monument is located in the Armor Memorial Park at the Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor.

5.)  Taking the Remagen Crossing the Rhine - by Cecil R. French

6.)  Officer and Enlisted Men Roster - From the book, 899th Our Battalion "Blue Book".

7.)  KIA and MIA Personnel Listing - From the book, 899th Our Battalion "Blue Book".

8.)  Total Material Destroyed - From the book, 899th Our Battalion "Blue Book".

The following documents are from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, Abilene, Kansas.

9.)  After Action Reports

        June 1-30, 1944....................11 Pages

        Aug. 1-31, 1944.....................2 Pages

        Sept. 1-30, 1944...................10 Pages (Includes casualties & awards)

        Oct. 1-31, 1944....................12 Pages (Includes casualties & awards)

        Nov. 1-30, 1944...................13 Pages (Includes casualties & awards)

        Dec. 1-31, 1944...................11 Pages (Includes casualties & awards)

        Jan. 1-31, 1945....................24 Pages

        Feb. 1-28, 1945....................25 Pages (Includes casualties & awards)

        March 1-31, 1945..................26 Pages (Includes casualties & awards)

        April 1-30, 1945...................34 Pages (Includes casualties & awards)

        May 1-8, 1945......................12 Pages (Includes awards, page 6 difficult to read)

10.)  Unit Journals

        Dec. 1-31, 1944, Pt. 1...........33 Pages

        Dec. 1-31, 1944, Pt. 2...........32 Pages

        Jan. 1-31, 1945, Pt. 1...........36 Pages

        Jan. 1-31, 1945, Pt. 2...........35 Pages

        Feb. 1-28, 1945, Pt. 1...........31 Pages

        Feb. 1-28, 1945, Pt. 2...........31 Pages

        March 1-31, 1945, Pt. 1.........42 Pages

        March 1-31, 1945, Pt. 2.........42 Pages

        April 1-30, 1945, Pt. 1..........31 Pages

        April 1-30, 1945, Pt. 2..........30 Pages

        May 1-9, 1945......................11 Pages

11.)  Miscellaneous Documents

        Co. B personnel, Ft. Lewis, WA, no date........2 Pages

        Personnel Roster, July 16, 1942...................3 Pages

        Combat Rpt, Mar. 15-Apr. 11, 1943............11 Pages (Includes casualties)

        Excerpt of DUC Citation, WD GO 88-44.........1 Page

        Task Force Tincher Docs, April 15-17, 1945..7 Pages

        Various Documents, 1941-1943..................42 Pages

12.)  Photo Gallery

13.)  A Brief History of the 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion - Edited by David R. Haugh, copyrighted in 1972 by Recon Publishing of San Jose, CA.  Size is 7 x 8.5 with 28 pages.  Majority of photos are identified as part of the Clarence A. Heckethorne Collection who was a Major in the unit.

14.)  Headquarters Company Photo - A photo of the unit's HQ Company taken somewhere in Europe.  1st Lt. Wilfred C. Ford is shown standing, second from left.  Photo courtesy of Craig Ford.

15.)  Headquarters Company Photo - Another photo of the unit's HQ Company taken in Germany, 1945.  1st Lt. Wilfred C. Ford is shown kneeling, second from left.  Photo courtesy of Craig Ford.