603rd Tank Destroyer Battalion

Unit History:  Activated on 15 December, 1941, at Fort Lewis, Washington, from the antitank platoons of the 3d Infantry Division.  Issued T70's (M18's) in October 1943, arrived at Cannock, England, on 18 April, 1944.  Landed at Utah Beach on 21–22 July.  Committed to battle on 28 July during Cobra breakout.  Advanced through Brittany to Brest and then Lorient in August, and raced east to the Moselle River sector in September.  Fought east of Nancy, France, in October and supported push to the Saar River in November.  Battled to Sarreguemines in December, shifted to Bastogne area to support counterattack against the Bulge.  Crossed Our River and fought through Siegfried Line in February, 1945.  Moved to Seventh Army sector in March, reached Rhine River at Rhine-Durkheim on 21 March.  Reassigned to Third Army, crossed river at Oppenheim on 25 March.  Attacked through Fulda Gap toward Erfurt in late March and April.  Helped liberate Buchenwald on 11 April.  Reached advance limit line at Mittweida circa 15 April.  Attached to: 17th Airborne Division; 4th, 6th Armored divisions; 3d Cavalry Group.  History text from the book The Tank Killers by Harry Yeide. Used by permission.

Combat Equipment:  8/44 - M18.

Commanding Officers:  Major G. E. Mitchell (12/15/41);  Lt. Col. Lewis C. Brakes (1/6/42);  Major R.J. Rutte (4/26/42);  Major Aurthur Park (12/25/42);  Lt. Col. John G. Minniece Jr. (1/29/43, WIA 8/8/44, DOW 8/9/44);  Lt. Col. Clarence D. McCurry (8/9/44, MIA 3/29/45, RTD 4/4/45)

Code Name/s:  Bargain

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:  None

Location August 1945:  Chateau-Salins, France

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  Seek Strike Destroy, the WWII unit history of 1st Platoon, Recon Co., 603rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, 6th Armored Division.  Written by M/Sgt. Nick O. Civarra after the war and published in Germany.

2.)  Oper. of the Recon. Company 603rd TD Bn, Normandy to Brest.  Aug. 1 to 12, 1944 - 18 page document written as part of the Advanced Infantry Officers Course at Fort Benning Infantry School.  Author Cpt. Allan R. Scullen, Company Commander.

3.) Unit History, Company C, 1944-1945 - 18 page booklet written by Sgt. Lawrence Miller and published by R. Jubelt, Zeitz, Germany.  Includes casualties.  Courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian.

4.)  After Action Reports - from the Combined Arms Research Library of the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  Also courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian. (*)

            Jul. 21 - Aug. 31, 1944..........................1 Page (*)

            Sep. 1-30, 1944....................................2 Pages (*)

            Oct. 1-25, 1944....................................3 Pages (*)

            Nov. 1-30, 1944...................................5 Pages (*)

            Dec. 1-31, 1944...................................3 Pages (*)

            Jan. 1-31, 1945....................................4 Pages

            Feb. 1-28, 1945....................................4 Pages (*)

            Mar. 1-31, 1945....................................3 Pages (*)

                Apr. 1-30, 1945....................................3 Pages (*)

            May 1-9, 1945.......................................1 Page (*)

5.)  Unit Histories-Courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian.

                     1942...........................................12 Pages

                     1943...........................................13 Pages

                     1944...........................................24 Pages (Includes causalties)

                     1945, Jan - April w/May awards....21 Pages (Includes casualties & awards)

6.)  Operations Report-from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, Abilene, Kansas.

            July 28, 1944-April 30, 1945.....................8 Pages

7.)  Miscellaneous Documents-from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, Abilene, Kansas and courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian (**)

            Organization of TD Battalions.....................2 Pages

            General Orders #42, Dec. 10, 1941............1 Page

            General Orders #60, June 12, 1943............3 Pages

            Troop Assignment #147, June 12, 1945....18 Pages

            Awards, May, 1945....................................3 Pages (**)

            "At Ease" Unit Newsletter, Aug. 13, 1945.....3 Pages (Missing one page)(**)

            "Connie" & "Cheyenne" TD's-short stories....1 Page (**)

            History Articles..........................................2 Pages (**)

8.)  Personal Narrative - This was written by a former veteran of the 603rd, during the 1980's, in response to questions he recieved from the author doing research for an upcoming book on U. S. tank destroyer forces.  Courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian.

            Cleo B. Wheeler, 3rd Platoon, Co. C...........10 Pages (**)

9.)  Photo Gallery