609th Tank Destroyer Battalion

                                                                          609th-Tank-Destroyer-Bn-Cre     

 

Motto:  Find . Fight . Finish

Unit History:  Activated on 15 December, 1941, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  Landed at Utah Beach on 20 September, 1944, equipped with M18's.  Went into corps reserve, beginning 28 September, east of Moutier, France, where crews fired artillery missions through October.  Joined operations against Siegfried Line in November and early December.  Most of Company C moved to Bastogne on 18 December with 10th Armored Division; remainder of battalion fought along Sauer River.  Entire battalion fought to eliminate the Bulge in January 1945.  Deployed to Saar-Moselle triangle in February.  Participated in capture of Trier in March.  Supported attack south and east out of Mannheim bridgehead across the Rhine in late March and April and reached southern Bavaria, near Füssen, by the end of the month.  Attached to: 101st Airborne Division; 10th Armored Division; 90th, 94th Infantry divisions. History text from the book The Tank Killers by Harry Yeide.  Used by permission.

Combat Equipment:  9/44 - M18.

Commanding Officers:  Major Russell T. Finn (Original CO); Major Gordon V. Holcomb (4/26/42); Lt. Col Roland A. Browne (9/20/42) with Exec. Officer Maj. William F. Shotola; Major William F. Shotola(1/6/45)

Code Name/s:  Highset

Campaign Credits:   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 - 18-27 Dec 44, WD GO 17-45, Co. C less 1st Platoon w/2nd Platoon Recon. Co. attached

Location August 1945:  Trier, Germany

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  History of the 609th Tank Destroyer Battalion - written in 1988, by Col. Albert F. Ahrenholz, former Company Commander in the 609th.  Provided courtesy of his son, John Ahrenholz.

2.)  Yearbook - 1942, Fort Bragg, NC - Includes a short history and photos of unit personnel in 1942.  Last five pages of Part 2 contain autographs of numerous personnel.  Courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian.

                     Part 1....................................12 Pages

                     Part 2....................................14 Pages

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

               Sept. 20-30, 1944.........................1 Page (**)

               Oct. 1-31, 1944............................1 Page

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

               Dec. 1-31, 1944..........................14 Pages (Includes S-3 Rpts) (**)

               Jan. 1-31, 1945..........................10 Pages

               Jan. 8-18, 1945, Co. C..................3 Pages

               Feb. 1-28, 1945...........................8 Pages (++)

               Oct. 8, 1944-May 8, 1945, Co. C....5 Pages (Extracts) (++)

4.)  Historical Reports-from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, Abilene, Kansas and courtesy ofthe Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian (++).

               Historical Record, Dec. 15, 1941-Dec. 31, 1943.....5 Pages (++)

               Historical Record, Jan. 1-Sept. 20, 1944...............4 Pages (++)

               Highlights of Operations, Nov. 15-Dec. 31, 1944...3 Pages

               Historical Record, Dec. 15, 1941-Jan. 1, 1945.....15 Pages (Includes commanding officers & casualties)

               Historical Record, Dec. 31, 1944-Nov. 13, 1945....8 Pages (++) (Includes commanding officer, casualties & awards)

               Historical Facts.................................................9 Pages (++)

5.)  Various Orders and Assignments-from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Abilene, Kansas.

               General, Special & Movement, 1941-1943...........19 Pages

               Attachments & Assignments, 1943-1945.............25 Pages

               Awards, Transfers & Demotions, 1944-1945.........3 Pages

               Personnel Transfers to the 609th, June 27, 1945...4 Pages

6.)  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 (++).

               Various Historical Data, Dec. 15, 1941-Dec. 31, 1943.....4 Pages (++)

               HQ Movements, 1944 - 1945.......................................1 Page (++)

               Unit Travels, Aug. 3, 1944-May 15, 1945......................1 Page

               General Order #11, April 21, 1945...............................1 Page (Awards) (++)

7.)  Personal Narratives - These were written by former veterans of the 609th, during the 1980's, in response to questions they 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.

               Everett L. Morgan, 3rd Platoon, Co. C...........................5 Pages
               John Pilon, 3rd Platoon, Co. C......................................3 Pages
               Colby Ricker #1, 3rd Platoon, Co. C..............................5 Pages
               Colby Ricker #2..........................................................8 Pages
               Colby Ricker #3..........................................................5 Pages
               Colby Ricker #4..........................................................6 Pages

8.)  Photo Gallery

9.)  A Company Group Photo - Taken at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on April 15, 1942. Commanding Officer, 1st Lt. Hugh P. Stubbs is shown standing 13th from the left, in the front row.  The Company Executive Officer, 1st Lt. William H. Hatina, is standing next to him, at 14th.  Next to him is 1st Lt. Arthur C. O'Meara, at 15th position.  Note the 37mm Anti-tank guns in the forefront, used during the unit's training.  Photo courtesy of Paul Stevens.