614th Tank Destroyer Battalion (AA)

Unit History:  Activated on 25 July, 1942 at Camp Carson, Colorado.  Reorganized as a towed battalion in May 1943.  Arrived in England on 7 September, 1944, landed at Utah beachhead beginning 8 October.  Deployed to Metz and supported operations against the Siegfried Line nearby in November and December.  Shifted to Hagenau Forest area.  Continued to support operations against Siegfried Line fortifications until late March, 1945.  Performed occupation duties in early April, then joined race to Innsbruck, Austria, and Brenner Pass.  Attached to: 95th, 103d Infantry divisions.  History text from the book The Tank Killers by Harry Yeide.  Used by permission.  The 614th was one of the few African-American TD units.

Combat Equipment:  11/44 - Towed 3" Gun.

Commanding Officers:  Lt. Col. Blaisdell C. Kenon;  Lt. Col. Frank S. Pritchard (10/16/43);  Major Richard K. James (11/6/45);  Major Floyd E. Rees (11/30/45);  Lt. Col. Delmer P. Anderson (6/30/46); Lt. Col. Henry W. Allard (8/20/46)

Code Name/s:  Handbag, Warrior

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 - 14 Dec 44, WD GO 37-45, 3rd Platoon, Company C only

Location August 1945:  Bouxwiller, France

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  614th Tank Destroyer Battalion Unit History - Titled "Three Inch Fury", includes detailed unit history, awards and casualties as well as a full roster.

2.)  History of 614th Tank Destroyer Battalion on Wikipedia site

3.)  Wikipedia article on 1st Lt. Charles Leroy Thomas- He was a Company Commander of the 614th and received the Distinguished Service Cross, which was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor in 1997, 17 years after his death.

4.)  Portion of text from the Special Studies "The Employment of Negro Troops" - by Ulysses Lee, for the Center of Military History.  Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 66-60003 First Printed 1966-CMH Pub 11-4.  The article includes a number of references to actions of the 614th and the 827th Tank Destroyer Battalions, which were both predominantly comprised of African-American soldiers. 

5.)  Task Force Blackshear - Article on the 614th's actions in the Vosges Mountains campaign in France in late 1944.  Also includes additional information on Lt. Charles Thomas, written by Warren Cohen, which was printed in the Michigan History Magazine in 1997.

6.)  Photo Gallery

7.)  Unit Journals and Historical Reports from the National Archives, College Park, MD.

Journals
    Dec. 1 to 31, 1944..............20 Pages
    Jan. 1 to 31, 1945..............11 Pages
    Feb. 1 to 28. 1945..............14 Pages
    Mar. 1 to 31, 1945..............12 Pages
    Apr. 1 to 30, 1945................6 Pages
    May 1 to 10, 1945................2 Pages

Histories with Officer and NCO Rosters

    1942-1944..........................4 Pages
    December 1944...................4
Pages 
    January 1945.......................4 Pages-No rosters
    February 1945.....................5 Pages 
    March 1945.........................4 Pages

    April 1945...........................7 Page
s
    May 1945............................8 Pages

General Orders - 103rd ID GO's (1945) courtesy of Tom Hubred.

    1943-1944.......................................12 Pages (Includes awards)

    1945, Part 1.....................................18 Pages (Includes awards)

             Part 2.....................................21 Pages (Includes awards)

    1946.................................................6 Pages (Includes unit inactivation)

Personal Narratives

    Sgt. Charles H. McKowan, Co. C, 2nd Platoon...............11 Pages (Page 1 missing)

    Sgt. Dillard L. Booker, Co. C, 3rd Platoon, #1.................2 Pages

    Sgt. Dillard L. Booker, Co. C, 3rd Platoon, #2.................1 Page

    Sgt. Thomas Ingram, 1st Recon Platoon........................7 Pages

    Sgt. Weldon D. Freeman, Co. C, 2nd Platoon.................4 Pages

    Pvt. Chester Jones.....................................................15 Pages

    Unknown, #1, (possibly Sgt. Booker).............................1 Page

    Unknown, #2..............................................................3 Pages   

Miscellaneous Documents
    Battle Participation Award, Dec. 1, 1944.........................1 Page
    Grave Registration Burial Roster, May 1945.....................1 Page
    Daily Report, Jan. 20-29, 1945.....................................20 Pages
    Lt. Col. Pritchard Farewell Letter, Oct. 16, 1945...............1 Page
    Reactivation Narrative, Sep. 1946...................................2 Pages
    Battalion Training History, 1942 - 1944............................3 Pages
    Killed in Action List, Nov. 1944 - Jan. 1945.......................1 Page
    Missing in Action List - France, Jan. 25, 1945...................1 Page
    DUC Recom. C Co. - TF Blackshear, Dec. 20, 1944...........2 Pages
    Distinuished Unit Citation, GO 37, excerpt........................2 Pages
    S-3 Rpt., Co. C at Climbach, Dec 13-14, 1944..................4 Pages
    Various Docs, 1942-1943.............................................14 Pages
    Various Docs, 1944.....................................................11 Pages
    Various Docs, 1945.....................................................36 Pages