628th Tank Destroyer Battalion

628TD-Battaliuon-Crest

 

Unit History:  Established 15 December, 1941, from the 28th Infantry Division Antitank Battalion (Provisional), Indiantown Gap, PA.  Originally a Light Towed Battalion.  Shipped from New York port of embarkation on Jan. 29, 1944, on the Aquitania and arrived at Greenock, Scotland, on 6 February, 1944 and disembarked at Utah Beach on 30 July, equipped with M10s.  Committed to battle on 2 August near Perier, France.  Participated in envelopment of Falaise Pocket.  Dashed east to the Belgian border, arriving on 2 September.  Helped liberate Luxembourg, began assault on the Siegfried Line on 13 September.  Conducted artillery missions in October.  Converted to M36's in November, then committed to fighting in the Hürtgen Forest in December.  Shifted to Aachen sector on 8 December only to be ordered to the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge.  Fought to eliminate Bulge in January 1945. Crossed Roer River beginning 25 February and reached the Rhine on 10 March.  Crossed the Rhine on 31 March at Wesel.  Slashed through Germany to the Elbe River by 11 April.  Attacked back west to eliminate German pockets. Took up occupation duties on 26 April near Peine.  Attached to: 82d Airborne Division; 3d, 5th Armored divisions; 75th Infantry Division.  Deactivated at Camp Myles Standish, MA on Nov. 14, 1945.  History text from the book The Tank Killers by Harry Yeide. Used by permission.

Combat Equipment:  8/44 - M10; 11/44 - M36.

Commanding Officers:  William M. Hernandez (KIA
8/20/44). William J. Gallagher (8/20/44)

Code Name/s:  Victory, Highstorm


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 -29 Nov-8 Dec 44, WD GO 31-47, Co. C only                            Croix De Guerre (French or Belgium "Cross of War")

Location August 1945:  Neersen, Germany

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  Detailed History of the Unit - Official Unit History "Victory TD" done by the unit on June 7, 1945. From the Combined Arms Research Library of the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

         Section 1.............Pages Cover to 39     (Includes unit losses and early history)

         Section 2.............Pages 40 to 77          (Cont. of history, enemy loss stats and HQ Staff section)

         Section 3.............Pages 78 to 110        (Staff cont. A and B Companies)

         Section 4.............Pages 111 to 147      (Staff cont. B and C Companies)

         Section 5.............Pages 148 to 176      (Staff cont. C and Recon. Companies/Medical Detachment)

         Awards and Decorations.........7 Pages  (Originally part of Unit History)

         Commendations....................2 Pages  (Originally part of Unit History)

         Unit Roster..........................18 Pages  (Originally part of Unit History)

         Map of Travels in U.S.A..........1 Page  (Also included in Unit History)

         Map of Travels in Great Britain 1 Page  (Also included in Unit History)

         Map of Travels in Europe.........1 Page (Also included in Unit History)

2.)  Officers of the 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion - Photo taken Jan. 6, 1944, at Fort Dix, NJ.

NOTE:  Interestingly, the photo listed above was provided to me by the family of Capt. R.J. Arendt.  In that photo, seated center and center right are the two senior officers.  Seated just right of center is Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. William M. Hernandez.  Just right of Hernandez is Maj. William J. Gallagher, Battalion Executive Officer.  On August 20th, 1944, while directing indirect fire during the Battle of the Seine River, near Douains, France, Lt. Col. Hernandez was killed at 1630 hours.  At 1700 hours Maj. Gallagher assumed command of the unitCapt. Arendt is shown seated, 6th from the right.  He transferred to the HQ Co. 6th TD Group (my father's unit) along with Capt. Thomas M. Cook, while they were stationed in southern England preparing for the D-Day invasion.  1st Lieutenant Herbert A. Pratte is shown sitting, fifth from the right.

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

               Aug. 1 to 31, 1944..............7 Pages (Includes casualties)

               Sept. 1 to 30, 1944..............7 Pages (Includes casualties)

               Oct. 1 to 31, 1944...............3 Pages (Includes casualties)

               Nov. 1 to 30, 1944..............3 Pages (Includes casualties)

               Dec. 1 to 31, 1944...............7 Pages (Includes casualties)

               Jan. 1 to 31, 1945...............6 Pages (Includes casualties)

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

               Mar. 1 to 31, 1945.............10 Pages (Includes casualties, awards & reinforcements)

               Apr. 1 to 30, 1945.............13 Pages (Includes casualties)

4.)  Unit Journals-from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, Abilene, Kansas.

               Sept. 1-30, 1944.................9 Pages

               Oct. 1-31, 1944..................4 Pages (Page 3 is illegible)

               Nov. 1-30, 1944.................5 Pages

               Dec. 1-31, 1944................10 Pages

               Jan. 1-31, 1945..................9 Pages

               Feb. 1-28, 1945..................6 Pages (Page 5 missing)

5.) Miscellaneous Documents-from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, Abilene, Kansas

               Combat History, HQ Company, Aug. 2-Dec. 7, 1944.....................7 Pages

               Company Diary, A Company, Nov. 28, 1944-Jan. 25, 1945...........6 Pages

               Company Diary, C Company, Oct. 1-31, 1944..............................1 Page

               G-3 Periodic Reports, Feb-June, 1944..........................................6 Pages

               Battle Experience Report, Sept. 30, 1944.....................................2 Pages

               Effect of 90mm gun on Enemy Tanks...........................................1 Page

               G. O. #59, Lt. Col. Hernandez DSC Award, Sept. 13, 1944............1 Page

               History, 1944.........................................19 Pages (Includes casualties & awards)

               Various Documents, 1941-1945...............31 Pages (Includes awards)         

6.)  Photo Gallery