638th Tank Destroyer Battalion

Unit History:  Established 15 December, 1941, at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.  Arrived at Cherbourg, France, 7 September, 1944, equipped with M18's.  Entered the line near Prummern on 20 November and supported operations against the Siegfried Line.  Shifted to the Ardennes sector around Rochefort, Belgium, on 22 December.  Fought to reduce the Bulge during January 1945.  Supported Roer River crossing in February.  Crossed the Rhine River on 1 April.  Advanced across Germany and reached the Elbe River, near Wittenberg, on 24 April.  Attached to: 84th Infantry Division.  History text from the book The Tank Killers by Harry Yeide.  Used by permission.

Combat Equipment:  11/44 - M18

Commanding Officers:  Lt. Col. Harold L. Davis

Code Name/s:  Coachman

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:  None

Location August 1945:  Ft Benning, GA

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  Small photo gallery of the 638th TD Bn on the 84th Infantry Division website.

2.)  638th Tank Destroyer Battalion in WWII - A book published in January 1992, by "Art" Arthur R. Paulin, who served in HQ Company of the unit. I want to thank Dr. Nancy McDonald, daughter of the unit's commanding officer, Lt. Col. Harold L. Davis, for providing us with a copy of the book. I want to especially thank the Paulin family for allowing us to post the book on our site. The book was a labor of love for Art with him handling the writing and his wife Anne doing the typing. The text has been scanned with O.C.R. so it is searchable.

The following documents are from the Combined Arms Research Library of the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, Abilene, Kansas (**).

3.)  Operational Reports

              Nov. 1 - 30, 1944..............3 Pages

              Dec. 1 - 31, 1944...............7 Pages (Includes casualties and awards)

              Jan. 1 - 31, 1945...............9 Pages (After Action with casualties)

              Feb. 1 - 28, 1945...............4 Pages

              Mar. 1 - 31, 1945...............8 Pages

              Apr. 1 - 30, 1945...............8 Pages

              May 1 - 31, 1945...............3 Pages

              June 1 - 21, 1945..............9 Pages (Includes awards) (**)

4.)  Awards and Promotions

              December 1944.................3 Pages

              January 1945....................4 Pages

              February 1945...................8 Pages

              March 1945.....................18 Pages

              April 1945........................3 Pages (Unit and individual)

              April (Late) & May 1945...25 Pages

5.)  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.

                  Basic Load Recommendation......................1 Page

              Various Documents, 1943-1944..................6 Pages

6.)  Photo Gallery