640th Tank Destroyer Battalion

Unit History:  Established December 19, 1941, at Camp San Luis Obispo, CA, from personnel of the 143rd Field Artillery, California National Guard.  Originally a Light Towed Battalion, they shipped from the San Francisco port of embarkation on Sep. 4, 1942, arriving in Hawaii on Sep. 12, 1942.  Arrived Guadalcanal on Feb. 5, 1944, New Britain on May 3, 1944 and the Philippines on Jan. 9, 1945.  Unit was attached to the 1st Cavalry, 24th, 43rd & 44th Infantry Divs.  Inactivated on Jan. 13, 1946, at Camp Anza, CA.

Combat Equipment:  M5 3" towed gun, 10/44 - M10

Commanding Officers:  Lt. Col. Leslie H. Cornaby

Code Name/s:  Unknown

Campaign Credits:   Bismarck Archipelago.........Dec. 15, 1943 to Nov. 27, 1944

                                   Eastern Mandates..............Jan. 31, 1944 to Jun. 14, 1944

                                 Luzon..............................Jan. 9, to Jul. 4, 1945

                                 Southern Philippines..........Feb. 27, to July 4, 1945

Awards:  None

Location August 1945:  Philippine Islands

Additional Information/Materials:

The following documents are from the Combined Arms Research Library of the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

1.)  Operational Reports

              Dec. 7, 1944-Mar. 12, 1945.......5 Pages (A Company Journal)

              Jan. 9-Mar. 19, 1945................2 Pages (Intelligence - difficult to read)

              Jan 9-Mar. 4, 1945...................1 Page (HQ Company Journal)

              Jan. 9-Mar. 18, 1945................4 Pages (C Company Journal)

              Jan. 9-Mar. 19, 1945................6 Pages (B Company Journal)

              Jan. 9-Mar. 19, 1945................8 Pages (Reconnaissance Company Journal)

              Jan. 9-Mar. 19, 1945................3 Pages (S-3 Report - difficult to read)

              Jan. 9-Mar. 19, 1945..............15 Pages (Unit Operations)

              Jan. 9-Mar. 19, 1945................3 Pages (M1 Report, Island of Luzon, Philippines)

              Mar. 20-Jun. 1945....................4 Pages (Victor-V Operation)

2.)  Reunion Group Photos

              Photo 1 - Unknown date showing veterans attending.  Peter Fortunato is shown sitting in second row from front, third from left.  Photo courtesy of John Giacchino.

              Photo 2 - Unknown date showing veterans attending.  Peter Fortunato is shown sitting in front row, fifth from the right.  Photo courtesy of John Giacchino.

              Photo 3 - Unknown date but from same reunion as photo 2.  Smaller group, which may be just members of B Company, to which Peter Fortunato was assigned.  Peter is shown standing in back row, first on left.  Photo courtesy of John Giacchino.

3.)  Original 1944/1945 maps of the Phillipines carried by Lt. Col. Cornaby during the war.  Courtesy of the Cornaby family.

              Luzon - with battle locations marked

              Mindanao-Davao - with elevations marked

              Manila

              Manila, back of map

              Mindanao-Lake Balut

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

              Brief History, Aug. 28, 1942.............................................3 Pages

              Drawing of Unit Flag and Explanation..........................................2 Pages

                 Commendation Letter - from Major General Rapp Brush on 3/4/45

              Notebook carried by Lt. Col. Cornaby...............................44 Pages

              News Articles..................................................................2 Pages

              Various Documents, 1941-1942........................................4 Pages

5.)  Unit History - This detailed 96 page history is a collection of the unit's official documents, which the book identifies as being collected by Major General Robert D. Partridge, who was a Captain and Commanding Officer of Recon. Company during WWII. It was edited and assembled by Lt. Colonel Claude W. Hass, who was a Lieutenant and Staff Officer for the unit during WWII. It includes Awards listings, casualty list, officers list, commendations as well as illustrations of the unit's TD equipment as commissioned by the Tank Destroyer Association. Courtesy of Bruce Rabe.

6.)  Personal Narrative - This was written by a former veteran of the 640th, 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.

               Martin Rounds, Feb 21, 1983...........................................1 Page

7.)  Photo Gallery