658th Tank Destroyer Battalion

                                                                   658th-Amphib-Tractor-Bn-Patch     658th-Amphib-Tractor-Bn-Logo

 

Unit History:  Established April 10, 1943, at Camp Bowie, TX.  On Apr. 15, 1944, while stationed at Fort Ord, CA, the unit was redesignated as the 658th Amphibian Tractor Battalion.  The unit sailed from the San Francisco Port of Embarkation on Sep. 23, 1944, and landed in New Guinea on Oct. 17, 1944.  They proceeded to New Britain I, arriving on Oct. 28, 1944, and then landing in the Lingayen Gulf, Philippines on Jan. 9, 1945.  From there it was off to Palawan I, landing on Feb. 28, 1945, and then Zamboanga, Mindanao, on Mar. 10, 1945.  Landed on Cebu I on Mar. 26, 1945, and Sanga Sanga I on Apr. 2, 1945, Jolo I on Apr. 9, 1945 and Malabang, Mindanao, on Apr. 17, 1945, finally landing in Macajalar Bay, Philippines, on May 10, 1945.  The unit landed back at the San Francisco Port on Jan. 13, 1946.  The unit was deactivated at Camp Stoneman, CA on Jan. 15, 1946.

Combat Equipment:  N/A

Commanding Officers:  Lt. Col. Harold C. Brownell (4/10/43); Lt. Col. Fred A. Rathke (7/31/44); Maj. Thomas S. Leitch (10/19/45)

Code Name/s:  Unknown

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

                                 Leyte...............................Oct. 17, 1944 to Jul. 1, 1945

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

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

Awards:  Unknown

Location August 1945:  Bacolod, Philippines

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  Photo Gallery

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

                  Apr. 10, 1943.......................1 Page (General Order #1, Activation of Unit)

                  Apr. 10 to Dec. 1943...........12 Pages (Battalion History)

                  Jan. to Apr. 15, 1944............4 Pages (Battalion History)

                  Apr. 15, 1944.......................1 Page (Field Order #1, Conv. to Amphib. Tractor Bn.)

                  Apr. 15 to Dec. 1944...........11 Pages (Battalion History)

                  Jun. 9, 1944.........................1 Page (Field Order #2, Deactivation of Co. C)

                  Jul. 31, 1944........................1 Page (General Order #3, Assumption of Command)

                  Jan. 9 to Dec. 1945.............32 Pages (Battalion History w/awards listing throughout)

                  Mar. 3, 1945......................11 Pages (Field Order #2)

                  Mar. 7 to Jun. 23, 1945.........4 Pages (AAR for V-4 Oper. Areas difficult to read) 

                  April 7, 1945......................21 Pages (Field Order #3, includes map overlays) 

                  Apr. 13 to Jul. 4, 1945..........5 Pages (AAR for V-5 Operation)

                  Commendations 1945.........12 Pages

                  Awards 1945......................10 Pages

                  Jan. 1 to 15, 1946................1 Page (Battalion History)

                  Amphibious Operations.......10 Pages (Planning & Logistics.  Some words difficult to read)

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

                  Special Order #105, May 1, 1945.................................1 Page

3.)  Anniversary Program - Mimeographed Program for 658th Amphibian Tractor Battalion Anniversary Celebration at Villa Beach Club, Iloilo, PI, 22 September, 1945.  From the General Patton Museum website.

4.)  1990 Reunion Program - The 658th Amphibious Tractor Battalion Assoc. was formed on August 19, 1989.  They began to meet together and produced an extensive program for their annual reunion.  The 1990 issue includes information on the reunion itself, which was held on August 15, 16, and 17 in Milwaukee, WI at the Airport Quality Inn; an introduction from Elmer Hallen, the reunion and association organizer; a history of the unit, from its activation on April 10, 1943, to Jan 15, 1946; a few official war-time documents, a number of photos (difficult to see); current address listing of about 190 of the members of the unit and a "Taps" listing of those members that had passed away.

5.)  1991 Reunion Program - The 3rd annual reunion of the 658th was held on August 22, 23 and 24 in Northbrook, IL, at the Ramada Inn.  This program contains similar information to the 1990 booklet but the history section has been enhanced with a number of the Awards Documents for the unit's members.  The current address list has grown as has the list of deceased.  There is also a photo on the rear cover of the ship the unit sailed home on, the U.S.S. Albemarle AV-5.