771st Tank Destroyer Battalion

Unit History:  Activated on 15 December, 1941, at Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont.  They shipped out from the New York port on October 21, 1943 and arrived at Liverpool, England on November 2, 1943. The 771st was chosen to train other TD personnel in the ETO Troop Replacement system. Company A would move out and act as an advanced unit to ship to France in late August. The rest of the battalion would ship out on September 15 and join them on the mainland, equipped with M10's.  Entered combat with the 102nd Infantry Division against the Siegfried Line defenses along the Würm River on 3 November.  Participated in the drive to the Roer River and held defensive positions there during December.  Converted to the M36 in January 1945.  Supported drive toward Rhine River in February.  Crossed the Rhine beginning 31 March and joined the 102nd Infantry Division’s drive across Germany to the Elbe River, reaching same on 14 April.  Spent remainder of the war helping to mop up bypassed pockets of resistance between the Rhine and the Elbe.  Attached to: 5th Armored Division; 102d Infantry Division; 11th Cavalry Group.  History text from the book The Tank Killers by Harry Yeide. Used by permission.

Combat Equipment: 11/44 - M10; 2/45 - M36

Commanding Officers:  Lt. Col. David DeG Smith

Code Name/s:  Midget

Campaign Credits:   Rhineland........................Sept. 15, 1944 to Mar. 21, 1945

                                 Central Europe.................Mar. 22, to May 11, 1945

Awards:  Distinguished Unit Citation - 16-20 Nov 44, WD GO 108-45, Co C only

Location August 1945:  Viersen, Germany

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)   Souvenir Edition of the Crow's Nest - Distributed to troops returning home on the Edmund B. Alexander Troop Ship.  Dated November 28, 1945, the troops on board included the 771st TD Bn, and the 802nd TD Bn. along with many others totalling 5,240 on board.  Courtesy of Steve Dike.

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

            Nov. 5-30, 1944...............6 Pages

            Dec. 1-31, 1944...............6 Pages

            Jan. 1-31, 1945...............7 Pages (some pages poor quality)

            Apr. 1-30, 1945.............11 Pages

            May 1-31, 1945................9 Pages (with overlay maps)

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

            Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1944...........20 Pages (Includes Officer roster, casualties & awards)

            Jan. 1-Dec. 1, 1945.............20 Pages (Includes Officer roster & casualties)

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

            Troop Assignment #147, June 12, 1945.......................18 Pages

            Index to Unit Records...................................................1 Page (These are the records available from the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.  If you would like to obtain copies of them, please contact us and we can help you with the process)

5.)  Second Platoon of Company C - Shown in the photo is John Martinelli, seated on the front of the TD wearing the helmet and George Yago standing beneath the gun with eyeglasses and no helmet.  Information provided by Joan Martinelli.  Photo courtesy of Bob Freego

6.)  Group Photo of Company C Members - Photo courtesy of Bob Freego.  Soldier I.D. by Joan Martinelli and reverse of photo from Jacob Schraeter.

7.)  Group Photo, Reconnaissance Company - Taken in 1942 at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. Provided courtesy of Paul Stevens.

8.)  Unit History - Includes officers list and both 1st and Staff Sergeants list.  Provided courtesy of Joan Martinelli

9.)  Unit Citation - General Order 83 of the 102nd Infantry Division, dated June 7, 1945, identifying that Company C of the 771st Tank Destroyer Battalion was cited for the award.  Provided courtesy of Joan Martinelli.

10.)  1961-62 Reunion Letter - Sent out by the 771st Tank Destroyer Association for their 20th Anniversary gathering of when they were created. Set for a resort in the Catskill Mountains of New York, the letter is signed by Walter Schraeter who was Chairman and Secretary of the Group. 

11.)  Photo Gallery