776th Tank Destroyer Battalion

Unit History:  On 21 December, 1941, a provisional antitank battalion of the 76th Field Artillery Brigade was activated as the 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion.  Issued M10's while still in the States.  Arrived Casablanca, Morocco, 25 January, 1943.  Fought in area of Maknassy and Ferryville, Tunisia.  Eighteen enlisted men participated in Sicily campaign as radio operators and military police.  Debarked vicinity of Cappaci, Italy, beginning 19 September, 1943. Main body committed near Rotondi 10 October, 1943, where it supported the Volturno River crossing.  Supported Rapido River crossing and fought near Cassino January–March 1944.  Joined breakthrough of Hitler Line May 1944, entered Rome 4 June and joined drive to Arno River.  Transferred to southern France in September–October 1944, during which they drew M36's.  Moved into line near Luneville on 30 October, 1944.  Supported French 2d Armored Division advance to Strasbourg in November.  Battled German Nordwind offensive around Rimling, France, in January 1945, where they claimed first Jagdtiger destroyed on Western front.  Attacked Siegfried Line near Omersheim, Germany, and crossed Rhine River near Worms in March 1945.  Aided capture of Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Ulm, Germany, and crossed Danube in April 1945.  Ended war in Ehrwald, Austria.  Attached to: 1st Armored Division; 4th, 34th, 44th, 63d, 85th, 100th Infantry divisions.  History text from the book The Tank Killers by Harry Yeide.  Used by permission.

Combat Equipment: 3/43 - M10; 10/44 - M36

Commanding Officers:  Lt. Col. Frank E. Meek (Original CO, 7/14/41);  Lt. Col. James P. Barney, Jr. (3/20/42);  Maj. William O. Shirley (4/28/44);  Lt. Col. Dwight E. Moorhead (8/27/44);  Lt. Col. John Dibble Jr. (7/5/45);  Maj. James J. Bergen Jr. (9/13/45);  Capt. Walter S. Snodell Jr. (9/16/45):  Lt. Col. Theodore C. Argue (10/2/45);  Capt. John G. C. Brown (11/4/45)

Code Name/s:  Vandal & Firefly

Campaign Credits:    Tunisia...........................Nov. 17, to May 13, 1942

                                 Naples - Foggia...............Sep. 9, 1943 to Jan. 21, 1944

                                 Rome Arno......................Jan. 22, to Sept. 9, 1944

                                 Rhineland........................Sept. 15, 1944 to Mar. 21, 1945

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

Awards:  Croix De Guerre (French or Belgium "Cross of War")

Location August 1945:  Insviller, Germany

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  Detailed history of unit with some photos - Found on the 100th Infantry Division website.

2.)  An Informal History of the 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion.  Published at the end of the war by the men of the unit and printed by Anton Pustet in Salzburg, Austria.  The book is large so it is provided in two parts.  The scans were provided courtesy of Tom Hubred.  NOTE - THESE FILES ARE LARGE

      Unit History Part 1 - Pages 1 to 52 (Distinctive Unit Insignia on Cover, Memoriam and photos)

      Unit History Part 2 - Pages 52 to 106 (Includes photos, campaign list, citations, awards, station list, roster and maps)

3.)  Roster - As provided in the Informal History. 

4.)  Company A History - A detailed history from its early National Guard unit days through the end of the war.  Numerous names throughout the text.  Courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian.

5.)  B Company 776 Tank Destroyer Battalion In Combat, by James A. Montgomery - A detailed history with crew photos (including ID's, location and date), a company photo/roster, commendation letters and additional photos.  Courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian.  Posted with permission from Tom Montgomery, son of James Montgomery who served as a radio operator in a platoon command half-track.  For a view of the war from a TD veterans perspective, you can order a hardbound copy of the book for $20.00 (including U.S. postage) from:  Thomas A. Montgomery, 515 Vinnedge Ct., Fairfield, OH 45014.  NOTE - THESE FILES ARE LARGE

                 Part 1...................................22 Pages

                 Part 2...................................22 Pages

                 Part 3...................................22 Pages

                 Part 4...................................22 Pages      

6.)  Company C Rosters, May and June, 1942 - Partial lists of enlisted personnel while the unit was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington.  Courtesy of Tom Hubred.

7.)  Colonel Barney Letter - A five page letter, written by Col. James P. Barney, containing his experiences and observations following TD combat in North Africa.  Courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian.

8.)  Colonel Barney Narrative - An 18 page summary of his "lessons learned" regarding equipment, personnel and tactics following his command of a TD unit in combat.  It is preceeded by a short news article about him which was published in the Temple Daily Telegram, Temple, Texas.  Courtesy of Tom Hubred.

9.)  Diary, Dec 17, 1942 - March 25, 1943 - Maintained by Capt. Willis F. Cole.  Courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian.

10.)  Photo Gallery

11.)  Operational Reports/Unit Journals/Unit History - Operational Reports from the Combined Arms Research Library of the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  Also courtesy of Tom Hubred (*).

                Sep. 26-Oct. 31, 1943......9 Pages (Includes casualty report)

                Oct. 31-Nov. 30, 1943......8 Pages (Includes casualty report)

                Nov. 1-28, 1943.............15 Pages (Messages only)

                Nov. 1-30, 1943.............31 Pages (Journal - includes casualties & messages)(*)

                Dec. 1-31, 1943...............5 Pages

                     Dec. 3-31, 1943..............16 Pages (Journal - includes casualties & messages)(*)

                Jan. 1-31, 1944................4 Pages (Includes casualty list)

                     Jan. 1-31, 1944...............23 Pages (Journal - includes casualties & messages)(*)

                Feb. 1-29, 1944................4 Pages

                     Feb. 1-29, 1944..............23 Pages (Journal - includes casualties & messages)(*)

                Mar. 1-31, 1944...............3 Pages

                     Mar. 1-31, 1944..............16 Pages (Journal)(*)

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

                     Apr. 1-30, 1944.............. 9 Pages (Journal)(*)

                May 1-31, 1944................5 Pages (Poor quality)

                May 1-31, 1944..............23 Pages (Journal - includes casualties)(*)

                May 12-31, 1944............14 Pages (Messages only)

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

                     Jun. 1-30, 1944..............34 Pages (Journal - includes casualties & messages)(*)

                Jul. 1-31, 1944................9 Pages (Includes casualty listing)

                     Jul. 1-31, 1944...............39 Pages (Journal - includes casualties & messages)(*)

                Nov. 1-30, 1944............10 Pages (*)

                Nov. 1-30, 1944............35 Pages (Journal - Incl casualties & Off. Roster) (*)

                     Dec. 1-31, 1944..............9 Pages (*)

                   Dec. 1-31, 1944............33 Pages (Journal - Pt. 1) (*)

                Dec. 1-31, 1944............32 Pages (Journal - Pt. 2, Incl. casualties & Off. Roster) (*)

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

                Feb. 1-28, 1945...............7 Pages (Some areas poor)

                May 10-31, 1945............26 Pages (Unit Hist - incl. awards & promotions)(*)

12.)  General Orders - Issued by the 63rd and 103rd Infantry Divisions for awards to unit personnel.  Courtesy of Tom Hubred.

                Part 1............................11 Pages

                Part 2............................10 Pages

                Part 3............................15 Pages

                Part 4............................11 Pages

13.)  Field and March Orders - Various orders issued between October 1943 and December 1944.  Courtesy of Tom Hubred.

                     Part 1............................15 Pages

                Part 2............................14 Pages

14.)  Operations Instructions - Documents from the NARA.  Some pages are difficult to read.  Courtesy of Tom Hubred. 

                    Feb., 1945........................2 Pages

               March, 1945....................13 Pages

                    April, 1945 Pt. 1...............11 Pages

               April, 1945 Pt. 2...............10 Pages

15.)  Unit Citation Documents - In May of 1945, the 776th recommended that their A and C Company personnel be cited by the War Department for actions during the period March 17-19, 1945.  The following are all part of the recommendation package submitted.  The award was never issued.  Courtesy of Tom Hubred.

                     Unit Citation Action Summary..............................10 Pages

                     63rd ID G-2 (Intelligence) Extracts.........................9 Pages

                     Proposed Citation................................................1 Page

                     Roster, Co A & Attachments.................................4 Pages

                     Roster, Co C & Attachments.................................5 Pages

                     Casualties, A & C Cos., 17-19 Mar, 1945...............2 Pages

                     Personal Statements..........................................10 Pages                     

16.)  Miscellaneous Documents - Courtesy of Tom Hubred.  Also courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian. (*)

                Unit Citations from the 63rd Inf. Div..........................2 Pages

                     Unit Commendations, 1944......................................3 Pages

                57mm AT Gun Test, Dec. 12, 1944...........................3 Pages

                Attack on Fort Simserhof.........................................2 Pages 

                     Assessment of M36.................................................2 Pages

                     Bazooka test on MK V Panzer...................................2 Pages

                Various Documents, 1941-1943..............................20 Pages

                     Various Documents, 1944-1945..............................22 Pages

                     HQ Co Merit Svc Unit Plaque & auth personnel...........3 Pages

                     Medical Detachment History, June 30, 1945...............6 Pages

                     Unit Inactivation Order, Nov. 24, 1945.......................1 Page

               Short Narrative from unknown source........................2 Pages (*)

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

17.)  Personal Narratives - These were written by a former veteran of the 776th, during the 1970'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.

                  Willard Totten, Recon Company, 5-22-79..................1 Page
                  Willard Totten, 7-4-79.............................................2 Pages

18.)  Tiger Tracks Newsletter - May, 1989.  Newsletter published by the 776th TD Bn. Association for it's members.  NOTE:  LARGE FILE

19.)  1990 Reunion Booklet - This was presented to the attendees at the units 1990 reunion held in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  It contains photo's of the veterans, and their wives, are both arranged by company along with an accounting of the committe's finances and a few letters from unit members.  Courtesy of Tom Hubred.