823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion

Unit History:  Activated on 25 July, 1942, at Camp Carson, Colorado.  Arrived in England in April, 1944.  Landed at Omaha beach on 24 June with towed 3-inch guns.  Supported drive on St. Lô.  Fought at Mortain in August.  Passed through Belgium and Holland, entered Germany on 17 September.  Fought along Siegfried Line in October, including encirclement of Aachen.  Converted to M10's beginning in November.  Shifted to the Ardennes in late December and fought to eliminate the Bulge in January 1945.  Crossed Roer River on 24 February and Rhine on 24 March.  Raced eastward to Elbe River at Magdeburg in April.  Began military occupation duties on 21 April.  Attached to: 29th, 30th Infantry divisions.  History text from the book The Tank Killers by Harry Yeide.  Used by permission.

Combat Equipment: 6/44 - Towed 3" Gun; 12/44 - M10

Commanding Officers:  Originally Major Charles B. McClelland (later Lt. Col.) with Cpt. Robert W. Rayburn (later Major) as Exec, Officer; Lt. Col. Paul B. Bell (6/12/43) with Maj. Edward A. Costomiris (Exec. Officer); Lt. Col. Stanley Dettmer (2/11/44) with Maj. Edward A. Costomiris (Exec. Officer).

Code Name/s:  Anzac

Campaign Credits:    Normandy.......................Jun. 6, to Jul. 24, 1944

                                   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:   Distinguished Unit Citation - 6-12 Aug 44, WD GO 91-44, Co A only

                                                              7 Aug 44, WD GO 91-44, Co B only

                 Meritorious Unit Citation - -  26 Jun 44-26 Aug 44, GO 199, Hqs 30th Inf Div,  

                                                                              dtd 26 Jul 45.  Medical Det and HQ Co only

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

Location August 1945:  Echt, Holland

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  History of the 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion - Written and compiled in 1951 by Earl V. Williams of Company C, SSgt. Hobart Churchhill, SSgt. Morris Symons and SSgt Andrew Holmes, all of of Hqts.  This history was provided courtesy of Charles Wilts, son of Cpt. Frances E. Wilts, Commander of Company B. 

Part 1- Dedication, In Memory of, Louisiana Maneuvers, C.O. Letter, Activation and Training, XIX Corps Map, Combat & Normandy Campaign, St. Lo, Battle of Mortain.  Warning Large File (6.3MB)

Part 2 - Battle Honors, Mortain cont., Holland, Siegfried Line, The Roer, Battle of the Bulge, Germany, Crossing the Rhine, Magdeberg, Wars End, Homeward Bound, Unit Citation, Facts and Figures, Letter to Hobbs.  Warning Large File (4.7MB)

Part 3 - Roster

2.)  KIA (Killed in Action) Listing - Courtesy of Charles Wilts

3.)  WIA (Wounded in Action) Listing - Courtesy of Charles Wilts

4.)  MIA (Missing in Action) Listing - Courtesy of Charles Wilts

5.)  POW (Prisoner of War) Listing - Courtesy of Charles Wilts

6.)  The 823rd at Mortain: Heroes All- Article from January-February 1992 issue of ARMOR Magazine by Dr. Charles M. Baily and Mr. Jay Karamales.

7.)  Memorial Service Program- Held on May 20, 1945, in the Evangelical Luthern Church in Colbitz, Germany.  Captain Theodore P. Bornhoeft of the 2nd Tank Destroyer Group was Chaplain.  Courtesy of Charles Wilts.

8.)  After Action Reports - Courtesy of Charles Wilts

            Jun. 13-30, 1944..............2 Pages

            Jul. 1-31, 1944.................8 Pages

            Aug. 1-31, 1944..............10 Pages

            Sep. 1-30, 1944................8 Pages

            Oct. 1-31, 1944................8 Pages

            Nov. 1-30, 1944...............7 Pages

            Dec. 1-31, 1944..............10 Pages

            Jan. 1-31, 1945...............18 Pages

            Feb. 1-28, 1945...............12 Pages

            Mar. 1-31, 1945...............12 Pages

            Apr. 1-30, 1945...............14 Pages

            May 1-8, 1945...................2 Pages

            May 9-31, 1945.................3 Pages (Chronology only, no offensive action)

9.)   Stoumont Action Report - Dec. 18, 1944, 2 Pages

10.)  Battalion Records - Includes casualties, equipment losses and enemy vehicles destroyed.

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

            Battle Experience & Reccomendations, Oct. 18, 1944..............23 Pages

            Unit Data Letter, Oct. 25, 1944..............................................4 Pages (Includes officer roster)

            Recommended Changes in Org. E & E of TD Units, July 26, 1945.....8 Pages

            Study of T/O & T/E Deficencies, July 26, 1945................................9 Pages

            Various Documents, 1943-1945...................................................29 Pages

12.)  Photo Gallery 1

13.)  Photo Gallery 2

14.)  Photo Gallery 3

15.)  General Hobbs Letter to 30th Inf. Div. - Letter of praise from Maj. Gen. Leland Stanford Hobbs to the 30th Infantry Division and their attached units for the fine job they did on the western front from Dec. 16, 1944 to Jan. 24, 1945.  Courtesy of Darla Madsen Tolman.

16.)  General Orders
            #102, Nov. 16, 1944..............7 Pages (Silver and Bronze Star Awards List) Courtesy of Darla Madsen Tolman

            #153, Jun. 12, 1945..............4 Pages (Silver and Bronze Star Awards List) Courtesy of Darla Madsen Tolman

17.)  Company B Group Photo - Courtesy of Darla Madsen Tolman.  Her father, Ivan B. Madsen. is standing in the fourth row from the front and is the fourth person from the right.

18.)  1st Over Roer River and 2,500 Jews Rescued Articles - Two articles from the June 1945 issue of the "Scrap Book" newspaper of the Thirtieth Infantry Division.  The paper is identified as Vol. 1 No. 2 and seems to have been either printed in Possneck, Germany or maybe that's just where they were headquartered at the time.  Articles courtesy of Darla Madsen Tolman.

19.)  Early 1944 Unit Yearbook - A 29 page yearbook style collection of information on the 823rd.  The book includes small articles on the unit's past and current Commanding Officers, history of the unit, Officer listing, color map of the Louisiana maneuvers, an article on their training, some commendations and a number of photographs. The book was probably done in January of 1944 during the short period, Nov. 23, 1943 to Feb. 11, 1944, that Major Edward A. Costomiris was in charge of the unit.  It was on the 11th that Lt. Col. Stanley Dettmer would take command of the unit with Costomiris serving as his Executive Officer.  Yearbook courtesy of Darla Madsen Tolman.

20.)  Letter Regarding St. Maur, Belgium - A short note written, or at least signed by Lt. Col. Dettmer, regarding actions the unit took on September 3, 1944, at the Belgium border.