1st Tank Destroyer Brigade

Unit History:  Unit was activated at Camp Hood, TX, on Nov. 18, 1942.  The unit moved to Camp Claiborne, LA, on Feb 26, 1943, and took part in the maneuvers there from Sep. 15 to Nov. 15, 1943.  Went to Camp Shanks, NY, arriving on Dec. 28, 1943.  The unit was prepared for overseas shipment and left on Jan. 2, 1944, from the New York Port of Embarkation.  Arrived in England on Jan. 10, 1944, and then shipped to France, arriving on Jul. 11, 1944.  The unit was utilized to create "Task Force A" and given command of armored forces on the Brittany Peninsula after the breakout at Avranches.  Acted as a separate combat command unit under VIII Corps.  "Task Force A" was broken up after the completion of the mission on Sep. 22, 1944.  Joined with Third Army and became their tank destroyer command unit on Sep. 30, 1944, until end of war.  Took on occupational duties in Germany until Oct. 31, 1945.  Deactivated thereafter.  Attached/Supported: VIII Corps and Third Army.  Information gathered from WWII Order of Battle by Shelby L. Stanton.

Combat Equipment:  N/A

Commanding Officers:  Brig. Gen. Herbert L. Earnest

Code Name/s:  Hippo

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:  None

Location August 1945:  Unknown

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  Photo Gallery

2.)  Thanksgiving Menu 1943 - A Thanksgiving menu for the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (which comprised the entire brigade) of the 1st TD Brigade.  Menu includes list of food for the meal and a list of personnel.  Cover is marked for the unit's anniversary because they had been activated one year earlier, in November of 1942.  At the time of these festivities, they were stationed at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, where they would stay for another month before moving to Camp Shanks, NY, for preparations to ship overseas.

3.)  Unit Photo - Taken at Camp Claiborne, LA, on November 25, 1943, which was probably the same time as their Thanksgiving meal.  Unfortunately there does not seem to be any of the higher ranking personnel in the photo.  There is a Captain on the far left and a 1st or 2nd Lieutenant on the far right who are probably the HQ Company Commanders.  The only soldier identified is T5 Charles L. Catherman, Jr.  He is standing in the second row from the front, fourth from the left.  Photo provided courtesy of Charles W. Catherman.

4.)  Unit Photo - Taken at Maxerville, France, which is a suburb of Nancy. The men are posed in the town schoolyard, which many times were used for Command Posts or housing for troops. Photo is courtesy of Sean Duffy. Page two includes a partial list of personnel, courtesy of Edward R. Schmuff who served with the unit and was contacted by Sean to assist him in identifying the men.

5.)  Camp Claiborne and Polk Maneuvers Map - A map used by James P. Duffy while the unit was stationed at Camp Claiborne, LA, and participated in maneuvers held in the area. The map has been well preserved and still shows the highlighted areas that T/5 Duffy had identified, included the black-out areas, outlined in GREEN and areas circled in RED, where lights could be turned on. Courtesy of Sean Duffy. 

6.)  Tank Destroyer Information Letters - These are information bulletins that were issued in a newletter format to all tank destroyer units.  They contain statistical, equipment destroyed, information for units subordinated to the 1st Bde, lessons learned from TD battalions, mechanical and equipment tips along with organization and unit coordination examples that are working in the field.  There are also numerous enemy engagement examples with details of how the given TD battalion dealt with the situation.  They provide a nice overview of how a TD battalion operated and maintained equipment in combat conditions.  Courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian.

       Nov. 1, 1944....................................11 Pages

       Dec. 1, 1944....................................15 Pages

       Jan. 1, 1945....................................20 Pages

       Feb. 1, 1945....................................26 Pages

       Mar. 1, 1945....................................15 Pages

       Apr. 1, 1945....................................13 Pages

       May 1, 1945....................................12 Pages 

7.)  Unit Attachment Documents-from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Abilene, Kansas.

       Dec. 28, 1943.........2 Pages

       Dec. 31, 1943.........3 Pages

8.)  Miscellaneous Documents - Courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Associatiion by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian.

         Training Memo No. 4, M36, Oct. 15, 1944.......2 Pages

         TD Operations, Nov. 20, 1944........................2 Pages

         Characteristics of TD Ammo, Apr. 6, 1945......4 Pages