On March 11, 1941, 26 young men from Roosevelt County left Portales to be drafted into the U.S. Army in Santa Fe.
We became close as brothers for almost five years. We had one dear friend we called “Pop” who kept us in line. His name was George McCollough and he was killed in action in Italy and buried there. A few years after the World War II ended George McCollough brother’s had George’s body brought back to Portales. Eight of George’s comrades met his casket at 3 am. Shown in the photo are from L to R, George Gushwa, Jim Robinson, Johnny Morgan, Oliver Fenton, R.E. Self, Carol McClusty, J.W. Capps, George Barton (kneeling).
Rex L. Burns on left and an unknown soldier on right of the 804th Tank Destroyer Battalion pose with their M1 Sub-Machine Guns. The photo was taken while the unit was stationed in Belfast, Ireland in August of 1942. Photo courtesy of Barry Burns.
Samuel W. DeStephano of A Company on left with Jack Dunham in center and John Gaddy on right. Photo courtesy of Laura DeStephano Ishler.
Samuel W. DeStephano of A Company on right, posing with an unknown soldier. Photo courtesy of Laura DeStephano Ishler.
A group of soldiers from Company A taken in the Alps just after the German surrender. Shown in front L to R, Romanick, Smyth, Squible, Alphonso, J. Pangonis and John McKillen. Middle row L to R, Hale, Eldon Pittman, John T. Gaddy, R. Thompson, Samuel W. DeStephano, Thompson, LaMonde, Joe Kinnich and an unknown soldier. On top of destroyer L to R, Bill Martin, Louis George, Joe Romeco and Ted Martin. Photo courtesy of Laura DeStephano Ishler.
Photo of an M10 of the 804th Tank Destroyer Battalion. Looks like a make-shift camp with a tarp over the front hatches and a tent, out of view, to the right. Photo courtesy of Laura DeStephano Ishler.
Here is a photo of an unknown soldier that was found in the possessions of Samuel W. DeStephano, so it is believed this soldier was also part of the 804th. Note that he is wearing the same 5th Army patch as the other men of the unit. Courtesy of Laura Ishler.
A tank destroyer crew of the 804th. As you can see, one of the men is holding a copy of the Stars and Stripes newspaper, which says that "Its All Over, Over Here". The photo was obviously taken after May 8, 1945, or VE Day. Shown on far right is Sgt. Thomas D. White. Photo courtesy of Brenda Cooper.
Another image of the same tank destroyer crew, with Sgt. Thomas D. White shown in center, wearing a hat. The TD is marked 5A804TD signifying that the 804th was serving under the 5th Army at the time. This TD is a later model M10 since the the turret counterweights are the "duckbill" design. You are actually looking at the front of the TD with the turret rotated backward in the travel position with the cannon facing rearward. Photo courtesy of Brenda Cooper.