Rob Haldeman – Site Founder / Researcher
My name is Rob Haldeman and I have lived my entire life in a small town in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I am married and my wife works in our local school district. The youngest of two sons, I grew up in what I would call a working class family. My father was a carpenter, which I believe fueled my love of construction and building things. I was formally trained as a draftsman and worked at a leading fire apparatus manufacturer for over 27 years. During my time there I worked in both Engineering and Sales. My job would expand into the marketing of our products as well as the creation of technical documentation for the product.
I did not start out to create a website but just wanted to learn more about my father’s military career. He rarely spoke of his time in the service and when he passed away I began to be more curious about that time in his life. Years later, my wife and I attempted to start a family. It wasn’t long until we were told that physical issues would most likely not permit us to have children. Both my wife and I are Christians, so we went to our Pastor for guidance. It was with his support that we all went to God in prayer. It was many months later, after a major job change for my wife, that we did have our first miracle daughter. Over the next seven years we would be blessed with two more gifts from God, both girls.
With these new lives came a renewed urgency to continue my research. These three little children would never have the opportunity to meet their grandfather in person but they could learn of him through the information I would uncover. It is with great pleasure that I dedicate all my research to them, hoping that someday they might share the pride I have for him and the service he and his fellow soldiers performed for our country.
I enjoy riding motorcycle, working on home projects and watching movies as well as spending time with my wife and children. Both my wife and I are also very active in our church, which is the Reamstown Church of God.
Steve Dike – Associate Researcher
I’m Steve Dike. I was born in Evansville, Indiana, but spent most of my youth in west St. Louis County when my father was transferred with Chrysler Corp. Following a stint with the Army in Vietnam, I moved to Denver, Colorado. Most of my 45+ years in Colorado have been spent living in numerous locations on the western side of the state. I’ve also lived in Utah and, most recently, in the Idaho panhandle. Good fortune allowed me to retire early and I decided to move back to Western Colorado. My work career was started at a soils engineering company but I spent over 20 years as a Quality Engineer for a large construction managment and engineering firm. I traveled extensively over the years working on environmental cleanup projects. Somehow, I managed to get assigned to interesting projects and, surprisingly, all of them were in locations that I enjoyed exploring.
I’ve been interested in WWII over the years but started researching when I discovered my uncle had been shot down while flying on B-17’s out of England. He and I eventually acquired the names of seven German pilots who claimed a B-17 downed that day. Over time I became interested in my Dad’s activities with the 607th Tank Destroyer Bn during the war. His unit history book was in a bookcase in the basement and I used to look at it when I was a kid, but never told him or asked anything about it. Like most children of men from that generation, I had always heard that they didn’t want to talk about it. Eventually, a few years ago, I decided to ask him if he would show me the things he brought back from Europe. He was fine with it and after going through everything, I began searching to see what else was available about the 607th. Sadly, he passed away before I acquired the unit documents posted on the site now; how I wish I could have shared them with him.
Rob contacted me in the summer of 2010 regarding my Dad’s photos, which I had posted online. We began to correspond and I broadened my research of the 607th. This small beginning grew into my researching all TD units and subsequently contributing any findings to the growing resources on the site. This history is being lost on a daily basis and I feel it’s important to document it for future generations. It’s very gratifying to read the guestbook entries from visitors who have been able to find their relative’s name in a document, maybe even a photo or just learn about where and what action a particular unit experienced during the war.
I’m an avid fly-fisherman, explorer/photographer, hiker and bicyclist.
In late September of 2023, we relaunched tankdestroyer.net as a WordPress site with the help of a local web design and hosting company, RedX Web Design. The company is owned and operated by Jason Redcay, an Army veteran, who along with his skilled team on this project including Jamie, Austin, Conrad, and Mea, worked for several months to pull together this new and updated site. It is with much appreciation that I include them as a critical part of our tankdestroyer.net team. You can learn more about RedX at their website: redxwebdesign.com