Blatnick, Anthony (893rd)

Anthony Blatnick

Biography: Anthony Blatnick was born on March 17, 1920, in Detroit, Michigan. He was one of two sons and two daughters born to Anton Blatnick and Caroline Borovsky. The 1940 U.S. Census indicates he completed one year of high school. Anthony’s draft card, dated February 16, 1942, shows he was employed by the Ex-Cell-O Corporation in Detroit.

Service Time: We don’t have any information as to when Anthony entered the Army but at some point, he was assigned to 2nd Platoon, Company C of the 893rd Tank Destroyer Battalion. The 893rd was the first unit to arrive at the newly established TDC (Tank Destroyer Center) at Camp Hood, Texas and their soldiers were utilized as Tank Destroyer School Troops. The 893rd would contribute hundreds of men to the various units that passed through the TDC.

The unit moved to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, in early 1943, and participated in the Louisiana Maneuvers. In December, they received orders to proceed to the New York port and prepare for shipment overseas. They departed from the New York port on January 9, 1944, and arrived in Liverpool, England, on January 20th.

After months of additional training and preparations, they boarded transports and landed at the Omaha beachhead in Normandy, France, on July 1st, equipped with M10 tank destroyers. They were committed to battle in the vicinity of St. Jean de Daye and advanced to Paris by August 25th. They then proceeded to the Siegfried Line in the Schnee Eifel along the Belgian-German border.

They fought in the Hürtgen Forest in November, supporting the 28th Infantry Division’s disastrous assault on Schmidt and remained there when the division was replaced. The unit held defensive positions in January 1945, supporting the 78th Infantry Division’s capture of the Roer River dams in February, 1945. They participated in the offensive across the Roer River toward the Rhine River. On March 7th, they crossed the Rhine at Remagen and supported the attack northward to the Sieg River and subsequent operations against the Ruhr Pocket in April.

On April 8, 1945, two tank destroyers from 2nd Platoon, Company C, one of which Anthony was serving as a crew member on, were ordered to move from Lichtenberg, Germany and attack the town of Springe. With infantry leading the way, followed by three tanks and the TD’s, the group moved out. As they proceeded, the armor began receiving anti-tank fire from a distant ridge. Anthony’s destroyer was hit in the motors and immediately caught fire, killing him and two other men. His remains were never recovered and he is listed as MIA (Missing In Action).

Anthony posthumously received the Purple Heart Medal and was awarded the EAME ribbon, with credit for the campaigns of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Germany, the Good Conduct and WWII Victory medals.

He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands. We would like to thank Anthony for making the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Thank you also to FindaGrave contributors “usafdo”, for use of the photo of Anthony, and Fred, for use of the photo from the Tablets of the Missing.