Coleman, Arthur J. (672nd)

   Arthur J Coleman

Biography:  Arthur Jay Coleman was born on February 14, 1924, in Newburg, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Lloyd Melvin Coleman and Helen Mae Harvey and graduated from Shippensburg High School in 1941. After his graduation, he worked at the Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, PA.

Service Time:  Arthur entered the service on March 3, 1943, at Harrisburg, PA. After his basic training, he was assigned to the Company A of the 672nd Tank Destroyer Battalion. On April 15, 1944, while stationed at Fort Ord, California, the unit was redesignated as the 672nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion and Arthur trained as a LVT (Amphibious or Landing Vehicle, Tracked) driver and participated in the upcoming critical island landings.

They sailed from the San Francisco Port of Embarkation on September 23, 1944, and landed at Bougainville Island, on October 9, 1944. The unit was attached to the 37th Infantry Division and carried troops ashore in the assault landing on January 9, 1945, at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippine Islands. They supported both the 37th Infantry Division and the 1st Cavalry Division in the drive south to Manila.

In February, 1945, they were attached to the 11th Airborne Division for the mission to capture the Los Banos prisoner camp and release its civilian internees on February 23, 1945. Moving to Morotai, in June 1945, the battalion was attached to the 1st Australian Division and one company from the Battalion carried troops ashore in the assault landing at Balikpapan Borneo, on July 1, 1945.

Arthur received credit for three campaigns including Luzon, Northern Solomons and the Southern Philippines. He was awarded the American Theater Ribbon, the Asiatic-Pacific Service Ribbon, the WWII Victory Ribbon, the Philippines Liberation Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal. He left the service at Fort Knox, Kentucky, on January 6, 1946, at the rank of Private.

After returning home, he went back to work at the Letterkenny Army Depot but also continued his education at the University of Oklahoma. He would later start his own business, building picnic tables, dog houses, and storage sheds. In June of 1952, he married the former Mary Grace Hartman who was born in St. Thomas, PA, and was the daughter of Paul Edmund Hartman and Emma Grace Ricker. The new couple would make their home in Shippensburg, PA, and have four children, Deborah, born in 1953, Douglas in 1957, Lori in 1963 and Lisa in 1964.

In his spare time, Arthur enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 223 and the Durff-Khun VFW Post 6168, which were both located in Shippensburg. He was also a member of the Messiah United Methodist Church and had been a trustee. He retired from the Army Depot in 1979.

Arthur passed away on December 28, 1997, and was buried in the Parklawns Memorial Gardens in Chambersburg. I want to thank Arthur’s granddaughter, Lauren, for providing the information and photo of her grandfather. Thank you also to Find A Grave contributor, Susan C. (sq1979), for the grave marker photo.