Hammond, Frederick T. (823rd)

Frederick T. Hammond 1Frederick T. Hammond

Biography:  Frederick Thomas Hammond “Fred” was born on November 15, 1909, in Winthrop, Maine. He was the son of Herbert L. Hammond and Aldia M. Higgins and graduated from Sabattus High School in 1928.

He initially worked in the shipyards in South Portland, ME. On August 19, 1938, Fred married the former Harriet F. Stanley, who was born in Bar Harbor, ME, and was the daughter of Frederick Bryant Stanley and Blanche A. Powers. The new couple would make their home in Hallowell, ME.

Just prior to the war, we was working for the Hallowell Shoe Company as a burnisher, creating high quality finishes on their products.

Service Time:  Fred entered the service on November 6, 1943, at Portland, ME. After his initial training, we believe he was sent to Camp Hood, Texas, for advanced training as a replacement anti-tank gun crewman for a tank destroyer unit. His responsibilities included bringing ammunition to the loader and aiming and firing the main gun as directed. It was during his early training that he qualified as a sharpshooter with the .30 cal. Carbine.

He was one of the older enlisted men but felt strongly that he had a duty to fight. He was ultimately assigned to Company B of the 823rd Tank Destroyer battalion and affectionately nicknamed “Pops”. The 823rd had already trained at a number of military facilities including Camp Livingston, Louisiana, Camp Robinson, Arkansas, Camps Bowie and Hood, Texas and Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. From there they moved to Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts for final preparations before shipping overseas. The men boarded ship, the USS Sea Porpoise, and set sail on April 6th, 1944, arriving in England on April 17th. Fred shipped out on May 30th and may have joined the unit while they were in England or possibly in France. The 823rd continued their training while in the U.K. and then boarded transports, landing at Omaha Beach on June 24th.
Frederick T. Hammond 2Frederick T. Hammond 4


The unit was equipped with towed 3-inch anti-tank guns and supported the drive on St. Lô. They fought at Mortain in August and passed through Belgium and Holland, entering Germany on September 17th. The 823rd fought along the Siegfried Line in October, including the encirclement of Aachen and converted to M10 tank destroyers beginning in November. They then shifted to the Ardennes in late December and fought to eliminate the Bulge in January 1945. Crossing the Roer River on February 24th and the the Rhine River on March 24th, they raced eastward to Elbe River at Magdeburg in April.

After the war ended, the 823rd would remain in Germany on occupational duty. At some point, Fred was transferred to the Reconnasciance Company of the unit, which began it’s move home in September. Fred remained in Europe and only shipped back to the U.S. on December 12, 1945, arriving on the 22nd. He left the service at the rank of Private First Class, at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Fred received credit for each of the unit’s campaigns, including Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, the Ardennes, and Central Europe.

Fred was awarded the EAME, WWII Victory and the American Theater Medals and shared in B Company’s award of the DUC (Distinguished Unit Citation). They received the award for actions against the enemy on August 7th, 1944, in the vicinity of St. Barthelmy, France, when they provided anti-tank gun support to the 30th Infantry Division throughout the day. Even though the unit itself had suffered heavy losses of both personnel and equipment, they remained in position with utter disregard of their personal safety, which ultimately caused the enemy to withdraw from the entire sector.

Frederick T. Hammond 3Honorable Discharge

Fred returned to Hallowell and had a daughter, Diane, born in 1947. He worked for the E. E. Taylor Shoe Company in Augusta, ME, becoming a supervisor in the factory. In his spare time, he enjoyed playing cribbage and other card games. He also loved the outdoors and spent time boating and fishing as well as time in the family’s summer cottage and the surrounding woods, which provided him a great comfort and solace.

He was also a Mason and active in the local Temple in Hallowell. Fred passed away on February 9, 2001, and was buried in the Maine Veterans cemetery in Augusta, ME. Although he was born on the 15th, his grave marker lists the 16th because that is when the family always celebrated it.

I want to thank Fred’s daughter, Diane, for providing the information and photos used in this tribute.

 Frederick T. Hammond 5