Perry E. Hollowell
Biography: Perry Elmer Hollowell was born on May 5, 1922, in Shepardsville, Indiana. He was the son of Perry Elmer Hollowell and Mary Gertrude Hughes and attended local schools in Shepardsville through the 10th grade. After leaving school, he found work with the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). His enlistment record indicates he had experience driving bus, taxi, truck, and/or tractor.
Service Time: Perry entered the service on September 10, 1942, at Indianapolis, IN. After his basic training, he was assigned to Company C, of the 630th Tank Destroyer Battalion. The unit trained at a number of military facilities after being activated at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, on December 15, 1941. The 630th moved to Fort Hood, Texas, for their primary training with the TDs and received additional training at Camp Bowie, Texas, Camp Blanding, Florida, and Camp Rucker, Alabama. They also participated in the Tennessee Maneuvers in March through June of 1943.
The 630th shipped out on June 3, 1944, from the New York port, aboard the ship New Amsterdam. They arrived in England on June 12th and after a month of additional training and final preparations, they boarded LST transports and landed at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, on July 24th.
The 630th was equipped with 3″ towed anti-tank guns and entered the line near Colombieres. They advanced across France with the 28th Infantry Division to Luxembourg and supported operations against the Siegfried Line in September & October. Operating in the Hürtgen Forest in November, they shifted to the Ardennes sector with the 28th Infantry Division in late November and were still located there at the start of German offensive in December.
The unit shifted south to the Colmar area in January, 1945, where the 28th Infantry Division operated under French control. They returned north in mid-February only to redeploy south to the Saar region of Germany in mid-March, after which the battalion converted to the M36 self-propelled tank destroyer. They 630th participated in the elimination of the Ruhr Pocket in April and finally took up occupation duties at Zweibrücken on April 28th.
Perry received credit for each of the unit’s five campaigns including, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, the Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. He was awarded the EAME Medal, WWII Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. He left the service at the rank of Technician 5th Grade.
Perry returned to Indiana and on February 23, 1946, he married the former Virginia Louise Giovanini, who had been born in Clinton, IN, and was the daughter of Dominic Giovanini and Minnie Ferro. The new couple would make their home in Clinton and have two children, a daughter Karen born in 1947, and a son Perry born in 1949.
In his spare time, the senior Perry was an auto enthusiast, enjoying everything that had to do with cars. He as also a member of both the American Legion and the VFW. Perry passed away on July 28, 2016, and was buried in the Walnut Grove Cemetery in Clinton, IN.
I want to thank Perry’s son Perry, for providing information and photos of his father. I also want to thank Serge Lemaire for his assistance and research.