Harrison, Talmage E. (894th)

Talmage-Harrison-1Talmage E. Harrison

Biography:  Talmage Earl Harrison was born on October 10, 1919, in Glendale, Florida.  He was the son of William and Annie Harrison and the sixth of seven children.  The family soon moved to Center Hill, Florida, where Talmage attended school.

Service Time:  Talmage enlisted in the Army in April 1941, entering at Camp Blanding in Starke, Florida.  He was assigned to Company A, 894th Tank Destroyer Battalion, from its inception and served as a driver.  He departed New York bound for Europe on April 6, 1942, aboard the HMS Andes, arriving in Liverpool, England, two weeks later.

In January 1943, Talmage boarded a troop ship and landed in Oran, Algeria.  The following month, he participated in the Battle of Kasserine Pass.  In October of 1943, Talmage and the rest of the 894th left for Italy, equipped with the newly issued M-10 Tank Destroyer.  After heavy fighting, the 894th withdrew to prepare for the Anzio landings in January, 1944.

In September of 1944, Talmage received wounds in the leg from artillery shrapnel.  He was wounded a second time on April 9th, 1945, after he and his tank crew entered the town of Massa, Italy.  With infantry personnel riding on top of the destroyers, a German Panzerfaust anti-tank weapon, struck the TD, killing three of the five crew members. Badly wounded, Talmage and the TD commander, Solon Berrick, were able to escape and hide for three days until they could reach their unit.  A photo of their tank destroyer is shown below with a group of children posing in front.  The photo was taken a few days after the incident when the town had been secured.



Talmage spent the remainder of the war recovering from his wounds.  He participated in the Tunisia, Naples/Foggia, Rome Arno, North Apennines and the Po Valley campaigns. Talmage received the Purple Heart for shrapnel wounds and burns, the Good Conduct Medal, the EAME Medal, and the WWII Victory Medal. 

Talmage E. Harrison 3Talmage remained in the Army, serving in Germany, Japan, and Korea, retiring in 1964, at the rank of SFC (Sergeant First Class).  He raised his family in California, where he passed away a short time later on April 10, 1968. He was buried in the Center Hill Cemetery in Center Hill, Florida. Thank you to Find A Grave contributor, Cullen Wheeler, for the use of the grave marker photo.