Kunkle, Todd A. (608th, 607th & 771st)

Todd A. Kunkle 1Todd A. Kunkle

Biography:  Todd Albert Kunkle was born on April 22, 1920 in Apollo, Armstrong, Pennsylvania. He was one of eight sons and two daughters born to David James Kunkle and Margaret Marlou Christy. He completed grammar school and his draft card shows he was working for the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1941.

Service Time:  Todd entered the Army on March 14, 1942, at New Cumberland, PA. At some point, he was assigned to the 608th Tank Destroyer Battalion and trained with them at the Tennessee Maneuvers, Camp Atterbury, Indiana and Fort Jackson, South Carolina. In December of 1943, the 608th was deactivated and it’s personnel were transferred to other TD units.

On the 27th, Technician Fourth Grade Kunkle was assigned to Company B of the 607th TD Bn. Todd eventually became one of the mechanics for the company. He trained with the unit at several locations including; Camp San Luis Obispo, Hunter Liggett Military Reservation and the Desert Training Center, all in California, along with Camp Hood, Texas and Camp Cooke, CA. While they originally trained with M10 self-propelled tank destroyers, the unit was converted to a towed battalion, utilizing the M5 3” anti-tank gun, on December 15, 1943.

Arriving at Liverpool, England, on April 21, 1944, they continued training. Company B landed at Utah Beach, Normandy, France on June 24th and the 607th supported the advance on Cherbourg, fighting along the Seves River in July. They joined the drive to Le Mans and envelopment of the Falaise Pocket in August, advancing to the Moselle River in September and supporting operations against Metz through late November. The unit converted to a self-propelled battalion equipped with M36 tank destroyers in time for the final assault on Metz.

Joining the drive toward the Saar River, they supported the capture of Saarlautern, Germany, and the subsequent fight against the Siegfried Line in December. The unit was deployed to the Ardennes sector in January, 1945 and again committed against the Siegfried Line in February in the Schnee Eifel. Todd was injured in action on Feb. 10th. Supporting the capture of Koblenz, Germany in mid-March, they crossed the Rhine River at Boppard on March 25. The 607th continued to drive east through Hessen and Thüringen during April and reached the Czechoslovak border near Plauen by mid-April. Thereafter, they remained in defensive positions until VE Day.

Like many other men in the 607th, Todd was transferred to the 771st TD Bn on June 29, 1945. On July 10, he was transferred back to the 607th. This was all related to the points system used by the military to determine when a soldier was eligible to return home. He was awarded the Good Conduct, American Theater Service and World War II Victory medals along with the EAME medal and credit for the campaigns of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. He was also awarded the Purple Heart Medal. He left active service on October 30th at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, PA, at the rank of T/4.

Todd returned to Apollo and at some point, possibly December 12, 1945, he married the former Ebbie Ellis Babcock from Saginaw, Michigan. She was the daughter of Arnold R. Babcock and Frances R. Springer. They had two children, Frank and Delores. He owned and operated an automotive service station. He and Ebbie moved to Bushnell, Florida after he retired around 1988. He was a life member of the DAV and VFW of Lake Panasoffkee and also a member of the Apollo Masonic Lodge No. 437.

Todd A. Kunkle 2Todd passed away on October 23, 2000, and was buried in the Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, FL, Section 431, Site 991. Thank you to Find a Grave contributor Donna Maines for use of the grave marker photo.