Glenn A. Protzman
Biography: Glenn Albert Protzman was born on August 31, 1918, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Edward Francis Protzman and Ida Marie Pfeil and graduated from Perry High School. He then worked as a carpenter’s apprentice.
Service Time: Glenn entered the service on May 12, 1941, at Pittsburgh, PA. He was sent to basic training and was eventually assigned to the Headquarters Company of the 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion. Glenn was stationed at Pine Camp, New York, which is where the unit had been activated on December 15, 1941. They received additional training at Camps Hood and Maxey, Texas, and were finally sent to Camp Miles Standish, Massachusetts, for final preparations before going overseas.
The unit shipped out from the Boston port on February 27, 1944, and arrived in Liverpool, England, on March 13th. For the next four months, they received additional training in the United Kingdom. They then boarded LSTs and landed at Utah Beach on July 12th and 13th. They were first unit in the ETO (European Theater of Operations) to be equipped with M18 tank destroyers and participated in the Cobra breakout at the end of the month. They advanced into Brittany and then raced east across France, passing north of Orleans, crossing the Moselle River to Luneville in early September. They remained in the general area through October.
The 704th fought in the Morhange region in November and crossed the Saar River by month’s end. They were deployed to the Ardennes on December 19th and fought around Bastogne in January, 1945. They then moved back south, advancing into Germany near Sinz in February, fighting through the Siegfried Line and into the Saar-Moselle triangle. Supporting the drive to Bitburg in March, they reached the Rhine River by mid-month. Crossing the river on March 24th at Nierstein, the unit roared east to Gotha by April 4th, and passed through the Harz Mountains to Bayreuth, in late April. They finally entered Czechoslovakia at Volyne on May 6th and the war ended two days later.
Glenn received credit for each of the unit’s five campaigns including Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, the Ardennes and Central Europe. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, as well as the EAME, American Campaign, WWII Victory, American Defense and the Army of Occupation Medals. He also shared in the unit’s award of the Distinguished Unit Citation and the French Croix De Guerre. Glenn left the service at the rank of Technical Sergeant.
After the war, Glenn returned to Pittsburgh and continued his education at the Duff Business School in Pittsburgh. He then found work with the Crain Brothers as a bookkeeper. On August 22, 1946, Glenn married the former Violet Ann Casciotti who was born in Pittsburgh and was the daughter of Joseph Alphonso and Anna Marie Casciotti. The new couple would have four children, June, Carl, Wendy and Gale. In his spare time, Glenn enjoyed all sports but he particularly enjoyed baseball. He also enjoyed pitching horshoes and gardening.
Glenn passed away on July 3, 2004, and was buried in the Mount Royal Cemetery in Shaler, PA. I want to thank Glenn’s daughter, Wendy, for providing the information and photos used in this tribute as well as additional photos of the 704th.