652nd Tank Destroyer Battalion

Unit History:  Formed on Mar 20, 1943, at Camp Bowie, TX, but were based at Camp Hood, TX.  It was a Self-Propelled (SP) tank destroyer unit that initially utilized the M-3 half-track with 75mm gun and later progressing to the M-10, M-18 and M-36 full-track tank destroyers.  The 652nd remained in the U.S. and was not deployed overseas, it was one of seven tank destroyer battalions that remained stateside.  On March 13, 1944, the 652nd suffered severe casualties when its troops were engaged in combat training at Camp Robinson in Arkansas.  An anti-personnel mine accidentally exploded, during a training session involving the laying and removal of various types of mines, killing 12 soldiers and injuring 14.  Among the assignments for the 652nd’s personnel during 1945 was serving as armed escorts for German prisoners of war as they arrived aboard ships at U.S. seaports on the east coast, guarding them as they were transported on trains and delivering them to POW internment camps throughout the U.S.  The unit was inactivated on Sep 15, 1945, at Camp Shelby, MS.

Combat Equipment:  N/A

Commanding Officers:  Lt. Col. Gerald D. Albrecht (Original CO, 3/20/43);  Lt. Col. Howard B. Crandall (5/3/44);  Major Leif E. Olsen (6/9/44);  Major Jackson S. Lawrance (6/22/44);  Lt. Col. Robert E. Mitchell (7/15/44);  Major John J. Kelly (9/15/44)

Code Name/s:  N/A

Campaign Credits:   Continental U.S. Service Only

Awards:  None

Location August 1945:  Camp Shelby, MS

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  Miscellaneous Documuents-from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, Abilene, Kansas and courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian (*) and as noted.

                  Unit History, March 20, 1943-Dec. 31, 1943……………………….4 Pages

                  Recon Co. Activities, March 4, 1943-Aug. 31, 1945………………5 Pages (*)

                  Various Documents, 1943………………………………………………2 Pages

                  G.O. #10 – Good Conduct Awards, Courtesy of Tom Grannis…2 Pages

2.)  30th Reunion Booklet – Held at Fort Knox, KY, June 15-16, 1973.  Contains a short unit history, numerous officer names and a number of photos.  Courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian. 

3.)  HQ Company Group Photo – Taken some time after April 1943 when T/Sgt Robert L. Grannis joined the unit. He had been transferred there from the 653rd, which had just been formed a month earlier. Grannis can be seen seated in the front row, 4th from the right. Photo courtesy of Tom Grannis.

4.)  A Company Group Photo – Taken at Camp Robinson, Arkansas, in March of 1944. Photo courtesy of Kevin McEldowney.

5.)  A Company Group Photo with Roster – A somewhat less formal photo which incldudes a typed roster of the men with there home addresses. The photo was taken on March 20, 1944, when they were stationed at Fort Robinson, Arkansas. Provided courtesy of Kevin McEldowney.

6.)  Photo Gallery