815th Tank Destroyer Battalion

Unit History: The following information has been collected from various sources including former members of the unit, official documentation from the 112th Cavalry Regiment (Special) and Shelby L. Stanton’s WWII Order of Battle:

The 815th was formed on May 11, 1942, at Camp Cooke, CA, as a Heavy Self-Propelled unit. The personnel were provided by a cadre from the 640th Tank Destroyer battalion and consisted of 5 officers and 77 enlisted men. The unit received advanced training at Camp Hood, TX, and then travelled to the Desert Training Center at Camp Ibis, California, for military operations. For at least part of their time there, they functioned as enemy troops for the maneuvers. They were equipped with 37mm towed anti-tank guns, which were later traded in for 57mm towed guns and then M10 Tank Destroyers when they became available.

The 815th shipped out from the San Francisco port on March 10, 1944, and landed Oro Bay, New Guinea on the 30th. They then shipped to Leyte, Island, in the Philippines. The TDs were not effective due to the rain and muddy conditions on the island and lack of an armor threat from the Jananese. The unit was disbanded on Sept. 27, 1944, and on October 5th, 600 enlisted men from the unit were sent to the 112th to be used as replacements and fillers for their new weapons troops. On October 1st, the 112th Cavalry Regiment had been reorganized as a “Special” unit, and formed two new weapons troops, designated “D” and “H”, one for each squadron. During this time, the 112th was attached to the 1st Cavalry Division.

The 112th was used to clear the Ormoc Valley sector of Leyte and were then sent to Luzon, Island, on January 27, 1945, operating in the Santa Inez Valley to help keep supply lines open to Manila. They shipped out for Japan, arriving on September 3rd and were then inactivated on January 27, 1946. The 112th received credit for campaigns in New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago and Luzon.

Combat Equipment: 1944 – Towed 3″ Gun

Commanding Officers:  Unknown

Code Name/s:  Unknown

Campaign Credits:   New Guinea…………………Jan. 24, 1943 to Dec. 31, 1944

Awards:  None

Location August 1945:  N/A

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  Company C Roster – This list includes names, ranks and addresses and although not dated, it may have been provided to the soldiers just before the unit was disbanded in September of 1944. I’m sure they hoped that the men would keep in touch after the war. The men are also listed in groups by their platoon, HQ, 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Commanding officer is Cpt. Leslie K. Woodward. Provided courtesy of Haydn Curtis.