827th Tank Destroyer Battalion (AA)

Unit History:  Activated on 20 April, 1942, at Camp Forrest, Tennessee. One of several battalions with black enlisted personnel and largely white officers. Reorganized as a towed battalion in June 1943. *Arrived at Fort Huachuca, AZ, in March 1944. Shipped from New York port on November 3rd, arriving in France on 14th.  Arrived in Seventh Army’s sector east of the Vosges at the height of the German Nordwind offensive in January, 1945, equipped with M18's.  Fought to eliminate the Colmar Pocket in late January and early February.  Transferred to Communications Zone for security duties in March and subsequently undertook other rear-area functions.  Attached to: 12th Armored Division; 79th Infantry Division.  History text from the book The Tank Killers by Harry Yeide.  Used by permission.

*Additional Information

Combat Equipment: 12/44 - M18

Commanding Officers:  Capt. Francis McKane Oliver (1st CO), Lt Col. Frederick H. L. Ryder (5/13/42), Major Oliver (8/14/42), Major John W. Darrah Jr. (9/25/42), Lt Col. George B. Hudson (7/29/43), Lt Col. Herschel D. Baker (8/25/43), Lt Col. Phillip J. VanderZwiep (8/5/44), Major Luther L. Williard (3/23/45), Major Carl A. Fraser (7/15/45), Lt Col. Morton A. Rubin (11/13/45), Lt Col. Frederick W. Webbley (11/17/45) and Bertram Roberson Pratt

Code Name/s:  Coleman and Fizz

Campaign Credits:    Rhineland........................Sept. 15, 1944 to Mar. 21, 1945

                                 Ardennes-Alsace..............Dec. 16, 1944 to Jan 25, 1945

                                 Central Europe.................Mar. 22, to May 11, 1945

Awards:   None

Location August 1945:  Sarrebourg, France

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  Photo Gallery

2.)  Unit Histories - from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

         1943......................................2 Pages

         Mar. 15, 1942 - Mar. 1944.......8 Pages (Includes personnel lists)

         Jan. 1-31, 1945.....................25 Pages (Includes casualties, award & officer roster)

         Feb. 1-28, 1945....................12 Pages (Includes casualties & commendation letter)

         Mar. 1-31, 1945....................13 Pages (Includes 1 award & officer roster)

         Apr. 1-30, 1945......................7 Pages (Includes officer roster)

         May 1-31, 1945.....................6 Pages (Includes 1 award & officer roster)

         June 1 - Oct. 31, 1945.............5 Pages (Includes awards & officer roster)

         Nov. 1-30, 1945....................12 Pages (Includes U.S. bound ship manifest)

3.)  Unit Journal - from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

             Jan 10-Feb 1, 1945......................................................21 Pages

4.)  Miscellaneous Documents - from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

            Officer Roster, Unknown date..........................................1 Page

         Battle Participation Credit, Feb 5, 1945............................ 1 Page

         Commendation Letter from XXI Corps, Feb 10, 1945.........1 Page

         Arms of the City of Colmar Letter, March 18, 1945............2 Pages

         Silver Star award, March 8, 1945.....................................1 Page

         General Orders 1 - 5, 1945..............................................5 Pages

         Various orders and notes, 1945.......................................7 Pages

5.)  Newspaper Pages - A grouping of newspaper pages, largely from The Apache Sentinal, which was the Fort Huachuca official publication done by their Service Command Unit #1922. The 827th had what seems to be a regular page or two in the paper covering their activities. Courtesy of Serge Lamaire.

       March 10, 1944                March 12, 1944                 March 24, 1944 (P1) (P2)

       April 7, 1944                    April 14, 1944 (P1) (P2)     April 21, 1944

       May 5, 1944                    May 12, 1944                    May 19, 1944

       May 26, 1944 (P1) (P2)

6.)  Dayton Forum Page - A single page (cover) of The Dayton Forum, from Dayton Ohio, providing articles concerning the 827th. Page is dated March 30, 1945. Courtesy of Serge Lamaire.

7.)  Huachuca Pictorial Page - A single page of photos and descriptions identified as coming from the Huachuca Cavalcade, which we believe was a pictorial publication of Fort Huachuca, AZ. Courtesy of Serge Lamaire.

8.)  827th Crack Nazi Line Article - A portion of the article from the Michigan Chronicle for February 3, 1945, reviewing the unit's actions in the vicinity of Maginot Line villiages of Hatten and Rittershoffen on January 9, 10 and 12th of 1945. Courtesy of Serge Lamaire,