Training Battalions

We have limited information relating to the training battalions and most of what we do have has come from the Camp Hood newspapers. The majority of the units were based at Camp Hood, TX, but there were also a few units at Camp Swift, TX and possibly elsewhere. Unless noted, any photos we have were probably taken at Camp Hood since that is were most of them trained. 

After the initial tank destroyer battalions were activated on December 15, 1941, those units as well as future units, would required personnel. Camp Hood was already in the planning stages and actual construction began on April 7, 1942. Along with the facilities, men from the 893rd and the 809th TD Battalions arrived to act as initial school troops, which would begin the process of training the thousands of soldiers who would soon be arriving on the base. The men were being trained to fill positions in the TD units as well as provide replacements for units already deployed. In the end, we believe many men that were trained ended up in other (non-TD) units. Thank you to Paul Stevens for his research on this subject.

The units we are aware of are as follow:

Groups:                   1st & 2nd

Regiments:               1st, 2nd, 3rd , 4th  & 5th

Battalions:                116th*. 120th*, 126th, 127th, 128th, 129th, 130th, 131st, 132nd,
                                 133rd (AA), 134th, 135th, 136th, 137th, 138th, 139th, 140th,
141st, (Army Specialized Trng Bn -142nd, 143rd, 144th, 145th,
146th, 147th,148th, 149th (Camp Swift?*)

Additional Information/Materials:

1.)  126th TDTB Honor Roll Certificate – A generic certificate probably available to any Army soldier to be filled out with details of their service. In this case partially filled out for 3rd Platoon of Co. B, 126th Tank Destroyer (Training Battalion). The certificate is dated October 27, 1942.

2.)  130th TDTB, Company C – Ekmark of San Antonio is listed as the photographer with Cpt. Robert U. Winters commanding. Second in command is 1st Lt. Wayne V. Lindner with 1st Sgt. Gerald D. Stevenson. Photo is provided courtesy of Daniel Simek.

3.)  130th TDTB, Co. C, 4th Platoon – Another Ekmark photo of the 130th TDTB but this time of only 4th Platoon. Battalion Commander, Cpt Robert U. Winters is shown front and center with Cpl. Andrew R. Van Pelt identified as Platoon Sergeant. The only other identified person is Frank Simek, who is standing in the second row from the front, last person on right. Courtesy of Daniel Simek.

4.)  140th TDTB, Company C – An uncredited photo with only one identified man, Edward V. Bortnick “Eddie”, standing in the third row from the front, fifth from the right. Courtesy of Ed Bortnick.

5.)  139th TDTB Co. C Officers – An Ekmark photo with seven officers listed including 1st Lt. Noble Johnson, 2nd Lt. J.H. Johnson, 2nd Lt. L.L. Saylor, 2nd Lt. W.W. Schofield, 2nd Lt. Sam Cooper, 2nd Lt. R.D. Hamilton and 1st Sgt. E.C. Browne.

6.)  128th TDTB Final Exercise Program – Company A  program from November 8, 1945, with Cpt. George W. Hamara commanding the company and Maj. R.S. Van Duzer over the battalion. Courtesy of Henry Anderson.

7.)  128th TDTB_Company C – An Ekmark photo identified as taken at North Camp Hood with Commanding officers Cpt. Corbett L. Lovely, 1st Lt. Carleton A. Ranney, 1st Lt. James W. Heflin and 1st Sgt. Stratton C. Haley. Courtesy of Paul Stevens.

8.)  128th TDTB Company C Program – Although the program does not identify the occasion, we assume it was some type of graduation or final gathering for the group. The only date shown is October 18, 1945, which is long after the war had ended and the camp’s focus had turned away from the tank destroyers. Cpt. Corbett L. Lovely is listed as commander with 2nd Lt. Roy E. Newman as Exec. Officer. 1st Sgt. is Eugene M. DuCom. Courtesy of Henry Anderson.

9.)  HQ Replacement Training Center Transfers – Special Order No. 113 from North Camp Hood, Texas, dated May 12, 1944, and includes personnel from the following TDTBs: 129th, 130th, 136th, 140th, 141st.

10.)  2nd TD Regt. Final Exercise Program – Identified as the Sixth Increment, Sixth Cycle and dated Thursday June 28, 1945, at North Camp Hood, Texas. Col. Lafayette D. Mathews commanding. Personnel from both Co. A & Co. B of the 139th TDTB would be graduating with Cpt. Earl W. Vollrath and Cpt. Elmo C. Jordan commanding respectfully. This was probably one of the last of these programs to be held since the camp would soon take on the mission of training non-TD personnel.

11.) 2nd TD Training Regt. HQ and Staff Photo – A group photo of the headquarters unit of the Regiment Headquarters which at the time included 39 members, including the cooks. Taken at North Camp Hood, Texas on March 25, 1944, by Ekmark Photography, which was based in San Antonio, TX. At the time this photo was taken, it was commanded by Col. Henry B. Margeson who was the first commander of the 612th TD Bn and later commanded the 17th TD Group. Photo courtesy of Paul Stevens.