Fact Sheet on 761st Tank Battalion
(prepared in 1946)

CAMPAIGN STREAMERS: Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.

DECORATIONS:

Unit: None.  [as of 1945]

Individuals:

            Medal of Honor: None. [as of 1945]
            Silver Star: 10 [as of 1945]
            Bronze Star: 38 [as of 1945]

COMBAT HIGHLIGHTS:  The following information was compiled from an unofficial unit history, T. W. Anderson,
Come Out Fighting: The Epic Tale of the 761st Tank Battalion (Germany, 1945)

27 Aug 44 Left NYPE; arrived England (8 Sep).  Bn went to Wimborne, Dorset, England.  Assigned 12th Army Gp, 9th Army.
7 Oct 44
8 Nov 44
Left Wimborne for Weymouth.  Relvd 9th Army, asgnd to 3d Army.  Landed on Omaha Beach (10 Oct).  The first U. S. Negro tankers to enter on foreign soil in World War II.  Moved to bivouac area at La Pieux (12 Oct).  Asgnd to 26th Inf Div, XII Corps 3d Army (13 Oct). Left La Pieux, arrived St. Nicholas De Port (22 Oct).
8 Nov 44
19 Dec 44
In support of 26th Div headed toward Moyenvic and Vic-Sur-Seille.  After furious fighting Moyenvic, Bezenge La Petite and Hill 253 fell. The bn. was a unit of the Provisional Task Force “A” of 26th Div.  On 9 Nov TF “A” moved thru the Inf moving northward to Morville, encountered heavy enemy arty and mortar fire; after regrouping of Bn tanks, town of Morville taken.  Moved toward junction of Ham Pont to form a single spearhead thru Forest De Koecking.  Attached to 104th Regt, staged a counterattack and captured Wuisse 11 Nov.  In support of 3d Bn 328 Regt in advance to NE end of the Bois De Kerpriche.  Maintenance (14-17 Nov).  Pushed the enemy back and moved into Kerpriche (20 Nov).  Supported the 4th Armd in taking Dreuze (20 Nov).  Bossing, Bidestroff, Inswiller, Torcheville, Nebing, Neufvillage fell to the tank-inf teams.  Moved on to Honskirch (25 Nov) but forced to withdraw.  Sarre Union fell 2 Dec.  Crossed the German border (14 Dec).  Maintance (15-19 Dec).
19 Dec 44
31 Jan 45

Moved with 3d Army thru Maginot Line into Germany between          Saarbrucken and Strasbourg; arrived at Offagne.  In support of 345th Inf Regt of 87th Div, Rondu and Nimbermont, Belgium were taken (31 Dec).  With intense fighting, Tillet was taken.  Closed the Marche-Bastogne Road, a supply artery for the enemy (5-9 Jan 45).  Working with the 17th Airborne Div in an area North of Bastogne toward Houffalize, cut the road from Liege and Bastogne.  Gouvy and Hautbillan fell to the combined assaults of 761st Bn and the paratroopers.  Forced enemy back to Watermall, Espeles, and Thommen, and captured the towns.  Road from St Vith to Bastogne cut (Dates not given).  29 Jan – In support of 3d Bn 346 Regt, moved thru 82d Airborne Div on the north flank; attacked to the south.  In support of 345 Regt, attacked town of Huem (30 Jan).  Engaged enemy column near Emmerscheid and again over the German border (31 Jan 45).

3 Feb 45
7 Mar 45

Moved to Hermee, Belgium, set up camp at Jabeek, Holland.  Asgd to           95th Div, XVI Corps and reassigned to 79th Div, 9th Army.  In support of 314th Regt captured End, Holland (23 Feb).  Moved from Jabeek to Milich near the Richmond Julich Railway, cut the railway and moved to Erkelenz.  Entered the Reich for the third time, to Schwannenberg, between Gangelt and Gibiath (3 Mar).  Mopped up resistance pockets and captured Germans retreating from 2d Armd Div.  In support 79 Div in attacks along Roer River (7 Mar).

8-22 Mar 45 Asgd 103 Inf Div, 7th Army.  Moved thru Luxembourg and France to Severne, Alsace-Lorraine (8-10 Mar).  Cp set up in Bosselshausen (12 Mar), replaced 48 Tank Bn.  Bn as part of Task Force Cactus, with mission to uncover and penetrate the Siegfried Line, moved into Climback, prepared to attack in direction of Bobenthal.  Task Forced moved to vic Gundershoffen to NE of Froeshwiller where it dissolved (18 Mar).  Moved to vic Climback (20 Mar).  Task Force Rhine was organized (21 Mar), composed of 761 Tank Bn, 2d Bn 409 Inf Regt and an engr det.  Assembled near Riesdorf.  Moved thru Riesdorf and attacked the hills surrounding the NE side; cleared out pill boxes.  Resistance overcame, task force spit into sections, one going N toward Birkenhordt, the other toward Bollenborn (22 Mar). 
22-28 Mar 45 One column halted by anti-tank fire from front of left flank, in attempt to enter Bollenborn, withdrew and followed the other column into Birkenhordt.  Advanced NE approaching Silz, fighting thru town toward Munchveiler, arrived (23 Mar).  Task force reached its objective Klingen-Munster after considerable fire.  Town entered and secured, numerous enemy surrendered (23 Mar).  14th Armd Div passed thru opening made by Task Force, to the Rhine.  25-28 Mar – Maintenance and training.
28 Mar 45
Aug 45

Attached to 71st Div 12 Corps, 3d Army (28 Mar); crossed Rhine at Oppenheim (30 Mar); moved to Rembrucken (31 Mar).  1 Apr – Moved to Langenselbold, joined 71st Div.  In support of 71st Div, aided by arty and the inf. completely encircled the 6th SS Mt Div Nord, in forest of Leisenwold, Waldenburg and Eudlinger (3 Apr).  Continued clearing the woods to Fulda, many prisoners taken.  Moved to Meningen (7 Apr).  Met stiff enemy resistance to reach Colburg, which fell (12 Apr).  Fought way across Main River to take Kulmback.  In support of 14th Inf Reg, Bayreuth fell (16 Apr).  Bn spearheaded drive of 71st Div 3d Army toward Austria.  Poppendorf, Weidenmark, Haag, Lindenhardt and Hobenmirsberg taken (19 Apr).  Crossed Danube, closed in Eltheim.  Fired on town of Regensburg (22 Apr).  Tankers moved ahead toward Inn River, reached Ering (2 May).  Moved up to Egelfing, crossed into Austria (4 May).  Struck Salzburg-Vienna Highway, routed enemy out of Kirchdorf and Haag.  Moved up to Wels, where hangars and planes were destroyed, numerous prisoners taken.  Attack swung S and headed to Steyr on Enns River, where the Russians were met and surrender papers signed 6 May 45.  From Austria moved to Bissengen, Germany and remained there in occupational and control duties over five cities in the Donauworth area from 18 Jun to 30 Jul 45.  Moved to Teisendorf, Bavaria near Salzburg (2 Aug 45).

  Inactivated in Germany 1 Jun 46

 

COMMANDING OFFICERS:            (1 April 1942 – February 1945)

Lt Col Edward E. Cruise 1 April 1942 – 21 Nov 1942
Maj John R. Wright, Jr. 22 Nov 1942 – 3 Jul 1943
Lt Col Paul L. Bates 4 Jul 1943 – 8 Nov 1944
Lt Col Hollis E. Hunt 9 Nov 1944 – Feb 1945
Lt Col Paul L. Bates Feb 1945 -
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Last updated 3 October 2003