716th Tank Battalion

Discussion in 'US Units' started by 716_Grandson, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. 716thresearcher

    716thresearcher Junior Member

    I located some more old photos of my uncle and members of his unit. The attached photo of my uncle (kneeling, on right) and four buddies appears to have been taken at Camp Chaffee, AR in late 1943 or early 1944. I'm curious whether this represents the crew of his tank (the number of crew members is right) or simply five friends. All of the faces appear in other photos posted elsewhere in this thread.

    Perhaps a follower of this thread will recognize a relative here.

    Attached Files:

    4jonboy likes this.
  2. DaveFe

    DaveFe Member

    Thanks for this info. Have been away from this forum for a while but want to get back. My father Mario Ferro was in the Service Company and writes in letters to my uncle who was 15 then about being in the Lingayen invasion as well as New Guinea. He often talked about being on an LST in his diary, but did not mention the name. Now I see USS Belle Grove LSD-2 carried elements of the Service Company. Still don't know which LST but he did comment that he didn't understand how the "boys" could sleep below deck with the tanks as it was so hot down there.
    A map from The Liberation of the Philippines (Samuel Eliot Morison) shows the 3 White and 2 Blue Beaches were at the far left of the invasion forces at San Fabian - Vice Admiral Barbey carrying the 43rd Division TF 78.1 at the White Beaches1-2 facing Mabilao, White Beach 3 facing San Fabian, Blue Beaches 1-2 were a few thousand yards to the right (South) with 6th Infantry Division TF 78.5..
    Have to reread all this. Many of the books at the library have been discarded; not taken out enough.
    The appendix to the above book does list all of the naval forces and commanders. TF 78.5 shows LSD Belle Grove with Cdr. Morris Seavey USNR. The Tractor Unit shows 30 LSTs under Capt. O. R. Swigart plus many other vessels. I'll try to scan these pages.

    I see many more photos and even videos. Eager to look for my father.
  3. 716thresearcher

    716thresearcher Junior Member

    My guess is that the elements of the Service Company landed from the Belle Grove were some of the company's transport vehicles and other assorted equipment related to service functions. Remaining personnel could certainly been transported on an LST, and then joined up with their equipment on the beach.

    Elsewhere above I alluded to the fact that not everything always went according to plan. If you'd like to understand the enormity of the total landing operation, check out the Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Digital Library website, search for and download the "Musketeer Mike I" planning document. I would attach it here, but I think it exceeds the allowable size limit for uploads for this site. Once you look at that in detail, you'll see that various elements of the 716th Tank Battalion were not always landed where the plan originally assigned them to land. Subsequently, and to their credit, those units improvised on the fly and made things work.

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