Monday, October 13, 2014

Following the 10th Armored Division

It was seventy years ago that World War II had taken on a new and final dimension. After the D-Day invasion in June, the United States began to move troops into battle. They had been building up the forces since the attack on Pearl Harbor. Soldiers, techs, infantry, medics and all others had been in training across the country. New units, new divisions were created and filled with personnel.

One of these was the 10th Armored Division which was created in 1942 and assigned to the Third Army, General George Patton's Army. Their timeline for their first two years was:

  • Fort Benning GA - 15 Jul 42 to 21 Jun 1943
  • Tennessee Maneuver Area - 24 Jun 1943 to 2 Sep 1943
  • Camp Gordon, GA - 3 Sep 1943 to 3 Sep 1944
  • Camp Shanks, NY - 4 Sep 1944 to  11 Sep 1944
  • NYPOE (SS Sea Owl) 12 Sep 1944 to 23 Sep 1944
This was my father's division. He was a Tec 5, a non-commissioned officer as a medical corpsman. He was assigned to the medical battalion of the 10th Armored. Seventy years ago this week he was in France getting final training and doing all they could to be ready for battle.

I have been working on a family history that describes some of what was happening in those days. Part of the World War II story that unfolded between October 1944 and VE Day in May 1945 involved some of the fiercest fighting and greatest losses of the war. I will be doing some posting here on what was happening with my Dad's division in Europe in 1944.

While it now feels like somewhat ancient history, for me and my generation, it is recent events. It is what made our parents' generation into what we now call the Greatest Generation. Perhaps it has taken me all these 66 years of my life to begin to understand what that means. I am humbled by it and am just here to tell part- a very small part of that story.

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