605th. Tank Destroyer Battalion

This Journal of events come from the "History of the 605th T.D. Battalion" book by Lt. Col. D.F. Buchwald, Commanding Officer of the Battalion. 

Hq. 605th TD Bn.

Pfungstadt, Germany

1 July 1945

     

     This booklet has been prepared with the thought that, in time to come, it may serve as a reminder to the officers and men of the "605" of their service in the war. 

     It is particularly fitting at this time that such a record be made available, since it is anticipated, in the near future most of us will be deployed in other assignments for the war with Japan. In my opinion, we have one of the finest groups of officers and men any unit of the Army as ever had. I have been honored in having the command.

     I hope the future holds a time when we may be together again to talk over the old days, or that when we meet as individuals it will be "Here's to the 605". 

D. F. Buchwald

Lt. Col. 605th TD Bn.

Commanding

In the Beginning...

16 July 41 - 29 July 42

(25 Aug. - 7 Oct. 41)

12 October 41

Trained at Fort Custer, Michigan, with 37 mm AT Guns and towed, 73mm Guns under 2nd Army and 5th Inf. div. Doctrines

Battalion participated in Second and Third Army combined maneuvers in Louisiana. 

Major Robert G. Turner assumed command, replacing Major Babcock, transferred. Lt. Col. Babcock is a prisoner of the Japanese, having, participated in the heroic defense of Bataan.

16 July 1941

Battalion activated from 19th, 46th, 50th and 21st Field Artillary battalions, the 2nd 10th & 11th Infantry Regiments, and the 7th Engineer Battalion, all of the 5th Infantry Division, as the 5th Anti-Tank Battalion (Provisional), at Fort Custer, Michigan, Major David S. Babcock, F.A., Commanding. Unit armed with 37mm AT Guns towed by 1/2 ton trucks.

Activation as Tank Destroyers

16 Dec. 41

26 Jan. 42

March 42

23 July 42

2 Aug. 42

2 Aug. 42

2 Aug. - 1 Oct. 42

26 Sept. 42

26 Sept. 42

1 Oct. 42

June 43

16 July 43

(1 Apr 42 - 29 July 43)

29 July 43

12 Sept. 43

11 Nov. 43 - 17 Jan. 44

19 Jan. 44

3 March 44

31 May 1944

20-21 July 1944

3 Sept. 1944

14 Sept. 1944

6 Oct. 1944

7 Oct. 1944

13 Nov. 1944

1 Dec. 1944

Battalion reorganized as 605 Tank Destroyer Battalion, Light, equipped with 37mm AT Guns. Only Headquarters, "A" & "B" companies activated at this time.

Company "C" activated.

Pioneer Company Activated.

Capt. D. F. Buchwald assumed command. Major Turner ordered to commany of an infantry battalion.

Lt. Col. Phillip C. Clayton assumed command.

Battalion arrived at Camp Hood, Texas.

Trained in field under Advanced Unit Training Center.

Major D. F. Buchwald reassumed command. Lt. Col. Clayton transferred to RTC, Ft. Riley, Kans.

Major D. F. Buchwald reassumed command. Lt. Col. Clayton transferred to RTC, Ft. Riley, Kans.

Transferred to Training Brigade, Tank Destroyer center, to serve as School Troops. Issued 75mm Guns mounted on half-traks (M-3 TD).

Issued 3-inch, self-propelled Tank Destroyer (M-10)

Battalion Presented it's colors by colonel Biddle. (Classmate of Col. Babcock.)

Relieved of duties as School Troops.

Cadres to form 667 TD Bn., 706 TD Bn., 812 TD Bn. and 4th TD Gp made up from Bn. personnel.

Arrived Ft. Jackson, S. C.; assigned to Second Army

Participated in Tennessee Maneuver. 

Returned to Ft. Jackson, S.C.

Battalion reorganized into TD Bn. (Towed), (3" gun). Reconnaissance Company inactivated.

Battalion passed Primary Test with average of 95.2 percent.

Secondary Misson Test passed with average of 88.6 percent.

Alerted for overseas movement.

Arrived at Camp Rucker, Alabama, for period of combined training with 66th Inf. Division.

Overseas movement orders recieved

Battalion returned to Fort Jackson, S.C.

Advance detail left for overseas.

Bn. departed from Ft. Jackson for overseas staging area, Camp Kilmer, N.J.

Overseas

10 Dec. 1944

16 Dec. 1944

18 Dec. 1944

20 Dec. 1944

Sailed from New York on "Queen Mary" (Bn. acted as MP Bn. under C.O. of troops)

Arrived Firth of Clyde, Scotland.

Disembarked at Greenock, Scotland

Arrived at Base Camp, Blackshaw Moor, Leek, Staffordshire, England, attached to XXI almost immediately to XXIII Corps.

On the Continent

25 Jan. 1945

26 Dec. 1945

9 Feb. 1945

13 Feb. 1945

14 Feb. 1945

15 Feb. 1945

16 1645  Feb. 1945

19  Feb. 1945

21  Feb. 1945

Sailed from Weymouth, England. Fifty percent of personnel and all vehicles on LST's, balance of personnel on LSI.

Landed at Le Harve, France. Moved to base camp at Yvetot. Personnel billeted in 2 French chateau C.P. in Hotel De Ville, Yvetot.

Assigned to 9th Army.

Left Yvetot to report to C.G. XIII Corps. Kerkrade, Holland. Bivouae Cambrai, France.

Arrived at Tevern, Germany, following trip through Belgium and Holland.

Attached to 102nd Inf. Division. under Div. Artillery control.

First round fired across Roer River into Boslar, Germany, by Second Platoon Company "B", under Lt. Francis K. Lemoine. Company in indirect fire positions vicinity Freialdenhoven, Germany.

Company "A", with 1st Rcn. Platoon attached to 405th Inf. Regt., vic Baesweiler.

Company "A" moved to vicinity of Welz; 2 platoons placed in indirect fire positions and 2nd Platoon in direct fire position opposite Boslar. Enemy planes dropped bombs in "A" Company indirect fire positions and in vicinity of Battalion C.P. - first enemy air activity encountered.

Roer To The Rhine (Operation Grenade)

23 0345 Feb. 1945

24 1145 Feb. 1945

25 Feb. 1945

26 Feb. 1945

2 March 1945

3 March 1945

5 March 1945

6-10 March 1945

1 March 1945

12-17 March 1945

18 March 1945

22 March 1945

XIII Corps Arty barrage in preparation for Roer River Crossing began.

Crossed Roer River in Vicinity of Roersdorf. Enemy artillery active, shelling traffic-jammed road leading from bridge site. C.O., Company "C", Capt. John T Elliott wounded; also Pvt. Anderson, 2nd Rcn. Plt.

Lt. Herbert J. Roth, Company "A", killed by sniper vicinity Boslar.

Companies "A" & "B" revert to Bn. control. Bn. mission: Guard open right flank of the division. "A" & "B" employed leap-frogging so as to keep 2,000 yards behind advancing infantry. Company "C" transferred from 407th to 406th Inf. continued in support of the assaulting regiment.

Battalion transferred from 102nd Div. to 84th Div. at Waldniel. Attached to 11th Cav. Gp. by 84th Div., one (1) company per squadron.

Battalion supporting 11th Cav. Gp. in mission of screening left flank of division by establishing road blocks.

Battalion in vicinity of Moers as 9th Army closed on west bank of Rhine R.

Battalion's first rest period, vicinity Huls. Attached to 411 FA. Gp.

Moved to Uerdingen, on Rhinen R., to take up indirect fire positions to fire across Rhine River.

Fired 3,403 Rds. across Rhine R. Battalion alerted for a move, first, to Remagen Bridgehead; later, to Eisden, Belgium.

Moved to Uikhoven, Belgium, reporting to 33rd. British Armored Brigade.

Attached to 17th Airborne Div., XVIII Airborne Corps, for future operation in sector of 12th British, 2nd British Army.

Rhine Crossing to Munster

25 0200 March 1945

27 0530 March 1945

27 March 1945

3 April 1945

Company "B" crossed Rhine R. on Barges at Xanten, Germany; contacted elements of the 17th Abn. Div. which went in via parachute and glider.

Battalion (-"B") crossed Rhine R. on treadway bridge, vicinity of Wesel, Germany.

Company "B" destroyed enemy radio halftrack by direct fire, killed 4 crew members, Action by 2nd Plt.

Bn. supported 17th Airborne Div. in taking of Muster.

Rhine Crossing to Munster

6 April 1945

7 April 1945

9 April 1945

11 April 1945

17 April 1945

19 April 1945

23 April 1945

Battalion arrived at Marxloh, Germany, to support 17th Airborne Div. in its operations during reduction of the Ruhr Pocket, in zone of XVI Cps.

Battalion set up Anti-tank positions along Schaffahutskanal on northern edge of the Ruhr Pocket.

Company "C" crossed Rhein-Herne-Kanall with a regiment of 17th Abn. Div. in attack to clear Essen and Mulheim.

First Rcn. Plt. and "C" Company personnel seized bridge intact across Ruhr R. at Mulheim.

Rcn. Plts. under 1st Lt. Herman T. Hunt, Rcn.O., captured General Oberst Josef Harpe, CG. 5th Panzer Army and 250 PWs vicinity Duisburg.

Relieved 807th TD Bn. of mission of guarding all Rhine R. Bridges in 9th Army zone. 

Moved to Brambauer, Germany to join 79th Inf. Div. Attached to 79th Div. Arty to assist in screening and governing of Div. Arty zone.

Crossing The Elbe River

28 April 1945

30 April 1945

1 May 1945

3 May 1945

4 May 1945

Moved to Uelzen, Germany, to join 82nd Airborne Div., XVIII Airborne Corps, in zone of 2nd British Army.

Rcn. Plts. cross Elbe River on LVT's to reinforce 82nd Abn. Div. Rcn.

Battalion (-Rcn. Plts.) crossed Elbe R. at Bleckede.

Twenty First German Army surrenders to C. G., 82nd Abn. div. at Ludwigslust.

Russians Contacted by U.S. Army east of Ludwingslust.

V-E Day (8 May 1945)

5-14 May 1945

16 May 1945

17 May 1945

31 May 1945

Located at Redefin, Engaged in screening of PW and DPs. Conducted house-to-house search for weapons and ammo.

Relieved from 82nd Abn. Div. Attached to 258th FA. Gp. Moved to Luchow for occupational duty. "B" Company guarding V-1 Buzz Bomb Assembly plant; "A" Company guarding Nitroglycerine plant.

Attached to 472 FA. Gp.

Bn. acted as Guard of Honor to visiting Russion General Seyasov at Presentation of Awards at Luftwaffe Airdome, Salzwedel.

Redeployment

5 June 1945

14 June 1945

20 June 1945

Arrived at Ketsch, vicinity Mannheim, Germany, after 2-day trip through central Germany. Attached to 16th TD Gp., XXI Corps in Redeployment Area.

Moved to Pfungstadt for security mission. Attached to 101st Cav. Gp., VI Corps.

Battalion notified that it is to be inactivated along with other regular Army T.D. Battalions.