5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 26, 2020 6:04 PM by Jo Shipley

    Seeking after action reports of 47th Armored Infantry Battalion

    Deborah Braud Newbie

      I am seeking military records and after action reports concerning my cousin who killed in action during WWII. My cousin was a tank driver in 47th Armored Infantry Battalion, 5th Armored Division. I think the action took place around town of Gace, France.

        • Re: Seeking after action reports of 47th Armored Infantry Battalion
          Jason Atkinson Pioneer

          Dear Ms. Braud,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled Unit Histories, 1943 - 1967 in the Records of U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Organizations (World War II and Thereafter) ( Record Group 338) but were unable to locate records of the 47th Armored Infantry Battalion during WWII.

           

          The World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917-1981 (Record Group 407) may contain after action reports for the 47th Armored Infantry Battalion during WWII. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

           

          Also, the information you seek may be contained in his Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF). IDPFs from 1940- 1976 for personnel with surnames that begin with A-L are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL), P.O. Box 38757, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. For access to these records, please contact RL-SL via email at stl.archives@nara.gov. For the IDPFs from 1940-1976 of personnel with surnames that begin with M-Z,  please write to U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Casualty & Memorial Affairs Operations Division, ATTN: AHRC-PDC, 1600 Spearhead Division Avenue, Department 450, Fort Knox, KY 40122-5405.

           

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2 and RL-SL. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

           

          We hope this is helpful.

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          • Re: Seeking after action reports of 47th Armored Infantry Battalion
            Jo Shipley Wayfarer

            The Combined Arms Research Library has a copy of the 47th Armored Infantry Battalion After Action Report:

            http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleitem/collection/p4013coll8/id/3737/rec/2

             

            The information you are seeking is contained on page 6 using the document page numbers.  If you use the PDF page numbers please reference page 8.

            The Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Library (CARL) serves the academic community of the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) and the military, family, military retiree, and civilian community of Fort Leavenworth.

             

            The map below is from the 5th Armored Division website (http://www.5ad.org/normseine.html )

            The map may be easier to view on the website.

            5th Armored Division from Normandy to the Seine River Map from the 5th AD website

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            • Re: Seeking after action reports of 47th Armored Infantry Battalion
              Jo Shipley Wayfarer

              I did some reading about the action at GACE.  Your cousin's unit, Company A of the 47th Armored Infantry Battalion was actually attached to the 10th Tank Battalion not the 47th Armored Infantry Battalion during the battle of GACE.  The following is an explanation of this formation from the September 1944 5th Armored Division Combat Command Reserve (CCR) After Action Report:

               

              .  Before leaving the assembly area at ST. SAUVER LE VICOMTE, Colonel Anderson had worked out a formation based on the married tank-infantry operations, practiced in England, in which "A" and "C" Companies of the 10th Tank Battalion habitually operated with "A" and "C" Companies of the 47th Armored Infantry Battalion under the control of the CO (Commanding Officer) of the 10th.  "B" Company of the 10th habitually operated with "B" Company of the Infantry under the control of the CO of the 47th Armored Infantry Battalion.  With the addition of the Headquarters Company of the Tank Battalion, the former combination was commonly spoken of as the 10th; with the addition of the Headquarters Company of the Infantry Battalion, the latter combination was commonly spoken of as the 47th.

               

              CCR's drive to the north was resumed at 0700 on the 12th with the combat command marching in one column....The column by-passed SEES by marching on secondary roads to the east of town, and did not contact the Germans until the forward elements bumped into a German rear guard northeast of SEES at 1100.  The rearguard was composed of a platoon of tanks apparently with no other support.  The engagement was short, and although no tanks were lost on either side the Germans hastily withdrew northward.  Pushing steadily o against moderate resistance, CCR by 1600 had its first echelon, the married Bakers, in NONANT Le Pin.

               

              Stragglers captured along the way were identified from the 10th Panzer Grenadier Regt, 9th Panzer Division, 85th Corps, the 17th SS Panzer Division and 3rd Prachute Division.  Aprisoner captured early in the afternoon from the 12th Panzer stated that his outfit was in the vicinity of GACE and that GACE was well fortified with mines and Anti-tank guns, some of which were 88s.

               

              At NONANT LE PIN the CCR column divided into two echelons....the 10th Echelon marched on GACE. In the vicinity of LA CORBETTE, North of NONAN LE PIN, the 10th Tank Battalion, about 1700, encounterd a German mine field, the first contact of the campaign by CCR with German mines. Engineers from "C" Company, 22 Engineers, cleared the mine field promptly, however, and by 2100 the 10tn Tank Bn had established a road block at the junction of N24 and GC14 south of GACE. This was accomplished against heavy resistance, the Germans having both anti-tank guns and artillery in position southeast of GACE.

               

              The complete confusion existing among the Germans and the depth to which we had penetrated in the German rear areas can be measured from the identifications secured from prisoners of war and documents. German units identified included:

              Reconnaissance Company, 81st Corps.

              6th Battery, 441 AA Battalion.

              9th Co, 156th Panzer Grenadier Regt, 116th Panzer Grenadier Division.

              1st Battery, 13200 AA Battalion.

              Observation Battery, 102nd Artillery Regiment, SS Division "Das Reich".

              564th Transportation Battalion.

              Trains, 10th Panzer Grenadier Regiment, 9th Panzer Division.

              Headquarters, 1st Battalion and 2nd Medical Company, 83 Leibetandarte "Adolf Hitler"."

              32nd Medical company, 3rd Parachute Division. Headquarters Company, 25th Panzer Grenadier Regiment, SS Division Hitler Jugend.

              1st Labor Battalion (Russian).

               

              Early on the morning of August 13th...the 10th Tank Battalion...was fighting a strenuous battle south of GACE.  To secure possession of that road junction originally, the battalion had to combat four 88mm anti-tank guns protected by infantry. The Germans, having sized up the situation south of GACE during the night, counter-attacked at noon. The counter-attack was preceded by continuous and heavy artillery concentrations. The artillery was believed to be a battalion of 105 mm from the 102nd Artillery Regiment. The infantry attacked following the artillery preparation but were thrown back repeatedly.  By 1500, however, the artillery fire had become so heavy that the commanding officer 10th Tank Battalion came to the Command Post CCR, then located at the crossroads southeast of LE PIN AU HARAS

              to acquaint the combat commander personally with the situation.  He stated that infantry re-enforcements were necessary if he was to continue to hold the road block south of GACE.  Colonel ANDERSON at this point was ordered to the Division CP for instructions.  During his absences, about 1600, Lt. Colonel HAMBERG radioed that he could not continue to hold his ground.  At this time the position of the 10th Tank was further complicated by a flank attack by infantry supported by a section of self propelled guns approaching from the southeast on highway GC4.  At this juncture, Colonel ANDERSON, who was by now returning from Division Headquarters, radioed that re-enforcements were arriving, that the 15th Armored Infantry Battalion was already moving northward, having been detached from CCB and attached to CCR to relieve the situation.

               

              The situation was now overhaluled and 10th Tank Battalion ordered to withdraw to the crossroads at LA CASTELLE and to block the road leading to the east towards LE MERLERAULT from NONANT.  One company of the 15th Infantry was ordered to CROISILLES to block the roads there.  The remainder of the 15th Infantry Battalion was put in reserve.

              It was later determined that the German outfit counter-attacking the 10th Tank Battalion was probably the 25th Panzer Grenadier Regiment whose headquarters was at GACE. Apparently several replacements and stragglers were in the ranks of the Regiment for prisoners taken were identified from the 116 Panzer Grenadier Regt, 156th Pz Gren Regt, 60th Pz Gren Regt.

               

              (Unfortunately, I could not find the After Action Report for the 10th Tank Battalion which, as the commanding unit, may have more detail on the battle)

               

              The following are Co. A, 47th Infantry casualties at GACE:

               

                    

              LIPSCOMB,ELLSWORTH HPVTWV PRESTON CNTY13-Aug-44ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, VA47TH ARMD INF BN CO AFRANCE GACE
              SITKO,JOHN WPFCWI MARATHON CNTY13-Aug-44PRIVATE CEMETERY IN WISCONSIN47TH ARMD INF BN CO AFRANCE GACE
              STEWART,LESLIE ECPLME YORK CNTY13-Aug-44LONG ISLAND NATIONAL CEMETERY, NY47TH ARMD INF BN CO AFRANCE GACE
              STOUDER,GODFREY JPFCLA ORLEANS PARISH13-Aug-44NORMANDY CEMETERY, FRANCE A-15-347TH ARMD INF BN CO AFRANCE GACE
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