4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 8, 2020 3:19 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking what unit of 12th Armored Division Charles Hughes served in

    Alexander Marcus Newbie

      Trying to find out what (group, battalion?) of the 12th Armored Division my grandfather was in during WWII. His name was Charles Frederick Hughes Jr. of Port Arthur, TX. I know that he was at the Battle of the Bulge and that he was a Hellcat tanker.

        • Re: Seeking what unit of 12th Armored Division Charles Hughes served in
          J. Andrew Scout

          I searched the National Archives' World War II Enlistment records database and found an entry for

          Charles F. Hughes Jr. of Jefferson County, TexasIs this a correct match for your grandfather, and if so is the racial identification of "white" correct?


          The race question may sound strange, but for the segregated World War II era Army, it makes a difference.


          The reason I ask is because of your use of the term "Hellcat tanker".  That might be taken one of two ways, given that there was no such thing as a Hellcat tank.

          The entire 12th Armored Division had the nickname "Hellcat Division."  If he was white, a tanker, and assigned to the 12th Armored Division, he would have most likely been assigned to one of the following three tank battalions of the 12th Armored Division:

          • 23d Tank Battalion
          • 43d Tank Battalion
          • 714th Tank Battalion

          Tank battalions in this time period were equipped with M4 Sherman medium tanks and either M5 Stuarts or M24 Chaffee light tanks. 

          If he was African American, a crew of the M8 Hellcat tank destroyer, and was associated with the 12th Armored Division, he most likely was assigned to the 827th Tank Destroyer Battalion, which was an African American tank destroyer unit equipped with M8 Hellcats that was attached to the 12th Armored Division from 19 Dec 1944 through 13 Feb 1945.

          See below for my sources.




          • Re: Seeking what unit of 12th Armored Division Charles Hughes served in
            Elliot Schneider Ranger



            Here is some information below. Also think your Grandfather served in Korean War as well look at the dates of service on the additional VA BIRLS card.


            According to 12th AD records he was with the 494th Armored Field Artillery BN, Battery C





            Name:Charles F Hughes Jr
            Marital status:Single, without dependents (Single)
            Birth Year:1925
            Nativity State or Country:Texas
            Residence:Jefferson, Texas
            Education:3 years of high school
            Enlistment Date:16 Mar 1944
            Enlistment Place:Fort Sam Houston, Texas
            Service Number:38671674
            Branch:No branch assignment
            Component:Selectees (Enlisted Men)
            Source:Civil Life



            Name:Charles Hughes
            Birth Date:20 Oct 1925
            Death Date:21 May 1989
            Cause of Death:Natural
            Branch 1:ARMY
            Enlistment Date 1:16 Mar 1944
            Release Date 1:23 May 1946
            Branch 2:ARMY
            Enlistment Date 2:29 Oct 1950
            Release Date 2:24 Sep 1951



            Hope this helps,


            Elliot Schneider

            1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking what unit of 12th Armored Division Charles Hughes served in
              joan stachnik Tracker

              Hi Alexander, the 12th Armored Division Museum website (http://www.12tharmoredmuseum.com/members.asp ) lists a Charles F. Hughes, of Port Arthur TX as being in the 494th Arm Fd Art Bat (Bat C) (which I believe is the 494th Armored Field Artillery Battalion (Battery C)).  The site also has some documents (eg, after action reports) for some of the units (http://www.12tharmoredmuseum.com/after-action-reports.asp) as well as photos (http://www.12tharmoredmuseum.com/photoalbum_02.asp?c=494th%20Armored%20Field%20Artillery). Hope this is of some help. joan

              2 people found this helpful
              • Re: Seeking what unit of 12th Armored Division Charles Hughes served in
                Jason Atkinson Ranger

                Dear Mr. Marcus,


                Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

                We note that Ms. Stachnik located information for you placing him in the Battery C, 494th Armored Field Artillery Battalion. It also is possible that he served in more than one unit over the course of the war, as soldiers were sometimes moved around to fill vacancies.


                We suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 and prior to 1958 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002. If there is any information requested by the form which you do not know, you may omit it, however the more information you provide, the easier it will be for NPRC staff to locate the correct file if it survived the war. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.


                Morning reports for Army units from November 1, 1912 to 1959 and copies of most of the monthly rosters from November 1912 - 1943 and 1947 - 1959 for Army units (including Army Air Corps) are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL). For more information about these records, please contact RL-SL via email at stl.archives@nara.gov.  Rosters for units serving in World War II from 1944 - 1946 were destroyed in accordance with Army disposition authorities.


                We searched National Archives Catalog and located the World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917-1985 (Record Group 407) that includes after action reports and other records of the for 12th Armored Division and its component units. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov. Some of these records are reproduced on the website of the 12th Armored Division Museum which Ms. Stachnik linked for you.


                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 RL-SL & RDT2. Also, the NPRC is closed except for emergencies. Currently, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels. Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for any inconvenience.


                We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!