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Aug 29, 2019

Many veterans of my father's 712th Tank Battalion had stories about General George S. Patton, also known as "old Blood & Guts." The 712th, attached to the 90th Infantry Division, was part of Patton's vaunted Third Army. It was not uncommon to hear a veteran quote a Patton speech almost word for word more than 45 years...


Aug 19, 2019

Claude Pittman was a Sherman tank gunner in the first platoon of A Company, 712th Tank Battalion. In this conversation, he talks about  a tank-to-tank duel, about fear, about coming back after being burned, about a close call, about being cooped up in a tank for days at a time, about a tanker who had combat...


Aug 13, 2019

Ed "Smoky" Stuever, a maintenance sergeant in the 712th Tank Battalion, never missed a reunion. He loved to bring memorabilia from his days in the Civilian Conservation Corps and the horse cavalry. As I go through the digitized files of interviews and conversations I recorded some 25 years ago, I'm finding a...


Aug 6, 2019

Another tanker's son brought a picture taken from German documentary footage of a disabled tank with 712th markings to the 1992 reunion, hoping to find someone who could identify the circumstances and the crew. Spoiler alert: The results were inconclusive. but the nearly hourlong conversation the image sparked went in...


Aug 2, 2019

My father joined the 712th Tank Battalion as a replacement in Normandy, but many of the battalion's original members were in the horse cavalry in California before the United States entered the war. Under the Selective Service Act, draftees were obligated to serve a year. Early in 1941 President Roosevelt asked Congress...