70th Tank Battalion Sherman DD "A2" named "ALOISE"

Discussion in 'US Units' started by Michael Nikov, Oct 5, 2021.

  1. Michael Nikov

    Michael Nikov Member

    Hello everyone, I am trying to identify the tank commander of an A Company, 70th Tank Battalion Sherman DD coded "A2" named "ALOISE". I am hoping that it's the mount of the 2ic of A Company - First Lieutenant DeWitt C. Fair, who was recognized with a Distinguished Service Cross for his actions enlarging the Utah beachhead on 10 June 1944.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Michael Nikov

    Michael Nikov Member

    After some further investigation, it appears that the 70th TB numbered their vehicles like this:
    • 1st platoon #1-5
    • 2nd platoon #6-10
    • 3rd platoon #11-15
    • HQ platoon #16-17 (or up to 18)
    "A2" was most likely the 1st Section Leader and held the rank of Sergeant.
     
  3. Michael Nikov

    Michael Nikov Member

    Here's a new puzzle I would like to pose to members. Attached is a colorized photo of A16 named ANNE (assuming it's an A Company tank based on the name). Now, in Armored Strike Force: The Photo History of the American 70th Tank Battalion in World War II, author Charles C. Roberts Jr. writes that DD tank A16 was "first to be launched, sank about 0614 as a result of sea motion from landing craft firing rockets nearby." If so, then was A16 ANNE a replacement tank? Based on the idler wheel and the lack of a 'skirt' for the floatation device, it does not look like it was converted to the Duplex Drive configuration. Also, would this mean that this tank was commanded by A Company CO Captain J. Stewart Williams?
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
  4. Michael Nikov

    Michael Nikov Member

    After contacting Niels Henkemans, it appears that A16 ANNE was indeed a replacement tank for A Co. CO Capt. J. Stewart Williams' (O-456046) Sherman DD, which sank off Utah Beach on D-Day. Capt. Williams apparently had a long and distinguished service with the 70th TB, seeing action in North Africa and Sicily. Unfortunately, Capt. Williams was seriously wounded in action on 12 July 1944 while supporting 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry in the attack towards PĂ©riers, France. 1st Lt. Harry Schneider (O-366076) took over command of A Company until 28 July 1944 when Capt. Gordon R. Brodie (O-1012305) took over CO duties.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
    Chris C likes this.
  5. Michael Nikov

    Michael Nikov Member

    Some additional information from Chuck Roberts Jr., author of Armored Strike Force:
    "According to the Co. A diary, DD Tank 16 on LCT 592 launched first but the starboard struts supporting the canvas began to collapse and the tanks sank. Capt. Williams went under but then surfaced and was rescued by an inflatable dinghy. According to the Co. A morning report, 1st Lt. Finkelstein took command of Co. A on June 6, 1944. On June 10 Capt. Williams returned and took command of Co. A."
     

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