6th Armored patch

Super Sixth:
The story of Patton's 6th Armored Division in WW II

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July 6, 2024: New HTML version of the 128th Ord. Maint. Bn. history

In November 2023 we added a PDF version of the 128th Armored Ordnance Maintenance Battalion history (see below). Today we have added an HTML version of this document, thanks to the work of Marian Deeney, daughter of the late Jack Deeney, 148th Armored Signal Co. Both of these versions, along with an existing Personal Story interview from 1998, are now available from a single landing page for the unit .

November 14, 2023:WE'RE BACK!!!

A few years ago I attempted to hand over the reins of this web site to a new crew. That transition unfortunately did not succeed. Even worse, I lost access to the site and have been unable to update it since before COVID. Ths week, thanks to help from my old hosting service Micro Support Group Inc., I have finally regained access to super6th.org which has been floating through the Ethernet as a zombie site.

While it will take a long time to refurbish this site and bring out of the 1990s into the 21st century, at least I can now start to perform some long overdue maintenance, and even add some new content.

This starts now with the addition of the first new Sixer battalion history in several years:

Combat History of the 128th Armored Ordnance Maintenance Bn.

This PDF was scanned by Laura Hart, daughter of the late Lt. (later Capt.) Robert E. Callaway.

Older news items


The 6th Armored Division was one of General George S. Patton's famous Third Army divisions during World War II in Europe. Its post-war alumni association disbanded at its final reunion in Louisville, KY in September, 2000.

(Click for explanation of photos.)



At a glance...

The 6th Armored Division was created February 15, 1942 at Fort Knox, Kentucky and was made up almost entirely of citizen draftee soldiers. Its training stations were Camp Chaffee, Ark., Louisiana Maneuvers, the Mojave Desert, and Camp Cooke, CA. It arrived in England in February 1944 and landed at Utah Beach on July 18, 1944. During the next 9 1/2 months, the 6th Armored fought in five major European campaigns of World War II:

The majority of this time was spent in General George S. Patton's famous Third Army. The 6th Armored was deactivated September 18, 1945 at Camp Shanks, New York.

In 1947 the Sixth Armored Division Association was organized to perpetuate the memory of 1,274 fallen comrades, to assist in promoting an everlasting peace, and to serve as a medium of contact among the men who served in the division. Its first reunion was held in 1948 in Louisville, KY. On September 12-17, 2000 its 53rd and final reunion occured in Louisville.


You know the 6th Armored Division

You may not recognize the name "Super Sixth", but if you know anything about World War II in Europe, you know about the 6th Armored Division.

If you've ever heard about Patton's Third Army, or watched the movie "Patton", or if you've ever heard about the period known as "The Battle of the Bulge", "The Ardennes Campaign", or sometimes just "Bastogne", you know about the Super Sixth. If you've ever heard about "The Breakout" from Normandy hedgerow country a month and a half after D-Day, or Patton's race across France, or the Third Army's 90-degree turn to the north to the Battle of the Bulge, or the crossing of the Siegfried line, or the liberation of Buchenwald, then you probably know more about the 6th Armored Division than you realize.

Praise by a former enemy is a high honor, and after World War II German Major General F. W. von Mellenthin wrote in Panzer Battles (Copyright 1956, University of Oklahoma Press):

"I think that Patton would have done better if the 4th and 6th Armored Divisions had been grouped together in a single corps, reinforced possibly by the French 2nd Armored Division. These were all very experienced formations and ably commanded...combined as a tank army under one commander, these three armored divisions might well have achieved a decisive breakthrough."

He also praised the 6th's performance at Han-sur-Nied, calling it "a dashing coup-de-main".


Super Sixth and other books by Dr. George F. Hofmann

The year 2000 brought both sad news and good news to the veterans, family, and friends of the 6th Armored Division. Sadly, the alumni association for the division formally disbanded at its 53rd and final reunion in September 2000. However, the division's excellent history:

Super Sixth: The History of the 6th Armored Division in World War II" by George F. Hofmann

has been reprinted by Battery Press, for the first time in 25 years. The reprint differs from the original edition in only the following details: Chapter XVI, covering the post-war Association, was very out-of-date and has not been included in the reprint; the dust jacket was not reprinted; and the 6th Armd. patch in the front matter was reproduced in black and white, not color. They are selling this book for 49.95, plus shipping and handling.

Dr. Hofmann has a very limited supply of these books which he is making available at a discount price of $39.50, including shipping and handling. To order, send your check for $39.50 to:

George F. Hofmann, Ph.D.
5912 Bridgeview Court
Cincinnati, OH 45258

Make checks payable to: George F. Hofmann, Ph.D.

ALSO: Through Mobility We Conquer: The Mechanization of U.S. Cavalry

This is new book featuring General Grow and a few units from the 6th Armored Division, just published (June 2006) by the University Press of Kentucky. Available from the author at $39.00 including postage and handling (a 20% discount). See ordering instructions above.

ALSO: Camp Colt to Desert Storm: The History of U.S. Armored Forces

Edited by George F. Hofmann and Gen. Donn A. Starry, this book won the Army Historical Foundation's distinguished book award for 2000. It is the only complete history of U.S. armored forces from the advent of the tank in battle in World War I through the campaign to drive Iraq out of Kuwait in 1991. $28.00, including postage and handling. See ordering instructions above.

ALSO: Cold War Casualty

George F. Hofmann's meticulously researched and documented retelling of the General Robert Grow's tragic court martial in 1952. An indictment of army politics and corruption of the military justice system. $21.00, including postage and handling. See ordering instructions above.

6th AD units

Sixth Armored Division units included:


Unit Decorations, World War II

68th Tank Battalion -- Distinguished Unit Citation, for Landroff, France (Company A cited), and for Han-sur-Nied, France (Company B cited. French Croix de Guerre with Silver Gilt Star for Han-sur-Nied, France (Company B cited).

69th Tank Battalion -- Distinguished Unit Citation, for Bastogne (Company C cited).

9th and 50th Armored Infantry Battalions -- French Croix de Guerre with Palm, for Brest, France.

212th Armored Field Artillery Battalion -- French Croix de Guerre with Silver Gilt Star, for Lan Froicourt, France.

231st Armored Field Artillery Battalion -- French Croix de Guerre with Silver Gilt Star, for Han-sur-Nied, France.

86th Cavalry Reconnaisance Squadron -- Distinguished Unit Citation, for action at Eder River, Germany (Troop D cited), and Prum River, Germany (Troop A cited).

25th Armored Engineer Battalion -- Distinguished Unit Citation, for action at Wardin, Belgium, and Prum River, Germany (3rd platoon, Company C cited).

777th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion -- French Croix de Guerre with Silver Gilt Star, for Avranches, France.


Medal of Honor gifMedal of Honor Recipients

GAMMON, ARCHER T.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 9th Armored Infantry Battalion, 6th Armored Division.
Place and date: Near Bastogne, Belgium, 11 January 1945.
Entered service at: Roanoke, Va.
Born: 11 September 1918, Chatham, Va.
G.O. No.: 18, 13 February 1946.

Citation: He charged 30 yards through hip-deep snow to knock out a machinegun and its 3-man crew with grenades, saving his platoon from being decimated and allowing it to continue its advance from an open field into some nearby woods. The platoon's advance through the woods had only begun when a machinegun supported by riflemen opened fire and a Tiger Royal tank sent 88mm. shells screaming at the unit from the left flank. S/Sgt. Gammon, disregarding all thoughts of personal safety, rushed forward, then cut to the left, crossing the width of the platoon's skirmish line in an attempt to get within grenade range of the tank and its protecting foot troops. Intense fire was concentrated on him by riflemen and the machinegun emplaced near the tank. He charged the automatic weapon, wiped out its crew of 4 with grenades, and, with supreme daring, advanced to within 25 yards of the armored vehicle, killing 2 hostile infantrymen with rifle fire as he moved forward. The tank had started to withdraw, backing a short distance, then firing, backing some more, and then stopping to blast out another round, when the man whose single-handed relentless attack had put the ponderous machine on the defensive was struck and instantly killed by a direct hit from the Tiger Royal's heavy gun. By his intrepidity and extreme devotion to the task of driving the enemy back no matter what the odds, S/Sgt. Gammon cleared the woods of German forces, for the tank continued to withdraw, leaving open the path for the gallant squad leader's platoon.

BEYER, ARTHUR O.

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company C, 603d Tank Destroyer Battalion.
Place and date: Near Arloncourt, Belgium, 15 January 1945.
Entered service at: St. Ansgar, lowa.
Born: 20 May 1909, Rock Township, Mitchell County, lowa.
G.O. No.: 73, 30 August 1945.

Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry in action. His platoon, in which he was a tank-destroyer gunner, was held up by antitank, machinegun, and rifle fire from enemy troops dug in along a ridge about 200 yards to the front. Noting a machinegun position in this defense line, he fired upon it with his 76-mm. gun killing 1 man and silencing the weapon. He dismounted from his vehicle and, under direct enemy observation, crossed open ground to capture the 2 remaining members of the crew. Another machinegun, about 250 yards to the left, continued to fire on him. Through withering fire, he advanced on the position. Throwing a grenade into the emplacement, he killed 1 crewmember and again captured the 2 survivors. He was subjected to concentrated small-arms fire but, with great bravery, he worked his way a quarter mile along the ridge, attacking hostile soldiers in their foxholes with his carbine and grenades. When he had completed his self-imposed mission against powerful German forces, he had destroyed 2 machinegun positions, killed 8 of the enemy and captured 18 prisoners, including 2 bazooka teams. Cpl. Beyer's intrepid action and unflinching determination to close with and destroy the enemy eliminated the German defense line and enabled his task force to gain its objective.


Hey, this site looks like it was created in 1996 with Notepad!

Well, that would be because this site WAS originally created in 1996 with Notepad.

This is an all-volunteer, spare-time activity. Family & job take priority over upgrading the appearance of a free, personal web site. If I'm going to devote four hours to this site on a weekend, and I can either upload a new scanned document, or make the home page pretty, the content will win every time.

When (if) I retire, I'll devote some time to the appearance of the site. In the meantime, benefit from the content here, and try to ignore the retro ambience.


Where'd the info about the books go?

I've moved the publications information to a separate page so that this page would load faster.

If this is your first visit to the Sixth Armored Division home page, please spend some time and explore. I've put a lot of information on this site: maps, excerpts from official histories, personal stories from Division veterans, etc.


On This Web Site...

bulletPublications about the Super Sixth: Excerpts from out-of-print official histories; links to battalion histories, and more, including:

bulletPersonal Stories from veterans of the Super Sixth.

bulletColor campaign map of the 6th Armored. Medium-res copies available for downloading.

bulletInformation about the 212th AFA and 6th Armored Division veterans' associations.

bulletUnofficial Home Page of the 212th AFA.

bulletNotes about Division Commander Maj. Gen. Robert W. Grow (from 212th AFA History).

bulletPersonal notes about this web site

bulletLinks to related sites


"There is one great thing that you men will be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you won't have to cough, shift him to the other knee as say 'Well, your granddaddy shoveled sh*t in Louisiana.' No sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, 'Son, your granddaddy rode with the great Third Army and a S.O.B. named Georgie Patton!' "

-- General George S. Patton, in a speech to Third Army troops in England, 1944
Version researched by Charles M. Province for "The Unknown Patton".

 


NOTE: Remove the question mark and use common sense when reconstructing the email address below when sending mail.

This page is maintained by Bruce Frederick, ?super6th at verizon period net,
son of 212th FA veteran Lt. Arthur M. Frederick, deceased.
I am not a veteran.

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