-- as compiled by Col. James S. Moncrief, Ret.
Since some of this information has been compiled from memory rather than from historical record, it is possible that one or two names, ranks, or positions may be in error, but the listing is as accurate as circumstances permit.
Upon activation, in addition to the supporting troops, the Table of Organization for the division included two tank regiments and one infantry regiment, and three artillery battalions. The division was activated minus the artillery, which was formed in the summer of 1942 with the assignment of three active battalions: the 212th, a National Guard unit from Massachusetts, and two battalions (which later became the 128th and the 231st) from the 128th F. A. Regiment (Harry Truman's "outfit" during WW I a Guard unit from Missouri.
Commanding General: Brig. Gen. William H. H. Morris, Jr. Chief of Staff Col. C. C. (Red) Allen General Staff:G-1: Lt. Col. Wade Gatchell G-2: Lt Col. Renn Lawrence G-3: Lt Col. George W Read, Jr. G-4: Lt Col. Basil ThayerSpecial Staff:Signal Officer: Major William J. Given Engineer 0fficer: Lt. Col. Wm. Potter Adjutant General: Lt Col. Stone Division Surgeon: Lt. Col. Roosevelt Cafarelli Finance Officer: Lt Col. Joseph Weichman Quartermaster: Lt. Col. Walter Boyle Chemical Officer: Judge Advocate General: Lt Col. James Ellis Division Chaplain: Lt Col. Kilburne Inspector General: Headquarters Commandant: Provost Marshal: Special Service Officer:Commander, Combat Command B: Brig Gen. Carlos Brewer Commander, Combat Command A: Brig. Gen. John Devine C. O. 50th Armored Infantry Regiment: Col James Taylor C. O. 68th Tank Regiment: C. O. 69th Tank Regiment: Col. Schwinn C. O. 86th Armored Reconnaissance Battalion: Lt. Col. James Quill C. O. 25th Armored Engineer Battalion: Lt. Col. William Potter C. O. Maintenance Battalion: Lt. Col. Baker C. O. 76th Armored Medical Battalion: Lt. Col. Roosevelt Cafarelli C. O. Quartermaster Battalion: Lt. Col. Walter Boyle
Because of the rapid growth of the Armored Forces, many of the original officers of the Sixth were transferred to the newly formed divisions. This turnover of officers within the division continued until its move to overseas theater of operations. By late summer of 1943 when the division was located at Camp Cooke California, the following changes had occurred within the senior command and staff positions of the division:
General Staff:Chief of Staff: Col. Basil Thayer G-l: Lt Col. James S. Moncrief, Jr. G-2: Lt. Col. Michael Galvin G-3: Lt Col. Alexander Surles, Jr G-4: Lt Col. J. Caleb BoggsSpecial Staff:Adjutant General: Lt Col. James Garfield Division Engineer: Lt. Col. Donald Williams Quartermaster: Maj. Hamilton Division Chaplain: Maj. Homer Milford Provost Marshal: Capt. (later Maj.) Silas Langlois Inspector General: Lt. Col. Robert F. Bates Chemical Officer: Maj. Elwood Wagner Special Services Officer: Maj. Harold Shuman Headquarters Commandant: Maj. Claud H. LongCommander Combat Command B: Brig. Gen. James Taylor Commander Combat Command A: Brig. Gen. John Devine C. O. Division Artillery: Lt. Col. William Jesse C. O. 128th Field Artillery Battalion: Lt. Col. Thomas Bruce C. O. 212th Field Artillery Battalion, Lt. Col. Philip Pope C. O. 231st Field Artillery Battalion, Lt. Col. Robert S. Perkins C. O. 50th Armored Infantry Regiment: Col. Harry Hanson C. O. 69th Tank Regiment: Col James C. Fry C. O. 68th Tank Regiment: Col. George W. Read, Jr. C. O. Trains Command: Col. Wade Gatchell C. O. 25th Armored Engineer Battalion: Lt. Col. Donald Williams C. O. 76th Armored Medical Battalion, Lt. Col. James Branch
In September of 1943, Gen. Morris was reassigned to command the newly activated II Armored. Corps. Gen Morris took with him Col. Thayer and Lt Col Surles of the General Staff Brig. Gen. Robert W. Grow, who had been a Combat Commander in the 10th Armored Division, was named Commanding General of the Sixth Armored Division. Gen Grow soon named Lt Col. Glen C. McBride, who had been a Tank Battalion Commander in the 10th Armored, as his Chief of Staff.
In order to gain more flexibility the utilization of an armored division, the War Department ordered a major change in its Table of Organization. Eliminating the regimental structure, this reorganization specified that the fighting units of an armored division be three tank battalions, three infantry battalions and three artillery battalions with the necessary support troops. In October of 1943, this reorganization was accomplished.
Following the assumption of Command by Gen. Grow and the division's reorganization, the assignment of senior commanders and officers within the Division at the time of its entry into combat was as follows:
Commanding General: Maj. Gen. Robert W. GrowAides to C. G.: 1st Lieuts. Cyrus R. Shockey and Ben SchleiderGeneral Staff (all are Reserve Officers):Chief of Staff: Col. Glen C. McBride G-l: Lt Col. James S. Moncrief, Jr. G-2: Major Ernest W. Mitchell, Jr. G-3: Lt. Col. Michael Galvin G-4: Lt. Col. J. Caleb BoggsSpecial Staff:Signal Officer: Lt. Col. William J. Given Division Engineer: Lt Col. Donald Williams Adjutant General: Lt Col. George W. Moore Div. Surgeon: Lt Col. James W. Branch Finance Officer: Lt Col. Joseph Weichman Quartermaster: Major Robert Mills Chemical Officer: Maj. Ellwood Wagner Judge Advocate General: Lt. Col. James W. Ellis Division Chaplain: Maj. Homer Milford Inspector General: Lt. Col. Robert F. Bates Headquarters Commandant: Maj. Claude Long Provost Marshal: Maj. Silas Langlois Special Service Officer: Major Harold Shuman Liaison Officer: Maj. John J. Flynt and Capt Thomas P. Crawford.
The assignments above, with few exceptions, remained intact throughout the war. The known exceptions: Major Harrigan Wortsmith replaced Maj. Long; Major Fred Field and later Maj. Eugene ("Whiz") White replaced Maj. Langlois.
The turnover rate among the unit commanders was very high. In each case below, the first entry will indicate the individual who was the commander in late 1943, and in most cases, upon the division's entry into combat in July 1944. Succeeding names listed will be those individuals who, in chronological order, commanded that unit for more than a week.
Combat Command A: Brig. Gen. James Taylor, Col. Harry Hanson, Col. John L. Hines, Jr., Col. Albert E. Harris Combat Command B: Col. (later - Brig. Gen.) George W. Read, Jr., Col. Harry Hanson, Col. Embry Lagrew, Col. Glen C. McBride. Reserve Command.: Col. Harry Hanson, Col. Albert E. Harris, Lt Col. Embry Lagrew, and Lt. Col. Ralph McKee Division Artillery: Lt Col. William Jesse, Col. Lowell M. Riley128th Field Artillery Bn: Lt. Col Thomas R Bruce, Jr. 212th F. A. Bn: Lt. Col. Phillip H. Pope 231st. F. A. Bn: Lt. Col. Robert S. Perkins, Maj. Ben Goodin, Lt Col. Thomas M. Crawford9th Armored Infantry Battalion: Lt Col. Thomas E. Godfrey, Maj. Milton Stablein, Lt Col Frank Britton, Maj. Gilman P. Morse 44th Armored Infantry Bn: Lt Col. Lewis McCorison, Lt Col. Charles E. Brown 50th Armd. Inf. Bn: Lt Col. Arnold Wall, Maj. Paul C. Root, Jr., Lt Col. Albert N. ("Terp") Ward 15th Tank Battalion: Lt. Col. Embry Lagrew, Lt. Col. William Sussman 68th Tank Battalion: Lt Col. Harold C. ("Heck") Davall 69th Tank Battalion: Lt. Col. Bedford H. Forest, Major (later Lt Col.) Chester E. Kennedy 25th Armored Engineer Bn: Lt Col. Donald 6. Williams 86th Cavalry Reconnaissance Bn: Lt Col. Albert Harris, Lt. Col. Harry Brindle Division Trains: Lt Col. (Later Col.) Elmer H. Droste 76th Armored Medical Bn: Lt. Col. James W. Branch, Maj. Leonard Rothman 128th Ordnance Battalion: Lt. Col. Raymond Greaves, Jr. Maj. Chester Stiteler Div. Headquarters Company: Capt Harrigan W. Wortsmith, Capt Anthony A. Imbriano 146th Signal Company: Capt Tyler Dixon, Capt. Prank Thomas, Capt. Thomas Fisher Headquarters Company Combat Command A: Capt Leroy Manuel Headquarters Company Combat Command B: Capt Jerry Rose, Lt T. Stivason, Capt. Kenneth Deichler Hq. Btry. Division Artillery: Capt. John Quaday, Capt Eugene Wolf Hq. Co. Div. Trains: Capt. Jack Marsden, Lt. Theodore Schaaf
Prior to entering combat a Civil Affairs detachment of three officers, headed by Maj. Royce S. ("Judge") Weisenberger was assigned to the Division. Likewise several "special purpose" units were permanently attached to the division:
777th Anti Aircraft Bn: Lt Col. Joseph H. Twyman, Jr. 603rd Tank Destroyer Bn: Lt Col. John G. Minniece, Jr., Lt Col. Clarence D. McCurry 642nd Quartermaster Truck Company: Capt. Joseph P. Lanfear 3803rd Quartermaster Truck Company: Capt Billy Y. Yeatts
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December 2, 1998 -- Created page.