After his high school education Arthur Whitbeck enlisted in the army. At Camp Claiborne in Louisiana, he was trained as a tank technician and assigned to B Company, 784th Tank Battalion. Arthur was part of a crew of a Sherman tank.
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784 Tank Battalion embarked on Oct 30 '44 in America and arrived on Christmas Day in Le Havre (F). The front line lay along the German border and the Batlle of the Bulge (Ardennenoffensive) was in full swing. The battalion immediately moved further. Within one week, on Dec. 31, they had entered Germany at the border at Eschweiler.
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Task Force Byrne went smoothly. That changed on March 2, when Arthur's B Company fought at Sevelen, which was strongly defended by German paratroopers. The Americans were sealed off from reinforcements and supplies ...
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On March 4 Arthur and his comrades were ordered to attack Kamperbruch. The commander expected little opposition, but the Germans had set up tank guns. Arthur's tank was directly hit.
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to the UK
Landing on Utah Beach
Died on pleasure flight
Buried in Margraten, Block RR, Row 12 Grave 290
Germany invades Poland, Britain
and France declare war on Germany
Nazi Germany declares war on the US
Battle of Stalingrad: Red Army defeats Germans
|Date of service:||December 1, 1942|
|Date to Europe:||october 30, 1944|
|Participation in the War:||December 25, 1944|
|Army part||784 Tank Battalion|
|Rank:||Technician Fourth Grade(T/4)|
|Awards: Purple Heart, New York Conspicious Service Cross, European-African-Middle Eastern Theather Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal|
Arthur Whitbeck received his training as a soldier at
Camp Claiborne. He was assigned to B Company (Baker)
of 784 Tank Battalion, which was commanded by
Lieutenant-Colonel George Dalia. The battalion consisted
of approximately 700 men equipped with light M5
Stuart reconnaissance tanks andM4 Shermantanks.
Arthur Whitbeck was part of a Sherman tank crew.
784 Tank Battalion, 761 Tank
Battalion en 758 Tank Battalion
together formed 5 US Tank Group. What was
special special about these battalions was that
they consisted entirely of African American
soldiers. Only the senior officers were white.
The U.S Army was completely segregated
during the Second World War.
Black and white soldiers were not integrated.
Moreover, most African American soldiers
were in units that did not fight because many
white Americans felt that they did not have
the courage and capabilities to be good soldiers.
Thanks to the efforts of
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt
and General Lesley McNair, some
"colored" combat units were deployed
during the war.
The Tuskegee Airmen and the
761 Tank Battalion in particular
achieved the necessary recognition.