Arthur goes into service

December 1, 1942

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.

Read the story: overview >

To the front

Le Havre, dec. 25, 1944

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.

Read the whole story: Combat route (1) >

Anxious hours

Sevelen, March 2, 1945

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 ...

Read the whole story: Combat route (3) >

Arthur is killed

Kamperbruch, March 4 1945

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.

Read the whole story: Combat route (4) >

July 1943 (?)

Registration ARC

September 1943

to the UK

July 16, 1944

Landing on Utah Beach

March 15, 1945


May 1, 1945

Died on pleasure flight

June 19, 1945

Buried in Margraten, Block RR, Row 12 Grave 290

November 23, 1943

Departure for Europa

January 20, 1944

Arriving in England

June 1944

Landing Omaha Beach

US enters the war

December 11, 1941

Nazi Germany declares war on the US

Turnaround WWII

Februari 2, 1943

Battle of Stalingrad: Red Army defeats Germans


Arthur Whitbeck

The African American Tank technician

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.


Tank Battalions

784 Tank Battalion, 761 Tank
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.