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

Name: Arthur J. Whitbeck
Born: 1923
Died: 4 March 1945, 21 years old
Grade & Military-
Technician Fourth Grade (T/4),
784 Tank Battalion
Cemetary: Block K, Row 14, Grave 1

Whitbeck Arthur was born in the town
of Hudson, north of New York. Immediately after his
high school education, he enlisted in the army. At Camp
in Louisiana, he was trained as a member of a tank crew,
assigned to B Company, 784 Tank Battalion.

As an African American he
experienced segregation in
the army firsthand.

On March 4, 1945 B Company
of 784 Tank Battalion took part in the battle for the German village Kamperbruch. The tank in which Arthur and his The tank in which Arthur and his comrades were, was hit by anti-tank guns. Arthur did not survive and died from his injuries. He was 21 years old.

racial segregation

“Blacks are mentally
inferior, by nature
subservient, and cowards
in the face of danger. They
are therefor unfit for combat”

- Quote US Army study, 1925

At the outbreak of the Second World
War the U.S. Army was completely
segregated. Many white Americans
believed that African Americans were
not good soldiers.

Due to this generally accepted attitude about their capabilities, Negros most black soldiers were assigned to the supporting forces, in roles such as drivers or gravediggers.

Discrimination was still the order of the day,
especially in the southern states. Arthur
Whitbeck would certainly have had to deal with
this during his training at Camp Claiborne in
the deep south of the United States, where
racism was the most natural thing in the world.