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
|Arthur J. Whitbeck
|4 March 1945, 21 years old
|Grade & Military-
Technician Fourth Grade (T/4),
784 Tank Battalion
|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
Claiborne 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.
- 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.