Re: [G104] Bob (from the 763rd)
- Gary...and the list,
Thank you so much for those kind words. I accept them on behalf of all the
guys who sweated it out in one of those M4's regardless of whichever theatre
of operations he was in.
There is another "old: tanker lurking on this list. He, too, was in the
763rd and we did have some very interesting experiences...including several
that took place when we decided to go looking for souvenirs...on foot, with
our trusty Thompson sub machine guns. He is Al Davenport who I "named" Couch"
during the war, and that nickname has stuck with him to this day. Because he
reaads my emails here, I have to be very careful to stick to the
truth..except, of course, when I'm bragging about his daring deeds...in which
case he'll let me ramble all day long.
Seeing combat through the small opening that the periscope provides can
be limiting....but, I managed to see all of it I cared to (smile).
As you know, all units, be they navy, air, or whatever, are, essentially
support for the infantry. During the two campaigns I managed to live through,
I gained a high respect for those guys. They are the ones who truly had a
rough way to go, and they took everything thrown at them and just kept going
until it was all over.
I find myself in a somewhat interesting situation now days. The war made
such an impression on me, and remains so clear in my memory...for the most
part, that when someone points out that my generation fought in two or three
wars ago...well, it's just difficult to accept that we are now the old
timers. Having said all that, I do feel somewhat humble when someone
syas,"Gee, you actually were in a tank during WW2."
Just for general information...and, this has nothing to do with the tech
side of an M4, but it is interesting. Our tank battalion was attached to the
96th Infantry Division. Our company was attached to the 3rd battalion of the
383rd Infantry Regiment. Every year the 96th Division has a reunion...in a
different state each time. This year it was in Omaha, Nebraska, and
something special took place there. At the reunion last week, there was a
formal presentation by the US Army of the Presidential Unit Citation to the
96th Division and it's attached units (including the 763rd tank Bn.) for
"courageous action during the Okinawa battle." If you, like me, are wondering
why the award was so long in coming, I understand that right after the war's
end, the order was sent through channels and ended up on a general's desk
where it slipped through the cracks and was filed. Apparently that officer
was under the impression that the award notification had be sent along and he
had it filed. The paper work was recently unearthed and the award has now
been made. None of us old guys are still in uniform, so that small blue
ribbon will never be worn. But it does warm my heart to know that somewhere,
someone recognized all those guys, and now they must feel a wee bit less
I'll knock it off and let you folks get on with it. I must say that
originally I got onto this list because I thought I'd find tech information
about the old M4. I've discovered that, to my delight, the list is not a
technical sort of thing but, instead, is subscribed to by guys who not only
find the Sherman an interesting vehicle, but have a genuine fondness for it.
If my wife and I ever hit the lottery jackpot, I'm going to buy my very
own M4, paint my old turret number 60 on it, and buy enough ground somewhere
where I can drive around all day...without being shot at....(smile).
Eight Dollar Mountain,