History Of The 772nd Tank Battalion

The 772nd Tank Battalion: has its origin with the 34th Armor Regiment, which was constituted on 28 august 1941 and assigned to the 5th armored Division. On 1 October 1941, the 34th Regiment was activated at Fort Knox, Kentucky and began training. From October 1941 to July 1943 the unit trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Camp Cooke, California and the Tennessee Maneuver Area. In July of 1943 the 34th Regiment moved to Pine Camp, New York to continue training.

On 20 September 1943 the 772nd Tank Battalion was formed when the 34th Armor Regiment was broken up. 1st Battalion was reorganized and redesigned as the 772nd Tank Battalion under the command of Lt. Col. Richard H. Jones. Of note the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor became the 34th Armored Regiment and the 3rd Battalion, 34th Armor became the 10th Armor Regiment, all assigned to the 5th Armored Division. At this point, the 772nd became a separate unit.

  From September 1943 to January 1945, the 772nd conducted extensive training in preparation for overseas movement. The battalion trained at Pine Camp, New York; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Tennessee Maneuver Area; Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Camp McCain, Mississippi; Camp Polk , Claiborne and Livingston, Louisiana; Camp Rucker, Alabama ;Camp Jackson, South Carolina.

  In August of 1944, Lt. Col. Frank J. Spettel assumed command of the battalion and continued to command the unit throughout the war.

  On 26 January 1945 the 772nd sailed from Boston on the "James Parker" enroute to Europe and on 8 February arrived at Le Havre, France. The battalion was then attached to the 70th Infantry Division for 1 day and on 24 March 1944 was attached to the 44th Infantry Division. The Battalion remained with the 44th division for its first full-scale combat operation-the capture of Mannheim, Germany and for most of duration of the war. The 772nd continued in combat operations until May 1945 when German forces surrendered. The 772nd was then placed under the control of the 103rd Division at Innsbruck, Austria for occupation duties.