Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Tue, 11.07.1944

The 761st Tank Battalion, a story

The 761st Tank Battalion (logo)

*The 761st Tank Battalion saw combat on this date in 1944. They were a Black segregated tank battalion of the United States Army during World War II. The 761st were known as the Black Panthers after their distinctive unit insignia, which featured a black panther's head, and the unit's motto was "Come out fighting."

The battalion first saw combat fighting through towns such as Moyenvic and Vic-sur-Seille, often at the leading edge of the advance. The fighting that the 761st engaged in at Morville-lès-Vic was fierce. The unit endured 183 days of continuous operational employment. The 761st Tank Battalion suffered 156 casualties in November 1944: 24 men killed, 81 wounded, and 44 non-battle losses. The unit also lost 14 tanks evacuated and another 20 damaged in combat.

In December, the battalion aided the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne. As part of the effort to drive the Germans from Bastogne, the regiment fought to capture the municipality of Tillet, west of the town, in early January 1945. Supporting the elements of the 87th Infantry Division with just 11 tanks, the battalion took control of the city from the 113th Panzer Brigade through 2 days of combat, losing nine tanks in the process.

After the Battle of the Bulge, the unit opened the way for the American 4th Armored Division into Germany during an action that breached the Siegfried Line. The 761st smashed through dozens of German cities and towns in their advance through the Reich. In the final days of the war in Europe, the 761st was one of the first American units to reach Steyr, Austria, at the Enns River, where they met with the 1st Ukrainian Front of the Soviet Red Army. On May 4, 1945, the 761st and the 71st Infantry Division liberated the Gunskirchen concentration camp; the German guards had fled not long before.

The 761st was deactivated on June 1, 1946, in Germany. During the war, the unit received a Presidential Unit Citation for its actions. In addition, many individual members also received medals, including 1 Medal of Honor, 11 Silver Stars, and 300 Purple Hearts. They have been called "one of World War II's most effective tank battalions. 

The United States Armed Forces officially desegregated after World War II.

To Have a Military Career
To Become an Interpreter

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

these hips are big hips they need space to move around in. they don't fit into little petty places. these hips are free hips. they don't like to be... HOMAGE TO MY HIPS by Lucille Clifton
Read More