For a long time I always wondered what my father did in WWII because he never really talked about it much. I knew he was a tanker in Europe, but that's about it. I didn't understand until later, when I myself became a veteran, that most soldiers who've seen combat don't really want to talk about it much. There's a lot of things I still don't like talking about and probably never will.
In the words of an unknown Civil War soldier coming home said; "I have seen the elephant, and I am forever changed..."
So I do understand why my dad never talked about it. I have seen the elephant too and it has changed me also. I'm not the same person who left his neighborhood in Philadelphia in 1983 and I'm sure my father was never the same kid who left Philly in 1943...
But me being a ardent history buff, especially the World War Two era I was curious. Since my father died in 1992 it was a little hard finding out certain information, but dug I did for he raised (and the Rangers tempered) this guy into one tenacious fuck. I don't give up when I set my sights on something. Using his discharge paperwork I found what unit he was in and then pieces began to slowly fall into place.
The top photo is a M-10 Wolverine Tank Destroyer like the one my father was a gunner on. The lower photo is of his unit patch, a leopard with a German Panzer in it's teeth with the motto "Seek, Strike, Destroy".
My father served from 1943 to 1945 in Texas, Oklahoma, England, France and Germany. I'm very proud of what my father did, for he was a true example of what Tom Brokaw called "The Greatest Generation".
If you care to, please feel free to read the complete combat after-action history of my father's unit, "C" Company, 824th Tank Destroyer Battalion.
Even though you've been gone these long years dad, I'm proud of you.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden