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Military History/Tank Destroyer battalion ETO


I am conducting research on my grandfathers tour during WWII. He's DD-214 states he served in the 638th TD in the Battle of the Bulge. I have looked at every roster and AAR for the 638th and most of the other TD battalions that I can find and no where is his name mentioned. Most of his records were destroyed in a fire located in St. Louis.

Information that I have so far:
Cpl Dan C Hester, US Army
SN 38291519
Enlisted Little Rock, Ar in 1942
Awarded 3 Bronze stars

Or if you could just point me in the right direction.

Thank you for your assistance.



Thanks for the question. While outside of my expertise, I will try to help.

I did a quick Google search (actually I use Firefox) I found the following sites that contain documents in pdf format:

(Note: I just realized while previewing my answer that the system 'Experts' uses won't display the full links that I cut and paste. There seems to be a character limit. I simply did a search using "638th tank destroyer battalion world war 2" to find them.)

The documents seem to be after action reports and medal awards lists. They make for some interesting reading, especially about the TD that backed into a stack of anti-tank mines and was "demolished", along with its crew.

There is this site

which lists some of the soldiers of the 638th who are buried at this war cemetery.

Beyond this, I am at a loss to help. When people ask for info regarding their ancestors military records I usually give them the links to the military archives, and advise them that they may or may not be successful due to the fire in St. Louis. There doesn't even seem to be a site dedicated to or run by survivors of the battalion (sometimes there are). The only other suggestion I would have is to post your question on some of the many military history forums online. There may be someone out there who knows something of what you're looking for. I've used these forums myself and my experience is that the people on them are more than happy to help if they can. It may just take some time.

I hope this helps in some small way. Sorry I couldn't be of more assistance. It is gratifying to see people interested in their family history. I think it's important.

Kind regards


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Trevor Collette


I can answer most specific questions regarding the war on the Eastern Front 1941-45 and general questions on WWII regarding the European Theatre of Operations. I can answer most questions on weapons and vehicles used in those areas of operation, Russian, German, Allied. I can also answer questions on contemporary weapon systems (land/sea/air), nuclear weapons and nuclear war fighting, biological and chemical warfare. I also have an interest in epidemiology and disease in history and Russian history during Stalin, specifically the GuLags. I cannot answer any more questions relating to discharge papers or other paperwork, obtaining military records, ranks and their comparisons, military duties etc. as there are outside my expertise.


3 years Lance Corporal in infantry regiment and 3 years Sapper (Combat Engineer)in Engineer Regiment, both Canadian Army Reserve. Extensive military history library, up until recently I was reading 3-5 books per month on military affairs, then ran out of shelf space, much to my wife's delight.

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