Military History/20th Armored Division / My Father Stanley Davis
Iím the son of a 20th Armored Division - 65th Armored Infantry Battalion - veteran, Stanley H. Davis. Growing up, I often asked him about the war and he would share stories, very detailed in fact, but I never knew the details of his Division, Battalion, etc. He passed away some years back so the stories and a few war pictures are all I have left now.
I began researching about a month ago when I can across some copies given me of his discharge / reenlistment papers, etc. I always thought he was in the 2nd Armored Division because of a photo of him taken after the war (Camp Hood) in uniform displaying the 2nd Armored shoulder patch. I was surprised to learn he was in the 20th Armored Division so I hit the internet and came across the 20th Division website, among other resources, and began digging. I found his name on the 65th AIB roster then after reading accounts, comparing the timeline with some of his photos/stories, things really fell into place, down to the train crash he described after the end of the war by Mannheim.
A couple of questions have come to mind though. The 1st thing that isnít clear is that dad mentioned tank duty as well as infantry duty. He told me about the time his tank was hit and he was knocked out and overcome with fumes. Someone had pulled him out of the tank and revived him. He described other times he was in a tank in battle. Did Armored Infantry men do tank duty as well? If not, Iím thinking he may have been assisting a tank battalion or maybe another division possibly prior to April 1945? Were men sent overseas from the 20th Armored (Fort Campbell) prior to the whole unit going over in Feb 1945, then reuniting with the 20th? Sorry, just trying to tie up some loose ends.
Thank you for your time and service!!
Dear Mr. Davis,
The armored infantry regiments were designed to provide the new armored divisions with their own necessary intrinsic infantry capability. Their real difference with ordinary infantry was their degree of mechanized shock value in lightly armored half-tracks and mobility on other vehicles. All but two were broken up into armored infantry battalions during the course of the war. The entire 20th Armored Division embarked from Boston on 6 February 1945 and arrived in Le Havre, France on 17 February 1945. After training at Buchy, France, it then moved to Langendernbach, Germany on 10 April 1945 and advanced to Wuerzburg, Germany on 23 April 1945. It was engaged at Dorf on 25 April 1945, and then assembled near Deiningen. The division attacked through the 42nd and 45th Infantry Divisions lines to open the drive on Munich on 28 April 1945 as it crossed the Danube. It advanced rapidly to Munich, Germany where it cleared strong opposition in certain sectors on 29-30 April 1945. It crossed the Inn River at Wasserburg on 3 May 1945, entered Traunstein on 4 May 1945, and was enroute to Salzburg when hostilities were declared ended on 7 May 1945. The 65th Armored Infantry Battalion was formed from the 1st Battalion, 480th Armored Infantry Regiment on 10 September 1943 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. It is credited with the Central Europe campaign star. The entire 20th Armored Division arrived in New York on 6 August 1945 and its August, 1945 location was Camp Cooke, California. The 65th Armored Infantry Battalion was deactivated at Camp Hood, Texas on 2 April 1946. Thus your father was wearing the 2nd Armored Division patch. May God Bless-Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard