Military History/68th AAA Gun Battalion, Headquarters Battery
My father Edward Obert-Thorn served in the 68th gun Battalion from 1942 till 1945. I like to know what battles they were involved in.
I found this info in a response to another gentleman inquiring about his father, and he had a copy of his Discharge Document which sums up the history of the 68th.
The unit was originally designated a Coastal Artillery Regiment. These were being phased out due to aircraft taking over the role of coastal defense.
Your father may have joined up with the unit just before deployment, or later as a replacement.
Departed Hampton Roads, Virginia Port of Embarkation, November 2, 1942 (Box #36) (These refer to the form.)
In a 14 troop transport ship convoy, arrived at Casablanca, Morocco, November 18, 1942 (Box #36)
Arrived in Sicily, August 9, 1943 (Box #36)
Arrived at Naples, Italy, October 31, 1943
The 68th Coast Artillery Regiment (AA) made an amphibious assault at Anzio, Italy, January 22, 1944
The 1st Battalion, 68th Coast Artillery Regiment (AA) was redesignated the 68th AAA Gun Battalion (Mobile) (Box #6) at Anzio, Italy, June 4, 1944. (It appears the BN did not participate in the Anzio landings, these took place on January 22 1944. This was probably just for staging for the landings in France.
The 68th AAA Gun Battalion made an Amphibious Assault at Southern France, August 15, 1944 (Operation Dragoon)
Arrived at an East Coast (USA) Port of Embarkation, August 2, 1945 (Box #36) NOTE: Three ships arrived at an East Coast Port of Embarkation that date; USAT James Parker, Boston; USS General J.R. Brooke AP-132, Boston; RMS Queen Mary, New York.
Honorably Discharged from the US Army at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, August 21, 1945 (Box #7,8)
His BN would have been part of VI Corps under MGen. Lucian K Truscott as part Lt. Gen. Patch's Seventh Army.
Your father was part of the Headquarters Battery of the BN, meaning he was assigned to the Headquarters company, artillery used battery in place of company as a sub unit designation. There were three batteries to a battalion and one headquarters battery.
This book might help you fill in the blanks.
If you do a little searching for the 7th Army, you will see they landed on the Riviera and moved north to link up with the Central Europe offensive. The 7th Army participated in the Landings of S. France, the Rhineland Campaign, the Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe campaigns.
Your father's BN would have used truck towed 90mm AA guns. One interesting thing is that at some point, the BN may have been used in the anti tank role since it was recognized that the 90mm gun was about the best anti tank gun the army possessed and was later mounted in the new M-26 Pershing tank. But during the Ardennes offensive, (Battle of the Bulge) it was used in some places in the Anti Tank role. The 7th Army had to thin its lines to take over areas vacated by the 3rd army (the 7th was deployed across the Southern part of the American Lines) moved north to help relieve Bastogne. In their own right the 7th faced vicious fighting in the Vosges Mountains and again during Germany's attack during Operation Nordwind on New Years 1945,