Military History/771 Tank Battalion

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Question
I had a friend, Clifton Raymond Stillwell, RA 42 194 440,  who served with the 771 Tank Battalion, B Co.  He received the Bronze Star and 2 Purple Hearts,  I do not know the dates of the awards but am working on it. From his information, he landed on Utah beach not sure if it was the 2nd or 3rd wave or the 2nd or 3rd day. Other info I am getting, he served with a special tank unit that operated behind enemy lines.  Somewhere his unit captured a castle occupied by the SS, he has several Deaths Head rings and other artifacts from there.

Any info you have is valuable to me and his family.  Can you help?

Regards,
Tom Buczkowski

Answer
Dear Mr. Buczkowski,
       Thank you for your question.  In it you typed "who served with the 771 Tank Battalion".  Before me on my desk is a roster of those men assigned [assigned] to the 771st Tank Battalion prior to May 8, 1945.  Mr. Stillwell's name does NOT appear upon the roster.
       In your question you typed "He received a Bronze Star and 2 Purple Hearts."  What is typed in Box #33 on page two of Mr. Stillwell's Discharge Documents (WD AGO Form 53-55)?
       In your question you typed "From his information".  What is YOUR source for "his information"?  Oral History from Mr. Stillwell?  Family lore?  Mr. Stillwell's Discharge Documents (WD AGO Form 53-55)?  Other sources?  PLEASE be specific.
       In your question you typed "he landed upon Utah beach not sure if it was the 2nd or 3rd wave or the 2nd or 3rd day."  I assume (something I am loathed to do) that your reference is to D-Day, Tuesday, June 6, 1944.  Then the dates you typed of are June 7th or 8th, 1944.  Please read the following:

Departure Date:   August 18, 1944
Departure Location:   Boston Port of Embarkation
Troop Ship:   USS Mount Vernon  AP-22
Unit Onboard:   771st Tank Battalion
Arrival Date:   August 25, 1944
Arrival Location:   Liverpool, England
    6,006 Troops onboard

So, either Mr. Stillwell was assigned [assigned] to a different unit than the 771st Tank Battalion on Wednesday, June 7, 1944 or Thursday, June 8, 1944, OR, somehow we have an inconsistency here!
       In your question you typed "he served with a special tank unit".  Please provide me with the numerical designation of the "special tank unit" so that I may begin my FACT based research of said unit for you "and his family."
       In your question you typed "Any infor you have is valuable to me and his family."  First of all, I do not provide "info", I provide FACTS.  I can provide you FACTS about Mr. Stillwell.  To do so I respectfully request a photocopy of the FOUR page Discharge Documents (WD AGO Form 53-55) that Mr. Stillwell was provided when he was discharged from the US Army.  Please send the photocopies via First Class USPS to the address at the end of this response.  Please include YOUR e-mail address.  OR, if you prefer a unit history of the 771st Tank Battalion, I can provide that also.  One or the other, I can provide.
       In your question you typed "Can you help?"  I hope to, once I have in hand photocopies of Mr. Stillwell's Discharge Documents (WD AGO Form 53-55) so that FACT based research may begin.
       Good Luck with your quest.

  Respectfully,
   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections
     2011 Richard Jones Road
      Apt      E 26
       Nashville   TN   37215-2837

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Richard V. Horrell

Expertise

Can answer: World War Two. Specifically, the troop transport ships that took US Military Personnel overseas & returned them to the US, 1941-47. Also, unit history of US Army QM, Signal, MP, Ordnance, Medical, Transportation & Engineer units that served during WW 2. The more obscure units are my specialty. If you have the APO that a Veteran sent letters from or received letters at, I can look up the history of that APO.

Experience

A lifelong study of WW 2, including participation as a WW 2 Re-enactor, 1980-2002. Also, interviewing over 400 WW 2 Veterans about their role in WW 2.

Organizations
AASLH, Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society

Publications
Over 800 Profiles that I have written for client's about their loved one's role in WW 2.

Education/Credentials
BA, History & Political Science (19th & 20th Century European History) Webster University, Webster Groves, MO.

Awards and Honors
Assisting the National Archives on numerous occasions during the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of WW 2, 1991-95.

Past/Present Clients
Respectfully, I do not disclose the names of the clients I deal with. I have a confidentially agreement with them.

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