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The 808th Tank Destroyer Battalion

invites you to enjoy this site while learning about WWII and tank destroyers

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Colonial Era

US Army Flag - 1775
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Adopted in 1775

Betsy Ross flag
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13 Star Flag
13 Star -
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Civil Flag of Peacetime
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34 Star - Civil War Era
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Civil War Era

Confederate Battle Flag
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50 Star Current US Flag
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Memories - 2

 

The stepson of CECIL C. BURROWS

of LaPorte City, IA says he is grateful for the opportunity to share some memories of this man:

Mert RogersDad, like most WWII vets, did not share a lot of details with us about his experiences with the 808. Later he explained to me that it was because, "No one would understand who wasn't there." He was blessed in one major way, though. His youngest sister married ELSWORTH MUELLER, also of the 808, and they lived near to my folks. I am confident that these two men often, in the privacy of their visits, were able to "process" some of what they had been involved with, a healthy activity for them. I also remember while growing up that we would often visit with, and be visited by the families of MARION ECKARD of Ames, IA and FRANCIS WASER of Des Moines. We kids would be sent out to play, the wives would visit, and the men would spend hours together, re-winning the war, but mostly just talking it out. It is only with the advantage of maturity that I recognize these visits for what they were, a chance for these men to talk with someone who WOULD understand.

In later years, the 808 reunions became a fixture on Dad's social calendar. I say "social calendar" with tongue in cheek as my parents social life was mainly involving family and friends nearby. The reunions became a focal point of the year for both the Burrowses and the Muellers, and they usually would travel to them together.

It was my wife Sharon's and my distinct privilege to host the 808 reunion here in Dubuque, IA in the mid-90's. I remember that about 40 of the old guys and many spouses as well, came to Dubuque for three days and as I entered the hospitality room that first afternoon, seeing and hearing those men talking and greeting each other reminded me of a junior-high school lunch room without supervision. The talk was loud, the laughs were loud and the camaraderie was wonderful to behold. That weekend was followed by us by another a few years later in Waterloo, IA, hosted by Cecil and Elsworth and their wives, and close to where they lived. I had the privilege of being the MC at the banquet, and again, of spending time with persons that I had only heard of while growing up.

Dad passed away in 2002 of complications of Alzheimer's disease, and is buried in Westview Cemetery in LaPorte City. I am thrilled that this website will help to preserve his memory, as well as the memories of so many other heroes. Not a one of them would have even considered themselves as heroes, but the facts remain even though they usually replied "we were only doing our job" when pressed about their service, their "job" at that time was to save the world, and they did so. That meets my definition of HERO every time.

Thanks for the opportunity to share my memories of this and a few other heroes.


From S/Sgt Vincent J. Valente

Vincent was the radio operator for battalion command and a machine gunner.

While we were going through Europe, I heard Col. McDonald tell Major Robinson that he would like to fire a German cannon into the German lines. We were in the town of Landremont France Where myself ,T/5 Dave Whitlinger, Pfc John Brown, And T/4 Crockett Byars came across two German Cannons, One with a burned out barrel and the other with a damaged carriage. With tools borrowed from the motor pool, we transferred the good barrel to the good carriage. We rounded up 21 shells, hooked the cannon to our half track and towed it to a position not far from the German lines. A Major General from Headquarters came to observe. We fired all 21 shells and the General said that they would be firing back at us and he left . We made our way back to the halftrack and prepared to go back to our base. We got underway, and sure enough, we could see German mortars following us down the road. Luckily, we made back safely.


Vin Valente Shares

Inside Germany, Col. McDonald, Myself, Dave Whitlinger And Jack Brown came upon a dairy Farm. We saw a bunch of chickens running loose. I said to Col McDonald that the chickens looked mighty good. He replied that we were not allowed to catch any livestock.
A while later I said that that drumstick would taste great. He replied " What did I just tell you Valente? We can't touch them. A few minutes later, I said "Boy, I can just taste the chicken Wings." It didn't take him long to say "Go get them. " Well that night we had the best meal in a long time in addition to the eggs we collected.


MSG Millard "Crow" Brewer, U.S.Army (Ret)

We farmed in South Dakota, we froze in Watersmeet; In'44 we bunked in a barn, this included Christmas Eve. We "busted" through the Ziegfried Line and picked-up more supplies. We had the Germans on the run, and then we crossed the Rhine. Soon the war was over following one HORRIFIC sight. That's when we knew what we had done was absolutely right.  (The horrific sight he is referring to is the concentration camp at Gotha.)


Ray Followell shared this with his daughters

Did you know passwords were required for entrance into a military camp during WWII? And that failure to provide said password was cause for the men at the gate to "shoot to kill"?

They were.

Even cattle were expected to know that password.

The one undocumented incidence of a cow attempting to enter camp without knowing the password can not be proven.

There were, however, full plates for everyone that night.

Dad never did say who was on duty asking that cow the password or how many times the cow was warned to back away before shots were fired.


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