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That's me in my VFW cap. The jacket is what the 761st Tank Battalion Allied Veterans Association, that's what we wear during our conventions or whenever we meet. The medal around my neck, that is from the Jewish people, that they gave us for the Holocaust. On my right side, that's the Medal of Honor—I'm sorry, that's the Union Citation. The two stars up top, the 761st Tank Battalion, and the two cross cannons on my lapel is Tank. That is it.
This is me and President Clinton at the National Day of Honor for 2000. That was for the veterans that didn't get any recognition in WWII, such as the blacks, Hispanics, and the Hawaiians. We didn't get any credit for WWII. This was a day of honor that he had for us in 2000.
This is our Presidential Union Citation that President Carter gave us 37 years after WWII, when Jimmy Carter became President. That is one of the two that was presented. We also had one presented by Captain Harris, who was with the 761st Tank Battalion, with more detail than this one. It had more battles and so forth in it that we did, and more accurate. They didn't accept that one and give it to us. But maybe one day they will.
This picture was taken in Tausendorf, Bavaria, Germany. The picture—on my right, I am facing the camera—is Earnest Humdy, a corporal, he was a gunner. Floyd Dade to the left, tank commander. That's one of the newer tanks that we had, if you notice the bogey wheels down on the track. That was one of the new Shermans with the 76mm and the flash hider on it.
What is the name of this other man?
How do you spell it?
This picture is Floyd Dade. I am practicing dismount tactics. If your tank gets disabled in combat, you have to come out ready to battle, because usually there are machinegun nests around, and they are firing at you at all times. So you have to come out the top or the bottom. This particular time, I came out through the turret, and dismounted down by the bow gunner's side of the tank. If you notice, that's one of the newer weapons that we had. The gun was a 76mm cannon with the flash hider on it. At the opening, you see the little flash hider. That's what makes the flash, when you fire it, it will come back toward the tank and not go out the front of the barrel, so the enemy will see where the fires are coming from.
That picture was when I first went into the army. It was taken at the PX. I was a Private First Class. Very homesick.
This is a picture of Colonel Paul Bates. He was the battalion commander of the 761st Tank Battalion. He was known as the man that refused to court martial Jackie Robinson. He led us through the battles in Europe, especially the Battle of the Rhine. He was in charge of the Task Force Battle of The Rhineland. So what is happening on the 29th of August when we go to Washington DC, we are going to go to his grave-site to Arlington, and honor him on that day that we have our reunion in Washington. Very important man.
[Note: Pictures of this event and other information available at the website of the 761st Tank Battalion: http://www.761st.com]
This picture is of some new recruits that I had—they were not recruits, but new into the 761st Tank Battalion—they had not had much tank training. They had been with us for about a month. That's me celebrating the end of the war, with my hand held up, Staff Sergeant at that time. The rest of those guys were in my platoon, and I had to train them to do tank fighting. We stayed together until the war was over. They were with us about two months.
Who took that, do you know, how did you get that picture?
I sent it home to my mother and she kept everything.
Was this your camera?
Well the only camera I had was an old box Kodak. They had them all over Germany. When the people turned in all the cameras, I'd go get me those, and the others guys were getting those 35mm cameras, the good cameras, "Hey Dade, I'll swap."
This picture was taken at Gunskirchen, the concentration camp. We were about 300 yards from the camp. We were up there by the stables, the horse stable, which had about twenty stalls, and we were camped out there for ten or twelve hours until we were going on our route to meet the Russians at Steyr River. And the two white guys, they were in the 71st Infantry Division, cooks. And standing up, also the black guy there, he is Johnny Stevens. I don't remember the guy's name next to me down low. That is me on the left, and this other fellow on the right, I don't remember his name. But Johnny Stevens, he was a hell of a platoon sergeant. He got hit eleven times, and still would always come away from the hospital, come back to the unit, to fight before he got well. He was a very good soldier.
A little story there, the guys from the 71st, they came out and wanted to know if anyone was there from Texas. And all the guys started laughing and looked at me and said, "Hey Tex, here is one of your home-boys wants you." What they were doing was poking fun at the guy's accent. As he came over, he said, "By golly is anybody here from Texas?" And so during this thing that happened after that, I said, "Yeah, I am a home-boy." He said, "I know you are starving. We had steaks for dinner tonight, and come on over and have a steak." And I'll be danged, everybody's from Texas. You had a whole mess hall full of guys from Texas!