The 703rd Tank Destroyer Battalion was activated at Camp Polk, Louisiana, on December 15, 1941, Under the expert, harsh discipline of Lt. Colonel Prentice E. Yeomans, later Commanding Officer of the 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, the 703rd had whipped itself into shape as a smoothly functioning, well-trained organization. Lt Colonel Wilbur E. Showalter later assumed command in England
Used as road blocks, flank protection, and as a base at fire, the M-lO, 3-inch gun carriages used by the battalion added security and heavy tire power to the division's drive through Normandy, France and Belgium to the Siegfried Line, Here, the 703rd was the first TD unit to receive the new M-36, 90 mm gun carriage, which was used for both direct and indirect fire.
Throughout constant operations in five western campaigns, the tank destroyer soldiers chalked up a record of efficiency that was cited by the ordnance offices at Aberdeen, Maryland. For every tank destroyer lost to the battalion through enemy action, men at the 703rd destroyed ten German tanks or assault guest
The battalion's most notable actions were: first, at Ranes-Fromentel, France, where seven tanks and assault guns tell to the TD's, among them two Panthers destroyed at a range at 25 yards by Cpl. Joseph Juno, who was himself killed as he attempted to aid the wounded enemy tankers; at Mons, Belgium, when column after column of fleeing Jerries ran into the point blank fire of the TD's; and in the Ardennes fighting, when the 703rd was temporarily attached to the 1st Infantry Division and to the 82nd Airborne Division. The battalion returned to the 3rd in time to take pan in the all out counter attack, which deflated the "bulge."
Throughout the five European campaigns, the 703rd Tank Destroyer Battalion destroyed 90 German tanks and SP guns, scores af other transport and enemy line troops. In the final analysis, accuracy and big gun performance paid off.
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