The 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion is an original "Spearhead" unit, On May 12,1941, the then 3rd Reconnaissance became the 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. As such it made history in the five western European campaigns of World War II.
Four officers commanded the 83rd in combat. They were Lt. Colonel William L. Cabaniss, who led the organization in Normandy and was transferred late in August; Major John R. Tucker, Jr., who then assumed command. became executive officer upon the assignment of Lt. Colonel Prentice E. Yeomans, two weeks later. Colonel Yeomans commanded the battalion through most of its great triumphs on the battlefield and was himself killed in action during the last weeks of the war. Major Richard L. Bradley then assumed command.
Under the leather lunged and capable Colonel Yeomans, the 83rd came into its own as a great fighting force. With Combat Command "B", the battalion was among the first Americans to reach German soil in force. The 83rd also occupied Roetgen, on September 12, 1944, the first German town to fall to allied troops. During the bitter winter campaign in Belgium, the battalion was again in the limelight. Company "A" was with Task Force Hogan's "400" at 'Marcouray: personnel of the unit reconnoitering a route out of that death trap and leading a 14 hour march through German lines on Christmas night. Later, the company, along with the rest of the battalion, spearheaded an attack which cut the vital St. Vith-Houffalize road.
Back in Germany for the last great offensive early in 1945, the 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion again led the "Spearhead" in several of its most notable drives. The battalion was the first unit of the First Army to reach the Rhine, touching the "sacred river" at 4 A. M. on March 4, north of Worringen. In the magnificent Paderborn sweep to encircle the industrial Ruhi, Colonel Yeoman's men again whipped out in front to lead the entire division on the longest armored drive ever made in the history of warfare, 90 road miles against opposition. During the last days of the war in the west, Lt. Colonel Yeomans was killed in action while leading his troops in the town of Zschepkau on the approaches to Dessau. Major Richard L. Bradley then assumed command
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