The 3rd Armored Division's Supply Battalion, commanded by Major Rodney J. Banta, became the lifeline of the "Spearhead" in action. The battalion's big 2~-ton trucks brought vital fuel, ammunition, rations and supplies to the pace setting front line units. Battalion trucks were also assigned to each of the spearheading task forces and used to transport thousands of infantrymen in the great drives.
Regardless of heartbreaking road conditions, a fluid enemy situation and lack of rest on the long overland hauls, supply was maintained with exceptional speed and efficiency. Trucks were loaded far beyond their normal capacity and drivers slept behind their wheels after rolling day and night in the wake of the attacking armor. On several occasions, the supply trucks passed through enemy lines in order to deliver their cargoes. The great summer offensive of 1944, which took General Omar Bradley's 12th Army Group from Normandy to the Siegfried Line, was largely made possible through the herculean efforts of such divisional forward echelon supply troops as those of the "Spearhead." They were the storekeepers of the frontline. The 3rd Armored Division Supply Battalion is a direct descendant of the 15th Quartermaster Battalion formed at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, on April iS, 1941, by a cadre of 165 enlisted men and 17 officers of the 2nd Armored Division's 14th Quartermaster. Colonel George H. Rarey was the first Commanding Officer.
Men of the Supply Battalion landed in Normandy on July 3, 1944, and immediately began the work, which was to assume such critical proportions in the breakthrough and the subsequent pursuit across France and Belgium. When that staggering task was presented to the men and Officers of Major Banta's command, they were not found wanting. The storekeepers of the "Spearhead" Division added much to that accomplishment which came to be known as the miracle of supply in Europe. The hauling of ammunition, fuel, rations, clothing and equipment of all kinds, plus the transportation of infantry in front-line positions, helped to shorten the war in the west. In more ways than one, they delivered the goods.
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