Jack L. Eichhorn
Biography: Jack L. Eichhorn, "Ike” was born on June 21, 1917, in Beatrice, Gage, Nebraska, to Fred W. Eichhorn Jr. and Lefa T. Miller. The 1930 Census shows his mother had remarried and the family was living in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon.
He graduated from Washington High School in Portland. His enlistment record indicates he was employed in an unskilled occupation in the manufacturing of automobiles.
Service Time: Jack entered the Army on March 13, 1942, at the Presidio of Monterey, California. He joined Company B of the 607th Tank Destroyer Battalion, as a recruit, on March 17, 1942, at East Ord, CA. The unit trained at a number of locations including Camp San Luis Obispo, the Desert Training Center and Camp Cooke, all in California, along with Camp Hood in Texas.
Jack received several promotions during his training, achieving Technician Fifth Grade (T/5) on October 15, 1942, and T/4 on March 6, 1943. The unit shipped overseas on April 13, 1944, arriving in Liverpool, England on the 21st. Company B landed at Utah Beach, Normandy, France, on June 23rd. Jack served as a mechanic for the company’s equipment.
The 607th supported the advance on Cherbourg and fought along the Seves River in July. Participating in the drive to Le Mans and envelopment of the Falaise Pocket in August, they advanced to the Moselle River in September and supported operations against Metz, France, through November. They converted from the towed 3” anti-tank guns to a self-propelled battalion equipped with M36s in time for the final assault on Metz. Joining the drive toward the Saar River, they supported the capture of Saarlautern, Germany, and the subsequent fight against the Siegfried Line in December.
Deployed to the Ardennes sector in January, 1945, they were soon committed against the Siegfried Line again in early February in the Schnee Eifel area of Germany. Supporting the capture of Koblenz in mid-March, they crossed the Rhine River at Boppard on March 25th. They subsequently fought through Hessen and Thüringen during April and reached the Czechoslovak border near Plauen by mid-April. Thereafter, they remained in defensive positions.
Like many other men in the 607th, Jack was transferred to the 771st TD Bn on June 29, 1945. This was related to the points system used by the military to determine when a soldier was eligible to return home. He was awarded the Good Conduct, American Theater Service and World War II Victory medals along with the EAME medal and credit for the campaigns of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. Jack left the military at the rank of T/4.
At some point after returning home, Jack moved to Carlton, OR. On August 28, 1948, he married Roma Kathleen Gibson, who was from Carlton and the daughter of James M. Gibson Jr. and Jimmie L. Dirickson. Jack worked for many years at Rex Mobile Homes in McMinnville, OR, before retiring in 1983. He also owned and operated his own Body and Fender Shop. He was a member of the Carlton Fire Department for 40 years and was a charter member of the Carlton American Legion No. 173.
Jack passed away on October 12, 1990, in Salem, OR, and is buried in the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, OR. We would like to thank his daughter-in-law, Rebecca, for providing the main photo and information used in this tribute.