S/Sgt. Griffith on an M-36. Place is Germany in 1945. Photo courtesy of Col. Cecil R. French.
A sergeant from the 899th, points to where the shell from a Panther passed through his M10. The radio operator was killed when the projectile entered the bow-plate. Photo courtesy of Col. Cecil R. French.
"B" Company in Bavaria. September 3, 1945. Photo courtesy of Col. Cecil R. French.
(L-R) Tank Destroyer crewmen, Joe Ward and Bob French on an M36..."Beats Me" with 4 kills. Photo courtesy of Col. Cecil R. French.
Cecil R. "Bob" French on an M36 in 1945. Photo courtesy of Col. Cecil R. French.
A German Panther knocked out by the 899th. Photo courtesy of Col. Cecil R. French.
An M5 Stuart of the 899th Recon. Co. moves up from Maknassy to El Guettar in March 1943. At the end of the campaign the M5 was replaced by the M8 Armored Car. Photo courtesy of Col. Cecil R. French.
Maintenance Crew - (L-R) Slusher, Bradley, Williams, Stein, Threatt & Lau in Ingolstadt, Germany. Photo courtesy of Col. Cecil R. French.
James Harvey Coleman was a member of the 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion, Company A, 1st Platoon. This shot and about 15 others were provided courtesy of his son, Rusty.
James H. Coleman standing with a friend. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
James H. Coleman standing with a friend. Back of photo reads...6/26/45 Sugar, Just a shot of one of my friends and my self. I didn't give the camera enough light so this one is dark. That's the T2 in the back ground. It pulls in the destroyer if their hit for repair. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
James H. Coleman. Photo reads...Jack and me. You can't see Jack very well. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
James H. Coleman in 1943. Back of photo reads...This was taken before I ever knew him - but I can see both my Coleman sons in him. In a way they both resemble their father. He was so thin in this pic. I believe the text was written by his wife. James would have been 18 years old. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
James H. Coleman sitting with his 50 Cal. Back of photo reads...6/26/45 Dear Mae, Here I am with my 50 caliber machine gun, it's mounted on the destroyer. Sorry for the face I had but at this time I was mad as my tank had gotten wet in the inside from a rain. Be good. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
Photo of James H. Coleman's M36 Tank Destroyer. Back of photo reads...August 4, 1945. Just a shot of my destroyer loaded for combat. Note the machine gun on the top for airplanes. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
Photo of the front of James H. Coleman's M36 Tank Destroyer. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
James H. Coleman with friend. Back of photo reads...8/16/1945 Sugar, Here we are again but not so good. God knows how I wish this could have been you instead of him. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
Photo of at least 6 units of Company A, 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion. Back of photo reads...My last picture of the good ole 899 tank destroyers - the last look at the tanks that brought us through alive. The fourth one from the front end is mine. Sept-45-Germany. Original photo was badly worn around the edges. It was probably carried for many years in James Coleman's wallet. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
James H. Coleman and a few members of the 899th. Back of photo reads...8/5/45 Mae honey, Here is my tank and a few of the boys. I was trying to get my dog to look up so you can see the shape he got me when the picture was taken. Shorty had his pup alright but my luck wasn't so good. Note the radio ariel is a good place to hang our towels. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
Unknown location. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
Unknown soldier of the 899th Tank Destroyer battalion sitting on an M8 Armored Car. Looks like it's missing the turret. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
Unknown soldier standing with the unit's T3 (M31) Tank Recovery vehicle. The unit was based on M-3 Lee Medium Tank with Continental R-975-C1 9 cyl. radial gasoline engine and riveted hull. Just over 800 of them were built through 1945. Hull length 18'-6", Width 8'-11", Crane height in the lowered position 10'-0", Weight 34 tons, Max speed was 25 mph, Average range 100 miles, Crew 6 person. Manufactured by the Baldwin Locomotive Works. Note the cannon attached to the hatch cover on the left. It was actually a dummy. Information from the www.olive-drabe.com website. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
Same unknown soldier as in the T2 photo posing with the 50 cal. Possibly a member of James H. Coleman's crew. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
This photo is labeled as the Danube River. After VE day, the 899th moved down the autobahn and into Bavaris, to a Tent City in a forest near Ingolstadt. The Danube runs through the center of the town. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
James H. Coleman and another friend. Back of photo reads...6/26/45 Another friend and myself beside his destroyer. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.
On March 7, 1945 the 9th Armored Division captured a bridge across the Rhine River at Remagen. The
899th Tank Destroyer Battalion arrived at the bridgehead that afternoon with the 9th Infantry Division. Capturing the Ludendorf railroad bridge before it was destroyed seemed like a miracle of miracles. It was the only Rhine bridge the Germans failed to blow up. C Company of the 899th Tank Destroyer Bn crossed on March 8, with the 47th Infantry Regiment. The battalion remained on the west bank in Remagen until March 10th.
A view from inside the railway tunnel towards the Ludendorf railroad bridge.
Certificate to the 9th U.S. Armored Division on the 10th anniversary of the taking of the bridge, March 7th, 1955. Certificate reads as follows: Society of the Remagen Bridge, First crossing of the Rhine by Allied Forces in the Campaign of 1944-1945, March 7, 1945, 9th U.S. Armored Division of the III U.S. Corps of the First U.S. Army, To the Officers and Men of the 9th U.S. Armored Division of March 7, 1945. The Certificate is signed by Dwight Eisenhower - 1945 Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force.
Shown is a row of late model M4A3E8 Sherman Tanks. I had originally thought they might be M36B1 Tank Destroyers, which were built on Sherman chassis and hulls and were used by the 899th, starting in February of 1945. Thankfully one of our website viewers pointed out the slight variances in the unit's suspensions proving it's true identity. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Nason and thanks to Joe Hinson for his help on tank I.D.
M-2 tank retrievers are used to pull a ditched M-10 tank destroyer of the 899th TD Bn back onto the road near Monschau, Germany. The unit slid from the road while avoiding a collision with a jeep. Jan 4, 1945. Signal Corps Photo #198541 from the National Archives.
1st Lt. Wilfred C. Ford (standing) briefs the S-3 officer of the 1st Tank Destroyer Group. Photo courtesy of Craig Ford.
1st Lt. Wilfred C. Ford, kneeling second from left, with Headquarters Company of the 899th Tank Destroyer Bn. Photo courtesy of Craig Ford.
Another photo of Headquarters Compnay of the 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion. 1st Lt. Wilfred C. Ford, standing in front, second from left. Photo courtesy of Craig Ford.
German civilians, in the town of Bad-Godesberg, look on as an American M-36 of the 899th TD Bn moves into the center of the street to act as a road block. This city has been spared from bombing and shelling by both the Allies and the Germans due to the many hospitals located in the city. March 7, 1945. Signal Corps Photo #332989 from the National Archives.
A German Jagdpanther "Tank Destroyer" knocked out by the 899th. Photo courtesy of Col. Cecil R. French.
Tank detroyers of the 899th TD Bn, attached to the 9th ID, First U.S. Army, knocked out this German Jagdpanzer SdKfz 173, "Jagdpanther", in open country near Hargarten, Germany. March 15, 1945. Signal Corps Photo #421366 from the National Archives.
James H. Coleman on right, stands with another soldier at the Company A, Command Post sign. This location was probably a post-war location. Photo courtesy of Rusty Coleman.