Hellcat News, (Kingman, Ariz.), Vol. 52, No. 10, Ed. 1, June 1999 Page: 1 of 20
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★ Central Europe
Published by the
At this point in the year there are not too many things to report on
except that the Reunion Chairman is busy wrapping up the final
items for the annual Reunion. If anyone has any matter concerning
that gathering, I would suggest that you contact Bob Hoeweler. I
know he needs to know what ACU's plans and needs for the
Reunion will be, and he asks that whoever is to be in charge of the
ASTP luncheon should inform Bob.
As you know, Bob Head will be relinquishing his duties as Editor
of the HCN, and I want to thank him for continuing in that job into
this year. Frank Bamdollar of the 56th has accepted that position
and will continue as Unit Rep. I wish to thank Frank for assuming
this additional task. Considering he worked in the newspaper busi-
ness and continues to write a column for a local paper, that should
easily qualify him for it.
Come on Hellcats and ttellfcittens!
This should be the Big One: the 53rd annual Hellcat Reunion
at the Drawbridge Inn, Ft. Mitchell, KY, the last week in
October. The hotel has ample facilities for those with walking
difficulties and those in wheelchairs. There hasn't been a
National Hellcat Reunion in the Cincinnati area since 1951.
We've been saving up the attractions, both old and new, so this
one should be a Blast! What a great opportunity to renew old
friendships or develop new ones, whether you have attended
many reunions or this is your first.
Hellkittens, do you know that you outnumber the Hellcats at
reunions? So you see how important wives, widows, and guests
are to the success of reunions. Several Hellcats who have been
able, failed to attend the past two reunions. You are expected
at this one.
You will be entertained and amazed at the likeness of
General George Patton with his impersonation. Bob Hoeweler
and his committee are planning diligently for your comfort and
enjoyment. The good Lord willing, I expect to see you.
For those unable to attend, you will get a detailed report from
the Hellcat News.
Kindest regards to you,
Clint Seitz [B-495 AFA]
ADDITIONAL LIFE MEMBERS
#1230 MARVENA CHANCE [A-17]
139 S. Garfield
Colby, KS 67701
#1231 JAMES COUSINS [A-17]
1733 Co. Rd. 35
Menlo, KS 67753
#1232 CLIFFORD J. OLSON [Patience] HQ/CCA
8262 Rambler Dr.
Brooksville, FL 34601
44TH TANK BATTALION
NO UNIT REP.
Parted only in death
by Verne Mauer
They had never met before. But now, in March of 1943, fate or
the good Lord brought them together. Or was it because one name
started with 'C' and the other with 'D'? At any rate, here they were,
headed for the Induction Center at Des Moines. Arthur Candler and
Donald Donath, both of Dubuque, would get their army serial
numbers and each become a GI (Government Issue).
Of the group at Des Moines, some went here, some there, in-
cluding the navy, but Candler and Donath found themselves headed
for Fort Knox, KY, to become members of the Armored Force of
tanks, light tanks and heavy tanks, half tracks, and a scattering of
jeeps for use by the officers. They both ended up in 'B' Company.
After the usual lectures, marching drills, shots, and all that goes
into becoming a tanker, they got their assignment for the intensive
training to come. Both became drivers of the M4A1 heavy tank.
After training was over - where to now? Both ended up in the
44th Armored Regiment of the 12th Armored Division at Camp
Campbell, KY, as tank drivers in 'B' Co. for maneuvers in the hills
of Kentucky and Tennessee.
Fast friends now, they were scheduled to go with a new outfit -
a separate 44th Tank Battalion, so designated by the 'big wigs' in
Washington. (Some said it was Col. Carter, a former commander of
the 44th Regiment, who put forward the men of the 44th as he had
trained them and knew they were good.)
So Candler and Donath sailed the Pacific together on an old
Dutch ship which had been converted to a troop ship. The first full
Tank Battalion destined for the South Pacific, they spent 56 days at
sea, the longest recorded time for a passage of troops. After landing
at Finschhafen, New Guinea, they participated in several skirmishes,
but the main and biggest challenge was to come later.
Attached to the First Cavalry Division, an order came down from
Gen. MacArthur to liberate the prisoners at Santa Thomas Univer-
sity in Manila, who were starving and under threat of death by the
Japanese. The 44th Tank Battalion 'B' Co. let the charge from
Lingayen Gulf, a distance of about 70 miles, to Manila. Candler and
Donath took part in the heavy fighting as the prisoners were
From the official report of 'B' Co. to Headquarters: "At 0800 on
7 February, 1945, one platoon of Co. 'B' was ordered to the 37th
Division to sweep the Eastern suburbs, continue, and advance west
to the Pasig River. This platoon had no time to perform mainte-
nance. The platoon secured the Brigade assembly area without the
aid of infantry and moved through Rosario Heights to secure the
Manila Reservoir. Heavy resistance was encountered from 20 mm
and 5 inch naval guns (brought ashore from Japanese ships cornered
in the harbor by our navy), and grenadiers with mines and Molotov
Cocktails. The tanks destroyed pillboxes and bunkers and reached
the reservoir along Balite Drive and gained a position within 500
yards of the objective. Heavy fire was encountered from the two
well-camouflaged 5 inch naval guns and the tanks ran into mine
fields and encountered many grenadiers. Three of the tanks were
destroyed and the other two damaged by mines."
Candler and Donath, each driving their own tank, were among
those lost, along with all the crews. They were together in death,
within minutes of each other.
(continued on page 3)
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Twelfth Armored Division Association (U.S.). Hellcat News, (Kingman, Ariz.), Vol. 52, No. 10, Ed. 1, June 1999, newspaper, June 1999; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth410331/m1/1/?rotate=90: accessed August 9, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum.