Mike Bonnet - Feb '08
would love some info on how to find me details
regarding the 809thTD Bn. this article is great
and i'd like to find out about my grandad's unit.
Steven Anderson - Jan '08
This is all very interesting to me, Are there
more documents available, I have an interest,
my grandfather srgt Steven R. Kmetz was apart
of the tank destroyer battalion, I believe under
commander Dykes or Dikes or some such spelling.
Thank you for your time,
Alan Runfeldt - Jan '07
My father was in the 2nd Division Signal Corps
during WWII and mentioned Armagh as a place he
had been before heading to Normandy for D-Day.
We lost Dad in 1994, so I can't ask him for
details, but I do recall the name Armagh from
the stories about his time in Northern Ireland.
He had fond memories of friends he made there.
If anyone has any information about the 2nd Division
Signal Corps, US Army, in Armagh, I would enjoy
learning about it.I have a page about Dad on
my personal website - http://alanr.com/Dad/.
My father, Corporal Nick Sonye, Company C / 654th
Tank Destroyer Battalion received a bronze star
13 Sept 44 in the vicinity of Romain, France –
removing a wounded man from a burning tank destroyer.
Robert Briggs - July '06
The 654th was asigned to the 35th Infantry Division
in Northern France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland,
Rhine land, and Central Europe
Judy (Huddleston) Sides - May
Thank you for this information. My Father (deceased)
was in the US Army during WW II and was a member
654th Tank Destroyer Battalion
Served overseas in Normandy, Northern France,
Rhineland, Central Europe, Ardennes.
Place of Entry: Fort Oglethorpe, GA
Place of Separation: Camp Atterbury, IN
Wounded in action, Germany, March 7, 1945
Any one have any journals, history, stories,
recollections, information, resources, etc. on
this period? Thank you. I would like to have something
in writing to pass down to my children and Grandchildren.
All I have are pieces of memories of his stories.
Nothing I can accurately share with my family.
I long to hear from someone out there. Thanks
Joan Connelly - Jan '06
My father told me that when he was a kid in Armagh
(in the village of Meigh) that the American Army
trained on Sleive Gullion and that they marched
singing "We're off the see the wizard"
from the Wizard of Oz.
Edward Raymond Pedraja - April
My pop Raymond Walter Pedraja joined the 654th
august 8th 1944. he was a gunner assistant then
the gunner. dad was born sept 1925 that will give
you an idea of how old he was, his destroyer was
hit by a german 88 november 14th 1944.
One member of the crew, dominic j barber, did
not survive. my father and richard dorn ( still
living in port richie florida) after realizing
barber was missing after the order to abandon
the tank destroyer both went back while the destroyer
was cooling off and pulled barber clear but he
died of his wounds. dad never talked of his time
with the 654th. some things like bravery go unsaid
by men who were challenged and stood their ground,
so on sept 19th or nov 14th toast a guinness for
an irish lad who when was called did his best
for god and country. my dad raymond walter pedraja
dob september 19th 1925 dod april 2nd 1992, i
miss you dad. your son edward raymond pedraja.
G. Wolfe - USA - March 05
You may want to check with Angelo Klonis' son
who owns and runs a bar in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The name of the bar is "Evangelos" and
is located on San Francisco Street.
On the wal behind 1/2 the bar is covered with
old pictures of his Dad and Mom.
His name is Nick and he runs his bar like a tight
ship but he is an ok Guy.
We met him there while we were on vacation last
James Enyeart - December '04
My name is James Enyeart. I am writing a book
about Angelo Klonis who was in C Company, 654th
TD. Angelo fought at Omaha and the Battle of Bulge.
He was photographed by W. Eugene Smith, a famous
Life magazine photographer. That photograph was
later issued as a U.S. Postage Stamp in 2002.
I am searching for anyone who knew Angelo Klonis
or served with him. I would appreciate hearing
from anyone who might have information about him.
Terence S Aston - November '04
I remember about ten/fifteen years ago looking
at some WW2 military or airforce buildings on
the road from the town of Crumlin to the direction
of Langford Lodge. They were about 3/4 miles from
Crumlin. They contained the most fantastic coloured
paintings similar to the paintings (logos) as
depicted on the noses of the WW2 American bombers.
I was past the buildings a few years later and
they had been all been painted white, by someone
who refurbished the buildings. A terrible loss
of wonderful WW2 artwork. I often wonder if they
could be retrieved from under the paintwork.
Lisa ( Labra) Wisher - July
My father, PFC Louis Labra, was a U.S soldier
in the 2nd Infantry Division in 1943 to 1945.
He spent from Nov. 1943 to May 1944 at the Gosford
Castle in the nissen huts. He says he actually
enjoyed his stay there. He told me that many of
the locals wouldn't go near the castle because
they feared it was haunted by ghosts and goblins.
He has a photo in his album at the castle. He
is 80 years old now. As of this date he is still
alive and well to tell his fascinating stories
about his tour of duty.
Wesley C. Martz (Cleveland, Tennessee, USA) - 7 July '04
I'm now getting in contact with members of the
654th who are still living. So far, the main three
members all said the same about Northern Ireland
as my dad regarding the fabulous beauty left in
their minds of Northern Ireland. My dad said that
at times, he would recall its beauty to calm him
down in the heat of battle. From others I've heard
talk, there must have been many soldiers who did
the same - using their memories of Northern
Ireland and all the friendly people there
to soothe themselves during battle.
The funny thing that my dad talked about was
how every time they went into a pub, they sat
out of respect when hearing several people, one
by one, sing, " Ol' Danny Boy." He used to laugh
that they heard that song every time, to the point
that sometimes they would come into a pub singing
it. Not necessarily that they wanted to hear it,
but they were laughing with joy in singing it
as they walked in because they actually wanted
to hear it again and again. Finally, at some point
each time, the usual Irish songs were sung over
and over so many times at one pub that they would
all start laughing and get up saying, "Let's go,
and hear some other singers." So, off they would
scamper to the next pub. Many times in one night,
entering each pub singing, "Ol' Danny Boy," as
before. They liked the spirit of the Northern
Irlanders who were awe struck by the bands of
singing USA soldiers of the 654th and other companies
all singing their way into the pubs.
My dad, who drank only a glass, was the driver
of his band-of-soldiers. He said, the more they
drank the more they sang. Adding that after they
had drank all they were allowed, they had worn
themselves out singing with the people of Northern
Ireland. Pub to pub. Singing along with
the Irish songs being sung repeatedly
from pub to pub, over and over until they just
had to call it a night. Each night they did that
It's amazing, even USA Senator and Presidential Candidate Bob Dole commented
at the dedication of the WWII Memorial of how he and his men loved Northern Ireland's
beauty and people. Amazing that after all these years, Northern Ireland has left such an
Wesley Campbell Martz
- 5 July '04
I must certainly add to the information I sent
you about the 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion that
my dad always told everyone he spoke with about
WWII that the best part of it all was his time
in Northern Ireland because of its beauty. Northern
Ireland was so beautiful to my dad that he always
said the one place he always wanted to see one
more time were its luscious green hills and valleys;
never forgetting to add, "there's
no place more beautiful than Northern Ireland."
Northern Ireland, which most of the troops wanted,
but never had the chance to return to visit, one
last time in their life. Northern Ireland where
they were allowed to practice and practice while
others enjoyed their time there. Enjoying the
sporting events, dances, and newspaper my dad
set up behind the scenes. The dances with the
Irish women who honored them with their presence
was more valuable in helping to ease the minds
of those young Liberators than any other way imaginable;
many of the young lads never seeing another woman
or dance again unfortunately, in giving their
effort, blood, and lives so that others might
enjoy Life, Liberty, and Pursuit Of Happiness.
Wesley Campbell Martz - 5 July
There were two completely separate units
of the 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion. My dad
was the Lt. Col/Colonel of the 654th TD Battalion
in charge of around two platoons of the 654th
TD Bn that housed separately from the rest of
the 654th. His two platoons were part of the
number one Infantry Division of WWII, the 30th
ID, while the rest of the 654th served in the
35th ID, both of which ID's fought beside each
other. My dad's two platoons of the 654th having
led the Alamo-Style-Stand atop of Hill 122 at
St. LO and Hills 314/317 at Mortain. The 654th's
part in Brigadier General Seebree's Task Force
S at Mortain that broke the back of Hitler's
personally led and failed Operation Lattich.
In between which Hills my dad's two platoons
of the 654th were called to Patton's War Room
of July 25, 1944 where my dad made the final
decisions for Operation Cobra that Liberated
Paris. He and his men leading the 121st Infantry
to its victory in Patton's Breakthrough at Lessay
towards Avranches !
John Olgeirson - June '04
My uncle, 2LT Maurice P Alger Jnr was in the
654th Tank Destroyer Battalion in 1944, and
in action at St Lo France in July, 1944. I would
be interested in any information about this
or about my uncle. Thanks.
Davy Fitzsimons - April 2004
If anyone would like to see my collection of US
army material in Northern Ireland during WW2 they
would be welcome. Yours.
here to take a look at Caledon House, Tyrone
where the US 2nd Infantry Division stayed during
WWII and some of Davey's collection. (Editor)
You can learn more about the US 654th
Tank Destroyer Battalion by visiting the following
bbc is not responsible for the content of
I have read with interest the articles on the
US 654th Battalion at the Argory in Co. Armagh.
I live in this locality and would be grateful
for any information to be passed onto me.
I live in Caledon, Co Tyrone.
It was nice to see the article on the US army in the Argory.
The 654th tdb, was attached to the 2nd inf division. I ran an article in
the Newsletter and the Ulster Gazette about a photograph of the 804th tdb
attached to the 34th inf division, who were the first wave of US soldiers
to land in Northern Ireland during WW2. They were standing outside a building
which I now know as Crom Castle at Newtownbutler. I also have a collection of
material to do with the US army in Northern Ireland and it was good to see the
article about the Argory.
your place and mine contributor
It may interest you to know that my Uncle owns
Derrygally house near the Argory, and in the entrance
area there are still preserved old storage boxes
(Pigeon holes) etc (Which I can only assume are
for orders etc) I can get pictures if anyone is
Thanks for your reply and indeed that would take the 654Bn story on a bit.
The official 'camp' of 654 Tank Destroyer Bn was divided into two distinct sectors;
Derrygally House on one side of the river and The Argory on the other and the 654th's
history comments that both locations were owned by a retired British Statesman about
87 years of age, by the names of Barnes, who with his son aged about 37 years, and
servants resided at the Argory, can you comment on this? I thought The Argory was
the McGeough-Bonds.maybe Barnes is a corruption of Bond?
Their command post was established in the servants quarters, in the courtyard of
Derrygally House, where it remained the entire period, the unit was stationed in
Northern Ireland. The camp consisted of nissen huts and adequate space was available
for the entire unit. The officers quarters were established in Derrygally House;
except that the Reconnaissance Company occupied the Argory across the river, which
housed most of the entire company. Both houses were the old castle type, with over
twenty rooms in each, located in the typically Irish Hills.
If it was of no great inconvenience we'd love to come down and photograph the
artifacts you refer to ourselves - perhaps absolving you from expense??
Should you be agreeable we could contact you about when it might be most
convenient for you. (Personal contact details should not be put up on the site,
but you can e-mail the team via our mailbox.
The address is: email@example.com)
The BBC has many different communities, including
one specificly designed for World War 2. A community is a place to
talk and contribute, like here. To find out more about WW2: The People's
click this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/ww2/
And their colleagues from 644 Tank Destroyer Battalion were billeted at
Kilwaughter Castle near Larne in 1944. See: - http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/place-nireland/A1098713