Cobra, "C" Company, 1st platoon leader
"C" Company, 1st Corps Medium Tank Battalion
Cobra, an M4A2 Sherman tank, was was the first tank in the first platoon of C Company. The crew consisted of five Marines: Cpl. Bill Eads - radioman, Cpl. Hester S. "Buck" Webb - driver, P.F.C. Hank Travernicht - gunner, and the tank commander was 1st Lt. Richard Sloat. P.F.C. Jack Trent, the assistant driver, took over as driver when Buck was killed on the second day. Cobra landed in the third wave on the first day somewhere on Red Beach 1 or possibly on Red Beach 2. During the first night Cobra was positioned on the edge of the runway and here is where Buck Webb was killed. On the afternoon of the second day Cobra was moving into postion to silence a Japanese gun as ordered and became stuck in a shellcrater on Bed Beach 1 where she was abandoned by her crew. At least seven and possibly eleven of the 14 M4A2 tanks were out of action on the first day. With only two M4A2 tanks operational at the end of the 76 hours of fighting, Cobra and her crew did well to last for nearly two days in the firestorm of terrible Betio.
Training at Jaques Farm
Hank Travernicht, and Bill Eads
Bill Eads, Buck Webb - driver KIA Tarawa, and sitting is Hank Travernicht - gunner.
Disabled Cobra and possibly two crewman.
Above and below: Cobra from two different vantage points amidst the carnage of the fighting.
Thanks to Bill Eads and Dorothy Cowan for their extensive help.
|Tank Commander:||Lt Richard Sloat|
|Driver:||Cpl. Hester S. "Buck" Webb|
|Asst. Driver:||P.F.C. Jack Trent|
|Gunner:||P.F.C. Hank Travernicht|
|Loader/Radio:||Cpl. Bill Eads|
copyright 2002 T.O.T.W.
Created 22 September 2002 - Updated 1 February 2005