What Happened to C Company, 1st Tank Battalion?
This information was compiled for Tarawa on the Web by George Proul. Through some careful study of Tarawa battlefield aerial photos, George was able to locate the exact position of two knocked out Sherman tanks of C Compnay, 1st Tank Battalion. Thank you George for your effort to provide accurate and detailed information. Hopefully George will continue to supply quality information like this in the future.
Information on C Company, 1st Tank Battallion
The names of the V Amphibious Corps Shermans from the 1st Corps Medium Tank Battalion attached to the 2nd Divsion at Tarawa are shown here in the chart below. I too only know eight of their names.
As I already mentioned to you, I have what I consider a reasonable idea of the location of those tanks already photographed. I will put forth for your perusal what I have come up with. Since China Gal, Cecilia and Colorado evidently survived the battle, I have attempted to locate the other five tanks. Closely examining objects and terrain features surrounding the tanks in each photograph and relying somewhat on the written memories of those who fought on Betio I feel confident that I am correct in my assertions. Of course the WWII censors have been no help at all. Why they felt that they had to scratch out some of the names on the tanks infuriates me. I am referring specifically to the Sherman stuck in the bomb crater in the middle of Red Beach 1.
|The censor has denied us recognition of this Sherman stuck in a bomb or shell crater in the middle or Red Beach 1. The large crater was even indicated on pre-invasion Intel maps. Having seen video of this area, I also know that the LVT-1 in the near background is #11 and that the objects that appear along the top of the barbed wire fence are the bodies of several Marines. They were sketched by Kerr Eby as seen in the book Tarawa - A Hell of a Way to Die by Derrick Wright.|
The location of two 3rd Platoon Shermans
Notice the tank tracks in the sand and the barrels alongside Cannonball trapped in the excavation.
The trees in the background on the next two photos helped me to locate the tanks.
|Note the four trees indicated. They are nearly the same distance away from this tank as they are from Charlie in the next photo.|
|If we draw a sketch of the four trees and their orientation to Charlie's right front, and then do the same with the photo of Cannonball, we can see that Cannonball is to the right of and very near to Charlie. This compares favorably with the photo of the airfield triangle. If the quality of these three photos is lacking, please examine the originals as presented in the books written about Tarawa.|
copyright 2000 T.O.T.W.
Created 20 October 2000 - Updated 20 January 2003