Sunday, March 29, 2009

68th Tank Battalion - insignia

From the collection of my friend Dennis Books, the original pencil art for the 68th Tank Battalion. This design was created by Hank Porter and features the Silly Symphonies character Toby Tortoise.

The 68th Tank Battalion arrived in England on February 24, 1944 and came ashore at Utah Beach on July 22, 1944. As part of the United States 6th Armored Division, (part of Patton's Third Army), the battalion participated in five major campaigns over the course of just 9 1/2 months.

The following statistics give some indication as to the battalion's participation in the war: 84 officers and enlisted men were killed in action; 212 were wounded; there were six battlefield commissions, while two Distinguished Service Crosses, 97 Silver Stars and 327 Bronze Stars were awarded. The 68th received 80 new light and medium tanks during their deployment and fired some 6,400 rounds of 76mm ammunition and 10,844 rounds of 105mm ammunition.

The next image shows 68th Tank Battalion T/4 Mickey Rue standing beside a Sherman nicknamed "Little Nell VII" that has been decorated with the battalion's Disney-designed insignia. One has to wonder what fate met the preceeding six "Little Nells."

To me, this photo shows the men in the unit thought highly enough of their Disney design to actually paint the emblem on a piece of their equipment. One has to wonder why the current crop of senior Disney Company managers is so afraid of this part of their corporate history when the servicemen who requested the designs showed them so proudly.

1 comment:

Bob Cowan said...

- Great image!
- Who would have thought a turtle would make a great mascot!