The 761st was also involved in the epic Battle of the Bulge against the German’s massive attempt to launch a last ditch counter-attack against the allied forces. The 761st would fight so effectively that they would split the German lines in three places helping to blunt and push back that Nazi counter offensive.
To give you a sense of the fierceness of this unit and its skill, you will hear in the video that they fought for six months straight without a break, had a 50 percent casualty rate, but were responsible for inflicting over 100,000 casualties on the Germans.
On their return home after the war, they still had to confront the realities of institutional racism. Their story was not widely told and their valor and skills did not begin to be recognized until much later.
The 761st Tank Battalion was not awarded the Presidential Unit Citation it deserved until 1978. And it was not until 1997 that the true qualities of Staff Sgt. Rivers’ valor on the field of battle on that November day in 1944 would be fully recognized.
His Silver Star was upgraded to the Medal of Honor.
The Veterans Site sends it respect and thanks to the men of the 761st Tank Battalion. You truly were men of valor and honor on and off the battlefield. We will never forget!
Click “READ MORE!” to learn about the valiant Tuskeegee Airmen in action!
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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.