Monday, February 07, 2011

758th Tank Battalion

The 758th Tank Battalion was formed in 1941 and served in Italy during World War II. It was the first United States Army armored unit to be made up of African American soldiers.

On May 8, 1941 at Fort Knox, Kentucky the 78th Tank Battalion was re-designated as the 758th Tank Battalion. It was the first of three units that would form the 5th Tank Group. The 758th trained in mechanized warfare using light tanks, specifically the M5 light tank. One of the battalion's more notable members was Jackie Robinson. Robinson was transferred to the unit from the 761st Tank Battalion after an incident in which he refused to move to the back of a civilian bus. The 758th was permanently attached to the 92nd Infantry Division until September 22, 1945 when the unit was inactivated. The unit's insignia is the head of a black African elephant accompanied by the motto, "We Pierce".

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