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John E. Krebs

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Colonel John E. Krebs, USA (ret.) “entered the service as a private on January 17, 1941. He began basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas and was assigned to HQ Troop, 124th Cavalry Regiment, and 56th Cavalry Brigade. During March 1941, the Brigade was assigned the mission of guarding the border of Texas and Mexico along the Rio Grande River from Fort Brown to Fort Ringold.

In early June 1941, the entire Brigade, with all horses and equipment, received orders to participate in the Louisiana Maneuvers. The author was promoted to corporal and in August, the Brigade returned to Fort Brown without the horses. He was promoted to sergeant with assignment to a Scout Car platoon with orders to guard the border.

On December 7, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred, and the author obtained orders to attend Armor OCS at Fort Knox, Kentucky where he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant. On June 1, 1942 he was assigned to the 760th Tank Battalion at Camp Bowie, Texas as a Tank Platoon Leader and was quickly promoted to First Lieutenant in August 1942 and assigned as Reconnaissance Platoon Leader for the 760th Tank Battalion. Soon alerted to overseas movement in November of 1942 he had undergone final training at Camp Pickett, Virginia and was soon deployed overseas. He arrived in Casa Blanca, Morocco in January of 1943. The men of the 760th Tank Battalion were among the first to enter Rome.

His assignments thereafter were as follows: 1. Assigned as 760th Tank Battalion Maintenance Officer in April 1943, 2. Promoted to Captain on June 1, 1943, 3. Assigned as Commander for Company B 760th Tank Battalion in which he lead Company B into combat for more than 300 days until March of 1945 with his return to the United States on March 16, 1945, 4. In May, 1945, he was assigned to the Armored Board at Fort Knox, Kentucky, 5. In August 1945, he was transferred to Fort Ord, California where he was assigned as Chief Test Officer for amphibious tanks, 6. He received regular commission until December of 1945 and resigned regular commission in January, 1947, 7. In 1947 he went into the Army Reserves with the rank of major, 8. He was assigned as Armor Instructor from 1947 to 1950, 9. He graduated in Advance Armor Class in 1950 with a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in 1954, 10. In 1957, he graduated from the Command and General Staff College and was assigned as Chief Evaluator 6th US Army, 11. In 1959, he graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and in 1961 attended the Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, Virginia, 12. In 1963 he was promoted to Colonel and was assigned as an Army Reserve Commander at Fort Lewis, Washington, 13. In 1966, he was assigned to Reserve Chief Automotive Division Test and Evaluation Command at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, 14. He retired in 1976.

Colonel Krebs was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action and the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Clusters for seven wounds received in combat.” Colonel John E. Krebs is the author of Mail Call On The Home Front: After WWII Newsletters (Volume I and II) and To Rome and Beyond: ‘B’ Company, 760th Tank Battalion, Italy 1943-1945.


According to the book description of To Rome and Beyond: ‘B’ Company, 760th Tank Battalion, Italy 1943-1945, “The first part of the book is a revised edition of To Rome and Beyond, self published in 1981 by Colonel John E. Krebs. The purpose was to have a combat battle record of B Company 760th Tank Battalion. The book was to be ready for the 1981 reunion in Denver, Colorado and was presented with great success although only 200 copies were available, orders were taken and more than 7000 copies were sold. At the Denver reunion the decision was made for the veteran members to begin gathering stories about their battle memories. Over the next several years the stories came in and Our Story of the 760th Tank Battalion WWII took shape. Colonel Helmuth Froeschle who was the last Battalion Commander as well as the Battalion Historian began putting Our Story together. The story was completed in 13 chapters in 2002, as I predicted previously, we now have a complete history of the 760th Tank Battalion. General Mark W. Clark wrote, "Your 760th Tank Battalion made a fine record for itself". Colonel Froeschle and I agreed these stories should be adapted and published in a book titled "To Rome and Beyond with Our Story of the 760th Tank Battalion WWII" This book is the factual account of fierce fire fights with Tiger Tanks and the dreaded 88MM gun, daring patrols into enemy territory, momentary capture by German Soldiers during an artillery shelling, the anguish and sorrow of a comrade's death, the destruction of battle and the discomfort of the Italian winters with freezing rain and snow that turned battle terrain into a sea of mud.

Mail Call On The Home Front: After WWII Newsletters - Volume I and II (v. 1)
Col. John E. Krebs  More Info

To Rome and Beyond: With Our Story of the 760th Tank Battalion, WWII
John E. Krebs  More Info

According to the book description of Mail Call On The Home Front: After WWII Newsletters (Volume I and II), “Over 5000 letters from veterans and their families of the 760th Tank Battalion, edited by Sergeant Graham P. Hutchinson, Colonel Helmuth O. Froeschle and Sergeant Ernest J. Mader, assembled by Kathy Lyons, daughter of Sergeant Mader and Mrs. Anne Mader. The letters were placed in book form by Colonel John E. Krebs. During the year of 1960, Sergeant Hutchinson and his wife Ethylene, began requesting letters from members of the 760th Tank Battalion Association telling their everyday life, their families, their health, their travels, their war buddies and their stories of the battlefields of North Africa and Italy during WWII. It was Sergeant Graham P. Hutchinson, known as "Hutch", with his knowledge of communications, getting the troops back into action, so to speak, and it was a great success.

Hutch passed away March 7, 1982 and in order to continue the newsletters and to keep the Battalion Association going strong, Colonel Froeschle and Sergeant Mader along with his wife, Anne and their daughter, Kathy Lyons (a marvelous secretary) compiled the letters in booklet form of several pages then mailed them out to the several hundred association members. This was done every three months and what a wonderful job she did - thanks Kathy for a job "well done." In 2003 at our last Battalion reunion we decided this would be our last reunion and yes also that our next newsletter would be the last. We all have missed the newsletters and the reunions but by placing these newsletters in book form they will be preserved for generations to come. We have missed hearing from our buddies and their families but these letters are a treasure of all the veterans of the 760th Tank Battalion. Most of the veterans of the 760th were overseas for more than two and a half years, then came home to civilian life although many remained in military service and retiring from their service to our country. These newsletters will enrich the lives of everyone who reads them.”

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