History of the 745th Tank Battalion

My father, Olin Garner Johnston, served in the 745th Tank Battalion during World War II. He left a copy of the History of the 745th Tank Battalion. I thought it would be a good idea to preserve the content for my three nephews, so they would know more about their grandfather. I scanned the images and text and created Word documents for the pages, which I took to Kinko's and had them create booklets.

At that time, December of 2000, I could not find much online about the 745th, and I got busy with other things. So I am just now attempting to convert the Word documents into web pages to share with any interested in this bit of history.

I will also offer the Word documents for downloading, along with the pictures, in both jpg and tif format. As a disclaimer, I have tried my best to recreate the original in the Word documents, proofing and trying to create exact text, spelling, layout, margins, and font, etc. I think I came close, but will not claim it is an exact reproduction.

The web pages will be more versatile, but even less of an exact reproduction, due to the varieties of browsers and individual viewer settings, equipment, etc.

As of September, 2008, this is a work in progress. Please let me know of any errors on my part.

Updating in August, 2009, after having received emails and print information, I am working on adding updated history. Thanks to all who offered input, particularly Allen G. "Bud" Spencer, Secretary-Treasurer of the 745th Tank Battalion Association. You will see the updates soon. As with everything on this website, I try to recreate the print material for the web as best I can while keeping the information true to the original. For example, the original book had pictures and captions spread across two pages where the picture on one page had the caption for that picure on the page across from it. This works for print, but not the web, so I changed the layout so that web viewers could relate better.

I am aware that there is no simple way to print off the entire book. The best I can offer is the link to the Microsoft Word© documents where each page can be printed. I know this is not ideal, but the pictures and formatting will be retained, which may not be the case when printing the internet pages. Sorry for the inconvenience.

November, 2014 - I just found a pdf version of the history online. You can find it at http://digicom.bpl.lib.me.us/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1022&context=ww_reg_his. Apparently the Bangor, ME public library created a pdf version of the history owned by 745th veteran Harold D. Howenstine. Thanks to them for doing this.

You can download the pdf version of the history and print it to have a copy that retains the original formatting of the pages. Not the case if you print off the pages of this website.

Just so you know, I plan to keep this website online as long as I can, but who knows how long that will be. Anyone who wants to preserve this information for sure needs to download it to a computer or print it off. There is no certainty that this or any web page will be available in the future.

Of course, I have no ownership of this material, I only reproduce it to make it available to anyone interested in this history. Thanks again for your input.

July, 2014 Note: I have added an arrow on page 15 pointing to my father. The caption is not clear as to who is in which row. Since I recognize my father, I am confident in doing this modification. Other than this, I have tried to keep the information as close to the original as I can.

Anyone interested in this website may also be interested in the book Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division In World War II by Belton Y. Cooper and Stephen E. Ambrose. It can be found on Amazon.

I have also added a link below to the trailer for the movie Fury starring Brad Pitt as a World War II Sherman tank commander.
- Will Johnston

To start at the beginning, the cover, click here. You can then go from page to page.

Table of Contents
Updated History New! (Thanks to Bud Spencer)
Word Documents© Download these files to get Word format to print.
Map (2.9MB) of the route that the 745th took from the time they entered England to the stop at Czechoslovakia (Thanks to Don Robb).
Military.com 745th Tank Battalion (1950s and Before)
Fury Trailer To be released November 2014

Email comments or problems to: comment@745tank.com