12th Armored Division

12th Armored Division in Abilene, Jones and Taylor, United States | Museum

Welcome to the 12th Armored Division, Memorial Museum, Abilene, Texas, United States. The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum, Abilene shall serve as a teaching Museum for the study of World War II and its impact on the American People. The Museum will preserve history of the 12th Armored Division for use by future generations, veterans and their families. The Museum will create innovative new education programs for children, expand academic access to World War II historical materials and establish a technology bridge between the 12th Armored Division Historical Collection and the rest of the world.

The 12th Armored Division was activated on 15 September 1942 at Camp Campbell, Kentucky. Following training and maneuvers in Kentucky and Tennessee, the Division moved to Camp Barkeley,Texas, near Abilene in December 1943. While at Camp Barkeley, the 44th Tank Battalion was

shipped to the Pacific Theater on a special mission and later distinguished itself as the first unit to enter Manila. The 44th was replaced by the 714th Tank battalion, a former Division unit. Moving across France, the Hellcats paused at Luneville, France. They were joined by the 572nd AAA battalion which was to remain with them throughout the combat operations and by the 827th TD Battalion which was relieved at the conclusion of the campaign in Alsace and Lorraine, France on 13 February 1945.

After liberating the death camps the 12th pushed south and crossed the Austrian border at Kufstein, Austria on 3 May 1945. The 12th was pulled from the front lines on 5 May 1945. In the short space of five months, the 12th had seen their Division transformed from a green, untested outfit into one of the most feared fighting machines on the Western front. 72,243 prisoners were credited to the Division. Nearly 8,500 Allied P.O.W.s, including 1,500 Americans, and an additional 20,000 non-military prisoners were liberated by the 12th. The 12th Armored Division was singled out for commendation from 7th Army, 3rd Army, French First Army , and every Corps under which it operated.

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Location Info


1289 North Second Street, Abilene, Texas
United States
1 - 8005371418
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