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Armor/AFV: Allied - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Allied forces during World War II.
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M26 gunner at Cologne
SWATdoc
#503
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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 01:05 PM UTC
Corporal Clarence Smoyer, the gunner of the M26 "Eagle7", was recently awarded the Bronze Star for combat action against a German Panther tank in Cologne, Germany during March of 1945. The medal was presented to this veteran at the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C. USA.

The other crew members of Eagle 7 are identified as:

Commander-Bob Early (previously awarded a Bronze Star)
Loader-John DeRiggi
Bow Gunner-Homer Davis

Clarence Smoyer is 95 years of age.

Bodeen
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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 03:12 PM UTC
God bless him. Is that the same action as the filmed incident of the M-26 vs Panther around the cathedral?
TopSmith
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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 03:24 PM UTC
Yes, and the book he wrote was good. He was able to find one of the surviving German crew members from that engagement and they became friends.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 04:12 PM UTC
Here's the CBS news link on the story. Its a pretty famous incident of a duel between a Panther, Sherman, and Smoyer's M26, captured on film. The whole film is riveting, with the TC of the Sherman falling off the back deck with a leg severed. It's interesting to note the TC eventually received the Silver Star, and the movie photographer received a Bronze Star for the action. Here's the CBS link:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/clarence-smoyer-tank-hero-world-war-ii-battle-cologne-awarded-bronze-star-medal-washington-surprise-ceremony/

VR, Russ
ninjrk
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Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 12:41 AM UTC
I got to meet him when we hosted him at the American Heritage Museum last November. He was wonderful to talk to and his stories including the Cologne one were fascinating.
Alanroy
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Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 04:07 AM UTC
I met Joe Caserta, another protagonist in the book, on the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ, where he now lives. I had taken "Spearhead", the book by Adam Makos, to read, and when I saw Joe's 3rd Armored Division license plate on his scooter at the 9:20 am flag raising, I brought the book the next day to present it to him. I asked if he had read it, and his reply - "I'm in it!" He proceeded to sign the book and give me a bookplate for it. So it went from a giveaway to a keeper! After seeing his name, I mentioned that I had known a Don Caserta, who had gone to my church. Joe named the church and town, and said that Don was his older brother. Turns out I also knew Joe's niece and 2 great nieces. Very small world!
I was going to go to DC to see the presentation, but was coming down with a cold or something, so I didn't make it.
Clarence only live an hour and a half from me, so maybe I'll get in contact with him and see if he will also sign the book.
jcneel
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Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 05:34 AM UTC
What is the name of the book that Clarence Smoyer wrote?

Chris Neel
Alanroy
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Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 06:10 AM UTC
I believe the above post meant that Clarence was in it, not that he wrote it. If I'm wrong, I would also like to know.
165thspc
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Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 09:51 AM UTC
Historic film shot by James Bates; 165th Singnal Photo Company:

TopSmith
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Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 01:54 PM UTC
I read "Spearhead". it was a good read, worth the effort. It is published by Ballantine Books. The hardcover is $28 and well worth it. It gives you the lead up to the famous engagement and what followed. The author spent the time to know the subject and the people.
Headhunter506
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Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 03:07 PM UTC
Clarence Smoyer will be honored in Manhattan tomorrow. There will be a Sherman on display on Sixth Avenue as part of the ceremony.

Book helps honor 96-year-old WWII vet as Bronze Star hero
jrutman
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Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 02:09 AM UTC
He was on Fox and Friends this morning(Sat) with an actual Sherman tank! Very cool,
J