Unit Details

6thMTBn

 

 

6th Medium Tank Battalion

6thMTBn

An individual tank is addressed as:

 A1173rdTB - A Company 1st Platoon, 1st Tank, 73rd Tank Battalion

B221stTB - B company, 2nd platoon, 2nd Tank, 1st Tank Battalion (USMC)

D23273rdTB D Company, 2nd Platoon, 3rd Tank, 73rd Tank Battalion

1st Battalion

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Headquarters Company

CO 

Rank Name From To Status
  Red Growdon's      
             

XO

Rank Name From To Status
          
             

S-1 Personnel

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

S-2 Intelligence

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

S-3 Plan sand Operations

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

S-4 Logistics

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

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A Company

Able Company

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

1st Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

2nd Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

3rd Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

4th Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

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B Company

B Company

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

1st Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

2nd Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

3rd Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
           

4th Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

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C Company

C Company

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

1st Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

2nd Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

3rd Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

4th Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

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D Company

D Company (Light Tanks)

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

1st Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

2nd Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

3rd Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

4th Platoon

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

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Medical Detachment

Medical Detachment

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

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Service Company

Service Company

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

,

 

6thMTBn

 

 

 

 

 

 

6th (M46)

 

1st Armored Division6thMTBn

 

6th Medium Tank Battalion, 24th Infantry Division, The Valley of Death

6thMTBn

by Thomas A. Lyke, Second Platoon, 6th Tank Battalion, Korea, 1950-53

I coaxed my mother that if she would sign for me, I would enlist in the Army, even though I had just turned 16 years of age on October the 5th, 1948.  She laughed but said if I could convince the recruiting SGT, she would sign.  I altered my birth certificate to show I was born in 1931 instead of 1932.  The recruiter accepted it, my mother signed, and I left WV for Fort Knox, KY, for basic in January 1949.  

After basic, I was shipped to Fort Hood, Texas, for advanced armor training with the 6th Medium Tank Battalion, 2nd Armor Division.
 
I went home on furlough for Christmas of 1949, when I met my future wife, Charlotte A. Hoch. I returned to Fort Hood to continue training in January 1950.
 
In July 1950, the 6th Tank Battalion was ordered to Korea, where we were attached to the 24th Infantry Division. 
 
All the UN had left of Korea when we arrived was a 35 mile perimeter around Pusan.
 
We started our push north in September and joined the Marines and the 7th Division in Seoul; then on to the North Korea capitol of Pyongyang (although officially assigned to the 24th Division, the 6th Tank Bn. supported many other units in the Korean War).

I was wounded for the first time north of Pyongyang at Anjou, North Korea. The first elements of the Chinese attacked us that day with 120MM mortars. It was Oct. 26, 1950, 21 days after my 18th birthday. I was evacuated to Tokyo General Hospital.
 
Along with five of my friends, I volunteered to return to Korea; we wanted to stay with our outfit because we had been together since basic.
 
It was a whole new war when we rejoined Dog Company in the first week of January 1951. The UN forces were retreating to a defense line they could hold. We fought hard to hold our positions. The 6th Tank was used all over place, being attached to anybody that needed armor support.
 
We were in support of the 24th Division and the 6th Republic of Korea Forces at Kapyong, Korea, when the Chinese started their spring offensive on the 25th of April, 1951.  

The Chinese and North Korean forces broke through our defenses and cut off elements of the units supporting the 24th Division and South Korean troops.
 
The 6th Tank Battalion stayed as rear guard to allow the UN troops to withdraw to another defendable line. 
 
Dog Company, 6th Tank, got word of a group of wounded Airborne Rangers who were surrounded in a draw.  We took five tanks from the second platoon and went in to get them.  We found 65 rangers, loaded them on our tanks, and brought them out.  From there, they were loaded in trucks and escorted to the rear.
 
The second Platoon was asked to stay as rear guard, as other elements were still straggling through.
 
The 5th Regimental Combat Team had the 555 Triple Nickel Artillery Battalion, which was also cut off. They had a truck loaded with 155mm artillery shells blocking the road. 
 
Our tank retriever, which had been towing one of our disabled tanks back for repair, tried to push the truck off the road so the rest of the column could get through.
 
Unfortunately, the truck exploded, and blocked the escape of all other vehicles. During the night the Chinese were able to move in close enough to knock out all of our tanks, half tracks and trucks, including my tank.
 
I was again wounded and knocked out. When I came to, things were much quieter, and all I saw were dead bodies – ours and theirs.
 
I moved out and headed south later that night, but I had to seek refuge in a cave when faced with a barrage from our own artillery.  I tried to leave when daylight came, but there were enemy troops all around. I went back and burrowed deeper into the cave.
 
As the day went on, I heard noises outside.  Three South Korean soldiers entered. They suggested we wait till night and try to move south. I fell asleep, and when I awoke the South Koreans were gone.

I tried to move out, but the valley was swarming with Chinese; I returned to the cave.  Four days passed, and I needed water and food.  Trying to slip through the Chinese lines, I went up a hill and spotted a stream on the other side. I got a drink, but when I started to move, the Chinese were all over me. This was the 29th day of April 1951.
 
I spent the next 855 days as a prisoner of the Chinese and North Korean Communists. I went from 157 pounds to 87 pounds in a matter of 2 months.
 
I was moved on several occasions to different camps, because the Chinese claimed I had a reactionary attitude.
 
One of my dearest friends in captivity was William Deer With Horns, of the 19th Regiment, 24th Division.  He, two other POWs, and I escaped in July of 1951, but we were recaptured shortly thereafter. Deer, as we called him, died the following night from his beating.

After the peace talks began in July of 1951, the treatment and conditions improved somewhat; I weighed 105 pounds upon my release on 28 August 1953.  I arrived home on the 19th day of September, 1953, for a furlough with my family. I was discharged on the 24th day of October, 1953.
 
Charlotte and I were married on October 1st, 1954. We have two children, Thomas J. Lyke and Charlene K Floyd.
 
I have been blessed to have had the privilege to serve my fellow EX-POWs and veterans in several organizations and have received many Military Medals and Ribbons.
 
Tom Lyke
2801 FM 2004 Rd, Apt 301
Texas City, TX 77591
(409) 986-4420
lykekoreapow[at]msn.com

6thMTBn

Second Platoon, Dog Company, 6th Medium Tank Battalion, 24th Infantry Division, Pusan, S.K., August 1950.  1. Roger Jelkins, 2. Bernard Williams, 3. Wayne Gee, 4. George Lee, 5. Lareno Jimenez (POW), 6. Samuel Mosthere, 7. Michael Martin (POW), 8. Robert Dotson, 9. John Trautman (KIA), 10. Hayward Hodges, 11. Joseph Roy, 12. Albert Myers, 13. Ray Maxwell, 14. Carlton Slider (POW), 15. Louis Lehman, 16. Thomas Lyke (POW), 17. Donald Harrell, 18. Harry Griffin, 19. Bobby DeGraw (POW), 20. Robert Alexander, 21. Milton Jenkens, 22. Steve Wallace, 23. Frank Hand, 24. Plt. Ldr. 1st Lt. Kenneth Sharp, 25. Pok, and 26. Plt. Sgt. Joseph Kirkland.

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Cpl. Tom Lyke, Chipyong-ni, N.K., Feb. 16, 1951.

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L to R: Kirkland, Lyke, DeGraw, Hodges and Lehman.

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D-10, “Dagwood,” my tank, which was hit on the night of April 25, 1951.  Photo taken on April 29, by other elements of Dog Company, which retook the area.  April 29 was also the day I was taken prisoner some six miles from this spot.

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Tom Lyke on August 29, 1953, the day after his release by the Communists. Red Cross Photo.

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Tom Lyke, right, receiving the Honorary Airborne Ranger award; from left: Bill Rhatigan, Lou Lucasick, and Tom Lyke.

Lyke, Tom, 2008, The Taro Leaf, Vol 62(2) Spring, pp. 20-22.

6thMTBn
6th Tank Battalion Motto:
"We Say We Do"

6thMTBn

The second oldest tank battalion in the Army, the 6th Tank Battalion (90 mm Gun) traces its lineage back to 1918;  at a time when the first ancestor units were part of the 304th and 305th Tank Brigades.  Later the lineage was carried on to the 66th Armored Regiment of the Second Armored Division which fought in Africa, Sicily, and Europe in World War II.

On March 25, 1946, the Second Armored Division was reorganized and companies of the 6th Tank Battalion were formed from elements of the 66th and 67th Armored Regiments.  In 1946 the 6th Tank Battalion was located at Camp Hood (Now Fort Hood), in Texas.  In June of 1946, volunteers from the 6th Tank Battalion became part of Task Force Frost and were moved to Camp McCoy Wisconsin.  Elements of the 6th Tank Battalion stayed at Camp McCoy until April of 1947, where they tested cold weather gear, some of which was used during the Korean Conflict.  Gradually the Battalion was brought to zero strength, but was reactivated on January 31, 1949.

KOREA

In July, 1950, the Battalion was sent to Korea where its units were attached at various times to the 1st Cavalry Division, 24th Infantry Division, and the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade.  On October 19, 1950, elements of the 6th Tank Battalion became the first American units to enter the North Korean Capital of Pyongyang.  I have a friend from the 6th Tank that claims to be the only guy to sink a patrol boat in North Korea.  While near the docks, he was fired on by a patrol boat.  He sank the boat with one well placed round of 90 mm high explosive.  The way he put it, "I'm the only guy that sank a ship with a tank..."

With the intervention of the Chinese Communists, the Battalion was again attached to the British Commonwealth Brigade and on January 4th 1951, it was the last American unit to move out of the South Korean Capital of Seoul.

In July of 1953, the 6th Tank Battalion was assigned to guard North Korean and Chinese POWs.  That assignment lasted for a three month period.  On March 6, 1954, the 6th Tank Battalion was assigned to the 24th Infantry Division and became the only tank battalion in a front line position.

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My Tank D-15

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Phil
Tank Commander, D-15
Standing on top of D-15 waiting for fuel trucks

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First round hit

Dog Company motto:
"We have done so much for so long with so little
 that now we can do anything with nothing."

Proudly served with:
 6th Tank Battalion (90 mm Gun), 24th Division
32nd Medium Tank Battalion,  3rd Armored Division
509th Tank Battalion,  2nd Army
13th Calvary, 2nd Armored Division

Signification of the triangular armored patch above is as follows:
The yellow represents armor, the red represents artillery,
and the blue represents infantry.  All three represent
the combined fighting team.  The track represents
mobility, the cannon represents fire power, and
the lightening represents shock action.

6thMTBn
TOP

6thMTBn

6thMTBn

During the three year Korean War there were 33,686 Americans killed in action, 92,134 wounded, 4,821 missing in action, and 7,245 prisoners of war.  The number of Americans who died while being held as prisoners of war are 2,847.  Of the prisoners of war, 389 POWs were known to have been alive and who were still being held after all U.S. POWs were supposedly returned.  Hostile fire has resulted in another 3,000 casualties since the close of peace talks with North Korea in 1954.  Technically, the Korean War is still going on.  A peace accord was never signed and neither side has surrendered.

There is evidence that from 900 to 1,200 POWs were shipped to Siberia and never heard of since.  Evidence also shows that prisoners of war were subjected to experiments involving exposure to mind altering drugs, radio active materials, and chemical warfare experiments, to mention a few.  Most disturbing is that evidence shows that the United States Government knew of the POWs that were shipped to Siberia and this government kept that fact secret.

I remember my feelings and my thoughts of  home while I was in Korea; I can only imagine what feelings and thoughts I would have if I had the realization that my government had abandoned me.  To this date, there are reports of sightings of Americans still being held in North Korea and in Russia.  It is believed that of those being held, at least 100 men have survived.  Ask yourself why this government would even consider offering aide to countries that may be still holding American GIs as prisoners.  The Korean War was called a police action and was coined, "The Forgotten War."  I believe that I can speak for most of those that served in Korea, "We will never forget."

6thMTBn

Don't Burn The American Flag In Front Of Me..."