Lieutenant Colonels Abrams (left) and Cohen (right)
(Photo: US National Archives)
Lieutenant Colonel Abrams
Lieutenant Colonel Creighton W. Abrams (later, a full General and commander of all US Forces in Vietnam as well as Army Chief of Staff), West Point graduate of 1936, was Battalion Commander of 37th Tank Battalion. On 8 March 1945 he handed over the command to Major Hunter and assumed command of Combat Command B (CCB) of 4th Armored Division.
Who will command the Task Force?
After the suggestion of Lieutenant Colonel Abrams - to employ his whole Combat Command B - was denied by General Patton, he ordered to employ a small Task Force, after this General Patton was only interested who was put in command. Lieutenant Colonel Abrams choice was the Commander of the 10th Armored Infantry Battalion - Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cohen. But he was handicapped by hemorrhoids, which General Patton inspected personally. Cohen was asked to select an officer of his choice. His choice was the S-3 officer of the 10th Armored Infantry Battalion, Captain Abraham J. Baum.
The Task Force Commander
(Photo: courtesy of Abraham J. Baum)
Captain Abraham J. Baum was 24 years old, tall, red-haired from the New York Bronx. He was a experienced officer who knew how to handle things. Captain Baum ended the war as one of the 4th Armored's most decorated officers. He did not have the Distinguished Service Cross and two of his Purple Hearts when he left with his task force.
General Patton's Aide
General Patton and Major Stiller
(Photo: Barrie Stiller)
Patton left the briefing into the operation to one of his aides, 52 years old Major Alexander C. Stiller, a former Texas Ranger, who serve with him in WWI. All participants were surprised, when Major Stiller informed them, that he would accompany the Task Force to gain combat experience. But this should not touch the responsibility of Captain Baum for the Task Force.
Task Force Baum
The following list of the soldiers of Task Force Baum was generated from the official records of the 4th Armored Division and the 10th Armored Infantry Battalion. A complete roster of names could be generated through the data base of the US National Archives. The rooster will be displayed here soon.
|A Co 10th Armd Inf Bn||4||169||173|
|B Co 10th Armd Inf Bn||6||6|
|C Co 10th Armd Inf Bn||9||9|
|HQ Co 10th Armd Inf Bn||1||36||37|
|Medical Detachment 10th Armd Inf Bn||7||7|
|Bn HQ 10th Armd Inf Bn||1||1|
|Total 10th Armd Inf Bn:||6||227||233|
|C Co 37th Tank Bn||3||56||59|
|D Co 37th Tank Bn||1||18||19|
|Medical Detachment 37th Tank Bn||2||2|
|Total 37th Tank Bn:||4||76||80|
|HQ Third Army||1 (Maj Stiller)||1|
|Total Task Force Baum:||11||303||314|
2002 © Copyright Peter Domes - Date of last change: 2011-09-21