This article on the 1964 reunion of the 818th Tank Destroyer Battalion originally appeared in the Russell, KS Star-Telegram. [Bracketed] information was not in the original article. Thanks to Curtis and Juanita Crook for providing me with a copy of the article.


u_1964-1Bulge Veteran Mixes Bottle and Battle Talk


Years make a difference.

Instead of the Battle of the Bulge in Europe with a tank destroyer battalion, it's the Battle of the Bottle involving an 11-month old son.

This was the situation here Friday of V. A. (Cotton) Ashworth [B Company] of Russellville, Ark., as he registered for the seventh annual reunion of the 818th Tank Destroyer Battalion at the Blackstone Hotel.

He and about 75 other members of the battalion began a two-day reunion to relive those days in 1945 with Gen. George S. Patton's Third Army and renew acquaintances with men not seen since the end of World War II.

"We'll have a song-fest, luncheon and just visit," explained Roy Coffman [C Company-deceased 1989] of 4909 Rutland Ave., association president.

Jim Meredith [C Company-deceased 1999] and his wife from Powell, Tenn., were among the first to register.

"I took my vacation to be here. This is the first reunion I've been able to make," said Meredith, who is now employed by the Atomic Energy Commission at Oak Ridge, Tenn.

While Ashworth cradeled his son, Christopher, his wife had this to say: " I think the stories get larger every year...they seem to stretch a bit."

The reunions continue to grow in size each year, Coffman said. Only 13 former members of the battalion registered for the first meeting in 1956 at Mineral Wells.

A dance Saturday night following election of new officers will end the reunion.


We have many more Reunion photos.

(Click here to view the photos)