Biography of Carl DePanicis
1st Lt., Company C, 629th TD Bn, 29th Div, 3rd Army, USA
"I was in the 629 TD, Company C. Our push was to Remagen Bridge, then into Munich."
- Lt. Carl Depanicis
Carl DePanicis entered the US Army in 1941 and after basic training, was sent to Europe in 1943. He became part of the 629 Tank Destroyer Division (was attached to the 29th Division, 3rd Army under Patton). He landed in Normandy at D +12 and became part of Patton's drive to Germany. He was in all five campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe.
On 10 December, 1944, his Division was called back from a short rest from the intense combat in France and Belgium, as the Battle of the Bulge was beginning. There, he saw heavy action, receiving two purple hearts, and receiving a Battlefield Commission to 2nd Lt.
His Tank Destroyer was placed against the German Tiger Tanks, while had the 88's and twice the armor plating of the T.D. Having seen both tanks up close, when we returned for the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, the contrast was startling. He told me that when his tank fired on the Tiger, that if they didn't hit the tracks, the shells would bounce off the armor plating and when the 88's began to draw them into range, the only option was to run and maneuver and call in the air support to dive bomb them.
He was offered a promotion to Captain, if he re-enlisted at the war's end, but refused, saying I've seen enough combat for this lifetime.
Lt. Carl DePanicis on a return to France
I would be interested in hearing from anyone in the 629th, who reads this.
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