Looking Back – Summer 2014

Honor Tank Platoon, circa 1950

Looking back swordsAccording to an article in the April 15, 1949, edition of the Norwich Guidon, “Tank Platoon” was established at Norwich in the spring of 1949. Under the advisement of Major Thomas Howard of the military staff, the platoon initially comprised 25 members from the Cavalry Unit. The following fall, five light tanks equipped with rubber tracks were procured, and five crews commenced training in the duties of tank commander, gunner, loader, driver, and assistant driver, as well as maintenance of the vehicles. According to the 1950 War Whoop, three of the five tanks were “named in honor of World War II generals who were Norwich men: Ted Brooks, Ernie Harmon, and I. D. White,” each of whom at one time commanded the 2nd Armored Division. The platoon was responsible for demonstrations and representing the Armor branch of ROTC at parades and ceremonies. Membership in Honor Tank Platoon was considered a privilege; thus, its members were permitted “a special uniform to be worn for tank formations, and a device to be worn on the service uniform denoting membership in the unit.” Were you a member of Honor Tank Platoon? Send your tank memories to record@norwich.edu.

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