T5 Orshan Seymour

Orshan Seymour

Name: Orshan Seymour
Rank: Technician Fifth Grade
ASN: 42006412
Enlisted: August 17th 1943
Company: I
Unit: 33d Armored Regiment
Date of birth: 1924-09-03
Date of death: 1944-09-18
Digital Monument: http://www.36air-ad.com/names/serial/42006412

Creating this Tribute Page is very special for me. I’ve adopted Seymour Orshan his grave many years ago and started to collect all kind of information of him. But he hasn’t got a regular grave, his body was missing so you will find him back on the wall of missing. 
You always try to contact some family members to tell them that you take care of a grave and that you will visit it.
But when I started to research I noticed that wasn’t easy to find the right track.
Then a few weeks ago I had a phone call of the adoption graves organization and they said the family want’s to get in contact with you.
So I said give them what they want and I hope to hear from them.
Then out of the blue I had a phone call and it was the youngest brother of Seymour and he told me that he and his family hoped that I could join him on the American cemetery at Margraten.

The Orshan family with in the middle the youngest brother of Seymour, in front of the Wall of Missing at the American Cemetery Margraten where Seymour Orshan is mentioned.

Well I swapped some appointments and we were on our way on Saturday may 11th 2019.
But how can you find them, luckily he called me before and when I dialed the number they were just standing behind me.
And that was the start of a wonderful day and a huge experience.
But first I will tell the story of Seymour Orshan during his wartime period.

Seymour started his training at Fort Knox what is located in Kentucky, south of Louisville and north of Elizabethtown.
The Armored Force School and the Armored Force Replacement Center were officially established at Fort Knox on December 1, 1940. The school trained armored force soldiers in military fundamentals and in specific areas such as tank gunnery, armor tactics, communications and maintenance. As the armored force grew and the U.S. entered World War II, the school expanded proportionately. From an initial cadre of 155 officers and 1,458 enlisted men in October 1940, the school grew to more than 700 officers and 3,500 enlisted men by May 1943.

Fort Knox 1941

The school alone used more than 500 buildings, many of them “temporary” wooden structures built to meet the expansion of the post. Many of these “temporary” buildings are still in use today!
For 60 years, Fort Knox was the home of the U.S. Army Armor Center and the U.S. Army Armor School (now moved to Fort Benning).
After 4 months of training he went overseas to the United Kingdom.

He arrived at the Camp in Warminster United Kingdom where he became a member of I Company 33rd Armored Regiment 3rd Armored Division.
On July 20th 1944 theydeparted from Warminster, Wiltshire and proceeded via Shaftsbury, Blanford, Dorchester and Weymouth to marshaling camp D-14, 3 miles W of Portland, arriving 2220, having covered 57.6 miles in 5 hours and 30 minutes.

22 June 44 0400 Dq., H2, and •D11 Co. proceeded to Portland naval base, a distance of 3 miles and at 1040 loaded onto U.S.S. LCT 532. Left harbor at 2040 and proceeded to anchorage in ‘Weymouth Bay. Set out for Omaha Beach at 2200 in convoy with numerous other craft.

23 Jun 44 Arrived off Omaha Beach at 1100 and anchored. At 1230 weighed anchor and proceeded to •Fox Red11 portion and beached itself to await low tides to disembark vehicles. Unloading started at 1740. 1820 arrived in transit area #5, approx<l tely 4 miles S of Omaha Beach. 2205 Hq. ~nd Hg. Co. and •D• Co. departed from transit area to assembly area and bivouaced.
27 June 44 Assembly area 3 miles S of Isigny France.

First casualty of the 33rd Armored Regiment was Pvt. Avery, motorcycle rider, who was killed by artillery shell in Aire at approximately 0100 on July 9th 1944.

From England into Germany.

One of the first questions was do you know how they did get into Germany. Well above is a part of the famous task force Lovelady fives stars to victory map. This is the best way to find out were they where at one point.
But let’s get back to Seymour Orshan his route true Europe and I will use some parts of the letters he wrote to his parents.

On September 2nd 1944 he writes to his parents:
Finally I got a moment again to write you all a letter.
They are going that fast true France that the Division Trains and Supply couldn’t keep up with them. They are now 27 days in battle and they say that they had 3 days rest but most of the time during that day they are already on the road again.
We are still in France but we had already the news that they will go first into Belgium instead of Germany.
Seymour was told that the Belgium’s were anti-German and that he is happy that they will go there first.
He wishes his family well and hope to write soon back again.

Now I won’t go into detail for his time during the France and Belgium campaign but pick it up with the reports of the 33rd Armored Regiment when they enter Germany.

Dragon’s Teeth at Stolberg Germany.

September 12th 1944,

During the day the 3rd Armored Division entered Germany and encountered the first line of the Dragon’s Teeth of the Siegfriedline. The Division was operating in two Combat Commands: CCA (Hickey) and CCB (Boudinot). Each of the Combat Commands had two task forces: TX (Doan) and TFY (Blanchard) in CCA; and TFL (Lovelady) and TF 2 ( King and later Mills) in CCB.
The division reserve varied greatly during the period, consisting of Task Force Hogan, and numerous other shifting elements.
The zone in which the Division operated extended East in the vicinity of Eupen Belgium until it entered Germany where near Roetgen it turned north.
That means the Division was stretched 15 kilometers or nearly 10 miles at that time.

Seymour Orshan is a member of I company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Armored Division what was under command at that time of Lt Col Samuel M. Hogan (in his Task Force Hogan).
Till September 17th Task Force Hogan stayed in reserve while the others fought a fierce battle in what was later called the “Stolberg Pocket”. On September 17th 1944 Task Force Hogan was brought from Division reserve and put in the right of TF Lovelady at Diepenlinchen, to continue the assault on Weissenberg.

September 17th 1944
Infantry continued to receive heavy artillery fire, they suffered heavy casualties. Heavy automatic small arms fire pinned down the infantry, the command post moved and all units dug in for the night. Enemy counter attacks were held. TF Hogan accomplished his mission of seizing and holding ground, his command post remained in Dorff. TF 1 received a heavy counter attack from Werth and Gressenich to the Southwest toward Diepenlinchen.

Diepenlinchen, Germany, September 1944. (Location provided by Bob Pacios, A Company, 36th Armored Infantry Regiment veteran.)
Picture from Steve Borts his website

The right flank of TF 1 was pushed back approximately 1000 yards and the enemy penetrated as far as Diepenlinchen. The situation became serious. An infantry company from the 26th Infantry Regiment, lst Inf Div was sent into the line to regain positions lost by our infantry which had been badly shot up and dis-organised. This enemy counter attack was made by the German 48th Inf. Regt. of the 12th Inf Div supported by approximately 15 Panther tanks, heavy artillery and mortar fire. There mission was to retake Mausbach at all costs.

September 18th 1944
Task Force 1 and 2 received orders to hold their positions. TF HOGAN now under CC “B command moved off on mission of securing the high ground Northeast of Diepenlinchen. The TF was unable to accomplish their mission, it lost 5 Tanks, four of which were destroyed to prevent their falling into enemy hands.
And the fifth one was hit by Artillery fire and killed T5 Seymour Orshan the driver of this tank.
The Task force pulled back into the woods north east of Diepenlinchen.

At the end of the month September you find Seymour Orshan back on the list of battle losses.

At that point was T5 Seymour missing in action and on October 12th the following article stood in the local newspaper.

Article found by Aimee Gagnon Fogg

Then it became silent for a while but at one point the Army representative stood at the Orhan’s door. To bring the letter that Seymour was killed in action and to pay their respect.
But that went complete different, they gave the letter to Seymour his youngest brother just 15 years old and didn’t wanted to bring it to the Rabbi because his parents were not at home.
They were gone in a split second and didn’t had the idea that they made the worst decision ever.
When David told me this story nearly 75 years later it brought tears in his eyes and became really emotional.

Short after the local newspaper placed this article.
(thanks again Aimee Gagnon Fogg)

In March 1945 the family received the well known card from General Marshall for paying his respect after the death of a loved one.

Many others payed their respect and till June 1945 one after the other arrived in the mail. But there is one what is really special and that is the one the family get’s from his own regiment.

I want to thank the Orshan Family for a great day and for their trust.
It is an honor to take care of Seymour Orshan his grave and I will to it for the rest of my life.
This is my way to say thank you to the families of all those soldiers who fought for our Freedom.

The Orshan Family
Steve Borts
Aimee Gagnon Fogg
After Action Reports
Samuel Hogan Reports
3ADMG Collection

When someone has more information then please contact me at info@36air-ad.com

© 3d Armored Division Memorial Group (3ADMG)