6TH ARMY GROUP, GERMANY- The thrill that comes with sinking
the first shot in the bulls-eye is shared among members of the 533rd Anti-Aircraft
Battalion. While standing a recent “watch on the Rhine” in support of the U.S.
Seventh Army in General Jacob L. Devers’ 6th Army Group, a section of one of the
Battalions batteries fired a single round and bagged an ME-109.
Single-shot action is hardly routine for these ack-ack men.
In numerous other engagements, their 40-mm. Bofors and multiple-mount 50 cal.
Machine-guns have poured a withering fire from deep-dug camouflaged emplacements at
With organization streamlined to match the units mobility
and speed, the 533rd, commanded by Lt. Col. Claude A. Dance, Shreveport, La. Has
acted in various roles of anti-aircraft defense and anti-tank defense.
“Assignments have included protection of bridges and headquar-
ters and support of infantry and field artillery,” said Col. Dance “Accustomed
to fighting in forward areas, my men recently began protecting one bridge before
the engineers even built it.”
Activated in 1942 at Fort Bliss, Tex., the 533rd began
foreign services Feb. 28, 1943, landing at Casablanca. At Bizerte, gun crews
fought off as many as 100 attacking planes in four raids. The battalion spent
almost a year on Sardinia, protecting airfields and harbor installations, before
entering Southern France last November.
Members of this battalion include:
(See Attached List)