Righton, Walter C. – 704th Tank Destroyer Bn

Born on August 18, 1918 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA.

Passed away on January 10, 2005.

Army Service Number: 36314630.

After basic training, and almost ending up as a halftrack driver in the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion (Regiment at that time), Walter ended up in the 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion instead. In this unit, he drove a fuel truck and got his nickname; “Gas Can Wally”. Received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for actions under enemy fire near St. James, France (August 1944).

After the war, he had several jobs and served 23 years with the Chicago Police Department, retiring as Sergeant. Married Lucille M. Busby and they had two sons.

Needless to say that fuel trucks were vital for the tank destroyers. Often, these truck drivers found themselves under enemy fire and some even were captured by marauding enemy forces.