On January 21, 1941, it was a mild, sunny day as eighty-eight members of Conshohocken’s Battery "C” lined up outside their Company’s headquarters located at 918 Maple Street. The soldiers marched up Ninth Avenue to Fayette Street, and a parade led by Betty Colburn, a drum majorette and the Conshohocken High School Band marched down Fayette street toward the train station, with a crowd of thousands of residents and schoolchildren cheering them on.
Conshohocken’s Battery "C” mustered into the Pennsylvania National Guard on October 28, 1940, more than a year before the United States became involved in World War 11. Battery "C” of the 1st Howitzer Battalion of the 166th Artillery left the Conshohocken train station for Camp Shelby Mississippi, and didn’t return for five years.
The men spent two years in Mississippi and then went to Camp Blanding in Flordia and later to Fort Gordon and finally to Fort Dix in New Jersey. Once the men of Battery "C” left the states, they headed to North Africa, crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Italy and then engaged in some of the worst fighting of the war. Battery "C” moved onto southern France, arriving on D-Day, August 15, 1944. The men later went on to Germany and Austria before the war finally ended.
Perhaps one of the highlights for the men of Battery "C” was their part in taking out the bridge on the Rhine. Battery "C” was part of the 938th Field Artillery’s C Company and Company A of the 630th Tank Destroyers. After more than six hours of heavy fire, the bridge went down. The west span had been blown from its main support and was a twisted heap of steel littering the river below.
By July 1945, after fifty-six months the final members of Battery "C returned home; 12 members of the unit lost their lives during combat in Europe. In 1944 alone it was reported that Conshohocken had more than 1600 residents serving in the military including more than two dozen females. At wars end 32 Conshohocken residents lost their lives in battle, West Conshohocken sacrificed ten residents.
(The above information was taken from the book (Remembering Conshohocken & West Conshohocken)
A Memorial Plaque located at the Conshohocken War Memorial located at West Second Avenue and Fayette Street, Honor’s the members of Conshohocken and West Conshohocken’s Battery "C.”
The plaque reads:
A memorial dedicated to the men of Battery C, 166th Field Artillery, Conshohocken and West Conshohocken Who served our country in World War Two
Robert S. Barger William J. McDonnell
George D. Barr Thomas J. McGuire
John C. Beck John B. Mcllvane
Michael J. Bosco* Harold McQuirns
John A. Bowe Joseph A. Murphy
Vincent J. Burns John M. Murray
Arthur F. Campbell Michael A. Narkiewicz
James J. Campbell Joseph J. Orzech
Joseph W. Carnwath Anthony M. Pettine
John D. Cook John J. Quillman*
Ralph J. Coshin Ellwood J. Rahm*
Pearson C. Cummin, Jr. Howard E. Read
Frank D. D’Angelo Arthur V. Richardson
Albert W. Dutill Edward F. Rivinus, Jr.
George W. Elkins, Jr. William J. Ronan
George T. Farrell Anthony V. Ronca
Maurice P. Felton, Jr. Adam A. Selvoski
Vincent A. Flocco Raymond F. Shemanski
Stanley F. Gamel* Benjamin J. Shimer
Joseph F. Gannon* Clarence W. Slater, Jr.
Robert C. Getchell Harold M. Slee
John H. Godfrey Mahlon W. Sowers
Thomas T. Grzywacz William A. Spangler
Joseph F. Horn George K. Staub
Henry W. Hylinski Samuel L. Steinberg
Thomas B. Johnson Walter T. Stevenson
John M. Johnstone Robert L. Sulzner
Elmer J. Kline Frank A. Sztubinski
Frederick A. Kline James A. Towson
Martin M. Kohn Leonard J. Travaline
Joseph W. Kordek Saul A. Wallace
John H. Kunda William M. Weaver, Jr.
Henry E. Lang* Charles A. Weber
Richard A. Leroy Vincent W. Weber
Adam J. Lewandowski* Martin J. Weiss
Chester A. Lewandowdki* James J. Williams
Eric J. Loader Arthur M. Wood
John J. Mackiewicz* Walter J. Wyrembek
Watsie Majsiak Alpjonse A. Zalic*
John J. Maziarz *KILLED IN ACTION