17th Armored Engineer Battalion in World War 2

17th Engineers during World War Two

Elmo C. Farrow - Roll of Honor

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Elmo C. Farrow

Unit: 17 Engr Bn 2nd Armd Div, Company Unknown Rank: SergeantBorn: 1919 (+/-)
Photo of Elmo C. Farrow

Biographical Info


Location grave Sergeant Elmo C. Farrow: 

Where was Sergeant Elmo C. Farrow mortally wounded?

Phase: Normandy Campaign – France

The Allied operations in France were planned and executed in three phases. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower wanted to establish a beachhead on the continent, build up the forces and then break through into the Brittany-Normandy area. The final step was to be a pursuit on a broad front. The major emphasis was placed on the left flank, while the right joined Allied forces moving northward from southern France. The 2d Armored Division, the first armored division to land on the continent, was to have a major role in executing all parts of this plan. The combat commands were structured so that maximum firepower could be brought quickly ashore. Genneral Maurice Rose’s Combat Command A had the 66th Armored Regiment as the basis of its command. In addition Rose had the 82d Reconnaissance Battalion, two battalions of the 41st Armored Infantry, the 14th and 92d Armored Artillery Battalions, battalion headquarters and Company A of the 17th Armored Engineer Battalion, Company A of the Maintenance Battalion, Company A, 48th Medical Battalion, and a detachment of the Supply Battalion.

Combat Command B, led by Colonel I.D. White, was a smaller force destined to land after Combat Command A. It consisted of the 67th Armored Regimet, the 78th Armored Artillery Battalion, one battalion (if the he Infantry. Companies B and E of the 17th Engineer Battalion, ComPany B of the 48th Medical Battalion. Company B of the Maintenance Battalion and a detachment of the Supply Battalion. Division head-quarters controlled the remainder of the division and two important attachments: the 195th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion and the 702d Tank Destroyer Battalion.

The Allies began to build up supplies and troops for the breakout and for carrying the fight to the Nazis. The division’s tank and infantry regiments and reconnaissance battalions sent patrols to make contact via) the enemy and if possible to capture some prisoners.
On June 12, after being ashore for five days, V Corps reported that even though they had encountered no tanks, the reconnaissance battalion of the German I 7th SS Panzer Division was fighting on their front. Almost simultaneously with the initial landings, the 2nd Armored was called on to assist some of the landing forces. V Corps called for two armored infantry companies to be sent to the 29th Infantry Division to secure the bridgehead near Auxilie sur Mer.

The Germans attacked the 101st Airborne, which had few, if any, heavy weapons to stop a tank attack. General Bradley ordered the 2d Armored Division to send a task force of one tank battalion and one infantry battalion to secure the bridgehead at Isigny. Protected by fire from three American battleships, the USS Texas, Arkansas and Nevada, patrols began scouting the route. Before the troops could be committed to action, their mission was changed and they were sent to support the 101st Airborne.

The attack of the 2d Armored Division was in the bocage, or hedgerow, country. It was the only type of action for which the division had not trained at Fort Benning, during the maneuvers or in North Africa and Sicily. The countryside was dotted with small fields surrounded by thick hedgerows, sunken roads and many intersections. It was premium defensive country, placing an added burden on the attacker. The 17th Engineers Tandozers were being used to penetrate the hedgerows. Colonel Rose sent his reconnaissance forces to scout the route to Carentan. They encountered elements of the German 12th SS Panzer Division and a few Tiger tanks. General Collier and the lead elements of Combat Command A raced into Carentan, joined with the 101st Airborne Division and assaulted the German 17th SS Panzer Division.

(Source 2nd Armored Unit Division History, Hell on Wheels 1977.)


From England, Tidworth Barracks, coming across the channel in LST’s (Landing Ship Tank) the trip was unforgettable in the vast numbers of ships of all types which composed the invasion armada and the large number of planes flying overhead. Landing at Omaha “Red” Beach, in the vicinity of Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, the first of the Bn. to reach France was Company ”A” on 9 june, followed by Co (Company) ”D” the next day, and Hq Co, Co, ”C”.

On 13 June Co. ”A” and a detachment of Co. ”E” supported the attack of Combat Command ”A” near Carentan. A flamethrower party was furnished 3/41, and the tank dozer was used considerable in making paths through hedgerows for tank advance. The entire company was employed in mine sweeping operations and in holding defensive positions. Enemy Artillery fire killed Pvt John Hoffman, and Francis Bonitatibus, Company ”A”, and Pvt Raymond V. Larking Co. ”E” on 15 June, the first casualties of the Bn on the continent. The force returned to the vicinity of La Mine 17 June after the very successful operation which had prevented our beach-head from being cut in half.

(source: 17th Armored Engineer Battalion Unit History)


It is remarkable that the names of Hoffman, Bonatibus and Larking are being mentioned in the unit History, but that sergeant Elmo C. Farrow is not.
The newspaper of 29th October 1944 makes public that he eventually died of his wounds, on the same day as the other Engineers of Company A. 
This could be explained by the fact that Elmo C. Farrow “died of wounds”. That he was wounded during the enemy artillery and was sent back to a Medical Post, and died later that day due to his wounds. It is not clear why at first there was a Newspaper article about him being wounded, and that it took nearly 4 months to post an article with the news of him being “killed” (that was not correct, he died of wounds).

Location where Sergeant Elmo C. Farrow was mortally wounded by enemy artillery:

Article Elmo C Farrow

Article Elmo C Farrow (Findagrave.com)

Newspaper:  The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia, United States of America) · 12 Aug 1944 (newspapers.com)

Sgt Elmo C Farrow Wouned in the ETO The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia, United States of America) · 12 Aug 194

Sgt Elmo C Farrow Wouned in the ETO The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia, United States of America) · 12 Aug 1944 (newspapers.com)

Newspaper: The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia, United States of America) · 29 Oct 1944

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia, United States of America) · 29 Oct 1944

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia, United States of America) · 29 Oct 1944


Casualtylist, Bibb County, Georga, Elmo C Farrow

Casualtylist, Bibb County, Georga, Elmo C Farrow

Casualtylist, Bibb County, Georga, Elmo C Farrow

Burial Entry Elmo C. Farrow

Buriallist, Elmo C Farrow detail

Buriallist, Elmo C Farrow detail

The house where Elmo C. Farrow lived as 21 year old “cotton garder” *:

(house in the back)
Adress: Georgia Macon Bibb Elm street 454


This is the household of Elmo C. Farrow and his family in the year 1940:

CENSUS 1940 Role Gender Age Birthplace
Andrew C Farrow Head M 50 Georgia
Minnie H Farrow Wife F 50 Georgia
Elmo C Farrow Son M 21 Georgia
Martha E Farrow Daughter F 19 Georgia
Thomas Farrow Grandson M 0 Georgia

Father: Andrew C Farrow
Mother: Minnie H Farrow
* Father and son Farrow were both working at the Cottonmill as Cotton Garders.

Collage papers of Elmo C Farrow. Courtesy Martijn Brandjes

Collage papers of Elmo C Farrow. Courtesy Martijn Brandjes

Enlistment details:

Race: White
Birth: 1919?
Residence: Georgia Macon Bibb Elm street 454
Height: Unknown
Weight: Unknown
Civilian Occupation: Garder, Cottonmill
Marital Status: Unknown
Education: Unknown
Citizenship: U.S. citizen
Rank: Unknown
Enlistment date: Uknown
Enlistment location: Uknown
Enlistment Term: Unknown


Research © by:
Text © by: Martijn Brandjes
Photos © by: Moos Raaijmakers


Categories: 17 Engr Bn 2nd Armd Div – Company Unknown