17th Armored Engineer Battalion in World War 2

17th Engineers during World War Two

Gordon F Walker - Roll of Honor

For more background on the Roll of Honor see “Introduction of the Roll of Honor

Click on the name of the Soldiers for more details.

Gordon F Walker

Unit: 17 Engr Bn 2nd Armd Div, Recon Battalion Rank: SergeantBorn: 05/20/1918
Photo of Gordon F Walker

Biographical Info

Location grave Sergeant Gordon F Walker Rose Ridge Cemetery Naples, Ontario County, New York:

Where was Sergeant Gordon F Walker killed in action?

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.

For their part the 2nd Armored Division, particularly Combat Command A, earned the grudging respect of German army and political leaders, who nicknamed the division, “Roosevelt’s Butchers,” a name which the division gladly accepted. Bradley ordered the tankers, Combat Command A, to push a vigorous reconnaissance toward Periers. The mission was given to the Reconnaissance Company, 66th Armor, one tank company and one infantry company, supported by the 14th Armored Artillery Battalion. The force quickly ran into heavy machine gun, small arms and antitank fire. The remainder of the 3d Battalion, 41st Armored Infantry, and the 1st Battalion, 66th Armor, advanced to aid the reconnaissance force.

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


16 – 17 June 1944
                No change in Battalion CP. Capt Sampson evacuated because of malaria. Battalion engaged in general engineer work and reconnaissance. One 2nd Lt., 1 Sgt., 1 Pvt., killed by enemy MG while on reconnaissance. Another waterpoint opened. One truck, 1/4T 4×4 lost through enemy action.

Soucre: Afer Action reports june 12th, 1944 to june 29th 1944

Read more about this periode in the Afer Action reports june 12th, 1944 to june 29th 1944)  

After Action 17thArmEngJune1944 - National Archives Textual Reference

After Action 17thArmEngJune1944 – Source: National Archives Textual Reference


2nd Lt. Raphael E. Januzzi, Sgt. Gordon F. Walker, and Pvt Anthoney DiBartollo, of the Reconnaissance platoon, were killed 16 June when they drove into an enemy ambush near Saint-Clair-Sur Elle while making a road and bridge reconnaissance. Considerable work ot this type was being preformed during the period 18 to 30 June, and training was being carried on in breaching hedgerows and other operations.

(Source: Unit History 17th Armored Engineer Battalion)


Sergeant Gordon F Walker was assigned to the “Recon Platoon” of Company Headquarters (company unknown). They undertook a “vigorous” reconnaissance towards Periers.
Saint Clair Sur Elle was on the way to Periers, during there recontour they drove into an enemy ambush and were killed by machinegunfire. It looks like that Company A was with the Recon Company,
although we can not be sure about that for 100%.

Legion of Merit awared to Sergeant Gordon F Walker

Legion of Merit

Legion of Merit

The minefield had been placed during the Battle for Britain period and consisted of sixty-three beach type-C British mines. These mines were buried and each consisted of approximately 20 lbs. of explosive and was fitted with very sensitive firing device so as to be either AP or AT mines. They had deteriorated to such an extent that similar mines in nearby field had been detonated by dogs running across the field and in some cases for no apparent reason at all. To make matters more complicated, the record of the minefield consisted only of a sketch with dimensions with no Azimuths or even a North arrow. These mines were successfully removed by locating with a mine detector, marking, and then detonating the mines in place a few at a time. Sgt. Regor and Sgt. Walker were recommended for the award of Legion of Merit for this operation.


Location where Sergeant Gordon F Walker was killed in action
Saint Claire Sur Elle, Normandy, France


Temporary Grave on June 20, 1944 at Saint Laurent Sur Mer, Normandy, France

Temporary Grave Gordon F Walker

Temporary Grave Gordon F Walker


Official casualty list

Official Deathlist- Ontario New York- Gordon F Walker

Official Deathlist- Ontario New York- Gordon F Walker

Official Deathlist- Ontario New York- Gordon F Walker

Official Deathlist- Ontario New York- Gordon F Walker

The location of the house in the year where Gordon Walker lived with the family, as a 21 year old student
Adress: Eastside of North Mainstreet, Ontario County, Naples, New York.

US Sensus 1940

US Sensus 1940

US Sensus 1940

Gordon Walker

United States Census, 1940
Name Gordon Walker
Event Type Census
Event Date 1940
Event Place Naples, Naples Town, Ontario, New York, United States
Sex Male
Age 21
Marital Status Single
Race (Original) White
Race White
Relationship to Head of Household (Original) Son
Relationship to Head of Household Son
Birth Year (Estimated) 1919
Last Place of Residence Same House


Cherrie Walker Female 43 Widowed White Head 1897 Same House
Gordon Walker Male 21 Single White Son 1919 Same House
Phyllis Walker Female 19 Single White Daughter 1921 Same House
Jackson Walker Male 11 Single White Son 1929 Same House

US Sensus 1930

US Sensus 1930

US Sensus 1930

Name Gordon Walker
Event Type Census
Event Date 1930
Event Place Naples, Ontario, New York, United States
Gender Male
Age 11
Marital Status Single
Race White
Race (Original) White
Relationship to Head of Household Son
Relationship to Head of Household (Original) Son
Birth Year (Estimated) 1919
Birthplace New York
Father’s Birthplace New York
Mother’s Birthplace New York


Howard Walker Head M 37 New York
Cherrie Walker Wife F 34 New York
Gordon Walker Son M 11 New York
Phyllis Walker Daughter F 9 New York
Jackson Walker Son M 1 New York
Agustus Walker Father M 64 New York


Enlistment details

Name: Gordon F Walker
Name (Original): WALKER GORDON F
Event Type: Military Service
Event Date: 13 Jun 1942
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Event Place: Rochester, New York, United States
Race: White
Citizenship Status: citizen
Birth Year: 1918
Birthplace: NEW YORK
Education Level: 2 years of college
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
Military Rank: Private
Army Branch: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Army Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source Reference: Civil Life
Serial Number: 32140999



Research © by: Martijn Brandjes
Text © by: Martijn Brandjes
Photos © by: Findagrave.com, familysearch.org


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