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Highlighting the World Wars I & II Memorabilia Collection of Dave Sleeper

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Ritter, Arthur H.


Rank: Private
Serial Number: 35260147
Military Branch: Co. D, 13th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division
Origin: Kentucky
Date of Death: 1942-11-30
North African American Cemetary
Featured: No

Arthur Ritter was born in 1916 in Campbell, Kentucky. He enlisted from Kentucky at the age of 25. He was unmarried at the time. His group includes a photo of him in uniform and an officially engraved slot brooch posthumous Purple Heart that edge numbered 331781. The fact that he was in Company D is found on an accompanying envelope that was addressed to him, but was returned because of his death. 

Private Arthur Ritter was killed in action just 22 days after the 1st Armored Division landed in Africa for the beginning of Operation Torch.

The 1st Armored Division was ordered to  Fort Dix on 11 April 1942 to await their deployment overseas. The division's port call required them to board the RMS Queen Mary at the New York Port of Embarkation at the Brooklyn Army Terminal on 11 May 1942. They arrived at Northern Ireland on 16 May 1942, and trained on the moors until they moved on to England on 29 October 1942.

The unit's first contact with an enemy was as part of the Allied invasion of Northwest Africa, Operation Torch, on 8 November 1942. Elements of the division were part of the Northern Task force and became the first American armored division to see combat in World War II. Combat Command B (CCB) of the division landed east and west of Oran, and entered the city on 10 November 1942. On 24 November 1942, CCB moved from Tafaroui, Algeria, to Bedja, Tunisia, and raided Diedeida airfield the next day. Djedeida was finally conquered on 28 November 1942.

SOLD to a collector 04-2021