The Fighting 36th Historical Quarterly
T-Patch was a meager mimeo, a news sheet born during the
Carolina Maneuvers of 1942, to comply with VI Corps' request
for a Public Relations Section. Lt. Mitchell C. Tackley was
appointed PRO, James Farmer and myself were scribes, and unit
correspondents were appointed throughout the division.
Edwards, security was tightened and the name "36th" could not
be mentioned, but items about the men from Texas appeared in
the Camp Edwards News under "Longhorn Lampoon." The T-Patch
was resumed under Special Service, with Cartoonist Jack
Burnett handling the stylus. These Cape Cod editions were tops
in mimeo news sheets, the highlight being the Valentine 1942
edition, when PX perfume was mixed with red mimeo ink.
version of the T-Patch was published on the USS Brazil enroute
to Oran, but the publication was not heard of again until a
year later after the division had gone through Salerno, San
Pietro, Rapido, Cassino and was bivouaced at Maddaloni. Here
the T-Patch began to show signs of revival in full growth — a
type-set 5 column tabloid newspaper.
Plans were put
into motion by Capt. T. J. Nykiel, Ass't SSO, through
negotiations with Lt. Col. A. B. Crowther and the division
commander. In war-ravaged Italy, any publication was a
precarious venture, loaded with shortages and heartaches.
assistance from the 45th Division News, arrangements were
finally made in Naples, only to be canceled by the 36th
amphibious move to Anzio. The next opportunity to print came
after the liberation of Rome. The first issue of the T-Patch
rolled off the presses in Rome, June 27, 1944, after a hurried
job of editing out of a brief case, just in time to be
delivered to the troops who had moved back to the Salerno
were cranked out in Naples by commuting between Paestum and
the Block House in Naples — and then, move again. This time,
Southern France, the target. The PRO section headed by Capt.
Dine and Jumbo Wilson stopped long enough in Frejus to get out
a miniature edition, claiming "The First Yankee Rag On The
Riviera." The swift movement north made publication a
complicated affair. After Grenoble was cleared the Sept. 9,
1944, first anniversary edition of Salerno, was turned out in
a hurry at the huge plant of Imprimerie Generale, Grenoble.
But no time to linger here. Besancon had just been liberated,
and the race was on. The Le Comtois in Besancon offered ideal
facilities for the T-Patch.
fighting in the Vosges made a move closer to the front
had taken over Epinal, and no other town near had a plant
except Nancy, and the Stars and Stripes and 45th Division had
it sewed up. A move to Strasbourg during Christmas was
unsuccessful, and the T-Patch returned to Besancon. Editing
was handled at the Rest Camp in Bains Les Bains, but
publication continued in Besancon. Add to this the
complications of having engravings made in Dijon, the nearest
available engraving plant, 90 kilometers west.
found the T-Patch in Strasbourg, under control of PRO, with
Bob Seiger and John Hyman now active on the T-Patch staff, and
Max Shaffer as official T-Patch photographer. On one occasion,
news stories about the round-up of Nazi generals and bigwigs
at the end of the war, were flown to Strasbourg via Piper Cub
and made constant changes in the makeup of the front page
necessary. Staff members labored all night to keep up with new
captives, especially the surrender of Hermann Goering.
Kaufbueren was occupied by the 36th, the T-Patch took over a
huge plant formerly operated by the Nazi Naval Intelligence,
and additional members were added to the staff, including our
own linotype operator. Many changes now took place in the
staff as high-point men headed for the states.
issues were published at Geislingen, staffed partly by
ex-members of the 63rd Division who filled gaps left by
36thers who had already returned home, until the division
returned to the states in November 1945 for deactivation.