Purple Heart Silver Star

 

 

Staff Sergeant
Philip J. Racco

June 16, 1915 - April 7, 1945

Akron, Ohio - Kefferhausen, Germany


(Picture courtesy of David Schember)


Philip J. Racco was born in Pennsylvania on 16 June 1915. He moved to North Hill, Akron, Ohio where he attended Bryan Elemenatary School and Jennings Junior High School.

Philip Racco became a professional boxer and changed his name to Rocco.

He enlisted in the US Army on November 6, 1940. At the time he lived in Dade County, Florida and had a job as a sales clerk. In the army he became a Staff Sergeant with the 68th Tank Battalion, 6th Armored Division.


68th Tank Battalion
6th Armored Division

S/Sgt Philip Racco was awarded the Silver Star. He was Killed In Action 7 April 1945.

The History of the 68th Tank Battalion describes the actions on April 7th as follows:

"A" Company 68th, Task Force Davall proceeded to Dinglestadt on the morning of April 7th. We left a block there to protect our exposed north flank, and continued west to Kefferhausen, where advance elements encountered strong small arms and bazooka opposition. The combat team commander immediately deployed "D" (--), commanded by Captain Raymond W. Raines, on the high ground northeast of town, from which point they could support a frontal attack by "FOX" elements, which began attacking up the draw which leads into Kefferhausen. The Reconnaissance Platoon, having meanwhile lost one killed, one wounded, and one missing, withdrew to nearby cover. It soon became evident that the light tanks couldn't adequately cover any further advance by our doughs, and the attacking platoon became pinned down by fire. Then, Colonel Davall ordered their withdrawal, effected with no little difficulty and exposure; having withdrawn, the foot-sloggers took up defensive positions south and east of town. Also, "B" and "C" Companies were deployed in firing positions south and east of town. We requested an air strike, and at 1400 the welcome P-47's bombed and strafed the podunk, during which assault one plane was shot down. In the meanwhile, Dinglestadt had been secured, and several hundred prisoners were taken. Then we withdrew into defensive positions around Dinglestadt, and infantry patrols went into the outskirts of Kefferhausen. We now had "B" Company 50th AIB, but had lost "C" Company, under Captain William H. Collins, to Task Force Ward, which had pushed parallel to and south of us to Wachstedt. Before midnight we had elements of Baker Company 50th in Kefferhausen, and a reinforcing battalion from the 76th Division had joined us in Dingelstadt, although their mission was to push farther northwest and further screen the division's north flank. In addition to losses suffered by our Recon. Platoon, "A" Company 50th lost several wounded and our "D" Company suffered three casualties during the day's operations, which was compensated in part by the heavy casualties which we inflicted on the enemy".

S/Sgt Philip Racco
was 29 at the time of his death and is buried at Margraten American Military Cemetery, Plot O Row 12 Grave 2 (under the name Rocco).


 

Margraten, The Netherlands

Acknowledgements:
Mr. David Schember

Sources:
www.northhillakron.org
6th Armored Division Website
Unit History of the 68th Tank Battalion, Lt. Robert J. Burns and Lt. John S. Dahl, 6th Armored Division, Germany, 1945

Directions to Margraten American Military Cemetery

Updated 21 August 2005

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This website is dedicated to the men and women who died and/or are buried in The Netherlands during World War II.

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