VETERAN MEMORIES

WORLD WAR II veteran Clarence Trafton holds a coffee cup decorated with some of his military photos. A young Clarence and Crystal Trafton smile in the photograph kept normally in his room.

RICHMOND – A U.S. Sherman tank could not outgun the German 88-mm anti-tank gun; shells would go right through the sides, veteran Clarence Trafton, 98, said Tuesday.

“The tanks were automatics, and when they went up a hill, the tank had to stop to shift,” he said. “That was when the Germans would sit on a hill across the road and pick them off.”

Trafton reflected on his military service, talking mostly about buddies and how he met his wife, Crystal.

Trafton served in the 741st Tank Battalion, a medium-tank group activated for the war, and part of the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. He arrived after the invasion, serving with the 741st headquarters company under the 2nd Infantry Division.

Born a “Texas kid” in 1921, Trafton grew up in McLennan County and joined the Army in August 1942.

READ THE REST OF CLARENCE'S STORY IN FRIDAY'S RICHMOND NEWS

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