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Collection of pictures and documents of the
558th Field Artillery Battalion, U.S. Army, World War II

The above picture is actually a scale model made by Steve Zaloga.
Larger pictures of his M12 models and other life-like models of
WWII equipment can be found at
. The detail
of these models is amazing.

The 558th Battalion was made up of five batteries: Headquarters (Command Staff), Service (Maintenance, trucks), and three firing batteries (A, B & C) of four gun sections each with an ammunition carrier (tank) for each gun section. Each firing battery was made up of about 125 men; Service battery about 50: and Headquarters about 75 including firing control, medics, and pilots for air observation. The total force was near 500 men. With four guns per battery, they normally fielded a dozen M-12 guns and another dozen M-30 ammunition carriers.

6/7/09 The next reunion will be held September 20th through September 22th, 2009 at Reno, Nevada. The reunion hotel will be Circus Circus Hotel and Casino, 500 North Sierra Street in Reno, 800-648-5010 (mention 558th FAB Reunion for discounted room rate of $40). Reservation deadline with the hotel is August 21st, 2009. For more information contact Judi Penman at or 775-849-0409.

6/7/09 This site is being completely redesigned. The new site will be found at

10/22/08 You Tube has a video clip of the M12 gun in action. Click Here to View

4/18/06 Captured a short two second clip of the M12 Gun firing. Click Here to view the video (a .WMV file, about a 100K download).

1/2/06 Tom Smicklas, the nephew of George Michalek of the 558th, has submitted a series of links to detailed information on the Internet about camps, ships, and weapons tied in with the 558th FAB history. Click Here to find out more from Mr. Smicklas's research.

10/13/05 Following the 558th's return to the States, most men were discharged. But the unit continued to function in Camp Hood, Texas until February 1946. Click Here to read about the experiences of Ferrin Larkin who had to remain in Texas until his "points" got him his discharge from the 558th. Click Here for an explanation of the Army's point system.

10/4/05 For families looking for information about funeral benefits for veterans and funeral military honors, Click Here for links to web sites that can help you.

9/15/05 The 2005 reunion was a lot of fun with 15 veterans in attendance. I collected tons of new material. It will take me a while to get it all sorted out and posted on the web site. Keep checking back for a redesigned web site.

9/10/05 Added a letter from Lyle Armstrong ("Jack" Armstrong's brother) outlining the men in Battery A's gun sections.

9/6/05 There is now a database of 558th FAB members available online for research. This is a work in progress and will grow as I get more names and documents. Part of this effort is indexing each veteran with references to documents and pictures that are available on this web site. Look it over by clicking here for the 558th FAB Veterans List.

9/6/05 Click Here to view Lora McDonald's photographs from the 558th provided by Stanley McDonald, Lora's son.

8/11/05 Though not directly part of this unit, the 557th was a "sister" unit also using the M12 gun in Europe. There is now a reformatted version of the 557th FAB History document in PDF format. The history contains 56 pages and includes maps of their travels. The PDF file is about 320kb. Click here to view the 557th history.

8/6/05 A reformatted version of the 558th FAB WWII History document written by Lt. Gilbert Hahn is now available in PDF format by clicking here for the 558th history. He traces the activities of the unit chronologically through creation, training, battle, and dissolution after WWII. This 22 page PDF file can be opened and then printed for your reading. Also, click here for Glendon Graff's Battery C Chronology in a PDF version.

7/28/05 If you can read German, click here to link to the M12 page on the Panzer-Archiv.DE site.

5/24/05 Click Here to link to a web page of technical information about the M-12 and M-30 carriers.

10/22/08 Sorry, but Bill Dunbar's site is undergoing changes and is not available at this time. 7/14/04 Bill Dunbar's M-12 GPF Gun site (He has some excellent links for more M-12 information.)

List/Links of Albums collected at the September 2003 reunion:
     Reunion Photos                Reunion binder
     557th FAB History           Glen Graff binder
     Dave Rifkin binder           Charles Mountford binder
     Guide To France booklet

Documents added June 3, 2002:
     M-12 155mm Gun (a PDF document)

List/Links of Albums collected at the September 2001 reunion:
     558th Official Photos        558th at Hunter Liggett
     558th In Field Training     558th Documents
     558th In Europe                558th In Training Camp
     558th In Occupation         Destruction of the War
     Battery C Chronology      Individuals' Portraits

This site is dedicated to the sacrifices made by all members of the Armed Forces who have served to preserve our country and our freedoms. And in the memory of my late father, Elijah Ferrin Larkin, a member of 558th FAB, Battery C.

These photos and documents come from various 558th members' collections and scrap books collected at the annual reunions. While attending the reunion as a guest of the group, I felt compelled to begin scanning and trying to collect in a single place as much of the pictorial information about the unit as possible.

If anyone sees any corrections needed in the photo captions, please let me know. I would love to add more pictures and documents if 558th members have more they can share.

Please contact me with any comments, stories, pictures or just to talk about the 558th.

with love and respect,
Bill Larkin
telephone: 801-232-7112