612th Tank Destroyer Battalion Association
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The Ile de France

 The 612th Tank Destroyer Battalion crossed the Atlantic on their way to war on board the luxury ocean liner Ile de France.

 The following excerpt from the Battalion History “Camp Kilmer to Victory” by Sgt. S. E. Mestrezat tells about their early arrival on the Ile de France.

 The first sergeant called for attention and gradually managed to achieve some degree of order out of all the chaos. We gathered around him and he disclosed the purpose of our early arrival aboard ship. For at the time we were the only soldiers present, he said that even aboard ship there were certain duties to be performed and that good old Company “A” was slated to perform those duties: namely KP and guard duties. We had come aboard early in order to become adjusted to our duties. We were stunned but only momentarily, and then the bitching began which lasted the whole voyage. “A” Company, headed for combat, had to work its way across the ocean.  

 The Ile de France was the first ocean liner built following World War I.  Its history is an interesting one. 

 As a luxury ocean liner it was the only ship of its time to boast an art deco décor captured in numerous post cards.