Letter Requesting Help Identifying Descendants of 761st Veterans for
Bates Memorial Scholarship Fund (and also as potential members of the Association)
May 1, 2010
The Paul L. Bates Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1999 in memory of Colonel Paul Bates at Western Maryland College (now known as McDaniel College).The scholarship was established as a tribute to the men who served with Colonel Bates from August 1944 through April 1945 and provides awards for lineal descendants of members of the 761st Tank Battalion.
Recently Colonel Bates’ widow, Mrs. Helen “Taffy” Bates has expressed concern that no descendants of the Battalion have ever taken advantage of the scholarship fund. A scholarship must be awarded every year even when there are no descendants of the 761st applying. This is lost money and opportunity to the 761st descendants whose predecessors fought so bravely for.
There were well over 600 original battalion members. I know that there are many grandchildren and great-grandchildren descended from them. In my family alone there are 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren descended from my father. Part of the problem may be that very few people know about the scholarship; also, there has never been a comprehensive list to identify battalion members, much less lineal descendants.
To help with this, I have enclosed a form that can be used to start building a data base with the names and addresses of all former 761st members and their descendants. Please fill it out with whatever information you have. If you know of anyone that may not have received the form, copy it and pass it on. If you know of any former battalion member that has passed, fill in what you know or forward the form to a family member.
This was very important to Colonel Bates and Mrs. Bates feels it is very important to his legacy – please help!
(Please Click here for the form enclosed with the letter.)
Basketball Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar received an honorary degree and an Army Coin of Excellence at the McDaniel College Founders Convocation on September 29, 2007, for authoring Brothers In Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes. The book is dedicated to the 761st Tank Battalion's commander, 1931 McDaniel College alumnus and Silver Star recipient Colonel Paul Levern Bates. As a student, Paul Bates was captain of McDaniel College's undefeated 1930 football team, and an All-American in 1929 and 1930. A Trustee Alumni Award was posthumously awarded to Col. Bates during the convocation, and was accepted by his son Baron Bates. The Paul L. Bates Memorial Scholarship Fund, providing awards for lineal descendants of members of the 761st Tank Battalion, established in 1999 under the terms of Colonel Bates' will, is administered and maintained by the McDaniel College Board of Trustees.