North High School Wall of Honor
Charles Keith Titus
Class of June, 1943
Research done by Claradell Shedd, class of 1953. PAGE IN PROGRESS
Charles Keith Titus
Charles Keith Titus graduated from North High in the June, 1943 class. His next of kin was shown as Mr. Charles D. Titus living at 1638 24th Street, Des Moines, IA.

Charles enlisted in the US Army at Camp Dodge, IA on July 15, 1943. He was single with no dependents. His service number was _________.
Charles Keith Titus
Year x Rank/Event x Status
June, 1943 x Graduated x Would have graduated from North Des Moines High School. Three years of high school.
date x Employment
or schooling
x Where and when.
July 15, 1943 x US Army/PVT x Enlisted in US Army at Camp Dodge Recruiting Office.
date x Training x Boot camp where and when?
date x Stationed x Rhineland.
February, 1945 x US Army x *Received Purple Heart
date x Discharged/
x Discharged (where and when)
date x Civilian x Worked for Westinghouse. When. Retired where and when.
photos of Charles Keith Titus rank
Des Moines Armed Forces
Examining and Entrance Station (AFEES at KRNT)
Appropriate caption caption
Titus photo Titus photo
During time frame when Charles received the Purple Heart (February, 1945):
Hatten and Rittershoffen

As the fighting in the VI Corps sector intensified, the Germans committed the 21st Panzer Division and the 25th Panzer Grenadier Division to the attack with a breakthrough to Hagenau. On the 9th of January, German armor was able to penetrate the center of the VI Corps sector. This caused Brooks the Corps commander to commitment his final reserve force, the 14th Armored in an effort to stop the German XXXIX Panzer Corps advance. Ordered to take up positions in the vicinity of Hatten and Rittershoffen, the 14th assumed commander and control of units from the 242nd Infantry Regiment and the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 315th Infantry Regiments. With the heavy fighting in and around the towns, success was measured in how many buildings were controlled by each side as the Americans controlled the western half of the towns and the Germans the eastern half. On the 15th of January, the Germans reinforced the forces in both towns with elements of the 20th Parachute Regiment from the 7th Parachute Division, and the 104th Infantry Regiment from the 47th Volksgrenadier Division. As the fighting raged, the 14th Armored found itself increasingly on the defense. The resupply of the division was becoming very difficult due to the constant reorganizing of forces, the evacuation of wounded, and the shrinking perimeter. But the divisions 11 day stand at Hatten and Rittershoffen allowed the VI Corps and Seventh Army to withdraw to prepared defensive positions. On 21 January, after the rest of Seventh Army had withdrawn to new defensive positions on the south bank of the Moder River, the 14th and its supporting units withdrew from Hatten and Rittershoffen and moved south to join the rest of the army.

Following the battle the division G-4 reported to the commanding officer that the division was still short 62 medium tanks despite having received over 60 replacement tanks during the month of January. Even more astounding was the 136th Ordnance Battalion's maintenance report for the month in which it listed approximately 150 medium tanks that had been knocked out in combat, repaired, and returned to the division's tank battalions. An example of this is seen on the operational reports of the 47th and 48th Tank Battalions. At the height of the fighting the 47th reported that it had a total of 17 operational medium tanks out of an authorized strength of 50, and all were committed to holding its portion of the line. The 48th Tank Battalion report for the same period included the comment that its medium tank companies were now of approximately squad strength. Lt. General Jacob L. Devers, commanding general, 6th Army Group later commented that the Battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen "was one of the greatest defensive battles of the war." The 14th Armored Division was nominated for four Presidential Unit Citations for its actions at Hatten-Rittershofen. Of these, two were awarded. Col. Hans von Luck, who commanded the 21st Panzer Division at Hatten-Rittershoffen wrote in his memoirs "Panzer Commander" that the battle ".... was one of the hardest and most costly battles that had ever raged on the western front." These are strong, telling words from a professional German panzer officer who fought with Rommel's famed Afrika Korps in North Africa, served two tours of duty on the Eastern Front, and led the only armored counter-attack to be attempted against the Allied beachhead in Normandy. A veteran officer who served on the staff of Army Group G during the battle wrote after the war that the American defense of the town against overwhelming odds were "heroic."

After rest, rehabilitation, and defensive missions during February and early March, the division returned to the offensive, 15 March 1945, drove across the Moder River, cracked through the Siegfried Line, and by the end of the month, had captured Germersheim on the Rhine. On Easter Sunday, 1 April 1945, the 14th moved across the Rhine near Worms and protecting the long left flank of Seventh Army advance against moderate to heavy opposition through Lohr, Gemunden, Neustadt, and Hammelburg where, on 6 April, Combat Command B liberated Stalag XIIIC and the more famous Oflag XIII-B.
Charles Keith Titus
Company C;
136th Ordnance Maintenance Battalion (Heavy Division)
14th Armored Division
United States Army

14th Armored Division

Received Purple Heart in February, 1945

Purple Heart; WWII Victory Medal;
European-African-Middle Eastern Theater w/4 Bronze Battle Stars for
Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe, andGround Combat;
Good Conduct Medal; Sharpshooter Medal/Rifle
The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of all North High School graduates can be found online at Charles Keith Titus's 1943 class page can be viewed at
11/10/10: Died 05/70.
Music: "Wind Beneath My Wings"
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