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James Gordon Tabner



Information provided by Gordon's brother, John W. Tabner

Better known as J. Gordon Tabner, he attended State Teachers College, graduated in 1939 and following that went to Albany Law School . He passed the Bar in March 1942 got married in June of 1942. It was unusual to be able to take the Bar examination before graduating from law school but because of war time conditions, they permitted the class to do that.

Gordon went into the United States Army in 1942 from Cohoes, New York . He went to Camp Dix for the typical basic training and after that, was assigned to an Ordinance Ammunition Company. He worked at the Delaware Ordinance Dept., which was in the state of Delaware. Basically, I think the main thing that they did was to ship all of the equipment for the invasion of North Africa." After that Gordon had various training assignments until 1943 when he went to Camp Maxie, Texas. Camp Maxie was the staging area for people going to the South Pacific Theatre. He shipped out, went initially to Australia, and then went from Australia first to the Admiralty Islands which was the first invasion he took part in.

Following that, he was engaged in various activities and various landings on the Coast of New Guinea. Subsequently he went to the Philippine Islands where he was engaged in various landings. The largest one of which was in January of 1945, when he participated in the landing at Lingayan Gulf on the island of Luzon, which is the largest island in the Philippines. The invasion was one of the largest up to Okinawa with the largest fleet that had been assembled in the Pacific Theater.

The reason that he was involved in so many engagements was because his ordinance Ammunition Company had four Platoons, and he was in the lead Platoon, which was the one that went in first on the Beach. Also it was assigned to various Divisions, the first Cavalry being one of the most prominent.

As a result of his activities, he was awarded eight battle stars and six arrow heads. The arrow head is given to those who land on the beach when there is still small arms fire. My last letters from him in August of 1945 reflected that they were planning on something big and of course then the atomic bomb was dropped. The war came to a conclusion. Gordon was one of the first troops into Japan and stayed in Japan for a relatively short period of time. Under the system of points established at that time for discharge, because of his length of service and the amount of combat he was involved in he was discharged relatively shortly after the end. He also received extra points for the Bronze Star he was awarded for conspicuous action under enemy fire. He returned home, practiced law in Cohoe,s New York, and unfortunately died in December 1957. He was married to Mary Arndt (usually referred to as Bobby) who was also a graduate of New York State Teachers College and graduated in the class of 1940. They have one child, Barbara Tabner-Hayden. Unfortunately Mary died this past year.(2005)

Read more about Tabner in the Louis C. Jones Letters:

Letter of April 28, 1944



Updated September 14, 2001