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Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool

Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool (US884)
and his M4A1 (76mm) Sherman tank

Lafayette Pool, a tall, lanky Texan, served just over 80 days in combat from 27 June 1944 until 19 September 1944. Yet his combat career was so successful that many historians consider him to be not just the greatest tank ace of World War II but the greatest tank ace ever. He destroyed 258 enemy vehicles and twelve tanks (mostly Panthers) while capturing 250 enemy soldiers.

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Pool was what the army calls a ‘hard charger’ and a real go- getter. As a boxing champion, he even fought an exhibition match with the great Joe Louis. He volunteered for tank duty. When the new M4 Sherman tanks were assigned to his unit, he gave up a championship fight so he could train with his men.
He was a demanding taskmaster who twice turned down promotion to Lieutenant so he could train his men, and his men loved him for it.

His tank crew called him ‘War Daddy’ and he called them his ‘Pups’.

Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool
Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool

His colourful crew were driver PFC Wilbert ‘Baby’ Richards, bow gunner Corporal Bert ‘School Boy’ Close, loader T/5 Del ‘Jailbird’ Boggs and gunner Cpl. Willis ‘Ground Hog’ Oller.

The first tank they rode into combat was a standard M4A1 Sherman named ‘In the Mood’. During Pool’s tour in combat he had three different tanks of that name shot out from under him. 

Pool was assigned to Item Company, 3rd Battalion, 32nd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, known as the ‘Spearhead’ Division. Pool was known as the ‘Spearhead of the Spearhead Division’. He led his unit into 21 full-scale attacks and his preferred tactic was to charge in close and mix it up, even against powerful opponents like the Panther.

“We were the invincible arm of the Lord’s wrath,” Pool would later say. “We were fighting a war we saw simply as good against evil.” 

Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool
Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool

Pool’s luck finally ran out on the night of 19 September 1944 as ‘In the Mood III’ was ambushed by an ‘88’ anti-tank gun. The tank was hit twice, destroying the turret. His crew received only minor wounds, but Pool lost a leg. 

He was twice recommended for the Medal of Honor, yet it seems Pool was more concerned with smashing the German Army, even if he had to do it himself.

Despite this, Staff Sergeant Pool left Europe with the Distinguished Service Cross, Legion of Merit, a Silver Star, and a Purple Heart, and both Belgian and French Fourragère cords for his unit’s performance in battle—as well as 17 bits of shrapnel in his neck, and an artificial leg.

Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool

Yet even the loss of his leg couldn’t keep Pool down. He rejoined the army in 1946 so he could train a whole new generation of tankers.

Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool in Flames Of War 

Pool is a Warrior and an Independent team. He is rated as Fearless Veteran.

Pool may join any Tank Platoon taking over any tank in the platoon, except the Platoon Command tank, for +25 points.

Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool
Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool
Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool

Special Rules

Hard Charger: Just like when he was a boxer, Pool relies on speed, precision and careful footwork to stay alive. Despite always leading, and losing three tanks in the process, Pool’s formula of surprise and good shooting has kept him alive.

If Pool’s tank moved at least 6”/15cm towards any enemy team or objective in its previous Movement Step, and is hit in the enemy Shooting Step, roll a die for each hit he is allocated.

• On a score of 5+, Pool’s headlong charge puts the enemy off their aim and the hit is ignored.
• Otherwise the hit is resolved as normal.

Eyebrows off a Gnat: ‘Ground Hog’ Oller is an excellent gunner. Combined with Pool’s seeing the enemy first and ‘Baby’ Richard’s fancy footwork, he hits his targets just as well on the move as stopped.

Pool’s tank may shoot using its Stabiliser without incurring the normal +1 to hit penalty.

Lafayette Pool designed by Seth Nash
M4A1 (76mm) Sherman tank
designed by Evan Allen
Painted by James Brown

Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool
Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool

Last Updated On Tuesday, February 26, 2019 by Luke at Battlefront