"The bastards aren't coming any further", 82nd Airborne soldier, Normandy, June 1944, who successfully held a crossroads against German armor and infantry for 3 days with an M1 rifle, 3 bandoliers of ammo, and 6 rifle grenades, until he was relieved.
Late on the night of December 23rd, Sergeant John Banister of the 14th Cavalry Group found himself meandering through the village of Provedroux, southwest of Vielsalm. He'd been separated from his unit during the wild retreat of the first days and joined up with Task Force Jones, defending the southern side of the Fortified Goose Egg. Now they were in retreat again. The Germans were closing in on the village from three sides. American vehicles were pulling out, and Banister was once again separated from his new unit, with no ride out.
A tank destroyer rolled by; somebody waved him aboard and Banister eagerly climbed on.
As they roared out of the burning town, somebody told Banister that he was riding with Lieutenant Bill Rogers.
"Who's he?" Banister wanted to know. "Will Rogers' son," came the answer. It was a hell of a way to meet a celebrity.
An hour later they reached the main highway running west from Vielsalm.
There they found a lone soldier, PFC Martin, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, digging a foxhole.
Armed with bazooka and rifle, unshaven and filthy, he went about his business with a stoic nonchalance.
They pulled up to him and stopped - he didn't seem to care about the refugees.
"If yer lookin' for a safe place," he drawled, "just pull that vehicle behind me. I'm the 82nd Airborne. This is as far as the bastards are going..."
The men on the tank destroyer hesitated. After the constant retreats of the last week, they didn't have much fight left in them, but the paratrooper's determination was infectious.
"You heard the man," declared Rogers. "Let's set up for business!"
Twenty minutes later, two truckloads of GIs joined their little roadblock.
All through the night, men trickled in, and their defenses grew stronger.
Around that single paratrooper was formed the nucleus of a major strongpoint.
I just jumped a few days ago. I was slightly more nervous than usual. It was an unfamiliar drop zone that is surrounded by water on three sides. I found that I didn't have to worry about ending up in the ocean since the wind was strongly blowing inland. I jumped, drifted slightly, and landed fast on the grass. The best part was I was only about 50 yards from the turn in spot! I just need to get off of my fourth point of contact and become a jumpmaster.
Here's a quote that is apt for today
"And where is the Prince who can afford to so cover his country with troops for its defense, as that ten thousand men descending from the clouds, might not in many places do an infinite deal of mischief, before a force could be brought together to repel them?"
My brother is gone now ,he was 82nd airborne from '54' to '58' . i was born in 1955 he was 18 years old in 1954 when he joined up. always looked up to him,saw lots of pictures of his jumps, taught me how to shoot as a kid ,we went hunting together in his older years. Sure do miss him . HUA BRO. HUA
Entry found in the diary of a German officer killed at Anzio:
"American parachutists -- devils in baggy pants -- are less than 100 meters from my outpost line.
I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next.
Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere..."