Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Sunday, May 11, 2008, BAND OF WARNER BROTHERS AT D-DAY INVASION OF NORMANDY & STE.-MERE-EGLISE WITH THE 82nd AIRBORNE ON 6/06/44. The first time Bill Warner watched the movie “Saving PrivateRyan,” he understood why it was difficult for his father anduncles to talk about their war time experiences.”When I saw the movie, I was stunned. I just never knew what itwas all about or what they had to deal with or exactly how horrible it was,” said Bill Warner, who worked for Warehouse Carpet when he lived in Johnson City NY, before moving to Sarasota Fl in 1988.
Capt. “Ben” Schwartzwalder (June 2, 1909 – June 15, 1993) went on to become a Hall of Fame football coach at Syracuse University NY, where he trained such future National Football League stars as Jim Brown, as well as the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy, Ernie Davis.
Binghamton paratrooper Robert F. Warner of Company G of the 507th was a life long fan of the Syracuse football team. Paratrooper Robert F. Warner fought under Capt. “Ben” Schwartzwalder at the Battle Around La Fiere Bridge at Ste. Mere d’Eglise.
As a Captain in the 82nd Airborne (CO of Company G of the 507th), Ben Schwartzwalder earned distinction during the invasion of Normandy and battles that followed in the last days of the war. He played key roles in the capture of the La Fiere Causeway and Sainte-Mere-Eglise, crucial points of entry into France during the D-Day invasion. By the time the 507th reached the battle for Hill 95, they had suffered more than 65% casualties.
The objectives of the 82nd’s three parachute regiments looked clear. The 505th would take the important crossroads town of Ste. Mére-Eglise and the eastern ends of two crucial crossings over the Merderet River at Chef-du-Pont and La Fiére. The 507th would seize the western end of La Fiére at the village of Cauquigny, and the 508th would secure crossings over the Douve River at the southwestern end of the drop zone.
These units continued to converge on the objective until elements of the 505th and the 508th began to enter the manor grounds through its backyard. Sporadic shots continued briefly and then one of Dolan’s men fired an M-1A1 “bazooka” into the stoutly built stone house.
Shortly thereafter, a 508th PIR sergeant darted through the front door and emptied a full magazine from his M-1A1 Thompson submachine gun up through the floorboards of the second story. What was left of the German force immediately surrendered, and the battle for the Leroux manor at La Fière was over.
Operation Varsity – The Airborne Assault on the Rhine March 24th, 1945; In early February 1945, the tide of battle was such as to enable an accurate estimate as to when and where the 2nd British Army would be ready to force a crossing of the Rhine River. It was determined that the crossing would be in conjunction with an airborne operation by XVIII Airborne Corps.