Friday, May 27, 2016
Binghamton Press Article Published February 26th, 2007….BAND OF WARNER BROTHERS AT D-DAYINVASION OF NORMANDY & STE.-MERE-EGLISE JUNE 6TH 1944 WITH THE 82ND AIRBORNE; Last of city’s WWII ‘band of brothers’ dies, 3 of 4 Warners were involved in the D-Day invasion. D-DAY James Warner, Robert Warner, Harry Warner & William Warner. By William Moyer Press & Sun-Bulletin Binghamton NY: James, Robert, Harry and William Warner were literally a military “band of brothers. ” The four sons of Harry J. and Katherine Warner grew up at 93 Schubert St. on Binghamton’s West Side.
A SILENT GENERATION; Despite their honorable service records, the Warner brothers carried their combat experiences to their graves, said Robert’s son, Bill Warner, of Sarasota, Fla. “Not one of them ever told me anything about it,” said Bill Warner(Sarasota private investigator), who graduated from Binghamton North High School in the 60′s. “Not a word. Forget about it; it was something they had to do. They did it; that was it.”
82nd Airborne Paratrooper Robert F. Warner Made Three Combat Jumps in World War II and Fought at the Battle of the Bulge with his 507th Airborne Division. Paratrooper Robert Warner of the 82nd Airborne Division, 3rd Battalion Company G, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) made 3 combat parachute drops, Normandy “Operation Neptune” June 6th 1944, Netherlands “Operation Market Garden” Ardenes which led into the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardenes Forest and the final combat jump Rhineland “Operation Varsity” at the wars end on March 24th 1945 when he was wounded in combat. Robert F. Warner 507th PIR Company G received the Purple Heart for his injuries on March 24th 1945, see the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor website, click here.
D-Day June 6 1944 Plane 13: Members of the 507th PIR 3rd Battalion Company G, commanded by 1st Lt. Joseph, 507th Parachute Infantry, flight led by Captain Minor, Air Corps. Flight took off on time at North Witham England. Dropped on designated DZ accurately, on time. At time of drop, pathfinder personnel and pathfinder aircraft were subjected to heavy anti-aircraft fire. The jumpers, on reaching the ground, found themselves in a German Troop concentration. Due to aggressive action of enemy troops, the DZ was not set up according to SOP. No lights were turned on. One Eureka was set up by this pathfinder team twenty minutes prior to scheduled drop of first serial. Paratroopers identified in photo above:
|First Lieutenant John T. Joseph||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, G Co|
|First Lieutenant Claude V. Crooks Jr||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, I Co|
|First Lieutenant James H. Goethe||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 1st Bn, A Co|
|Sergeant William E. Consolvo||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, G Co|
|Technical 5th Loyd F. Durfee||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, H Co|
|Technical 4th Paul B. Thore||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, I Co|
|Corporal Roy E. Neideffer||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, I Co|
|Corporal Alexander F. Turlo||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, G Co|
|Private First Class Robert E. Kelley||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, H Co|
|Private First Class Milton F. Nielson||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, Hq|
|Private First Class Edward G. Miller||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, I Co|
|PFC Thomas L. Rodgers||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, G Co|
|Private James S. Carper||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, Hq|
|Private Arthur Caton Jr||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, G Co|
|Private William L. Gray||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 2nd Bn, Hq|
|Private Melvin E. Marshall||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, G Co|
|Private Thomas J. McCarty||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 2nd Bn, Hq|
|Private James M. McCormick||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3rd Bn, Hq|
|Private John G. Saris||82nd Airborne Div., 507th PIR, 3nd Bn, H Co|
In the early hours of June 6, 1944, paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division, All American (AA) dropped into Ste.-Mère-Église, a town of 1,500 astride a road network a few miles from the invasion sector called Utah Beach. Their mission was to block German troops from attacking the American infantrymen arriving at dawn in the vanguard of the D-Day invasion. By about 4:30 a.m., the paratroopers had seized the town, and Lt. Col. Edward Krause of the 505th Parachute Infantry raised an American flag outside the town hall. Paratrooper Army Pvt. Robert Warner, who was in his early 20s at the time, landed in Normandy (Ste.- Mere- Eglise) with the 507th Parachute Infantry (82nd Airborne). Working quickly, elements of the 507th drove off any German defenders and secured Ste. Mère-Eglise, earning for the previously obscure Norman village the distinction of being the first village liberated in occupied France. The 82nd Airborne suffered 5,436 casualties during its month long stay in Normandy. Following the Normandy invasion, the 82nd became part of the newly organized XVIII Airborne Corps which consisted of the U.S. 17th, 82nd, and 101st Airborne Divisions.
Operation Market Garden In September 1944, the 82nd began planning for Operation Market Garden in Holland. The operation called for three-plus airborne divisions to seize and hold key bridges and roads deep behind German lines. The 504th now back at full strength rejoined the 82nd, while the 507th went to the 17th Airborne Division. On September 17, the 82nd Airborne Division conducted its fourth combat jump of World War II into Holland. Fighting off ferocious German counterattacks, the 82nd captured the Maas Bridge at Grave, the Maas-Waal Canal Bridge at Heumen and the Nijmegen-Groesbeek Ridge. The next day attempts to take Nijmegen Highway Bridge failed. On 20 September the 504th carried out an heroic assault crossing the Waal. With artillery support the first wave of the 504th assaulted, in twenty-six assault boats, under intense fire, taking 200 casualties in the process. Finally on D+4 the 504th finally secured their hold on the bridge, fighting off another German counterattack just before noon.
Battle of the Bulge December 16th, 1944,– The Ardennes Offensive. While winter weather prevented any further combat jumps in 1944, American paratroopers accorded themselves in conventional roles during the surprise German offensive through the Ardennes in December 1944, in what became better known as the Battle of the Bulge. On December 16, 1944, the Germans launched a offensive through the Ardennes Forest which caught the Allies completely by surprise. The 82nd moved into action on December 17th in reponse to the German’s Ardennes Counteroffensive and blunted General Von Runstedt’s (picture left) northern penetration in the American lines. On December 20th the 82nd attacked in the Vielsalm-St. Vith region and the 504th PIR took Monceau. This fiece attack forced the German units back across the Ambleve River the next day.
Operation Varsity March 24th, 1945, the 17th Airborne Division’s first combat air assault and the last major airborne operation of World War II. It was also arguably the war’s most successful combat parachute drop. The sector selected for the assault was in the vicinity of Wesel, just north of the Ruhr, on 24 March 1945. Operation Varsity would be the last full scale airborne drop of World War II and the assignment went to the 17th Airborne Division with the 507th spearheading the assault dropping at the southern edge of the Diersfordter Forest, three mile northwest of Wesel. It was during this operation that Pfc George J Peters of the 507th was awarded the Medal of Honor. Pfc Peters and a group of 10 other troopers landed in an open field near the town of Fluren. Raked by enemy machine gun fire the troopers laid there helplessly. Peters, armed with only his rifle and a few grenades took it upon himself to charge the German machine gun nest. After receiving several wounds and bleeding profusely Peters crawled to within 15 feet of the gun emplacement and pitched two grenades into the enemy stronghold. The ensuing explosion silenced the machine gun and its crew.
Pvt Robert F. Warner was a paratrooper with the 3rd Battalion 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment Company G. Elements of the 3rd Battalion were involved in the Battle of Graignes in France during the invasion of Normandy. At the final combat jump Rhineland “Operation Varsity” on March 24th 1945 Robert F. Warner was wounded in combat. Robert F. Warner 507th PIR, Company G, 3rd Battalion received the Purple Heart for his injuries on March 24th 1945
At the final combat jump of WWII, Rhineland “Operation Varsity”, 82nd Airborne trooper Pvt George J Peters, 507th PIR Company G received the Medal of Honor for his actions, he was killed in action March 24th 1945. On May 7, 1945, German General Alfred Jodl signed the instrument of surrender in Rheims, France. The ceremony was repeated the next day in Berlin for the benefit of the Russians and President Truman declared May 8 as V-E Day. The 82nd returned to the United States January 3, 1946. Instead of being demobilized, the 82nd made its permanent home at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and was designated a regular Army division on November 15, 1948.