Varsity - 17th A/B
March 1945 - March 2017
There is 72 years ago ...
Rest and reorganization in Champagne, France ...
After a terrible winter campaign, the 17th Airborne troopers were stationed in the vicinity of Châlon-sur-Marne to take rest, reorganize, repair and clean materiel and restart training to prepare the final assault in the heart of the Third Reich.
This pic was realized between february and March 1945 when the division was located in France. It shows T/4 Leo Alfred CAPISTRANT (ASN 31127787) from Service Company / 507th PIR. This really interesting pic shows a not known fact : the 507th PIR troopers wore tactical insignias on their helmets. I have discovered this recently and published my research in the French review "Militaria Magazine" from September 2016. Unfortunately I have not yet found the signification and code of this tactical identification. I hope found more pics and identified helmets to better understand this practice (pic and helmet from TFH collection).
March 24, 1945 - March 24, 2018
There is 73 years ago ...
Today there is 73 years ago that allied forces jumped other the Rhine river in the area of Wesel, Germany. This operation called Plunder - Varsity was the last and the biggest airborne invasion of the second world war. This day, the 6th British Airborne Division and the 17th US Airborne Division were dropped on the battle field in one time !
At the end of the day, the Drop Zones et Landing Zones were secured and all the missions assigned to the 17th AB were accomplished. Forty-four days later, the German forces surrendered without condition !
On this pic showing a 513th PIR radio operator in his fox-hole, is presented some gun artifacts discovered on the Landing Zone N, in the area of the 194th GIR. There is a laundry on the liner but unfortunately not complete.
(Signal Corps pic & TFH collection memorabilia)
March 24, 1945 - March 24, 2019 :
The 74th Anniversary of Operation Varsity
There is just 74 years ago that started the largest and last Airborne operation of the World War II on the European theatre of operation.
In the early morning of this beautiful Sunday, the 6th British Airborne Division and the 17th US Airborne Division joined their efforts to secured the east bank of the Rhine river while the Allied ground forces crossed the natural west border of Germany to penetrate deeply in the Third Reich and destroyed the Nazi army 45 days later.
Around 2700 British and American paratroopers were killed, wounded or missing in action during this first day of invasion. Their sacrifice for the final liberation of Europe must be eternally remembered.
Bretigny, France in the early hours of Sunday March 24, 1945. These men located on A-48 Airfield are located front of Waco CG-4 glider number 37 transported by C-47 planes of the 77th Troop Carrier Squadron, 435th Troop Carrier Group of the 53rd Troop Carrier Wing are probably members of the 194th GIR Regimental HQ Company (Signal Corps).