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    Why did I create this website ?

    It is certainly an important question because I was born in 1969 and so I never personnally knew the Second World War era. This troubled period had marked my grandparents and since my youngest childhood I’ve heard stories about the nazi occupation and liberation of Belgium in 1944. It has always been with the same emotion that they told me about their surprise when they saw the GI’s for the first time. These young and smiling men represented the end of four years of deprivation. The kindness and generosity of the US soldiers have greatly affected my compatriots. Gradually I developed interest for their stories and I began to read a lot of books about World War II. I took advantage of every occasion to learn more about the American units. After that I collected souvenirs from that period and I very well remember my great excitment when I found my first US helmet. I was only 12 year old ! However in 1996 I made a discovery wich changed a lot of things for me …

    That summer I found an American identification tag in woods near the little village of Hemroulle (Bastogne). It read: WARREN E LILLY. A friend of mine rapidly identified the man as a member of the 17thAirborne Division, 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment, Company E. Unfortunately he had passed away in 1989. At that time I didn’t very well know that unit and I started researches with a crazy idea: finding Warren Lilly’s buddies! I sent a lot of mails for finally rediscover veterans of that unit. Their kindness and their precious help were extremely valuable to me and month after month I collected a lot of information concerning Company E and 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment. Rapidly I developed a real passion for the 17th Airborne Division. I decided initially to write a book dedicated to the 193rd GIR but my job is really time consuming and more than ten years later I have not yet found the time to publish it. It will be more simple and probably more interactive to share my researches by the "internet way". I am proud to present you with this work. It contains the results of my researches since 1996. Through it I hope to keep the memory and honor the sacrifice of all these young men. 

                                  

    Hereby I want to express my gratefulness to the veterans and their families who have helped me : Bill Taylor, Donald Canfield, Tony Heigl, Glenn Widdows, Jean Klick, Irvin Shore, Harold Osborn, Edward Shartle, Allen Myers, Bartley Hagerman, Charles Thomas, Robert McGlasson, Eugene Hermann, Phillip J Rice, Joe Quade, Jim Wittenmyer, Russell Dierolf, Edward Siergiej, William Tom, Curtis Gadd, John Kormann, Phyllis Vandeviver, Dorie Zitch, Ruth Torch, Phil Smith, Anne Telesca-Robinson, Lisa Robinson-Stuart, John Senick, Earl Cavanah & his family, Michael Meyers, Tony Glavan, David Bailey, Adam Coolong, Jere Lee McClendon, Patrick Gudaitis, Bruce & Patricia Overman, Melvin Lagoon & his family, Chris Caschera, Margaret Eadington, Richard P Pohanish, Vincent Ortega, Jayne Linfante, Mark Dill, Jeanne Sandison, Charles and Bob Foulon.

      

    Richard (TFH)    

    Honorary Member 17th AB Assn

      

    PS : some poeples try to contact me by my Guestbook or the Comment section of my photos or articles. In doing so, I can't obtain the email address and can't so answer. So please, use the Contact section. Thanks.

      

      

    Pourquoi ai-je créé ce blog ?

      

    Il s'agit d'une question intéressante car je suis né en 1969 ai je n'ai donc jamais connu la deuxième guerre mondiale. Cette époque terrible avait toutefois durablement marqué mes grands-parents et depuis ma plus tendre enfance, j'ai été bercée par leurs récits de l'occupation allemande et de la libération de la Belgique en septembre 1944. C'était toujours avec la même émotion qu'il décrivait la surprise qui avait été la leur lorsqu'il ont vu les premiers GI's. Ces jeunes et souriants soldats représentaient en effet la fin de quatre dures années de privation. Leur gentillesse et leur générosité a grandement marqué l'esprit de mes aînés. Peu à peu j'ai développé une véritable passion pour ses récits et j'ai alors développé mes connaissances historiques de cette période en lisant moult livres consacrés au sujet. J'ai tout naturellement complété cette "éducation" par la recherche et l'accumulation de souvenirs militaires relatives à cette période et je me rappelle encore très nettement l'excitation qui a été mienne lorsque j'ai découvert mon premier casque américain. J'avais alors douze ans ! En 1996, je fît toutefois une découverte qui donna encore une autre dimension à cette recherche d'histoire ...

      

    Cet été là, je découvris en effet, lors d'une campagne de fouille non loin du petit village de Hemroulle (Bastogne), une plaque d'identité américaine sur laquelle on pouvait lire : WARREN E LILLY. Un bon ami identifia rapidement que ce soldat appartenait à la compagnie E du 193° régiment aérotransporté de la 17° division parachutiste américaine. Quelques recherches complémentaires m'apprirent qu'il était décédé en 1989. A cette époque, je ne connaissais que peu de chose sur cette unité et j'entrepris alors des recherches avec la folle idée de retrouver les camarades de Warren Lilly ! Après de nombreuses lettres envoyées aux USA, j'obtint enfin les premières réponses de vétérans. Leur gentillesse et leur aide me furent d'un précieux secours et mois après mois, j'accumula des informations diverses sur le 193° régiment aérotransporté. Rapidement, je développa une véritable passion pour la 17° division parachutiste américaine. J'ai d'abord envisagé de publier un livre avec l'ensemble de mes recherches mais finalement, mes occupations familiales et professionnelles ne m'ont toujours pas permis de finaliser ce projet dix ans plus tard. J'ai donc décidé d'utiliser la "toile" pour partager mes découvertes. Cette manière de faire sera je l'espère plus évolutive et plus interactive. Je suis fière de vous présenter ce travail. Il est le fruit de mes recherches depuis 1996. A travers elles, j'espère préserver un peu la mémoire et honorer le sacrifice de tout ces jeunes hommes. 

      

    Je tiens ici à exprimer mes remerciements les plus sincères aux vétérans et aux familles qui m'ont aidé dans mes recherches : Bill Taylor, Donald Canfield, Tony Heigl, Glenn Widdows, Jean Klick, Irvin Shore, Harold Osborn, Edward Shartle, Allen Myers, Bartley Hagerman, Charles Thomas, Robert McGlasson, Eugene Hermann, Phillip J Rice, Joe Quade, Jim Wittenmyer, Russell Dierolf, Edward Siergiej, William Tom, Curtis Gadd, John Kormann, Phyllis Vandeviver, Dorie Zitch, Ruth Torch, Phil Smith, Anne Telesca-Robinson, Lisa Robinson-Stuart, John Senick, Earl Cavanah et sa famille, Michael Meyers, Tony Glavan, David Bailey, Adam Coolong, Jere Lee McClendon, Patrick Gudaitis, Bruce & Patricia Overman, Melvin Lagoon et sa famille, Chris Caschera, Margaret Eadington, Richard P Pohanish, Vincent Ortega, Jayne Linfante, Mark Dill, Jeanne Sandison, Charles et Bob Foulon.

      

    Richard (TFH)    

    Membre honoraire 17th AB Assoc

    PS : certaines personnes tentent de me contacter par le Guestbook ou par la section Commentaire des photos ou des articles. En procédant de la sorte, je ne peux obtenir l'adresse email et ne peux donc répondre. Utiliser donc la section Contact de mon blog. Merci.


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  • Hosingen (Great-Dutchy of Luxembourg), January 29, 1945 : the 193rd GIR fights for the last time

     

    I have made many many research on the 193rd GIR and I'm finishing a book (in french) dedicated to this 17th Airborne's unit. I am currently doing the layout of the Rhineland campaign chapter. On January 28, 1945, the 193rd GIR were located in the little village of Hosingen (Great-Dutchy of Luxembourg) facing the German border and the Siegfried Line (also called Westwall) delimited by the Our river. To better understand the battle, I have made a one day trip in the area and I think it is interesting to share this with you.

    Enjoy,

    TFH

     

    The operation: on January 29, 1945, the 193rd GIR has received the mission to seize the highest ground facing the Our valley to better observed the German border and movements of enemy troops. The offensive starts around 02:00 PM with A Company on left and E Company on right. Under heavy fire, A Company failed to reach its objective while E Company reaches its goal at the cost of numerous losses. The two companies are ordered to withdraw at 05:30 PM. This action will be the last one for the 193rd GIR.

     

     

    Operation of the 193rd GIR on January 29, 1945 (TFH map)

     

    Hosingen before the war & after the battle of the Bulge (from the Archives of Hosingen, available on the web):

     

    The Battlefield today: these pics have been realized this last sunday (August 12, 2018).

    Hosingen today seen from the left part of the front occupied by the 193rd GIR on January 28 & 29, 1945 :

     

    Both companies leaved the village by the main road to Germany, exactly at this place :

     

    The Our valley today :

      

    The objectives of the January 29, 1945 (still seen from the left flank of the front) :

     

    This pic realized just on the right of the E Company's goal shows very well the very hilly landscape in this area and the incredible difficulties to lead patrols at this place, especially in winter with anti-personnel mines on the ground and enemy fire over your head !

     

    As a testimony of the battle, it is still possible to observe fox-holes. On the first pic, we seen very well a large german collective shelter with wooden roof remains.  On the second one, we can seen individual fox-holes :

     

    Or simply pieces of shrapnel lying on the ground 75 years after the battle ...

     

    Or a commemorative plate in honor of the 17th AB Division :

     

    And finally two other surprises on the way to home ...

    This german 88mm PAK 43/41 anti-tank gun visible on the village of Heinerscheid (Great-Dutchy of Luxembourg) located 10,9 kms north of Hosingen :

     

    And this german 150mm Schwere FH18 visible on the village of Cherain (Belgium) located 10 kms north-east of Houffalize, in the area where the 17th AB has fought during the Bulge. Of interest are the numerous impact of shrapnels visible on this battlefield relic :

     

     


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  • Tribute to Chester E REBER - Battery HQ & Sv / 680th GFAB

    (January 07, 1914 - November 28, 1966)

     

      

    I have recently acquired this interesting Paratrooper qualification badge ("Wings") engraved by its initial owner. This gentleman has made engrave a date "4/29/44, a serial number "39377485" and his name "Chester E Reber". With these info, I have identified this man as a member of the 680th GFAB.

    Son of Harry F REBER and Ella COOK, Chester E REBER was born on January 07, 1914 at Chehalis in Lewis County, Washington. He grows up and lived there when he was enlisted on March 24, 1941 at Tacoma, Washington. He received ASN 39377485.

    He married Lucille GRIEGER on October 12, 1941 at Seattle, King County, Washington and has had a son.

    Sergent REBER joined the 680th Glider Field Artillery Battalion at unknown date and was assigned to Battery HQ & Service. The date on the brevet is probably the date of obtaining his paratrooper qualification. Unfortunately, this man is not listed on the 1947 Don Pay roster and I haven't found other info on him. 

    He passed away on November 28, 1966 at the age of 52 years-old. He is buried at Cowlitz View Memorial Gardens, Kelso, Cowlitz County, Washington. 

     

     

    This "GI's Tribute" will be archived in the GI's Tribute - 680th GFAB.


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  • Unknown 17th AB trooper

     

     

    Who know Joe ? 

    This unknown 17th AB soldier was probably member of an artillery battalion as the pipe, the Airborne badge on his overseas cap and the oval under his wings are dark and seem to be red. The chino shirt indicates the pic has been realized in UAS, circa 1943 or 1944. As he wears an Airborne badge on his overseas cap and Wings on his chest I guess so this gentleman was member of the 460th or 466th PFAB.

    Of interest, note the "opposite claw" shoulder sleeve insignia.

    TFH


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