All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe by James Megellas

By James Megellas

In mid-1943 James Megellas, referred to as “Maggie” to his fellow paratroopers, joined the 82d Airborne department, his new “home” for the length. His first style of wrestle used to be within the rugged mountains outdoors Naples.

In October 1943, while lots of the 82d departed Italy to organize for the D-Day invasion of France, Lt. Gen. Mark Clark, the 5th military commander, asked that the division’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Maggie’s outfit, remain in the back of for a bold new operation that may outflank the Nazis’ obdurate protecting strains and open the line to Rome. On 22 January 1944, Megellas and the remainder of the 504th landed around the seashore at Anzio. Following preliminary luck, 5th Army’s amphibious attack, Operation Shingle, slowed down within the face of heavy German counterattacks that threatened to force the Allies into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Anzio become a fiasco, one of many bloodiest Allied operations of the conflict. no longer till April have been the remnants of the regiment withdrawn and shipped to England to get well, reorganize, refit, and educate for his or her subsequent mission.

In September, Megellas parachuted into Holland besides the remainder of the 82d Airborne as a part of one other star-crossed project, box Marshal Montgomery’s vainglorious Operation industry backyard. Months of challenging strive against in Holland have been via the conflict of the Bulge, and the lengthy challenging highway throughout Germany to Berlin.

Megellas used to be the main embellished officer of the 82d Airborne department and observed extra motion through the warfare than such a lot. but All how you can Berlin is greater than simply Maggie’s global struggle II memoir. all through his narrative, he skillfully interweaves tales of the opposite paratroopers of H corporation, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. the result's a striking account of fellows at battle.

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I was happy to be in the armored forces. It was one of the combat arms, and, as a tanker, I was looking forward to seeing combat. I was thankful that I was not assigned to one of the support branches of the army, where the likelihood of seeing combat was next to nothing. Also, being assigned to a relatively new branch would provide an opportunity for advancement up the officers’ ranks. I viewed the war as meaning combat and looked forward to extended service as a tanker. But that was not to be the case.

I wrote to Louis: “I haven’t got too much to do here now. m. m. My job is Athletic Officer of the glider pilots (500 men). I give them PT once a day, sometimes for two hours. That’s all I’ve got to do. ” Although we were no longer in the glider pilot corps and soon would be transferred out, we were kept on flying status. I managed to fly enough time in small planes (Cubs) to qualify for the additional $75 a month in pay. However, that would end and the flying status would terminate when I received my new orders.

On 10 February I wrote to my sister Catherine: “In two days I will be leaving here for Lubbock, Texas, again. . I understand it is a glider pilot pool . . where we will be stationed for a short while until an advanced glider school can accommodate another group of students. ” So once again I packed bags, loaded them into the trunk of my beat-up 1936 Chevrolet, and headed back to Lubbock and an uncertain future. S. and British forces were pushing Rommel back into Africa, and a major battle was fought at Kasserine Pass on 10 February.

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All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe by James Megellas
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