Unit After Action Report of the 506th Parachute Infantry
This is the unit after action report of Operation Market. A document of about 24 pages that starts at 14 September 1944 (D-Day minus 3) and ends at 28 November 1944 (D-Day plus 72). When I found a photo related to the scenery, I'll put it in this article. When a date is highlighted, there's a link for a battlemap of that day.
This report gives you the whereabouts of the Regiment during operation Market-Garden and more during the Holland Campaign.
HEADQUARTERS 506TH PARACHUTE INFANTRY
APO 472, UNITED STATES ARMY
10 DECEMBER 1944
506TH PRCHT. INF.
UNIT AFTER ACTION REPORT
After three alerts for operations which were cancelled, this regiment was alerted on 14 Sept 1944 for Operation “Market”. Movement to departure airdromes was accomplished with no trouble during daylight 15 September 1944. Regimental Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion and 2nd Battalion closed at Membury Airfield. 3rd Battalion and Service Company (Jumpers) at Chilbolton Airfield, both in Southern England. Gliders were to depart from three airfields: Chilton, Ramsburry and Greenham Commons. The jumping echelon of the regiment was to drop between H plus 16 minutes to H plus 30 minutes. The gliders were to land at H plus 50 minutes (6 glider loads) and 23 glider loads were to land on D plus 1. Seaborne echelon was to join the regiment on the other side about D plus 6.
The 15th and 16th of September 1944 was spent in briefing of men and officers, and D-Day was designated as 17 September 1944. The mission assigned this regiment was: - to seize three bridges at Zon crossing the Wilhelmina Canal and then to proceed South to Eindhoven and seize three vital bridges in the center of town for use of the British 30th Corps in their advance North towards the Rhine. The mission was a clear cut Airborne Mission and the general feeling in the Regiment was that the job could be done if the regiment landed on the correct DZ.
The 506th Parachute Infantry with one (1) platoon Co. “C”, 326th A/B Engrs. Bn. attached planned to accomplish the mission as follows:
The 1st Bn. with the platoon of Engrs. attached was to assign one (1) rifle company to each bridge and to dispatch units of the rifle company to the bridges as they passed to seize these bridges and hold them until relieved by elements of the 502nd Parachute Infantry.
The 2nd Bn. was to assemble on the Eastern edge of the DZ and move out at J plus one with Regt’l Hq. and 3rd Bn. following, and proceed directly to Eindhoven to seize the three vital bridges there with support of the balance of the Regiment. The 1st Bn. was to fall into the rear of 3rd Bn. as it passed the Zon bridges.
The plan was to seize the Eindhoven bridges by approaching the town from the Northeast. It was anticipated that Eindhoven would be reached by 2000 hour D Day.
D-Day – 17 September 1944
D-Day was overcast at the airfield. This unit ate Breakfast at 0600 hour and moved out to the planes at 0730. Station time was 0920. The flight took off at 1025 hour. The flight was uneventful over England, the English Channel, France and Belgium. Good formations were kept. We passed yellow panels designating 5000 yards to the rear of the front lines. Shortly after passing the frontline, small arms fire was received by portions of the regiment. Approximately five minutes from the DZ heavy flak was received by the formation. Regt’l. Hq. planes were heaviest hit. It is believed four planes were hit sufficiently to make them crash. Two planes caught fire and crashed on the DZ. Despite the heavy flak formations were not broken even though some planes were afire. Planes were slowed to jumping speeds and the parachutists were dropped – All except one plane (brought down by flak previous) on the correct DZ 1500 yards Northwest of Zon. The Air Corps should receive a great deal of credit for the excellent dropping of parachutists. In considering all drops made by this unit, practice or combat, this was the best the unit has ever had.
After landing on the DZ assembly proceeded according to plan with no opposition except occasional mortar fire which took no known casualties. The regiment was 80% assembled in one hour. At this time the Regimental CO received his 1/4 –ton truck and proceeded to the 2nd Bn. to inquire why they hadn’t moved out. It was found that the Bn. CO hadn’t arrived yet, so Lt. Heiliger was put in command until he arrived and told to move the Battalion out on its mission. This was done at J plus 90 minutes.
The regiment moved out in order 2nd Bn., Regt’l. CP, Regt’l Hq & Hq Co, 3rd Bn. The 2nd Bn. moved without incident to the center of Zon. At this point they came under small arms and 88MM dual-purpose gun fire. The 2nd Bn. maneuvered and knocked out this resistance but before they could reach the bridge it was blown by the retreating Germans. The 2nd and 1st Bns. Both reached the bridge site at approximately the same time, 1600 hours, and the 1st Bn. immediately swam a detachment under command of Major LaPrade across the Wilhelmina Canal to establish a bridgehead. While the detachment from the 1st Bn. protected the bridge site a makeshift bridge was constructed by the Engineer Platoon under the supervision of the Regimental Commander, Division Commander, and members of the Division Staff. The bridge was completed at 1730 and the regiment started to cross in order of 1st Bn, 2nd Bn, Regt’l Hq and Hq Co, 3rd Bn. Crossing was completed at 0100, 18 September 1944.
The regiment was to advance to a point 1500 yards south of the bridge site and set up a defense facing south with 2nd Bn on the left with their flank at BOKT and the 3rd Bn on the right with their left flank at BOKT. 1st Bn was to be in reserve and furnished one platoon of “A” Co to secure the bridge. “G” Co furnished one platoon as Division CP security. The 1st Bn, 2nd Bn, and Regt’l Hq and Hq Co were in position by 2300 hours. The 3rd Bn was still moving across the bridge and into position at 2400 hours.
D-Day plus 1 – 18 September 1944
During the night orders were received from Division to proceed on the original mission of seizing EINDHOVEN at 1st light. There was some confusion as to when 1st light came so instead of moving out at 0530 the regiment started its move at 0600 in the order 3rd Bn, 2nd Bn, Regt’l Hq and Hq Co, 1st Bn.
The 3rd Bn proceeded down the main road overcoming scattered resistance on the way. This movement proceeded orderly and rapidly to WOENSEL on the outskirts of EINDHOVEN where the 3rd Bn was held up by small arms and dual purpose gun fire at 0900. The attack seemed to bog down, so at 1000 the 2nd Bn was committed with the mission of moving around the 3rd Bn’s left flank and into EINDHOVEN with the 3rd Bn. At 1130 hour radio contact was made with the Guards Armored Division (Br) moving up south of EINDHOVEN, and at 1200 hour General Higgins and Colonel Sink made physical contact with a Recon patrol from the Guards (Armored) about 5000 yards North of EINDHOVEN. The main body of this Division was reported about five mile below EINDHOVEN fighting against stiff resistance.
From the time the 2nd Bn was committed until 1215 contact with them was lost, but at this time a radio message was received from them that they had occupied the bridges in EINDHOVEN but had not made contact with the 3rd Bn. They also reported the city clear of enemy. The balance of the Regiment moved into town and set up a defense facing the south and east. 2nd Bn to the east, 3rd Bn to the south, and 1st Bn in reserve and protecting the two main bridges.
The movement into the city was made very difficult by the overwhelming welcome accorded the regiment by the populace of EINDHOVEN. The streets were jammed with civilians waving orange bunting and attempting to get souvenirs from the soldiers. They tried to touch each soldier by way of expressing deep gratitude.
By 1500 hour all units were in position and at 1830 hour elements of the Guards Armored (Br) started moving through the city from the south. This completed the mission assigned this regiment before drop. Our mission now was to secure the flanks of the corridor from EINDHOVEN to the Wilhelmina Canal.
D-Day plus 2 – 19 September 1944
The regiment remained in position all morning. During the morning we received orders from Division to take up an extended defense. 2nd Bn at HELMOND eight miles to the East. 3rd Bn at EERSEL-WINTELRE eight miles to the West. 1st Bn in reserve three miles to the West of the city. At 0850 hour one squadron from the 15/19 Armored Regiment (tanks) and one squadron from the Royals (Recon) reported in as attached to the Regiment. “A” Company less one platoon was organized to ride the tanks as a task force. At 1400 all units moved out towards their positions. During the afternoon many and varied rumors of from 100 to 300 German tanks approaching the city were received and about 1700 hours the civilians started to run for cover and all the orange bunting disappeared. Patrols reported a large enemy force in NUNEN to the Northeast and at 1900 Division ordered 1st Bn to proceed to Zon bridge to help hold the bridge against heavy enemy counterattacks. At 1915 2nd and 3rd Bn were recalled to a close-in defense of the city. 2nd Bn to occupy and defend TONGELRE to the Northeast and 3rd Bn to occupy and defend the city proper and bridges.
At 1945 enemy planes came over and dropped flares and subjected the city to a fairly heavy bombing. Fortunately, only three men were hit in Regimental Headquarters Company.
D-Day plus 3 – 20 September 1944
Lt. General Brereton, First Airborne Army Commander, spent the morning in Colonel Sink’s office and conferred with the General Taylor. The regiment with attachments of one squadron of tanks with “A” Co (-) and one of Recon, less 1st Bn in position for close in protection of EINDHOVEN. German Infantry supported by tanks are found by early morning patrols in the NUNEN area so the tank squadron with “A” Co was dispatched to the NEDERWETTEN area, and 16 more tanks with “E” Co were ordered to proceed to NUNEN. Two tanks were lost in the NUNEN area and the attack bogged down so F Company with another squadron of tanks formed another task force to move up a parallel road toward NUNEN. Darkness came before the attack was fully launched so all units were called back to EINDHOVEN to rearm and furnish protection for the town during the night. The 1st Bn under Division control was in position at ZON during the day. During the day a report was received that 2000 Germans wished to surrender at BEST. Captain Meason and Captain Feller went over and talked to the Commandant but he would not surrender. The actions of the Battalions are as follows:
D-Day plus 4 – 21 September 1944
The 1st Bn less A Co remained at ZON under Division control. 3rd Bn remained in position close-in protection of EINDHOVEN. 2nd Bn less one platoon remained at TONGELRE. D Company moved to NUNEN and occupied the town. “A” Company moved to NEDERWETTEN with tank support and occupied the town. During the day one platoon of I Co was sent to BEST to try and get the German garrison to surrender, but again the Germans refused to surrender. The British 8th Corps advanced in the east to NUNEN – GELDROP at about 1700. The British 12th Corps on the West are still taking WINTERLE at all costs. At 1900 orders were issued for the 3rd Bn to move by foot and motor to ST OEDENRODE and constitute Division reserve. The 3rd Bn moved out at 2100 arriving at ST OEDENRODE at 0330, 22 September 1944.
During the afternoon a warning order was issued by the Division for the Regiment less the 1st Bn to move to UDEN to occupy and defend this town. The Regimental CO made a reconnaissance and found that there were no friendly troops in UDEN, so plans were made to move a detachment of approximately 175 men with supporting weapons to UDEN early the next morning and move the balance of the Regiment by shuttle later in the morning.
D-Day plus 5 – 22 September 1944
1st Bn was joined by A Co at Zon and remained under Division control. The Regiment started moving at 0900 with Regimental Hq and Hq Co and detachment from 2nd Bn moving into UDEN in all types, shapes and sizes of transportation. The Regimental CP, Regt’l Hq Co arrived at UDEN at 1025 hour. Detachment of 175 men from 2nd Bn arrived at 1135. The above unit under command of Lt. Col. Chase was isolated in UDEN until 1700 hour the following day. They were subject to enemy patrols, rumors and artillery fire during this time. Fortunately, this unit occupied the town and patrolled vigorously, killing a few Germans on patrol and generally gave the impression of being a larger force which discouraged any attacks on the town by the Germans.
2nd Bn Hq Co, F Co and one platoon of E Co moved out at about 1030 for UDEN but were halted by the Regimental CO at VEGHEL-UDEN highway and almost immediately were subjected to an attack by enemy infantry supported by tanks. The 3rd Bn arrived at VEGHEL and was put in reserve at 1400 hour. In the meantime, the bridges across ZUID WILLEMS CANAL was threatened from the NW and Colonel Sink was requested by General MacAuliffe to take command of its defense. The Demolitions Platoon was ordered to proceed to the bridge and on the way to the bridge D Company was found detrucking in VEGHEL. This was about 1400. D Company with Capt Shettle, Bn Exec Off, in command, was told to repulse the enemy moving in from the NW. D Co moved forward and ejected the enemy from the area, taking many prisoners. At 1500 G Co arrived and was put into a defensive position to the SE. The 327th Glider Infantry relieved these units at 1600. The 3rd Bn (-) remained in reserve during the night. H Company furnished security for the RR bridge over the canal and 2nd Bn remained in a defensive position to the NE of VEGHEL astride the VEGHEL-UDEN HIGHWAY.
D-Day plus 6 – 23 September 1944
The 2nd Battalion remained in a defensive position to the NE of VEGHEL astride the VEGHEL-UDEN road. The 3rd Bn was moved from reserve position to position on the left of 2nd Bn at 0900. Artillery fire on the town continued all day. During the morning plans were made for a counterattack. This counterattack jumped off at 1500 with the 2nd Bn, supported by tanks, attacking astride the UDEN-VEGHEL road, 3rd Bn following and 2nd Bn, 501 PIR attacking on the right. The attack progressed for 2000 yards with slight resistance where our forces met a force from the Guards Armored Division who were moving to the south to help open the road.
The 2nd Bn was then told to proceed south to HEUVEL sweeping the area. The 3rd Bn was to proceed south on their right sweeping an area from the 2nd Bn’s right flank to the town of VEGHEL. This movement was accomplished and a few prisoners taken. A defense was set up facing east from HEUVEL, 2nd Bn on line, 3rd Bn in reserve. 1st Bn remained under Division control during the day.
D-Day plus 7 – 24 September 1944
Regiment received orders to move to UDEN at 0600. 0630 hour 3rd Bn moved out followed by Regt’l Hq Co and 2nd Bn. 1 Bn moved independently and arrived UDEN at 0830. Regiment went into defense of town 3rd Bn to NW, 1st BN to E, 2nd Bn in reserve.
D-Day plus 8 – 25 September 1944
At 0030 Division Liason Officer brought orders to UDEN for the 506th PIR to move to VEGHEL to open the road south of EGHEL where it had been cut again. The Unit Commanders received the order at 0130. The Regiment was to pass the IP at 0345. Order of march: 3rd Bn, 1st Bn, Regt’l Hq and Hq Co, 2nd Bn. Column arrived at VEGHEL at 0530 and waited for orders on the NW of town.
Orders were received for an attack astride the VEGHEL-ST.OEDENRODE Highway to the South. The attack jumped off at 0830 with 3rd Bn leading, with one-half squadron tanks attached and 1st Battalion following to the right rear – 2nd Bn in reserve. At 1130 the 3rd Bn was held up so as the 1st Bn was needed to protect the right flank of the regiment and was to make contact with the 501 PIR on the right the 2nd Bn with one-half squadron tanks attached were committed to make a wide flanking movement to the left. This attack progressed slowly because of many rumors of friendly forces in the 2nd Bn area; so darkness came with 3rd Bn and 1st Bn on line facing South and 2nd Bn facing West with contact between 2nd and 3rd Bns. Plans were made during the night for the 2nd and 3rd Bns to make a coordinated attack in the morning.
D-Day plus 9 – 26 September 1944
The attack jumped off at 0730 with 3rd Bn moving forward 1000 yards then the 2nd Bn to attack N across their front. This attack was accomplished with no enemy resistance. The mission was accomplished at 1200. At this time orders were received to move the regiment back to UDEN with same mission of occupation and defense.
The Regiment moved out on foot at 1500 arriving at UEN at 1730, 1st Bn to E, 3rd Bn to NW, 2nd Bn in reserve.
D-Day plus 10 – 27 September 1944
2nd and 3rd Bns remained in same position. 1st Bn changed to a defense facing Southwest.
D-Day plus 11 – 28 September 1944
1st Battalion defending UDEN from the southwest, 2nd Bn in Regimental reserve, 3rd Bn defending UDEN from Northwest. Regimental Commander sends Liason Officer (Captain Meason) to contact the British (vicinity of HEESCH) to get their situation.
One Squadron British tanks (44 armored) attached to Regiment as of D plus 9, 26 September 1944.
Commanding Officer orders 2nd Battalion to relieve 3rd Battalion at 0600 hour, D plus 12, 29 September 1944.
D-Day plus 12 – 29 September 1944
2nd Battalion relieves 3rd Battalion defending Northwest UDEN. Enemy aircraft over Regimental area at 2300 hour. No damage reported. Other than the enemy aircraft this period was quiet.
D-Day plus 13 – 30 September 1944
Regiment defending UDEN. No recent contact with the enemy. 2nd Battalion defends Northwest of UDEN. 1st Battalion defends Southwest of UDEN. 3rd Battalion in Regimental reserve and maintaining contact patrols East of UDEN. 321st Glider FA Battalion and Battery “B” 81st AA Battalion in direct support of Regiment.
D-Day plus 14 – 1 October 1944
Situation unchanged from 30 September 1944. Regiment alerted at 1330 hour for possible move. Meeting of Combat Team Unit Commanders called for 1800 hour and instructions issued for possible move.
D-Day plus 15 – 2 October 1944
The Combat Team (consisting of 506th Parachute Infantry, 321st FA Battalion, Batteries “A” “B” “D” “E” “F” 81st AA Bn and “B” Company 326th Airborne Engineer Battalion) moved by motor from UDEN to NIJMEGEN commencing at 1000 hour. The move by motor was completed at 1600 hour. The Combat Team is in reserve for the 82nd Airborne Division. The 1st Battalion is alerted and is to be prepared to move out on fifteen minutes notice.
Orders received to relieve the 214th British Brigade in position northwest of NIJMEGEN on D plus 16, 3 October 1944.
Combat Team Commander issued movement order at 1800 hour. Movement to commence at 1100 hour on D plus 16.
Enemy aircraft bombed Combat Team area at 1400 hour causing casualties and damage. Enemy overhead again at 2100 hour and is fired on by many AA guns. No bombs dropped.
D-Day plus 16 – 3 October 1944
Combat Team commences move to vicinity of ANDELST-ZETTEN at 1300 hour. Transportation shortage caused four hour delay, and move completed at 1830 hour.
Relied of 214th British Brigade completed at 2100 hour and the unit moves out. + 1st Battalion in Combat Team reserve, assembly area in vicinity of ANDELST-ZETEN Railroad station. 2nd Battalion with Battery “F” 81st AA Battalion attached defends north along south side of NEDERIJN River from the eastern edge of OPHEUSDEN, line running along the dike to a point 600 yards west of HETEREN. 3rd Battalion (less “I” Company), Batteries “B” and “D” 81st Battalion attached, defends west from eastern edge of OPHEUSDEN, line extending south from OPHEUSDEN to the railroad. “I” Company defends in the vicinity of DODEWAARD.
D-Day plus 17 – 4 October 1944
3rd Battalion reported enemy attempting to cross the river NEDER-RIJN at 2105 hour, 3 October 1944. Our artillery prevented this crossing. 3rd Battalion received enemy artillery and mortar fire throughout the day.
No action reported in the 2nd Battalion sector.
1st Battalion reported twelve rounds of enemy artillery falling in their area at 1500 hour.
D-Day plus 18 – 5 October 1944
Enemy attacking in 3rd Battalion sector (OPHEUSDEN) at 0300 hour. At 0600 hour enemy attacking in strength along 3rd Bn entire front. 3rd Battalion reports enemy using civilians as a screen for their advance. Medium artillery shelling Combat Team Command Post at 0700. Combat Team Commander and S-3 depart for 3rd Battalion at 0730. The enemy continues to press the attack and the 3rd Battalion commits its reserve at 0845 hour. The 1st Battalion (less one company) with a troop of tanks attached ordered to move to the vicinity of 3rd Battalion Command Post at 0800 hour. At 0830 hour the 2nd Battalion reported that they were in contact with an estimated company of SS Troops. This Battalion with the help of supporting artillery, either annihilated or discouraged any further attempt by the SS at this time. “E” Company reported seven enemy captured in their areas. The prisoners are en route to the Combat Team PWE at 0920 hour.
2nd Battalion reported that they were being shelled by what appeared to be a railway gun located north of the River NEDER-RIJN. 3rd Battalion reports they are being hard pressed (at 1000 hour) by approximately a reinforced company in “I” Company’s sector and they are now putting artillery on the enemy. Message received at 1020 hour that the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Batalion, Major Oliver M. Horton, had been killed in action.
4/7 Tank Squadron ordered to move to the vicinity of 3rd Battalion Command Post at 1120 hour to assist the 3rd Battalion.
At 1210 hour the 2nd Battalion reports approximately 100 enemy attacking their right flank, but 2nd Battalion reports they have them “right where they want them”.
At 1420 hour 3rd Battalion reports three enemy tanks with supporting Infantry are advancing on their left flank. The supporting artillery (321st Glider FA Battalion) and 79th British FA Regiment are firing on the advancing tanks and Infantry.
At 1435 hour Batteries “A” and “B”81st AA Battalion ordered to report to Combat Team Commander at 3rd Battalion Command Post immediately.
Executive Officer and party from 5th DCLI (British) arrive at Combat Team Command Post and Combat Team Executive Officer sends a guide to point out their assembly area. This Battalion is now attached to Combat Team at 1430 hour. Contact reported established between 506th and 501st Parachute Infantry Regiments at 1445 hour. General Browning, Assistant Army Commander, visited Combat Team Command Post at 1510 hour. Command Post alerted to move at 1525 hour and the advance party for the Command Post departed at 1605 hour.
Combat Team Command Post closed in new location at ZETTEN at 1745 hour.
“I” Company reported they are being attacked from the west and their left flank has been turned by an estimated one company of enemy. At 1900 hour “I” Company reported they had repelled the attack and had destroyed their position. At this time the Combat Team Commander ordered the following changes in the dispositions of the Combat Team: 3rd Battalion to move (“G” “H” and Hq Co) south of the railroad and take up positions on “I” Company’s right flank extending north through the railroad contacting the 1st Battalion. 1st Battalion was given that part of the section extending north from the railroad through the eastern edge of OPHEUSDEN to NEDER-RIJN River. This line ran roughly from south to north – DODEWAARD railroad station near OPHEUSDEN, 200 yards east to west inside OPHEUSDEN, to dike along NEDER-RIJN River.
2nd Battalion sector unchanged from that of D plus 16.
Disposition of Combat Team as of 2000 hour left to right facing the west: “I” Company, one platoon “B” Company 326th AB Engineer Battalion, “H” Company with “G” Company in Battalion reserve, 1st Battalion “A” “B” and “C” Companies, 2nd Battalion (left to right facing north) “D” “E” and one platoon “F” Company. “F” Company (-) in Battalion reserve. 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (British) in Combat Team reserve. 321st FA Battalion and 79th FA Regiment (British), one squadron 33 AT (British) and Batteries “A” “E” “F” 81st AA Battalion in direct support.
During the night, vigorous patrolling was to be maintained by all front line units, and supporting artillery laid down harassing fire.
1st Battalion reported small amount of mortar fire during the night and 2nd Battalion reported no action.
D-Day plus 19 – 6 October 1944
During the night the enemy moved into the railroad station near OPHEUSDEN and by dawn they were in positions astride the road-railroad intersection. “G” Company was ordered to attack West along the north side of the railroad and retake the station and intersection. This attack was successful for approximately 600 yards. At this time “H” Company was pinned down and to prevent their left flank from being exposed, “G” Company had to halt. The enemy in estimated strength of one regiment attacked two Battalions abreast astride the railroad. Thus the 1st and 3rd Battalion came under heavy fire of all types. The 3rd Battalion held their ground, but the 1st Battalion had to pull back to the eastern edge of OPHEUSDEN. The 1st Battalion was ordered to hold their present positions until noon, which they did, and the 5th Battalion DCLI would move up on their left flank at this time. The Combat Team Commander ordered a counterattack to commence at 1230 hour. Because numerous delays the attack did not begin until 1345 hour, following a fifteen minute artillery preparation. The plan was as follows:
1st Battalion on the right, 5th Battalion DCLI on the left, with the main east-west street of OPHEUSDEN as the boundary. The attack was to proceed through the town of OPHEUSDEN to the western edge and deny the enemy the use of the town. The attack moved forward about 300 yards where extremely heavy enemy artillery and mortar fire stopped it. During this attack the enemy was infiltrating around the 1st Battalion’s right flank and the British left flank. Both Battalions had to withdraw their flanks to meet this threat. Under existing circumstances it was impossible to evacuate the wounded.
At this time word was received that supporting aircraft (Typhoons) would attack a ferry slip just north of OPHEUSDEN, and any target that could be marked with red smoke also would be attacked on a three minute notice.
Results of the attack: Ground taken which enemy had gained early in the morning.
The 3rd Battalion 327th Glider Infantry Regiment is attached to the Combat Team. The Combat Team Commander used this Battalion as follows:
After dark the battalion was to occupy a line approximately 1200 yards in the rear of the 1st Battalion and the 5th Battalion DCLI. When 327th Battalion is in position, the 5th Battalion DCLI and the 1st Battalion 506th are to withdraw, in the order listed, to a position in rear of the 327th Battalion.
The 5th Battalion DCLI was relieved from the Combat Team as soon as the withdrawal was effected. This was a very delicate maneuver to execute, as the British Battalion could not withdraw in any direction without exposing the 1st Battalion’s left flank, and the 1st Battalion could not withdraw without exposing the British Battalion’s right flank. This would leave the British Battalion with both flanks exposed, and since the 1st Battalion right flank was anchored to the NEDER-RIJN River it was decided to withdraw the British Battalion first to be followed by the 1st Battalion 506th.
The withdrawal of the British was completed by 2300 hour.Apparently the enemy was unaware or incapable of taking advantage of the exposed flank of the 1st Battalion.
The withdrawal of both units and the evacuation of all wounded was completed by 0230 hour, D plus 20.
The 1st Battalion moved to an assembly area about 200 yards east and to the rear of the Battalion of the 327th arriving there at 0430, D plus 20.
The attack directed at the 3rd Battalion early in the day was broken up due to excellent observation for mortar and artillery fire. The open terrain afforded good fields of fire for the 3rd Battalion’s small arms.
2nd Battalion reported a relative quiet day.
Dispositions: 3rd Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry, 3rd Battalion 327th Glider Infantry, and 2nd Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry on the line. 2nd Battalion 327th Glider Infantry in Combat Team reserve, and 1st Battalion 506th moving into assembly area for reorganization.
D-Day plus 20 – 7 October 1944
The enemy, estimated strength of one battalion, launched an attack at about 0100 hour along the railroad which was the boundary between 3rd Battalion 506th and 3rd Battalion 327th. The enemy overran a platoon of the 3rd Battalion 506th in position along the railroad. The 3rd Battalion 506th had to withdraw about 400 yards so as to shorten their lines in order to stop the attack. About 200 enemy succeeded in getting through the 3rd Battalion’s lines and continued their advance east along the railroad. The enemy apparently was without a clearly defined objective. The 1st Bn 506th, now resting and reorganized in the assembly area about 900 yards east of and in the rear of 3rd Battalion 327th, at day-light observed a force of about 250 men moving towards their lines from the west. Identity was tentatively established as British. Upon discovery of actual identity (enemy) machine guns started firing and inflicted heavy casualties and took 155 prisoners. Prisoners from the unit stated that their orders were to attack east along the railroad and no further orders were given to them. The remainder of the battalion, having been stopped by our 3rd Battalion and the 2nd Battalion 327th, was brought under heavy mortar and artillery fire inflicting heavy casualties. This stopped the attack and 3rd Battalion was able to hold their lines for the remainder of the day. 3rd Battalion 506th was relieved by the 1st Battalion 327th Glider Infantry at 2130 hour and ordered to move to an assembly area in the vicinity of DE FLIERT. The Battalion closed in the assembly area at 2330 hour. The 327th Glider Infantry is now responsible for the defense of the western sector. The 1st Battalion was ordered to move to an assembly area in the vicinity of ANDELST station. The Battalion closed in this area at 0115 hour. At 1035 hour the 3rd Battalion Commander of the 327th reported his unit had captured eight enemy (one officer, seven EM). The officer prisoner stated that he and his party were advance party for 3500 Germans moving towards OPHEUSDEN from the west. This was quite a blow to the units at the front lines who were sufficiently occupied with the enemy on hand. However, the 3500 troop story never materialized.
At 0055 hour the 2nd Battalion reported enemy attempting to break through their lines. This attempt was repelled causing the enemy some casualties. Small enemy patrols in this sector were observed all night of D plus 19-20.
The day was quiet with the exception of an occasional artillery shelling in the Battalion’s area.
2nd Battalion defending northern sector, 1st and 3rd Battalions in Regimental reserve.
D-Day plus 21 – 8 October 1944
Regimental Sector quiet except for occasional artillery and mortar shelling.
Regimental Commander and staff attend funeral of Colonel Johnson, Commanding Officer of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment.
1st and 3rd Battalions in assembly areas reorganizing. The day is spent in issuing clothing, equipment and the improvement of camp sites.
D-Day plus 22 – 9 October 1944
Enemy counter-battery fire falling in Regimental sector.
2nd Battalion attached to 327th Glider Infantry as of 0600 hour and are to occupy the same positions (defending to the north along the NEDER-RIJN River).
D-Day plus 23 – 10 October 1944
Regimental sector still very quiet. Men getting rest and showers.
D-Day plus 24 – 11 October 1944
Regimental Command Post still in ZETTEN. Sector quiet except for occasional enemy artillery. The Regiment less 2nd Battalion in Division reserve. 2nd Battalion attached to 327th Glider Infantry and defends north along the south side of the NEDER-RIJN River.
D-Day plus 25 – 12 October 1944
No change in unit dispositions. Regiment less 2nd Battalion continues reorganizing, issuing equipment, and the training schedule is being followed – five mile hikes, discussions on the operation, and inspection of all arms and equipment.
D-Day plus 26 – 13 October 1944
Regiment assigned defensive sector now occupied by 2nd Battalion. “B” Squadron 53rd Reece (British) attached to Regiment. Regiment less 2nd Battalion continue drill schedule as for D plus 25.
D-Day plus 27 – 13 October 1944
Regiment assumes responsibility of defense of north sector along south side of NEDER-RIJN River as of 0600 hour. 3rd Battalion relieves 2nd Battalion on the line. 2nd Battalion relieved from attached to 327th Glider Infantry as of 0600 hour. 1st Battalion in Regimental reserve and 2nd Battalion in Division reserve in vicinity of VALBURG. Closed in new area at 1010 hour. 3rd Battalion with Regimental Demolitions Platoon attached completed relief of 2nd Battalion at 1114 hour.
D-Day plus 28 – 15 October 1944
No change in unit dispositions.
Regiment less 3rd Battalion following same training schedule as D plus 25.
D-Day plus 29 – 16 October 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. A few enemy artillery shells continue to fall in general area with no apparent specific target.
D-Day plus 30 – 17 October 1944
3rd Battalion established OP’s along the south bank of the NEDER-RIJN River. Squadron “A” 13/18 Hussars attached to Regiment. Regiment less 3rd Battalion and attachments following training schedule.
D-Day plus 31 – 18 October 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. Lt. General Horrocks, Commanding General of the British 30th Corps, visited Command Post.
D-Day plus 32 – 19 October 1944
Regimental Command Post moves from church and adjacent buildings in ZETTEN to “Girls’ School” in ZETTEN. Move completed at 1145 hour. Unit dispositions remain unchanged.
Observation posts report increased enemy activity across the river. Movement of vehicles generally from east to west. Supporting artillery fired on all observed movements.
D-Day plus 33 – 20 October 1944
1st Battalion relieves 3rd Battalion in the line. Relief completed at 1230 hour. Enemy shells the general area of ZETTEN, ANDELST-ZETTEN Station. No casualties were suffered. 3rd Battalion less “H” Company in Regimental Reserve, with “H” Company as reserve company of 1st Battalion.
D-Day plus 34 – 21 October 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. Nebelwerfer (“Screaming Meemies”) shells fell in Regimental area. No casualties were suffered. Civilians are being evacuated from ZETTEN and surrounding area.
Three four-man officer-led patrols crossed the NEDER-RIJN River during darkness. One patrol located Nebelwerfer position and reported shooting up an enemy outpost. Other two patrols reported “No contact”. No casualties were sustained by patrols.
D-Day plus 35 – 22 October 1944
One squadron of SRY’s (British) relieving attached Hussars Squadron British). Unit dispositions unchanged.
D-Day plus 36 – 23 October 1944
Unit dispositions remain unchanged.
Two nine-man patrols crossed NEDER-RIJN River during darkness to form bridgehead for the evacuation of 126 British Parachutists from the 1st Airborne Brigade, four American Flying Officers, and one civilian. Evacuation completed without mishap at 0200 hour.
The British and Americans had been holed up in enemy territory since D-Day (17 September 1944).
Approximately 24 rounds Nebelwerfer landed vicinity Regt’l Command Post causing three casualties.
D-Day plus 37 – 24 October 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. Two officer-led nine-man patrols crossed the NEDER-RIJN during darkness. One patrol reports having located and “shot-up” some sort of “Soldiers’ Club”. The other patrol reports no contact. One casualty suffered.
D-Day plus 38 – 25 October 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. Enemy artillery continues to fall in vicinity of Regimental Command Post, but no casualties suffered.
“B” Company’s Observation Post reports the enemy crossing the NEDER-RIJN in strength. OP’s pulled back and our supporting artillery fired on the suspected crossing. After a more thorough check on this “crossing”, it was proved to be somewhat premature. There was no crossing, but the enemy tried to cross and our artillery changed their plans.
The crossing report caused the reserve company to be alerted and moved to “B” Company Command Post. The reserve Battalion (3rd) was alerted and trucks were spotted in the Battalion area. The report was clarified before the battalion moved out.
D-Day plus 39 – 26 October 1944
No change I unit dispositions. Commanding Officer attended a meeting of Division Unit Commander and the Regiment is assigned the mission of defending the northeast portions of the Division sector. Plans submitted to Division for approval of defense of northeast sector.
D-Day plus 40 – 27 October 1944
Unit dispositions remain unchanged. Commanding Officer and S-3 made reconnaissance of northeast sector prior to moving there.
D-Day plus 41 – 28 October 1944
Regiment relieved of responsibility for defense sector along NEDER-RIJN River and moves to new area vicinity of VALBURG. New Command Post opens at (MR670710) SCHOONDERLOGT at 1500 hour.
Regiment completed move and 2nd Battalion relieved the 81st Reece Regiment (British) in the line at 2200 hour.
1st Battalion in Division reserve in VALBURG. 2nd Battalion with two platoons “F” Battery and one “A” Battery 81st AA Battalion attached defending in Regimental sector (northeast corner of division sector). 3rd Battalion with one platoon “F” Battery and one platoon “A” Battery 81st AA Battalion attached in Regimental reserve vicinity of LIENDEN. 321st Glider FA Battalion in direct support.
D-Day plus 42 – 29 October 1944
Unit dispositions remain unchanged. 2nd Battalion reports an enemy patrol estimated at fifteen men crossed the river and moving into their sector between “D” and “E” Companies at 2000 hour. After a thorough check of the Battalion area no contact was made with enemy patrol. This patrol evidently just contacted our troops and returned.
D-Day plus 43 – 30 October 1944
No change in unit dispositions. 2nd Battalion sends patrol to contact 50th Division (British) at 2130 hour and 0130 hour. Contact made at (699745).
1st Battalion instructed by Division to prepare and submit counterattack plans for the area immediately south of ELST.
D-Day plus 44 – 31 October 1944
Unit dispositions remain unchanged. 1st Battalion sends patrol to railroad bridge. Patrol departed at 2000 hour and was fired on from railroad bridge at 2055 hour. One casualty sustained from enemy firing. Patrol returned without accomplishing mission.
D-Day plus 45 – 1 November 1944
No change in unit dispositions. Enemy activity confined to occasional artillery.
D-Day plus 46 – 2 November 1944
No change in unit dispositions. “F” Company sent twenty-two man combat patrol, under Lieutenant Thomas, across the railroad embankment. Their mission was to clear cut any enemy in the dug-outs and secure prisoners. They cleared about twenty dug-outs and captured two enemy. This patrol suffered six casualties: two killed and four wounded. The patrol returned at 0300 hour.
The Regimental IP Team (Captain Gion, M/Sergeant Cocklin, and Tech Grade III Himon) prepared a propaganda speech and M/Sgt. Cocklin broadcast over the Public Address System to the enemy at 2130 hour.
While the broadcast is in progress our supporting artillery is to fire on the companmy and battalion Command Post locations previously ascertained from prisoners taken by “F” Company’s patrol.
D-Day plus 47 – 3 November 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. Four enemy captured as result of last night’s broadcast.
288 Anti-Tank Battery (British) relieves 289 Anti-Tank Battery in support of Regiment. Major Batton, Battery Commander, reports in to Command Post at 0940 hour.
Major General Ridgeway, 18th Airborne Corps Commander, visits Regimental Command Post and the 2nd Battalion at 1510 hour.
3rd Battalion relieves 2nd Battalion in the lines. Relief completed at 2350 hour. 2nd Battalion closed in assembly area in vicinity of LIENDEN at 0230 hour and is now in Regimental reserve.
D-Day plus 48 – 4 November 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. Regimental sector quiet except for occasional enemy artillery falling in the sector.
Enemy aircraft flew overt Regimental Command Post – No damage. Supporting artillery fired propaganda leaflets into enemy lines.
D-Day plus 49 – 5 November 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. Enemy aircraft over Command Post at 1515 hour. Believed to be reconnaissance flight.
D-Day plus 50 – 6 November 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. 3rd Battalion reports building adjacent to their Command Post set afire by enemy shelling at 1730 hour. Demolitions Platoon sent to blow it up at 1900 hour.
D-Day plus 51 – 7 November 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. Major General Taylor and Major General Miley (Commanding General, 17th Airborne Division) visited Regimental Command Post at 1015 hour.
D-Day plus 52 – 8 November 1944
No change in dispositions. Regimental sector quiet and no enemy action reported.
D-Day plus 53 – 9 November 1944
1st Battalion with one platoon “A” Battery and one platoon “F” Battery 81st AA Battalion attached, relieves 3rd Battalion in Regimental defensive sector along NEDER-RIJN River and ARNHEM-ELST Railroad. Relief completed at 2330 hour. 2nd Battalion in Regimental reserve at LIENDEN. 3rd Battalion in Division reserve at VALBURG.
D-Day plus 54 – 10 November 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. Regimental Commander visits BRUSSELS. Lt. Colonel Strayer now in command of Regiment. Division now under command of 2nd Canadian Corps as of 091200A.
D-Day plus 55 – 11 November 1944
No change in unit dispositions. Assistant Division Commanding General and Inspector General from SHEAF inspect troops for “loot”. Nothing found in possession of troops. Occasional enemy shelling through-out this 24 hour period.
Division informed us that Operation “Noah” is in effect.
D-Day plus 56 – 12 November 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. Enemy patrol estimated as fifteen men attacked 1st Battalion at 0430. Attack repelled. One enemy killed. Unit identified as 21st SS Panzer, 11th Company.
Command Post shelled at 0600 hour (20 rounds, 105mm).
One platoon of 2nd Battalion relieves one platoon of 3rd Battalion as Division Command Post Guard.
3rd Battalion went to NIJMEGEN for the day for showers and recreation.
D-Day plus 57 – 13 November 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. Commanding Officer (Colonel Sink) returns from BRUSSELS and resumes command. Lt. Colonel Strayer returns to 2nd Battalion and resumes command.
D-Day plus 58 – 14 November 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. Commanding Officer 231 BDE visits Command Post to arrange new boundaries between 231 BDE and 506th Parachute Infantry. Contact point agreed on and hours of contact determined. General McAulliffe inspected 3rd Battalion at 1630 hour.
D-Day plus 59 – 15 November 1944
2nd Battalion with one platoon Battery “A” and one platoon Battery “F” 81st AA Battalion attached, relieves 1st Battalion in the line. Relief completed at 2335 hour. 1st Battalion in Regimental reserve at LIENDEN. 3rd Battalion in Division reserve at VALBURG.
Barn adjacent to the Regimental Command Post burns at 0930 hour. Troops removed all furniture from building. Fire caused by open stove in hall-way of barn.
D-Day plus 60 – 16 November 1944
Unit dispositions unchanged. Regimental sector quiet except for enemy artillery. Estimated 160 rounds fell in regimental area during this 24 hour period.
1st Battalion closed in new area at LIENDEN at 0215 hour.
3rd Battalion was inspected by General McAulliffe.
D-Day plus 61 – 17 November 1944
At 0429 an enemy patrol got within 20 feet of E Company’s first platoon’s outposts. Hand grenades were exchanged. An increase in enemy artillery, mortar and flare activity was noted. A few shells, some of which proved to be duds, dropped in the immediate vicinity of 2nd Battalion CP.
D-Day plus 62 – 18 November 1944
Unit disposition unchanged. D and E Company sectors shelled in the early morning by about 45 rounds of nebelwerfer.
Shelling in vicinity of 3rd Battalion CP at 0525.
D-Day plus 63 – 19 November 1944
Continued enemy artillery and mortar shelling. Plans were made to move the OPLR and the MLR back due to water rising in the forward areas.
D-Day plus 64 – 20 November 1944
OPLR and MLR moved back about 500 yards on east of the sector the Regiment is defending.
D-Day plus 65 – 21 November 1944
3rd Battalion relieves 2nd Battalion in defense of DRIEL sector. 2nd Battalion goes into Division reserve at VALBURG.
D-Day plus 66 – 22 November 1944
Very light enemy artillery fire. No contact with the enemy.
D-Day plus 67 – 23 November 1944
Enemy patrol reported in I Company area at 0135. fired on by artillery. C Company CP received a direct hit by enemy artillery causing three casualties.
D-Day plus 68 – 24 November 1944
Noted increase in enemy artillery firing.
Officers of the 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, 152 BDE (Br.) make a reconnaissance of the defensive sector preparing to relieve the regiment.
D-Day plus 69 – 25 November 1944
0200 3rd Battalion relieved by 2nd Battalion 152 BDE (Br). At 0600 2nd Battalion leaves VALBURG en route to Camp Mourmelon. 3rd Battalion goes into Division reserve at VALBURG.
At 1000 Regtl CP moved from SCHOONDERLOGT to VALBURG.
D-Day plus 70 – 26 November 1944
At 0600 1st Battalion leaves LIENDEN en route to CAMP MOURMELON.
D-Day plus 71 – 27 November 1944
At 0600 close the Regimental CP and join the 3rd Battalion. At 0630 3rd Battalion leaves VALBURG en route to CAMP MOURMELON.
D-Day plus 72 – 28 November 1944
1000 rear echelon closes in CAMP MOURMELON.