The 101st Airborne arrived in England, 15 September 1943, and received additional training in Berkshire and Wiltshire. On 6 June 1944, the Division was dropped into Normandy behind Utah Beach. Against fierce resistance it took Pouppeville, Vierville, and St. Come du Mont. On the 12th, the stronghold of Carentan fell, and after mopping up and maintaining its positions, the Division returned to England, 13 July, for rest and training.
On 17 September 1944, taking part in one of the largest of airborne invasions, the 101st landed in Holland, took Vechel and held the Zon bridge. St. Oedenrode and Eindhoven fell after sharp fighting on the 17th and 18th. Opheusden changed hands in a shifting struggle, but the enemy was finally forced to withdraw, 9 October. After extensive patrols, the Division returned to France, 28 November, for further training.
On 18 December, it moved to Belgium to stop the German breakthrough. Moving into Bastogne under the acting command of Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, it set up a circular defense and although completely surrounded, refused to surrender on 22 December. Its perimeter held against violent attacks.
The 4th Armored Division finally reached the 101st on the 26th and the enemy offensive was blunted. Very heavy fighting continued near Bastogne for the rest of December and January. On 17 January 1945, the Division moved to Drulingen and Pfaffenhoffen in Alsace and engaged in defensive harassing patrols along the Moder River.
On 31 January, it crossed the Moder in a three-company raid. After assembling at Mourmelon, France, 26 February 1945, for training, it moved to the Ruhr pocket, 31 March, patrolling and raiding in April and engaging in military government at Rheydt and Munchen-Gladbach. The 101st reached Berchtesgaden by the end of the war and performed occupational duties until inactivation in Germany.
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