To understand why I became a medic you'll have to hear a little about me before I entered the service. My family consisted of my Dad, my Mother, my Brother ( seven years older than me ). My Dad was a engineer on the New York Central Railroad for 33 years and was killed in a railroad accident on the 23rd of December 1941. My Mother was a registered nurse when she married my Dad. So I have been around medical people all my life. We had very few medical bills as Mother took very good care of all of us. When my Dad died my Brother felt like he was in charge and he pretty much run things. Then he was ordained as a minister and that really did it. I had two 6 months deferments until my Mother went to work in OB in the hospital across the street.
I had no qualms about being drafted, was glad to be away from home. My Brother and Mother insisted I try to get in the medics which I did after my Brother filled out all the forms for the government. I was offered a chance to go to the Air Corp at my induction center. I could have been a pilot, navigator or bombardier but I said NO I was going to keep my feet on the ground.
After several weeks of Medic training at Camp Barkeley Texas. We got good training in Barkeley and special training in Sanitation and Preventative Medicine. We took a lot of ribbing here in the states (pill pusher etc.) but not after I joined the 327th. I went overseas on the Queen Mary in March of 44. I was assigned to a repo-depo for two months and next thing I know in May, I'm assigned to a glider outfit in the 101st, but the division was already in the marshalling areas ready to go into D-Day so they held us back as reserves in Hungaford, England.
When the regiment came back to Reading in July we were assigned to the first battalion 327th Glider Infantry. I kind of trained on the job as we got ready for Holland. My job was to fill out the tag we tied to the jackets with what the injuries were, what we did for him, what medication we gave and of course the information off his dog tags. I had to send back to regiment a twenty-four hour report of all casualties.
The most interesting ride was to Holland. We loaded at Aldermaston outside of Reading, England. There was thirteen of us and one of our surgeons rode as co-pilot and slept all the way. Now there only space for twelve on the benches facing each other. So they gave me a snap down seat by the door (there was no door on this glider) facing forward in the glider. I had a great view of England, the Channel, the fog after crossing and a good view of flak bursts and a good view of all the wrecked gliders on the field where we were supposed to put that glider down into. This is when I knew I was in a real WAR!!!
The aid men stayed with us in camp but stayed with their respective companies in the battalion during battle. The litter bearers worked out of the station during battle. We had two surgeons in the aid station, Capt. Harry Holzer was the CO, and Capt. Herbert Jacobs 2nd in command. The line outfits sure took care of us but we were closer to the MLR than most aid stations, after all there was no rear area as we landed behind German lines. We took care of anybody the got to our station including Germans. We even took care of a couple British officers in Holland. I was the clerk in the station and also helped patch up guys that were hurt.
Part of the 82nd Infantry Division was transferred to the 101st Airborne Division 15 August 1942. All equipment and personnel assigned to the regiment were designed to be carried in the Waco CG-4A glider. Although a glider infantry regiment, the majority of the unit landed by sea on Utah Beach in the afternoon of 7 June 1944, because of a shortage of planes to tow its gliders. Some elements did reach shore on D-Day, 6 June, but because of rough seas, beach traffic, and the fact that the paratroopers of the 101st had already achieved many of their objectives, the landing was delayed. The 327th suffered a few casualties going ashore from enemy fire and were strafed by enemy aircraft. Near Ste. Come DuMont (southeast of the village), the 327th was camped right next to German paratroopers, separated by thick hedgerows. German-speaking soldiers in the 327th engaged in taunting the enemy. The 327th took several casualties by enemy mortars. By 8 June, the 327th had entered the front line, largely in reserve of the 506th until crossing the Douve River near Carentan. First and Second Battalions guarded Utah Beachhead's left flank northeast of Carentan. Company C was hit hard by friendly fire mortars while crossing the Douve. Official findings blamed enemy mines. Company B also suffered casualties in the incident.
The 327th suffered heavy casualties while advancing on Carentan via what is now the city Marina from a northeast direction and other casualties approaching Carentan from the east. G Company led the attack on the west bank of the marina canal. A Company of the attached 401st Glider Infantry Regiment was on the east bank of the canal. Concealed German machine guns and mortars inflicted the most casualties. Chaplain Gordon Cosby earned a Silver Star for bravery in the face of the enemy for assisting wounded glider men in front of heavily armed German soldiers. The 327th played a pivotal role with the 501st and 506th of the 101st in taking Carentan. The 327th marched through the town and East to be possibly the first unit of the Utah Beachhead to link up with the Omaha Beachhead around the four-villages area of le Fourchette, le Mesnil, le Rocher and Cotz. It was then directed South between the bulk of the 101st and the 75th Infantry Division of the Omaha Beachhead.
The unit was commanded by Col. George S. Wear through 10 June, when command was turned over to Col. Joseph H. Harper. Although not official, the men of the 327th understood that Wear was replaced because of friendly-fire artillery casualties while crossing the Douve River. Officially, enemy mortars were blamed.
Remember each and every sacrifice, made for your freedom!
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