Fought 33 Days Without Relief in Normandy
HEADQUARTERS 82nd Airborne Division, Normandy (By Mail, to
— Soldiers of one parachute infantry regiment, 82nd Airborne
Division, dropped over a wide area on D-Day and were unable to
assemble as a tactical unit until the fourth day of the
regiment, nevertheless, played a brilliant role in carrying out
the mission of the airborne troops, which was to prevent the
Germans from interfering with the ground assault force until
the beach landings had been accomplished. Pfc. Robert M.
Phillips, of Waycross, Route 2, was
a member of this division.
To achieve this, the 82nd captured the town of Ste. Mere
Eglise and fought for and held bridges over two rivers, the
Merderet at La Fière and at Chef du Pont, and the Dove [sic] at
Pont l’Abbe and at Beuzeville la Bastille.
pocket of Allied resistance within enemy lines was set up.
During the campaign it stretched from Ste. Mere on the east to
St. Sauveur le Vicomte on the west, and from Le Ham on the north
almost to La Haye de Puits on the south.
was accomplished in 33 days of action, without relief and
without replacements. Every mission was accomplished. No ground
gamed was ever relinquished. For nearly 34 hours, or until noon
of the day after D-Day, the paratroops were without contact with
friendly forces. And though heavy casualties were
sustained throughout the campaign, nothing stopped the troops
paratroopers of this regiment were dropped in several groups
and at first these groups fell in with other units of the
division rather than their own. It was not until four days
after D-Day that the regiment assembled as a tactical unit.
Before this, however, they had struck terrific blows.
other units of the division they forced the enemy west of the
Merderet River at the start. Another element joined in the heavy
fighting at Chef du Pont, finally contacting an isolated
battalion and establishing a bridgehead on the west bank of the
Merderet opposite Chef tin Pont. Other elements went south to
clear out Carquebut; crossed the river at La Fiere and assaulted
Guetteville. The latter action was assisted by arranged by a
naval liaison officer with the regiment.
Waycross Journal Herald, Aug 2, 1944
Pfc. Robert M. Phillips
After being pulled together as a unit the regiment jumped off
for the attack at Beuzeville la Bastille. After crossing the
Douve, it swept on through, the Cretteville-Baupte area. During
this drive many enemy tanks, wore encountered and many were
knocked out. Trucks moved the regiment to Pont L’Abbe for the
general attack toward St. Sauveur. The regiment followed another
of the division, driving the enemy west, north and south.
Participating in the drive on Pretot, a squad encountered a Mark
IV tank 600 yards north of the town and succeeded in knocking it
out with a hand-thrown British grenade. The regiment took up .a
defensive position at Vindefontaine before joining in the drive
toward La:Haye de Puits. Heavy fighting was
experienced in the Bois: de Limers, and one element
which eventually took “Hil 95” sustained heavy casualties.
Colonel Roy E. Linquist [sic] of Pittsfield, Me., the
Commanding officer, made a " lucky " guess which kept the enemy
force on this hill from being greater than it was. He often directed the artillery fire, according to an
artillery officer, on the theory of catching the Germans doing
what he would have done under similar circumstances. Accordingly
he swept an orchard with fire. Later a prisoner told that a
German force preparing for an assault on "Hill 95" had been
virtually wiped out by this hit. I The hard training,
incomparable self-reliance and bravado of all of the men added
another chapter to the
history of the 82nd Division.
Phillips was in Company I]
b. WAYX is editorial shorthand for Waycross, Georgia