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Warren Brown - HQ 1st

In the first few days in Normandy, I was with a small group of paratroopers in a farmer’s field. We fought off several German attacks from that field. We lost many men, including our first sergeant.

My first patrol experience was to fetch water for our wounded men.

I was LT Abbott’s runner until he was killed. Staff Sergeant Henry assumed command of the platoon and I was his runner. He was killed on July 4th, 1944 whilst adjusting mortar fire.

In mid July 1944, the 508th returned to Wollaton Park, Nottingham.

We had a few days leave, and sadly participated in memorial services for our comrades lost in Normandy, and we applauded our hero’s that were decorated. We welcomed replacements for our lost comrades and helped them to settle down. Soon we started preparations for our next mission.

Our stay in Nottingham was relatively short.

On September 17th, 1944, a bright Sunday afternoon, the 508th parachuted into a field south of Nijmegen, Holland. Our objective was to capture the important highway bridge spanning the Waal River. Its capture would facilitate the movement of British Armoured Forces to and through the city of Arnhem.

We spent our first night in Holland fighting in the city of Nijmegen trying to wrest the highway bridge from extremely strong, determined German Forces.

Early the next morning we broke contact with the Germans and hurried back to the fields where we had dropped. A strong German Infantry Force with Anti-Aircraft guns had occupied the drop area. These German Forces were waiting to destroy our Glider-Borne Forces coming from England carrying three Artillery Battalions and Engineering equipment. The Gliders were expected to land at noon.

We raced back to the drop zone area and supported our Battalion as it made a frontal assault and cleared the Germans from the area. Our assault companies destroyed 19 Anti-Aircraft guns and captured and killed many Germans.

In true Hollywood style, the first heavily laden fragile Gliders arrived over landing zone as the fighting ceased.

All the Gliders landed safely.

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