By James Megellas
In mid-1943 James Megellas, often called “Maggie” to his fellow paratroopers, joined the 82d Airborne department, his new “home” for the length. His first flavor of wrestle used to be within the rugged mountains outdoor Naples.
In October 1943, whilst lots of the 82d departed Italy to arrange for the D-Day invasion of France, Lt. Gen. Mark Clark, the 5th military commander, asked that the division’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Maggie’s outfit, remain in the back of for a bold new operation that may outflank the Nazis’ obdurate protective strains and open the line to Rome. On 22 January 1944, Megellas and the remainder of the 504th landed around the seashore at Anzio. Following preliminary good fortune, 5th Army’s amphibious attack, Operation Shingle, slowed down within the face of heavy German counterattacks that threatened to force the Allies into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Anzio become a fiasco, one of many bloodiest Allied operations of the battle. no longer until eventually April have been the remnants of the regiment withdrawn and shipped to England to get better, reorganize, refit, and teach for his or her subsequent mission.
In September, Megellas parachuted into Holland besides the remainder of the 82d Airborne as a part of one other star-crossed project, box Marshal Montgomery’s vainglorious Operation marketplace backyard. Months of tough wrestle in Holland have been via the conflict of the Bulge, and the lengthy difficult street throughout Germany to Berlin.
Megellas used to be the main embellished officer of the 82d Airborne department and observed extra motion throughout the battle than such a lot. but All the right way to Berlin is greater than simply Maggie’s global struggle II memoir. all through his narrative, he skillfully interweaves tales of the opposite paratroopers of H corporation, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. the result's a amazing account of guys at battle.
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Extra resources for All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe
But one thing was certain: The 82d would soon be in need of replacements. I expected that shortly we would be receiving a sailing date, but for one reason or another we encountered delays. On 8 August, almost a month after the 82d jumped in Sicily, I was still at Fort Benning when I wrote to my brother George: “I got all my equipment issued last Friday and yesterday we took a physical and got some inoculations. I was all packed and ready to go on Tuesday, but today we got some bad news. We are not leaving until the end of the month.
The CCC was not in the true sense military duty, but it was the closest thing to it at the time. After leaving the CCC, I worked for a local construction company; the pay was good and I was able to put away some money. I entered Ripon College, some twenty miles from home, encouraged by its football coach, and with two job offers that would pay my room and board. I would repay tuition and other costs with monthly pay deductions after I went on active duty. S. Army Air Corps was accepting applications for pilot training.
The combination of the weather and the food caused seasickness in most of the men, and many did not recover until we landed. Fortunately, I was one of those with a cast-iron stomach. In a letter I wrote home, I stated: “The trip was monotonous and long but I didn’t mind it. We had some pretty rough days, but I didn’t get seasick. ” The ship carried daily newscasts from the Armed Forces Radio Network, and we listened eagerly for news about the 82d and the progress of the war. We would soon be in it.
All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe by James Megellas