(above picture)321st GFAB
Silver Star Recipient
LTC Edward L Carmichael
101st Airborne WW II
of Honor Recipients
Robert G Cole
Joe E. Mann
Bronze Star Recipients
1/Lt Francis A Canham
S/Sgt Leslie B Sellers
Pfc Chares W Stange Jr
The 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion
The insignia for the 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion
is the battalion's coat of arms. The shield is scarlet for Artillery. The lion's
paws are significant of the Field Artillery, which may be likened to a mountain lion whose paws have
great strength and power in felling and crushing a victim. Enscrolled beneath the shield is the motto
"Noli Me Tangere" which translates to "Touch Me Not".
Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe, (picture right)
the 101st Airborne Divison Artillery Commander, was the commanding officer of the American troops at
Bastogne. His reply to the German demand for surrender, "Nuts", has come to signify the 101st Airborne's
dogged determination to win against overwhelming odds.
n 5 August 1917 the 321st Field Artillery Regiment was constituted as
part of the National Army and was assigned to the 82nd (All American) Division.
The 321st , along with its two sister regiments, the 319th and the 320th
was officially activated as part of the 157th Field Artillery Brigade on 29 August 1917
at Camp Gordon, near Atlanta, Georgia under the regimental leadership of Col.H.C.Williams.
Organized initially as horse-drawn artillery, the 320th and 321st were authorized
four three-inch guns per battery while the 319th was authorized four six-inch howitzers.
After the regiments stateside training the 321st arrived in LeHarve, France on June 3rd.
They were issued French 1897M1 75mm field guns as its primary weapon. The "French 75" was adopted
rather than the US made M1902 (3 inch gun), Because the "75" had a higher rate of fire, greater
accuracy and a recoil system that was one of the most important technological advances in Field
Artillery history. This recoil system, consisting of two hydraulic reservoirs, a floating piston,
a connected piston a head of gas and a reservoir of oil, has influenced the design of every
Field Artillery weapon produced this century.
World War I
The 321st first saw action during the Lorraine Campaign. It was on August 17th
on the Marbache front, north of Nancy where it relieved the 12th Field Artillery
in the sector taken over from the 2nd Division by the 82nd Division. The Regiment
manned the 90mm sector guns left in place by the French with gunners from A,B,C and F Batteries.
The following month the 321st saw action during the St.Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne
Offensives.During the last days of WW I the Regiment moved
from Imecourt to Les Islettes where it was encamped when the Armistice was declared.
After returning to the United States the 321st was demobilized on May 26th, 1919.
The Regiment's highest decorated soldier received the Distinguished Service Cross during this conflict
at action near Sommerance, France.
It was reconstituted on 5 June 1930 in the Organized Reserves and consolidated with
Battery C, 321st Field Artillery (itself constituted in July 1923 in the Organized Reserves as Battery C,
452d Field Artillery, and organized in Georgia; redesignated on 5 October 1929 as Battery C, 321st
Field Artillery, an element of the 82d Division). The consolidated unit was designated as Battery C,
321st Field Artillery, an element of the 82d Division (later redesignated as the 82d Airborne Division).
World War II
During the third month of World War II, the 321st Field Artillery was reorganized and redesignated
on 13 February 1942 as Battery C, 321st Field Artillery Battalion, before bring ordered into active
military service on 25 March 1942 at Camp Claiborne, LA. It was once again reorganized
and redesignated on 15 August 1942 as Battery C, 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion, an element of the
101st Airborne Division with Lt Col Edward L. Carmichael (picture left)
assuming command of the battalion upon its reactivation.
Normandy - D-Day
The 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion initially landed on Utah Beach on D-Day
aboard the Liberty ship, John S Mosby, but were unable to engage in any action for several days.
The reason for this was division of the battalion into two groups. The second group was aboard
the Susan B Anthony which struck a mine and sank off Omaha Beach. The artillery troopers managed
to get ashore without loss of life however, they had to wait until June 9th for the guns and
vehicles to be off-loaded. During this time part of the battalion served as forward observers for
the 506th PIR directing naval and self-propelled 105mm fire.
By 9 June 1944, the 321st were firing in support of a coordinated
offensive action undertaken by the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment (GIR) as they crossed the
The 321st continued offensive operations
supporting the 327th GIR throughout this early campaign. Once across the Douve, the 321st set
up its guns near Catz, laying fire on the far banks of the canal. It was relieved from action on
10 July 1944 and sailed for the base camp in England aboard an LST on 13 July 1944.
Operation Market Garden
The Battalion's next operation was Market Garden. On the 19th of
September 1944 the 321st took off from Welford, England and landed by glider in the vicinity of
Eindhoven, Holland. Again they supported the 327th GIR as the German forces counterattacked.
The Battalion also fired in support of the 502nd PIR during its successful effort in defending Zon.
On 24 September the 321st moved toward Uden with the 506th PIR then on to Nijmegen on 2 October.
For its action in OPERATION MARKET GARDEN, the 321st was awarded the Military Order of William.
Its success, however, was short-lived because of the defeat of other Allied
units at Arnhem. The gateway to Germany would not open in September 1944, and the 82nd was ordered
back to France on 14 November 1944 while the 101st remained in position until 27 November.
Battle of the Bulge - The Ardennes Offensive
On 18 December 1944, the 101st Airborne Division was ordered to move to the vicinity
of Bastogne, Belgium while the 82nd Airborne was directed to the Werbomont vicinity. Both airborne
division were given the moumental task of holding key terrain points and counterattacking to
stem the breakthrough by German Armored and Infantry forces in this sector. However, Bastogne was the
key in unhinging the German communications as they struck west toward the line of the Meuse River.
During this Battle of the Bulge, the Battalion was part of a
successful effort to halt the German thrust. On 12 Jan 1945 the 321st supported the 506th PIR, 327th GIR
and 502nd PIR in capturing the village of Foy astride the Bastogne-Noville Highway. It was for the
success of their effort that the soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division were awarded the
Fourragere 1940 by the King of Belgium.
On 20th of January, the 321st moved to the Alsace Province of France where Hitler's
"Operation Nordwind" offensive, under the personal direction of Heinrich Himmler, was threatening a
sector of the Seventh Army front. While holding the line the regiment changed positions several
times. The enemy continually shelled their positions and the 321stmoved to Davendorf in support of
the 506th PIR but did not conduct any major operations during this time.
On 23 February, the 321st returned to Mourmelon, France. Here General
Eisenhower spoke to the 101st Airborne Division when the unit was awarded the Distinguished Unit
Citation for its stand at Bastogne. This was the first time in the history of the
United States Amy that an entire Division had been so honored.
As the war in Europe was nearing its end,the 321st moved to the Ruhr Pocket near
Nievenheim on 2 April to help in mop-up operations. On 11 April a contingent of the 321st joined
Company A of the 506th PIR and crossed the Rhine River in sixteen assault boats to attack the village
of Himmelgeist. On the 4th and 5th of May, the Battery A of the 321st supported the 506th in its
final wartime mission - the capture of Berchtesgaden, Hitler's Eagles Nest.
321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion - Pictures
R E L A T E D B O O K S
Ambrose, Stephen E D-DAY June 6,1944:
The Climatic Battle of WW II. 6/93, Simon & Shuster ISBN: 0671673343
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E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest.
Simon & Schuster, (June 2001) 336 p. ISBN: 0-743-21638-5
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Casemate Publishers and Book Distributors, 356 pp September 11, 2002 ISBN: 1932033025
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