101st Airborne Division

"We must be the great arsenal of democracy."

....... ......Franklin Delano Roosevelt - December 29, 1940

Unit Memories
    501st PIR
    506th PIR 
    401st GIR
    907th GFAB 
    326th AEB 
  Units Roll of Honor
    501th PIR
    502nd PIR
    506th PIR 
    327th GIR
    401st GIR
    326th AEB
    321st GFAB
    907th GFAB
    377th PFAB
    463rd PFAB
    81st AAA
    101st Sig Co
    326th Med Co
    HQ Co
    101st MP Plt
    Combat Jumps
    Bulge Memories
    101st Abn WW II
    Men of Easy Co
  101st Airborne Assoc
  504th PIR Assoc
  506th PIR Assoc
  TF3Btn 506th AI Assoc
  508th PIR Assoc
  Other Airborne Assoc
  Other Resources
  Airborne and Special Operations Museum
  WW II Historical Re- enactment Society
  Item Co 506th PIR
  Easy Co 506th PIR

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506th Parachute Infantry Regiment Patch

(above picture)
506th PIR Patch

101st Airborne WW II
Medal of Honor Recipients

  Lt Col Robert G Cole
Pfc Joe E. Mann

The 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment

Ted Vetland, World War II Paratrooper

November 5, 2010  
SARAH OWEN / News Herald Writer

Ted VetlandLYNN HAVEN — Ted Vetland (picture right) is one of just four surviving members of Company A, a group of Airborne troopers who landed in Normandy early in the morning of D-Day and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

Vetland, 89, was a member of The Screaming Eagles — the 101st Airborne Division — and the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The 506th’s E Company, which served alongside A Company, has been chronicled in the cable mini-series “Band of Brothers,” based on the book of the same title.

The Norway native, who came to America for work in 1939, joined the Army in the summer of 1942, when he was 21. He said he signed up because he “probably would have been drafted” and wanted to serve with a volunteer unit.

Vetland trained in Georgia for about a year, and then in the English countryside, where he said his company practiced just one jump before parachuting into Normandy on June 6, 1944.

The men lived in stables, four to a stall, for the nine months they spent in England, he said. The company headquarters was the back of a pub.

Vetland received a Purple Heart for his service on D-Day; he was shot above his right knee as he held up a convoy of trucks headed to Utah Beach, which served as the right flank anchor of the allied offensive landing. He called the 1 a.m. jump a “mess.”

“First of all, when we landed, I had no idea where I was,” Vetland said. “We were 7 miles from where we were supposed to be. I found six men from my company — none from my airplane; I never saw them.”

The trooper also earned a Silver Star during the Siege of Bastogne, part of the larger Battle of the Bulge, where he said he “knocked out two tanks with a bazooka.” Vetland, who served as a platoon sergeant, also earned a Bronze Star for capturing eight German soldiers in occupied Holland during Operation Market Garden.

Vetland said he was wounded a second time, by a small hand grenade, as he and a comrade captured the men. The two were on a night patrol when they heard someone coming up the road and decided to capture, not kill, the soldiers.

“You could tell by the boots it was Germans,” he said. “We thought, if we captured them, we might learn something. We saw a little flash; we knew what was coming.”

After recovering, he was sent to England, but volunteered to go back to France to meet up with his company.

He served through the end of the war, and met his wife of 61 years, Bette, at a work party in New Jersey the first time he was back in civilian clothes.

The couple dated for about three years — while Bette said Ted “was unwinding” — before they married, had two children, and moved to Lynn Haven in 1974.

They reunited with the men from Vetland’s company, who Bette described as “characters” and some of the kindest men she had ever met, every year up until about two years ago.

“We ran out of people,” Vetland said. “It was sad to see them, one by one, go.”

He and Bette, 85, will leave their fate on this Veterans Day up to their cat.

“We got a great cat,” Vetland said. “It comes into bed with us, and we decide what we’re going to do.”

They’ll decide whether they want to have breakfast or lunch at the local senior center, he said, where he and Bette play dominoes and chat with friends every Tuesday and Thursday.

“We got a great senior center,” Vetland said. “You’d swear it was a bunch of kids out there, laughing and having a good time.”

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
Ambrose, Stephen E Band of Brothers: 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
Ambrose, Stephen E Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944-May 7, 1945. Simon & Schuster, (Nov 1997) 528 p. ISBN: 0-684-81525-7
Badsey, Stephen & Chandler, David G (Editor)  Arnhem 1944: Operation "Market Garden" (Campaign No.24) 1993 96p. ISBN: 1855323028
Bando, Mark A  Avenging Eagles: Forbidden tales of the 101st Airborne in World War 2. Bando Publishing, (2006) 183 p. ISBN: 0977911705
Bando, Mark A  101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles at Normandy. Zenith Press, (Apr 2001) 156 p. ISBN: 0760308551
Bando, Mark A  Vanguard of the Crusade: The US 101st Airborne Division in WW II. The Aberjona Press, (June 2003) 320 p. ISBN: 0971765006
Black, Wallace B.& Blashfield, Jean F. Battle of the Bulge (World War II 50th Anniversary Series). Crestwood House, 48 pp May,1993 ISBN: 0896865681
Bowen, Robert Fighting With the Screaming Eagles: With the 101st Airborne from Normandy to Bastogne. Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal, (Sept 2001) 256 p. ISBN: 1853674656
Breuer, William B Geronimo! American Paratroopers in WWII. New York: St. Martin Press, (1989) 621 p. ISBN: 0-312-03350-8
Breuer, William B Unexplained Mysteries of World War II. John Wiley & Sons, Sept 1998 256 p. ISBN:0471291072
Burgett, Donald R Currahee!. Presidio Press, (Sept 1999) 256 p. ISBN: 0-891-41681-1
Compton, Lt Lynn (Buck) & Marcus Brotherton Call of Duty: My Life Before, During and After the Band of Brothers. Berkley Hardcover, (May 6, 2008) 288 p. ISBN: 0425219704
D'Este, Carlo  Patton: A Genius for War 1024 pp ISBN: 0060927623
De Trez, Michel  American Warriors: Pictorial History of the American Paratroopers Prior to Normandy  July, 1998, D-Day Pub, 212 p. ISBN: 2960017609
De Trez, Michel  Cpl Forrest Guth: E Company 506 PIR 101st Airborne Division (WW II American Paratroopers Portrait Series)  March, 2002, D-Day Pub, 56 p. ISBN: 296001765X
De Trez, Michel  Orange is the Color of the Day: Pictorial History of the American Paratroopers in the Invasion of Holland April, 2004, D-Day Pub, 506 p. ISBN: 2960017633
De Trez, Michel  At the Point of No Return : Pictorial History of the American Paratroopers in the Invasion of Normandy 7/98, D-Day Pub, 200 p. ISBN: 2960017617
Devlin, Gerard S  Paratrooper! St Martin's Press, (P) c1976 ISBN: 0312596529
Gardner, Ira & Roger Day Tonight We Die As Men: The untold story of Third Battalion 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment from Toccoa to D-Day. Osprey Press, (April 21, 2009) 344 p. ISBN: 1846033225
Golden, Lewis Echoes From Arnhem Penguin ISBN: 0718305213
Killblane, Richard  Mc Niece, Jake The Filthy Thirteen: From the Dustbowl to Hitler's Eagles Nest: The 101st Airborne's Most Legendary Squad of Combat Paratroopers Casemate Publishers and Book Distributors, 288 pp May 1, 2003 ISBN: 1932033122
Koskimaki, George E D-Day With The Screaming Eagles Casemate Publishers and Book Distributors, 356 pp September 11, 2002 ISBN: 1932033025
Koskimaki, George E Hell's Highway: Chronicle of the 101st Airborne Division in Holland, September-November 1944 Casemate Publishers and Book Distributors, 453 pp March 1, 2003 ISBN: 193203305X
Koskimaki, George E The Battered Bastards of Bastogne: A Chronicle of the Defense of Bastogne, December 19, 1944 - January 17, 1945 Casemate Publishers and Book Distributors, 484 pp December 1, 2002 ISBN: 1932033068
MacDonald, Charles B  A Time For Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge Wm Morrow & Co (P), 720 p. ISBN: 068151574
Malarkey, Don & Bob Welch Easy Company Soldier: The Legendary Battles of a Sergeant from WW II's "Band of Brothers" . St Martin's Press, (May 13, 2008) 288 p. ISBN: 0312378491
McKenzie, John  On Time, On Target Novato, CA: Presidio, May 15,2000. 304 p. ISBN: 089 141 714 1
Post, Robyn, Guarnere, William & Heffron, Edward  Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends  Berkley Hardcover, 10/2/2007. 320 p. ISBN: 0425217280
Ryan, Cornelius  A Bridge Too Far 670p. ISBN: 0684803305
Webster, David Kenyon Parachute Infantry: An American Paratrooper's Memoir of D- Day and the Fall of the Third Reich 352p. ISBN: 0385336497

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