(above picture)907th GFAB
Silver Star Recipients
1/Lt Thomas D Moore
Col Clarence F Nelson
101st Airborne WW II
of Honor Recipients
Lt Col Robert G Cole
Pfc Joe E. Mann
The 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
he 307th Ammunition Train was constituted on 5 August 1917 as
part of the National Army at Camp Gordon, near Atlanta, Georgia and assigned to the
82nd Infantry Division. The unit saw extensive action in World War I during the Lorraine Campaign
and the St.Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. It was demobilized 18-23 May 1919 at
Camp Upton, New York then reconstituted 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves and assigned to
the 82d Infantry Division.
In January 1942 the 307th Ammunition Train was redesignated the 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
then reactivated 2 months later on 25 March, 1942 at Camp Clairborne, Louisiana under the command of
Lt Col Clarence F. Nelson who would lead the battalion until it's deactivation after World War II.
World War II
After intensive training at Camp Claiborne, LA the 907th Glider Field Artillery
Battalion (GFAB), now an element of the 101st Airborne Division, began moving to staging areas on 22
August 1943 at Camp Shanks, New York with the rest of the division for overseas deployment. On 4 Sept the
907th set sail for England aboard the SS Strathnaver and arrivd at Liverpool, England on 18 Oct. After moving inland
the 907th eventually set up encampment at Benham Valence near Newbury and adopted the unit code name
of Kite. The battalion participated in Exercise Tiger which was staged during the week of April 23-30,
1944 as a rehearsal of the opening phase of the Utah Beach landings under VII Corps auspices.
Normandy - D-Day
The 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion with a group of the 321st GFAB were 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. A small echelon of the 907th GFAB consisting of an officer and 3 enlisted
men did parachute onto the DZ on D-Day however, the main body of the battalion arrived seaborne.
(^^ Click Picture to Enlarge ^^)
By 10 June 1944, the 907th was firing in support of a coordinated
offensive action undertaken by the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) in the general
vicinity of St. Come-du-Mont.
(picture above right: Officers of the 907th GFAB in England prior to D-Day. They are (left to right) Seated: Capt Frank Platt, Capt Robert McCrary, Maj William Pasley, Lt Col Clarence Nelson, Maj Roland White, Maj Fred Jones and Capt John Bergsma; 2nd Row: Lt Robert Keech, Capt Gerald McGlone, Lt Jack Riley, Capt Herbert Jacobs, Capt Orin South, Capt James Morford, Capt Lowell Bigelow and Lt Wayne Justinsen; 3rd Row: Lt Ralph Wynbrandt, Lt Charles Spruill, Lt Stanley Walkuw, Lt Clarence Ingersoll and Lt Edwin Blake; 4th Row: WOJG Robert Karow, Lt Walter Wood and Lt James Henderson.)
The 907th continued offensive operations
supporting the 502nd & 501st PIRs throughout this early campaign. On 26 June the battalion took up tactical bivouac
positions west of St Sauveur-le-Vicomte along with the 501st PIR and eventually moved to
Tollvast south of Cherbourg with the rest of the 101st where they patrolled the area. 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. The 907th Glider
Field Artillery Battalion took off from England on the September 19th (D plus 2). Unfortunately, only 24 men of a 550-man battalion made it
safely to the landing zone at Zon. They were scattered all over Holland, Belgium
and France and whole flights of them had returned to England. Fog had been the major problem.
The 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, who had landed the day before with their gliders, came to
support the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment in Eerde with their 105 mm howitzers. They were just in
time, because on that very day the Germans attacked the corridor on several places. The adaptability of
airborne men was well illustrated by the experience of the 907th that afternoon and night.
The Fallschirm Regiment of Von der Heydte attacked Eerde from the sanddunes with 200 men and a number of tanks.
The moment they were noticed by the Americans, the fight began. Bullets and grenades came flying into
the village. The church and the windmill were heavily damaged. A truck with ammunition got a direct hit
from a grenade and the explosion costed the lifes of many American soldiers.
Three British tanks had arrived at the windmill. Even before they could take position, they were
destroyed by German grenade fire and most of the crew came to a terrible end. The British commander
refused to risk more of his tanks if the Germans would not be chased away from the sanddunes.
At the 501st Command Headquarters, Lt Col Clarence F Nelson (picture above left) ordered Battery B to defend
the battalion while Battery A was to continue on the fire mission in support of the 501st. Five times that night the vital
wire connecting the 907th with the 501st was knocked out. Each time the artillerymen of the 907th would crawl out
under heavy German fire to repair it. After continuous heavy fighting, in which the 907th and the 501st showed heroic courage,
the dunes were cleared.
The successes of the 101st, however, were 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.
Supplies were in short supply including maps. Lt Col Nelson had only one map scale - 1:100,000 - from which
to provide his firing data. This problem was compounded by the rapidly vanishing supply of
M3 ammunition which was standard for the 105mm guns that were especially adapted for glider use.
An extremely resourceful noncom managed to acquire M2 ammunition that was able to be used in
an emergency like this one.
During this "Battle of the Bulge",
the Battalion was part of Team Cherry and successfully supported the 501st PIR defenses
along the road from Neffe to Bizory during the strategically important days before Christmas.
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 907th 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 907th moved to Davendorf in support of
the 506th PIR but did not conduct any major operations during this time.
On 23 February, the 907th 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 907th moved to the Ruhr Pocket near Neuss on 2
April to help in mop-up operations. The unit was at Hohenberg, Germany at the end of World War II
and served in the Army of Occupation of Germany from 2 May-14 August 1945. The 907th GFAB was
deactivated in Germany on 30 November 1945.
The 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion - Pictures
- 907th GFAB - HQ/HQ & Service Battery
- Photo of Headquarters,Headquarters and Service Battery Somewhere in England 1944. (Major Roland White is front row - 13th from left sitting.) (Photo courtesy of Billy White)
- 907th GFAB - Battery HQ
- Photo of Glider T/5 Harold Rummel was on when it landed in Merelbeke, Belgium on Tuesday 19 Sep 44 on Holland Operation D+2. Shown is Rummel (2nd from left standing with Carbine at slung arms, 3 other glider members, and locals.) (Photo courtesy of T Rennie)
- 907th GFAB - Battery B
- Photo of Pfc Carmelo Guglielmino of the 907th GFAB Battery B receiving a medal for action at Bastogne. (Photo courtesy of his daughter Loretta G Kepler)
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)
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.
Bando, Mark A 101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles at Normandy. Zenith Press, (Apr 2001) 156 p.
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The US 101st Airborne Division in WW II. The Aberjona Press, (June 2003) 320 p.
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(World War II 50th Anniversary Series). Crestwood House, 48 pp May,1993 ISBN: 0896865681
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With the 101st Airborne from Normandy to Bastogne. Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal, (Sept 2001) 256 p. ISBN: 1853674656
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Paratroopers in WWII. New York: St. Martin Press, (1989) 621 p.
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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
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Paratrooper! St Martin's Press, (P) c1976 ISBN: 0312596529
Gavin, James M.
On to Berlin : Battles of an Airborne Commander, 1943-1946 ISBN: 0670525170
Golden, Lewis Echoes From Arnhem Penguin
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
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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