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Glidertrooper

Operation MARKET GARDEN 75th Anniversary – 82nd Airborne Waal River assault crossing DUI

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In time for the 75th anniversary of Operation MARKET GARDEN I though I would show of some more of my DUI.

 

The DUI shown centre around the 82nd Airborne Division’s heroic assault crossing of the Waal River in Holland to secure the bridge from both ends, as depicted by Robert Redford in the WWII film ‘A Bridge Too Far’.

 

On 20th September 1944 the crossing was made in 26 boats provided by British Army engineers under intense fire from the Nazi German defenders, including use of their dreaded 88mm flak guns. Only 13 boats completed that initial assault carrying elements of these two units:

 

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Left to Right:

 

504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR)– no hallmark – I am assuming this is a post war veterans or collectors DUI, as it exactly matches the style of the known end of war ‘Boots’ 504th patch, rather than the hyper rare during war chenille patch.

307th Airborne Engineer Battalion (AEB)– hallmarked A.H.Dondero.Inc Wash DC (incised) – this DUI is chrome plated, while the enamel is translucent to show the pebbling texture underneath so typical of WWII DUI. The hallmarking also appears to match the hallmarking of the 101st Airborne’s 377th PFAB DUI, which is well known to be of during war manufacture.

 

I would welcome knowledge or comments as to whether these DUI are of WWII manufacture or otherwise.

 

 

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The 504th PIR and C Company 307th AEB were dropped on the 17th September 1944 near Dutch village of Overasselt by this unit:

 

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315th Troop Carrier Group– hallmarked Robbins (incised) – this emblem was approved on 22nd May 1942, although I have no idea if this DUI is of WWII manufacture or otherwise.

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Prior to and during the assault crossing the 504th PIR and 307th AEB received artillery support from British Army elements and 82nd Airborne Divisional artillery in the form of this unit:

 

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376th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion (PFAB) – hallmarked HR.Newcombe & Co N.Y.C (incised) – this particular DUI is supposedly attributed to a named soldier from B Battery, although I have no actual provenance.

 

 

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And finally the obligatory ‘for fun’ shot…

 

post-166956-0-85545300-1568759308_thumb.jpg

 

…with an original WWII 82nd Airborne Division patch and a fairly uncommon variation of the 1st Allied Airborne Army DUI, which is pin back with no hallmark.

 

 

On witnessing the 504th PIR / 307th AEB assault crossing of the Waal River, the Commander of the British Second Army summed up that historic action with one word…

 

 

“Unbelievable”

 

 

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Great insignia. Great presentation. Thanks!

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Great insignia. Great presentation. Thanks!

Many thanks. Arrived in Arnhem last night and hope to make it to the 82nd Airborne monument at the Waal river bridge today, 20th, in perfect timing for the anniversary of this action.

 

Cheers......John

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Beautiful DUI's. Thanks for showing. I hope you have a good time over here in The Netherlands.

 

Rene


Never give in - never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.

 

Churchill

 

Keep buggering on.

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Beautiful DUI's. Thanks for showing. I hope you have a good time over here in The Netherlands.

 

Rene

Thank you Rene and thank you for the updates on the Norman D Landing thread, which were a great help in convincing us to visit the Waal river crossing point yesterday.

 

Just back to the hotel from our afternoon at Ginkel Heath - preceded and followed by a 5km route march pushing a baby buggy because they close the road! - where I was lucky enough to strike up a conversation with two currently serving 82nd Airborne, whos current unit lineage traces back to the 504th PIR and one of whom had made the Waal river crossing yesterday. Interestingly, both had blue skull and cross bones patches on both sides of their helmets, which they had with them as they had also just jumped into the Heath as part of the mass drops.

 

Cheers......John

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Good idea they closed the road.

 

In 1994 there was a massive traffic jam.

 

But I had a great time with relatives in Oosterbeek and Arnhem.


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Good idea they closed the road.

 

In 1994 there was a massive traffic jam.

 

But I had a great time with relatives in Oosterbeek and Arnhem.

 

Indeed there was much mention of that traffic jam incident from locals and experienced attendees of the commemorations. Given the presence of both the Queen of the Netherlands and the UK's Prince of Wales, I'm sure their security details would not have wanted a repeat of such an incident, given the extensive crowds at the Heath on Saturday.

 

I was interested to learn on this trip that the 315th Troop Carrier Group were also responsible for delivering the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade (1.SBS) to their Drop Zone at Driel on the 21st September 1944. Sadly that date was also the day our family member was KIA.

 

Cheers......John

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