DOWN TO EARTH. The 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Normandy, June 6-July 11, 1944. by Martin K.A. Morgan. Of the 2,004 men that jumped on June 6th, only 700 returned to England 35 days later.
This highly detailed and exceptionally well illustrated volume covers the 507th PIR from its beginnings on July 20 '42 and its training at Fort Benning, in Nebraska, South Dakota, and in Northern Ireland. In the early morning hours of D-Day, 2,004 paratroopers of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment jumped into Normandy as a part of the famous 82nd Airborne Division. After a widely scattered drop, the regiment then struggled in the marshes and hedgerows of the Cotentin Peninsula in battles at places with names like Chef-du-Pont, Cauquigny, La Fière and Graignes. During the regiment?s time in Normandy, the hardships were many and the casualties were high. Out of the 2,004 men that jumped on June 6th, only 700 returned to England thirty-five days later. DOWN TO EARTH tells the story of those thirty-five days. Drawing on extensive oral history interviews with veterans of the regiment, DOWN TO EARTH, complimenting the text, also features over 350 black and white and 100 color photographs, as well as detailed maps. Also described are brutal atrocities commited against men of the 507th Paratroopers and helpful citizens of Graignes, Normandy, by the SS Nazis.
The 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, which was later later assigned to the 17th Airborne Division, went on to fight in the Allied counterattack during the Battle of the Bulge. Later, on March 24 '45, the 507th was the first unit to parachute into Germany as the 17th Airborne Division was dropped across the Rhine River near Wesel in Operation Varsity. After WWII, the 507th made airborne assaults in Grenada, Panama, Afganistan and Iraq.
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