By James Megellas
In mid-1943 James Megellas, referred to as “Maggie” to his fellow paratroopers, joined the 82d Airborne department, his new “home” for the period. His first flavor of wrestle used to be within the rugged mountains outdoors Naples.
In October 1943, whilst many of the 82d departed Italy to organize for the D-Day invasion of France, Lt. Gen. Mark Clark, the 5th military commander, asked that the division’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Maggie’s outfit, remain at the back of for a bold new operation that will outflank the Nazis’ obdurate protective strains and open the line to Rome. On 22 January 1944, Megellas and the remainder of the 504th landed around the seashore at Anzio. Following preliminary good fortune, 5th Army’s amphibious attack, Operation Shingle, slowed down within the face of heavy German counterattacks that threatened to force the Allies into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Anzio changed into a fiasco, one of many bloodiest Allied operations of the struggle. no longer until eventually April have been the remnants of the regiment withdrawn and shipped to England to get well, reorganize, refit, and teach for his or her subsequent mission.
In September, Megellas parachuted into Holland in addition to the remainder of the 82d Airborne as a part of one other star-crossed project, box Marshal Montgomery’s vainglorious Operation industry backyard. Months of demanding strive against in Holland have been through the conflict of the Bulge, and the lengthy challenging highway throughout Germany to Berlin.
Megellas was once the main embellished officer of the 82d Airborne department and observed extra motion throughout the warfare than such a lot. but All how you can Berlin is greater than simply Maggie’s global battle II memoir. all through his narrative, he skillfully interweaves tales of the opposite paratroopers of H corporation, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. the result's a notable account of guys at struggle.
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Extra info for All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe
I was able to retrace my footsteps and revisit those fields from letters I had written home. On 12 November, shortly after my arrival at Lubbock, I wrote to my brother Louis: “I haven’t been near a glider. This is not a glider field, and we will be here only a couple of days more . . and then will be sent out to start training. . ” On 24 November I reported for duty at the Army Air Navigation School, in Hondo, Texas—my fifth post in less than six months. Just as with Lubbock, Hondo was not a glider-training base, so my stay here would be short.
The enlisted men will follow you anywhere without question. It is the officer’s job to stand in the door while the plane is in flight, pick out the jump field and time the jump commands so that all your “stick” of men gets in the field. ” This command is a psychological one. Then you give the command “Let’s go” and out you go with your men behind you. There’s no question but that this is a rugged outfit and you take a lot of risks, but I would not trade this outfit for any in the world. On 28 June, after completion of parachute school, I was assigned to Company H, 515th Parachute Regiment, located in the frying pan area of Fort Benning, some eight miles from the barracks we had occupied during training.
For gallantry in action on 28 January 1945 near Herresbach, Belgium. After breaking a trail across country for twelve hours in deep, dry snow, First Lieutenant Megellas, a platoon leader, was ordered to advance with his platoon and two supporting tanks along the main road leading into Herresbach. About one mile from the town, his platoon was fired upon by about 200 Germans forming for a defense. Quickly grasping the situation, he led a frontal assault on the startled enemy who attempted to fight back.