Tuesday, November 11, 2014

D-Day June 6 1944 Binghamton Paratrooper Robert Warner Drops Into Ste Mere Eglise With Capt Ben Schwartzwalder Company G 507th PIR


D-Day June 6 1944 at 2:30 AM….Robert F. Warner was a paratrooper with Company G of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment attached to the 82nd Airborne Division under the command of Capt. "Ben" Schwartzwalder they went into Normandy on D-Day June 6 1944 at 2:30 AM landing under heavy fire, Col. Millett gathered 40 troopers and attacked Amfreville. US Army vet Robert F. Warner was a long time resident of Binghamton NY until he retired to Sarasota Fl where he died in 1995 and is buried. Robert F. Warner and his 3 brothers, Jim, Harry and Bill were all involved with the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008, BAND OF WARNER BROTHERS AT D-DAY INVASION OF NORMANDY & STE.-MERE-EGLISE WITH THE 82nd AIRBORNE ON 6/06/44.   The first time Bill Warner watched the movie "Saving PrivateRyan," he understood why it was difficult for his father anduncles to talk about their war time experiences."When I saw the movie, I was stunned. I just never knew what itwas all about or what they had to deal with or exactly howhorrible it was," said Bill Warner, who worked for Warehouse Carpet when he lived in Johnson City NY, before moving to Sarasota Fl in 1988.

D-Day, 6/06/1944, 6:00 AM…..Company G of the 507th PIR,  Lt. Col Malloney gathered 400 troopers with Capt. Ben Schwartzwalder and crossed the La Fiere Bridge, see the 4th entry on the left on the 507th paratroopers map above. Capt. "Ben" Schwartzwalder (June 2, 1909 – June 15, 1993) went on to become a Hall of Fame football coach at Syracuse University NY, where he trained such future National Football League stars as Jim Brown, as well as the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy, Ernie Davis.  Binghamton paratrooper Robert F. Warner of Company G of the 507th was a life long fan of the Syracuse football team. Paratrooper Robert F. Warner fought under Capt. "Ben" Schwartzwalder at the Battle Around La Fiere Bridge at Ste. Mere d’Eglise.
As a Captain in the 82nd Airborne (CO of Company G of the 507th), Ben Schwartzwalder earned distinction during the invasion of Normandy and battles that followed in the last days of the war. He played key roles in the capture of the La Fiere Causeway and Sainte-Mere-Eglise, crucial points of entry into France during the D-Day invasion. By the time the 507th reached the battle for Hill 95, they had suffered more than 65% casualties.  Even as a paratrooper, Schwartzwalder remained focused on his football career. "Photo above was taken at a Syracuse Univ. football game, Coach Schwartzwalder is to the far right, super star player Ernie Davis, #44, is to the far left."  Schwartzwalder organized an athletic league from among the soldiers being assembled in England in preparation for D-Day in order to keep the troops motivated and fit. He coached the 507th PIR football team, leading them through a ten game season in which the 507th was never defeated and never even scored upon, the perfect season.

D-Day, 6/06/1944, 9:00 PM….Company G of the 507th PIR, Lt. Col Malloney continued the fight to control the La Fiere Bridge. The Battle around La Fiere Bridge at Ste. Mere d’Eglise the primary target of the 82nd Airborne on D-Day. La Fiére causeway became the linchpin in the larger struggle for the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment’s operational objectives. The battle at La Fiére cost the 82nd Airborne and it’s three parachute regiments 60 killed and 529 wounded, captured or missing. The objectives of the 82nd's three parachute regiments looked clear. The 505th would take the important crossroads town of Ste. Mére-Eglise and the eastern ends of two crucial crossings over the Merderet River at Chef-du-Pont and La Fiére. The 507th would seize the western end of La Fiére at the village of Cauquigny, and the 508th would secure crossings over the Douve River at the southwestern end of the drop zone.

After moving only a short distance, Capt. Ben Schwartzwalder’s Company G 507th group came under fire from one of the same machine guns that had stopped Dolan’s 505th paratroopers earlier that morning. At about the same time, the 508th’s regimental commander, Colonel Roy Lindquist, arrived on the scene with a group of troopers that included men from C Company/505th PIR. These units continued to converge on the objective until elements of the 505th and the 508th began to enter the manor grounds through its backyard. Sporadic shots continued briefly and then one of Dolan’s men fired an M-1A1 “bazooka” into the stoutly built stone house.

Shortly thereafter, a 508th PIR sergeant darted through the front door and emptied a full magazine from his M-1A1 Thompson submachine gun up through the floorboards of the second story. What was left of the German force immediately surrendered, and the battle for the Leroux manor at La Fière was over. Trooper Robert Warner went onto fight at the Battle of the Bulge - The Ardennes Offensive, Rhineland and in Central Europe, Robert F. Warner a trooper with the 507th PIR received a purple heart on March 24th, 1945 for injuries received in combat at Operation Varsity - The Airborne Assault on the Rhine, see his service record above, "Purple Heart ETO 24 Mar 45".


Operation Varsity - The Airborne Assault on the Rhine March 24th, 1945; In early February 1945, the tide of battle was such as to enable an accurate estimate as to when and where the 2nd British Army would be ready to force a crossing of the Rhine River. It was determined that the crossing would be in conjunction with an airborne operation by XVIII Airborne Corps. The sector selected for the assault was in the vicinity of Wesel, just north of the Ruhr, on 24 March 1945. Operation Varsity would be the last full scale airborne drop of World War II and the assignment went to the 17th Airborne Division with the 507th spearheading the assault dropping at the southern edge of the Diersfordter Forest, three mile northwest of Wesel, this is when trooper Robert F. Warner from Binghamton NY was injured in battle.

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