Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Last Drop "Operation Varsity" March 24th 1945 - The 507th Parachute Inantry Regiment Airborne Assault on the Rhine Included Binghamton Resident Robert Warner.

Operation Varsity (24 March 1945) was a joint American–British airborne operation that took place toward the end of World War II. Involving more than 16,000 paratroopers and several thousand aircraft, it was the largest single airborne operation in history to be conducted on a single day and in one location.

The 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, under the command of Colonel Edson Raff, was the lead assault formation for the 17th Airborne Division, and was consequently the first US airborne unit to land as part of Operation Varsity. The entire regiment was meant to be dropped in drop zone W, a clearing 2 miles (3 km) north of Wesel; however, excessive ground haze confused the pilots of the transport aircraft carrying the regiment, and as such when the regiment dropped it split into two halves.

Colonel Raff and approximately 690 of his 507th paratroopers landed northwest of the drop zone near the town of Diersfordt, with the rest of the regiment successfully landing in drop zone W.

The colonel rallied his separated paratroopers and led them to drop zone W, engaging a battery of German artillery en route, killing or capturing the artillery crews before reuniting with the rest of the regiment. By 2 pm, the 507th had secured all of its objectives and cleared the area around Diersfordt, having engaged numerous German troops and also destroying a German tank.

It was during the 507th PIR drop and ensuing Operation Varsity Rhineland battle on March 24th, 1945 that 507th Paratrooper PFC Robert Warner (from Binghamton NY) was wounded in combat, he received the Purple Heart.  507th PIR trooper Robert Warner (from Binghamton NY) had also taken part in Operation Overlord D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6th, 1944 with his 3 brothers, he dropped into the Ste. Mere Eglise area of France.

D-Day, 6/06/44, Normandy, Robert Warner 3rd Battalion 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment Company G, 82nd Airborne, fought with his buddies against a SS Nazi Regiment at Graignes France, site of the “Secret Massacre”.  507th PIR PFC Robert Warner (from Binghamton NY) also fought agaisnt the Nazi's at the Ardenes and in the Central Europe Campaign.

507th Paratrooper PFC Robert Warner (from Binghamton NY) was at the first major drop of the 507th PIR in Europe Operation Overlord D-Day Normandy 6/06/1944 and 507th Paratrooper PFC Robert Warner was at the Operation Varsity "Last Drop" of the 507th PIR on 3/24/1945, Robert Warner was my father.

The actions of the 507th parachute regiment during the initial landing also gained the division its second Medal of Honor, when Private George J. Peters posthumously received the award after charging a German machine gun nest and eliminating it with rifle fire and grenades, allowing his fellow paratroopers to gather their equipment and capture the regiment's first objective.

It was during this operation that Pfc George J Peters of the 507th won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Pfc Peters and a group of 10 other troopers landed in an open field near the town of Fluren. Raked by enemy machine gun fire the troopers laid there helplessly. Peters, armed with only his rifle and a few grenades took it upon himself to charge the German machine gun nest. After receiving several wounds and bleeding profusely Peters crawled to within 15 feet of the gun enplacement and pitched two grenades into the enemy stronghold. The ensuing explosion silenced the machine gun and its crew.

Operation Varsity was a text book success. All of the units had performed in an amazing fashion shattering the German defenses in four and a half hours. In the ensuing days the 17th Airborne would lead the thrust into the heartland of Germany. On April 10th, 1945, the 507th captured Essen, the home of the Krupps Steelworks

Bill Warner Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM