13th Airborne Corps

"This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with
.................... ......Franklin Delano Roosevelt - June 27,1936
Unit History
    511th PIR
    187th GIR
    188th GIR
    127th AEB
    457th PFAB
    472nd GFAB
  Division History
    1st ABTF
    11th Abn Div
    13th Abn Div
    17th Abn Div
    82nd Abn Div
    101st Abn Div
    Combat Jumps
    G-511th Airborne
  11th Airborne Assoc
  82nd Airborne Assoc
  504th PIR Assoc
  508th PIR Assoc
  Other Airborne Assoc
  Other Resources
  Airborne and Special Operations Museum
  WW II Historical Re- enactment Society

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(above insignia)
457th PFAB
Shoulder Patch

11th Airborne WW II
Medal of Honor Recipient

Pvt Elmer E Fryar
Pfc Manuel Perez Jr
The 457th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion
Unit History

he cadre for the 457th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion (PFAB) was formed at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina (NC) in January, 1943 from the 456th PFAB which was activated on 24 September 1942. They moved to Camp Mackall, NC to form the 11th Airborne Division and were formally activated on 25 February 1943 under the command of Major Douglass P. Quandt.

During a training exercise on 29 October 1943 a fatal accident occurred when a C-47 carrying members of Headquarters Battery attempted an emergency landing after losing power to an engine. The 10 casualties of the ensuing crash were the first for the 457th PFAB.

In July, 1944, Lt Col Douglass Quandt moved to Division Staff as General Swing's G-3 and relinquished command of the 457th PFAB to Major Kuelkhe who was the battalion's Executive Officer (XO). Captain Nick Stadtherr assumed the responsibilities of the XO at that time. The next month Major Kuelkhe was reassigned to Division Parachute Maintenance Officer and Major Nick Stadtherr was promoted to the 457th Commanding Officer.
The 11th Airborne Division moved again during the early weeks of January, 1944 to Camp Polk, Louisiana for advanced training and ground maneuvers. On 28 April 1944 the Division arrived at Camp Stoneman, California to complete final preparations for overseas deployment. The Division arrived in New Guinea during the late part of May, 1944 and established their camp at Buna-Dobodura, a deserted Air Corps airfield.

After spending a month getting acclimated to the heat and humidity, the Division was ordered into an intensive training cycle to learn jungle warfare in preparation for the invasion of the Pilippines. For the next 5 months the 11th Airborne sweated in the jungles and mountains of New Guinea and had several training jumps. Finally on November 11th, the Division boarded transports for their objective.

From November 18 to December 27 the Battalion participated in the Leyte Campaign in the Manarawat and Rock Hill areas in support of the 511th PIR. On December 24th, Batteries B & C of the 457th fired on positions west of Burauen in the hills near Abuyogna to repel a Japanese attack. Two days later on December 26th Captain Holloway, Battery A Commander, moved to within 25 yards of the Japanese positions on Purple Heart Hill. He directed an artillery concentrations along the entire ridge in support of the 2nd Battalion of the 188th GIR who were eventually forced to engage in hand-to-hand combat to take the hill. After these successes most of the division units withdrew to the Bito Beach base camp. However, the 457th PFAB remained in position outside Burauen in support of the troops still in the hills until 15 January 1945 when they too returned to Bito Beach and rejoined the rest of the 11th Airborne Division to prepare for the invasion of Luzon.

On 31 January 1945 D Battery of the 457th PFAB landed ashore at Nasugbu in support of the 188th GIR. On 4 February the rest of the Battalion jumped on Tagaytay Ridge as part of the 511th Regimental Combat Team (RCT). From there the 511th RCT moved to the Paranaque and the Pasay area and fought in the Ft. McKinley and Alabang area until 19 February 1945. Two days later all organized Japanese resistance had ceased in the areas of Mabato Point, Nichols Field, and Ft. McKinley.

During the Los Banos Raid on 23 February 1945, D Battery of the 457th PFAB under the command of Captain Lou Burris was given the assignment of positioning the Battery's artillery in support of the 511th PIR rescue efforts. D Battery fired on some machine gun emplacements initally at Mayondon Point and maintained artillery cover until the evacuation was successfully completed.

In early March the 11th Airborne's mission was to clear southern Luzon as part of XIV Corps southeastern drive through the Lipa Corridor. The 457th PFAB reinforced by the 472nd PFAB would directly support the 188th GIR in the area southwest of Manila at Ternate. A month-long war of attrition was waged against the innumerable well-camouflaged cave postions throughout this sector. In April the Battalion was involved in action around Mts.Macolod and Malepunyo. The 11th Airborne spent the next few weeks mopping up resistance throughout the southern areas of Luzon.

The 457th PFAB along with the rest of the 11th Airborne Division moved from Luzon to Okinawa in the early part of August, 1945 to spearhead the occupation of Japan by escorting General Douglas MacArthur into that country.

( Source: " The Angels: A History of the 11th Airborne Division" by Lt Gen E. M. Flanagan Jr. USA (Ret.))

The 457th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion - Pictures  Photos 504th PIR  
  • Ripple Dipple - Photo of T/4 Melvin Stockman   ((right) circa 1946 in Japan at the '4th Ripple Dipple'.   
    (Photo courtesy of Dale Stockman)

R E L A T E D   B O O K S

Ambrose, Stephen E D-DAY June 6,1944: The Climatic Battle of WW II. 6/93, Simon & Shuster ISBN: 0671673343
Archer, Clark Paratroopers Odyssey : A History of the 517th Parachute Combat Team. 266p., 1985, ISBN: 0961601507
Astor, Gerald 'Battling Buzzards': The Odyssey of the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team 1943-1945. 338p., 7/93, Donald I Fine Pub, ISBN: 0440236932
Badsey , Stephen & Chandler, David G (Editor)  Arnhem 1944: Operation "Market Garden" (Campaign No.24) 1993 96p. ISBN: 1855323028
Breuer, William B Geronimo! American Paratroopers in WWII. New York: St. Martin Press, 1989 621 p. ISBN: 0-312-03350-8
Brooks, Victor Hell is Upon Us: D-Day in the Pacific-Saipan to Guam, June-August 1944. Da Capo Press, (Sept 2005) 384 p. ISBN: 0306813696
Davis, Donald A Lightning Strike: The Secret Mission to Kill Admiral Yamamoto and Avenge Pearl Harbor. New York: St. Martin Press, (March, 2005) 400 p. ISBN: 0-312-30906-6
Devlin, Gerard S  Paratrooper! St Martin's Press, (P) c1976 ISBN: 0312596529
Flanagan, Lt Gen E. M. Jr. USA (Ret.) The Angels: A History of the 11th Airborne Division 1943-46 10/89, Presidio Press, 422 p. ISBN: 0891413588
Keegan, John The Second World War Penguin (P), 708 p. ISBN: 014011341X
McKenzie, John  On Time, On Target Novato, CA: Presidio, May 15,2000. 304 p. ISBN: 089 141 714 1
O'Donnell, Patrick K. Beyond Valor  Free Press, 2001, 384 p. ISBN: 0684873842
O'Donnell, Patrick K. Into the Rising Sun: In Their Own Words, World War II's Pacific Veterans Reveal the Heart of Combat  Free Press, 3/13/2002, 320 p. ISBN: 0743214803
Ryan, Cornelius  A Bridge Too Far 670p. ISBN: 0684803305
Wildman, John B All Americans 82nd Airborne. Meadowlands Militaria, 6/83 ISBN:091 208 1007
The Center of Military History The War in the Mediterranean: A WWII Pictorial History Brasseys, Inc., 465 p. ISBN:1574881302

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