"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil
"""""tears and sweat. "

.......................................... ...Sir Winston Churchill
Unit History
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Gen James M Gavin

Gen Matthew B Ridgway

Maj Gen Omar N. Bradley

Gen Mark W Clark

Gen George S Patton

FM Bernard Montgomery

Bronze Star Recipients
Pfc Edward Asbury
Pvt George N Binnix
Captain Hubert Stewart(2)

Silver Star Recipients
Pvt George N Binnix
Pvt Robert J Chapman
2/Lt David L Hart


USAAF Airborne Troop Carriers in World War II

Camp Claiborne, Louisiana
3rd Infantry Division

36th Infantry Division

D-Day: Etat de Lieux

The Drop Zone

ETO Cross Channel Attack (Hyperwar)


The 82nd Airborne (CMH) Center for Military History

Sicily (CMH)

Salerno (CMH)

Naples Foggia (CMH)

Normandy (CMH)

Battle of the Bulge (CMH)
The 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion
Unit History
Brig General Francis A March

Brigadier General Francis "Andy" March (picture right) is considered the dean of Airborne Artillerymen. He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne from Africa to the Elbe. During Operation Market Garden, General March commanded British and American Artillery in the defense of the Nijmegen area.

(Source: "Saga of the All-Americans")

n 5 August 1917 the 320th Field Artillery Regiment was constituted as part of the National Army and was assigned to the 82nd (All American) Division. The 320th , along with its two sister regiments, the 319th and the 321st was officially activated as part of the 157th Field Artillery Brigade on 29 August 1917 at Camp Gordon, near Atlanta, Georgia under the regimental leadership of Col.H.C.Williams. Organized initially as horse-drawn artillery, the 320th and 321st were authorized four three-inch guns per battery while the 319th was authorized four six-inch howitzers.

After the regiments stateside training the 320th arrived in LeHarve, France on June 3rd. They were issued French 1897M1 75mm field guns as its primary weapon. The "French 75" was adopted rather than the US made M1902 (3 inch gun), Because the "75" had a higher rate of fire, greater accuracy and a recoil system that was one of the most important technological advances in Field Artillery history. This recoil system, consisting of two hydraulic reservoirs, a floating piston, a connected piston a head of gas and a reservoir of oil, has influenced the design of every Field Artillery weapon produced this century.

World War I
The 320th first saw action during the Lorraine Campaign. It was on August 17th on the Marbache front, north of Nancy where it relieved the 12th Field Artillery in the sector taken over from the 2nd Division by the 82nd Division. The Regiment manned the 90mm sector guns left in place by the French with gunners from A,B,C and F Batteries.

The following month the 320th saw action during the St.Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives.During the last days of WW I the Regiment moved from Imecourt to Les Islettes where it was encamped when the Armistice was declared.  After returning to the United States the 320th was demobilized on May 12th, 1919.

On 24 June 1921, under authority contained in Section 3a, National Defense Act, the 320th Field Artillery Regiment of World War I was reconstituted in the Organized Reserves as the 320th Field Artillery and assigned to the 82nd Division.

World War II
During the second month of World War II, the 320th Field Artillery was reorganized and redesignated as the 320th Field Artillery Battalion. It was then reactivated as part of the 82nd Infantry Division at Camp Clairborne,Louisiana on 25 March 1942 and LTC Francis A. March III assumed command of the battalion upon its reactivation.

In mid-August 1942, when the 82nd Infantry Division was converted to an airborne division, the battalion was reorganized and redesignated as the 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion. It was organized into two firing batteries of six M1A1 75mm pach howitzers each. However, prior to entering combat, the 320th was issued the M3 105mm howitzer. On 5 January 1943, LTC Paul E. Wright assumed command of the battalion and remained in command throughout the war.

During the Sicilian Campaign the 320th remained in reserve. The Battalion landed on the beach near Paestum, Italy on 23 September 1943 and remained in division reserve again until 15 October 1943 when  Brigadier General Gavin, the division commander, directed the 320th to reinforce the fires of the 3rd Infantry Division Artillery which was engaged with forces of the German Army in the vicinity of the Volturino River. It was here that the Battalion fired it first round of WW II. The  Battalion remained in action until 1 November 1943 when it was relieved and returned to division control at Naples, Italy.

Normandy - D-Day
The 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion arrived into battle by glider and parachutes on 6 June 1944. Poor visibility and low ceiling made air navigation extremely difficult. As a result, gliders were badly scattered for miles along the drop zone.  By 0930 the following day, only two howitzers were in action - one firing north and one firing south.

By 8 June 1944, eight howitzers were firing in support of a coordinated offensive action undertaken by the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment. On the following day, a ninth howitzer was constituted from three damaged weapons and placed into action.

French Croix de GuerreThe 320th continued offensive operations supporting the 325th throughout this early campaign. On 13 June 1944, the Battalion reinforced the fires of the 319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion in support of the crossing of the Douve River, made by the 508th PIR. It was relieved from action on 11 July 1944 and sailed for the base camp in England on LST No.532 on 13 July 1944. As a result of its actions in OPERATION OVERLORD, the Battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm.

The Battalion's next operation was Market Garden. On the 18th and 19th of September 1944  the Battalion landed by glider in the vicinity of Groesbeck, Holland. Again they supported the 325th Glider Infantry in clearing the area of German forces and holding the division sector for the advancing Guards Armored Force of His Majesty's Forces. The Battalion also fired in support of the 2nd Battalion, 505th PIR during its successful effort to establish the first bridgehead across the Waal River at Nijmegen. For its action in OPERATION MARKET GARDEN, the 320th was awarded the Military Order of William.

Its success, however, was short-lived because of the defeat of other Allied units at Arnhem. The gateway to Germany would not open in September 1944, and the 82nd was ordered back to France.

Battle of the Bulge - The Ardennes Offensive
On 18 December 1944, the 82nd Airborne Division was ordered to move to the vicinity of Webermont, Belgium with the monumental task of holding key terrain points and counterattacking to stem the breakthrough by German Armored and Infantry forces in this sector. During this "Battle of the Bulge", the Battalion was part of a successful effort to halt the German thrust and fired more than 18,900 rounds.  It was for the success of their effort that the soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division were awarded the Fourragere 1940 by the King of Belgium.

The final sweep of the 82nd Airborne through Germany and across the Rhine River near Cologne began on 1 April 1945. Once the Ruhr Pocket was cleared the 320th together with other units of the 82nd Airborne Division moved to the vicinity of Blekede and the Elbe River with the mission of forcing a crossing of the river and driving east to contact units of the Russian Army. The battalion moved forward into Ludwigslust, Germany where it contacted Russian forces and began occupation duties on 1 May 1945.

320th GFAB Battery B (Source: Charles Nowack)On 15 August 1945, the Battalion moved to Berlin and again assumed occupation duties. During its combat action in World War II, the 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion expended more than 68,562 rounds of ammunition. One hundred seventy-one tons of ammunition fired by the Battalion delivered 2,468, 200 pounds of high explosive projectiles upon the enemy.

(picture above right: Men of the Battery B 320th GFAB in France 1 Sept 1945. (^^ Click Picture to Enlarge ^^) )

(Source: "Regimental History of the 320th Field Artillery" (courtesy of Ed A Asbury))

320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion - Pictures  Photos 320th GFAB  
  • 320th GFAB - A Battery Section - Photo of a section of Battery A , 320th GFAB - Date and location of Photo unknown.  (BOTTOM ROW: [left to right] Clarence Semanski ,Paul MacComber ,Paul Speakman and Roscoe Pugliese.  TOP ROW: [left to right] Sgt William Hogan ,Glen W Sawyer ,Joseph Santosky and Cpl William J Flynn) (Photo courtesy of Tim Stephens)
  • 320th GFAB - A Battery - Date and location of Photo unknown.  
    (Photo courtesy of Linda Martino)
  • 320th GFAB - HQ Battery - Photo of the 320th GFAB in France circa 1945  
    (Photo courtesy of Leah Stednitz)

R E L A T E D   B O O K S

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