101st Airborne Division

"This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with
.................... ......Franklin Delano Roosevelt - June 27,1936
Unit History
    501st PIR
    502nd PIR
    506th PIR 
    327th GIR
    401st GIR
    326th AEB
    377th PFAB
    463rd PFAB
    321st GFAB
    907th GFAB
    81st AAA
    326th Med Co
    426th QM Co 
    Combat Jumps
    Bulge Memories
    Co C 1/327 GIR
    101st Abn WW II
    Battery Press
  101st Airborne Assoc
  506th PIR Assoc
  504th PIR Assoc
  508th PIR Assoc
  Other Airborne Assoc
  Other Resources
  Airborne and Special Operations Museum
  WW II Historical Re- enactment Society
  Co C 1/327 GIR

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(above picture)
321st GFAB

Silver Star Recipient
LTC Edward L Carmichael

101st Airborne WW II
Medal of Honor Recipients

  Lt Col Robert G Cole
Pfc Joe E. Mann

Bronze Star Recipients
1/Lt Francis A Canham
S/Sgt Leslie B Sellers
Pfc Chares W Stange Jr

The 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion
Unit History

Brig General Anthony C Mc Auliffe at Bastogne
The insignia for the 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion (picture left) is the battalion's coat of arms. The shield is scarlet for Artillery. The lion's paws are significant of the Field Artillery, which may be likened to a mountain lion whose paws have great strength and power in felling and crushing a victim. Enscrolled beneath the shield is the motto "Noli Me Tangere" which translates to "Touch Me Not".

Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe, (picture right) the 101st Airborne Divison Artillery Commander, was the commanding officer of the American troops at Bastogne. His reply to the German demand for surrender, "Nuts", has come to signify the 101st Airborne's dogged determination to win against overwhelming odds.

n 5 August 1917 the 321st Field Artillery Regiment was constituted as part of the National Army and was assigned to the 82nd (All American) Division. The 321st , along with its two sister regiments, the 319th and the 320th 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 321st 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 321st 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 321st 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 321st was demobilized on May 26th, 1919. The Regiment's highest decorated soldier received the Distinguished Service Cross during this conflict at action near Sommerance, France.

It was reconstituted on 5 June 1930 in the Organized Reserves and consolidated with Battery C, 321st Field Artillery (itself constituted in July 1923 in the Organized Reserves as Battery C, 452d Field Artillery, and organized in Georgia; redesignated on 5 October 1929 as Battery C, 321st Field Artillery, an element of the 82d Division). The consolidated unit was designated as Battery C, 321st Field Artillery, an element of the 82d Division (later redesignated as the 82d Airborne Division).

World War II
LTC Edward L Carmichael receiving Silver Star for military action at Bastogne During the third month of World War II, the 321st Field Artillery was reorganized and redesignated on 13 February 1942 as Battery C, 321st Field Artillery Battalion, before bring ordered into active military service on 25 March 1942 at Camp Claiborne, LA. It was once again reorganized and redesignated on 15 August 1942 as Battery C, 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion, an element of the 101st Airborne Division with Lt Col Edward L. Carmichael (picture left) assuming command of the battalion upon its reactivation.

Normandy - D-Day
The 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion initially landed on Utah Beach on D-Day aboard the Liberty ship, John S Mosby, but were unable to engage in any action for several days. The reason for this was division of the battalion into two groups. The second group was aboard the Susan B Anthony which struck a mine and sank off Omaha Beach. The artillery troopers managed to get ashore without loss of life however, they had to wait until June 9th for the guns and vehicles to be off-loaded. During this time part of the battalion served as forward observers for the 506th PIR directing naval and self-propelled 105mm fire.

By 9 June 1944, the 321st were firing in support of a coordinated offensive action undertaken by the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment (GIR) as they crossed the Douve River.

The 321st continued offensive operations supporting the 327th GIR throughout this early campaign. Once across the Douve, the 321st set up its guns near Catz, laying fire on the far banks of the canal. It was relieved from action on 10 July 1944 and sailed for the base camp in England aboard an LST on 13 July 1944.

Operation Market Garden
The Battalion's next operation was Market Garden. On the 19th of September 1944 the 321st took off from Welford, England and landed by glider in the vicinity of Eindhoven, Holland. Again they supported the 327th GIR as the German forces counterattacked. The Battalion also fired in support of the 502nd PIR during its successful effort in defending Zon. On 24 September the 321st moved toward Uden with the 506th PIR then on to Nijmegen on 2 October. For its action in OPERATION MARKET GARDEN, the 321st 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 on 14 November 1944 while the 101st remained in position until 27 November.

Battle of the Bulge - The Ardennes Offensive
On 18 December 1944, the 101st Airborne Division was ordered to move to the vicinity of Bastogne, Belgium while the 82nd Airborne was directed to the Werbomont vicinity. Both airborne division were given the moumental task of holding key terrain points and counterattacking to stem the breakthrough by German Armored and Infantry forces in this sector. However, Bastogne was the key in unhinging the German communications as they struck west toward the line of the Meuse River. During this Battle of the Bulge, the Battalion was part of a successful effort to halt the German thrust. On 12 Jan 1945 the 321st supported the 506th PIR, 327th GIR and 502nd PIR in capturing the village of Foy astride the Bastogne-Noville Highway. It was for the success of their effort that the soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division were awarded the Fourragere 1940 by the King of Belgium.

On 20th of January, the 321st moved to the Alsace Province of France where Hitler's "Operation Nordwind" offensive, under the personal direction of Heinrich Himmler, was threatening a sector of the Seventh Army front. While holding the line the regiment changed positions several times. The enemy continually shelled their positions and the 321stmoved to Davendorf in support of the 506th PIR but did not conduct any major operations during this time.

On 23 February, the 321st returned to Mourmelon, France. Here General Eisenhower spoke to the 101st Airborne Division when the unit was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation for its stand at Bastogne. This was the first time in the history of the United States Amy that an entire Division had been so honored.

As the war in Europe was nearing its end,the 321st moved to the Ruhr Pocket near Nievenheim on 2 April to help in mop-up operations. On 11 April a contingent of the 321st joined Company A of the 506th PIR and crossed the Rhine River in sixteen assault boats to attack the village of Himmelgeist. On the 4th and 5th of May, the Battery A of the 321st supported the 506th in its final wartime mission - the capture of Berchtesgaden, Hitler's Eagles Nest.

321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion - Pictures  Photos 319th GFAB  

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
Ambrose, Stephen E Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Simon & Schuster, (June 2001) 336 p. ISBN: 0-743-21638-5
Ambrose, Stephen E Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944-May 7, 1945. Simon & Schuster, (Nov 1997) 528 p. ISBN: 0-684-81525-7
Badsey, Stephen & Chandler, David G (Editor)  Arnhem 1944: Operation "Market Garden" (Campaign No.24) 1993 96p. ISBN: 1855323028
Bando, Mark A  Avenging Eagles: Forbidden tales of the 101st Airborne in World War 2. Bando Publishing, (2006) 183 p. ISBN: 0977911705
Bando, Mark A  101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles at Normandy. Zenith Press, (Apr 2001) 156 p. ISBN: 0760308551
Bando, Mark A  Vanguard of the Crusade: The US 101st Airborne Division in WW II. The Aberjona Press, (June 2003) 320 p. ISBN: 0971765006
Black, Wallace B.& Blashfield, Jean F. Battle of the Bulge (World War II 50th Anniversary Series). Crestwood House, 48 pp May,1993 ISBN: 0896865681
Bowen, Robert Fighting With the Screaming Eagles: With the 101st Airborne from Normandy to Bastogne. Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal, (Sept 2001) 256 p. ISBN: 1853674656
Breuer, William B Geronimo! American Paratroopers in WWII. New York: St. Martin Press, (1989) 621 p.
ISBN: 0-312-03350-8

Breuer, William B Unexplained Mysteries of World War II. John Wiley & Sons, Sept 1998 256 p. ISBN:0471291072
Burgett, Donald R Currahee!. Presidio Press, (Sept 1999) 256 p. ISBN: 0-891-41681-1
D'Este, Carlo  Patton: A Genius for War 1024 pp ISBN: 0060927623
De Trez, Michel  American Warriors: Pictorial History of the American Paratroopers Prior to Normandy  July, 1998, D-Day Pub, 212 p. ISBN: 2960017609
De Trez, Michel  Cpl Forrest Guth: E Company 506 PIR 101st Airborne Division (WW II American Paratroopers Portrait Series)  March, 2002, D-Day Pub, 56 p. ISBN: 296001765X
De Trez, Michel  Orange is the Color of the Day: Pictorial History of the American Paratroopers in the Invasion of Holland April, 2004, D-Day Pub, 506 p. ISBN: 2960017633
De Trez, Michel  At the Point of No Return : Pictorial History of the American Paratroopers in the Invasion of Normandy 7/98, D-Day Pub, 200 p. ISBN: 2960017617
Devlin, Gerard S  Paratrooper! St Martin's Press, (P) c1976 ISBN: 0312596529
Gavin, James M.  On to Berlin : Battles of an Airborne Commander, 1943-1946 ISBN: 0670525170
Golden, Lewis Echoes From Arnhem Penguin ISBN: 0718305213
Koskimaki, George E D-Day With The Screaming Eagles Casemate Publishers and Book Distributors, 356 pp September 11, 2002 ISBN: 1932033025
Koskimaki, George E Hell's Highway: Chronicle of the 101st Airborne Division in Holland, September-November 1944 Casemate Publishers and Book Distributors, 453 pp March 1, 2003 ISBN: 193203305X
Koskimaki, George E The Battered Bastards of Bastogne: A Chronicle of the Defense of Bastogne, December 19, 1944 - January 17, 1945 Casemate Publishers and Book Distributors, 484 pp December 1, 2002 ISBN: 1932033068
MacDonald, Charles B  A Time For Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge Wm Morrow & Co (P), 720 p. ISBN: 068151574
McKenzie, John  On Time, On Target Novato, CA: Presidio, May 15,2000. 304 p. ISBN: 089 141 714 1
Ryan, Cornelius  A Bridge Too Far 670p. ISBN: 0684803305
Webster, David Kenyon Parachute Infantry: An American Paratrooper's Memoir of D- Day and the Fall of the Third Reich 352p. ISBN: 0385336497
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