“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lugoff in Kershaw County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Our Honored Dead

Our Honored Dead Marker ~ West Face image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, November 20, 2011
1. Our Honored Dead Marker ~ West Face
Inscription. (West Face):
Dedicated to Lt. Gen. James Maurice Gavin, USA March 22, 1907 ~ February 23, 1990 And Our Honored Dead *** 1st Commander 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment Commanding General 82nd Airborne Division Ambassador to France *** A Courageous Leader A Trooper's Soldier *** Erected by Veterans of the 505th Parachute RCT Association World War II June 14, 1991

(South Face):
Commemoration On this site on March 29, 1943 the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment made the first regimental mass parachute jump in the history of the United States Army *** The success of this exercise established the feasibility of and the foundation for the conduct of large - scale parachute operations in World War II *** United States Army Air Corps Troop Carrier Units Provided the C-47 Aircraft for this historic parachute jump

(East Face):
505th Parachute Infantry Regiment "Ready" Activated 6 July 1942 Remains active today *** Thirty months overseas six campaigns seven river crossings four combat jumps 325 days in combat 654 killed in action *** Presidential Unit Citations French and Belgium Fourrageres Netherland Orange Lanyard World War II Commanders Col. James M. Gavin July 1942 - Oct 1943 Lt. Col. Herbert Batcheller Nov 1943 - Mar 1944 Col. William E. Ekman Apr 1944 - Sept 1947

(North Face):
Our Honored Dead Marker ~ South Face image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, November 20, 2011
2. Our Honored Dead Marker ~ South Face
82nd Airborne Division "All American" "America's Guard of Honor" 82nd Infantry Division Activated 25 August 1917 Reactivated 25 March 1942 Reorganized and Redesignated an Airborne Division 5 August 1942 *** World War II Campaigns Sicily Naples - Foggia Normandy Holland Ardennes Central Europe
Erected 1991 by Veterans of the 505th Parachute RCT Association World War II.
Location. 34° 14.261′ N, 80° 39.723′ W. Marker is in Lugoff, South Carolina, in Kershaw County. Marker is on U.S. 1 near Longtown Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lugoff SC 29078, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Donald Truesdell Memorial (approx. 2.9 miles away); Mather Academy (approx. 2.9 miles away); Northwest Redoubt (approx. 3 miles away); Nothwest Redoubt (approx. 3 miles away); Quaker Burying Ground (approx. 3 miles away); West Redoubt (approx. 3 miles away); a different marker also named West Redoubt (approx. 3 miles away); Monroe Boykin Park (approx. 3.1 miles away).
Additional comments.
1. The First Mass Parachute Jump
The 505 made U. S. Army history by being the first
Our Honored Dead Marker ~ East Face image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, November 20, 2011
3. Our Honored Dead Marker ~ East Face
parachute infantry regiment to jump en masse. During a division training demonstration of an airfield seizure, the 505 jumped from C-47s onto three separate drop zones at Fort Jackson near Camden, South Carolina, in front of an audience of dignitaries including British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill and Chief of Staff of the Army, General George C. Marshall. The event, considered a success and a notable training achievement, was however marred by tragedy when one of the transports in the formation suddenly lost power. The stricken C-47 managed to land safely, but on its way down it sliced through a stick of paratroopers who had just jumped from another plane, killing three. Private Kelly Byars, a medic with Headquarters Company of the 1st Battalion, had the risers of his chute cut off about 18” above his hands by the plane’s propellers. Relying on his training, Private Byars deployed his reserve and landed safely. Though shaken and visibly upset by his close call, Byars, showing the mettle of a paratrooper and following the example of his commander in wanting to go “where danger was greatest”, did not request a transfer out of the airborne.
    — Submitted November 22, 2011, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina.

2. Brief History of the 505 Parachute Infantry
Our Honored Dead Marker ~ North Face image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, November 20, 2011
4. Our Honored Dead Marker ~ North Face

During World War II, the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment participated in seven major campaigns and four regimental airborne assaults.
On 6 July 1942, at Fort Benning, Georgia, the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment was activated under the Airborne Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. On 4 February 1943, the Regiment was assigned to the 82d Airborne Division. The Regiment arrived at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on 12 February 1943.

Sicily - Operation Husky

On 9 July 1943, just over a year after its activation the 505th made the first regimental size combat parachute attack as part of Operation Husky l. Under the capable leadership of Colonel James M. "Slim Jim" Gavin the 505th was organized into a Regimental Combat Team which included the 3rd Battalion of the 504th. As a staff officer in Airborne Command under General Lee, Colonel Gavin wrote "Instructional Pamphlet for Airborne Operations". These theories and observations would now be put to the test.
Their objective was to parachute behind enemy lines into an egg-shaped area around Gela, Sicily. They would then close off roads leading to beaches and secure the drop zone for further use. Especially important near the DZ was enemy-held Objective Y - a series of 16 concrete "pillboxes" from which German gunners controlled movement on nearby roads. However, Mother Nature did not cooperate.
Overview from the north image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, November 20, 2011
5. Overview from the north
July 9th Colonel Gavin was informed that wind velocity in the landing area was 35 miles per hour but the invasion was underway and there was no turning back. It was under these harrowing conditions that the 505th had its first trial-by-fire. Only 15% of the combat team had been delivered to the correct DZ. Nevertheless, small groups of lost Paratroopers cut every phone line that they found which devastated the communications of the Axis forces.
Ambushes were conducted and even Objective Y, the deadly pillboxes were secured. By continuing to fight in small groups the 505th led the Germans and Italians to overestimate the number of airborne invaders thus impeding any meaningful counterattacks. The German Herman Goering Panzer Division was another matter. Even though outmanned and outgunned, the 505th used raw courage and fighting spirit to block the steel behemoths of this Division from advancing toward the Allied landings on the beachhead. With Sicily secure, the Allies continued attack on the Axis powers with landings on the Italian mainland.

Salerno - Operation Avalanche

A landing on mainland Italy took place in the early morning of 12 September 1943 at Salerno under General Mark Clark. Within 72 hours German Field Marshal Kesselring was poised to drive the Allies back into the sea. This set the stage for the 505th's second combat jump. On the night of 14 September
Overview from the highway image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, November 20, 2011
6. Overview from the highway
1943, Jim Gavin's 505th Parachute Infantry totaling roughly 2100 combat hardened paratroopers dropped onto the tenuous Salerno beachhead. It was an encore performance of the previous night's precise parachute jump by the 504th and no less spectacular. Within 24 hours these two units of the 82nd Airborne had jumped on short notice and shored up the faltering Salerno beachhead.

Two weeks later on 29 September the 505th had probed into the outskirts of Naples thereby capturing the first major European city for the Allies. On 9 December 1943 Colonel Gavin was promoted to Brigadier General and assumed the duties of the Assistant Division Commander of the 82nd Airborne while Lt Col Herbert Batchellor assumed command of the 505th. During the early months of 1944, the Division was moved to England as the allies were preparing for the assault on Western Europe. The regiment again changed commanders. Lt Col William Ekman assumed command on 22 March 1944 and would lead the 505th through the remainder of the war.

The largest combined military operation in history, "D-Day", was to be spearheaded by the 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions. Visibility was hampered by poor weather conditions as the C-47's crossed the English Channel during the first hours of the 6th of June 1944. When the troop carriers finally did made landfall on the Cherbourg Peninsula they came under
General James M Gavin image. Click for full size.
By US Army
7. General James M Gavin
heavy German flak scattering many of the troop carrier flights. It was 0300 hours on 6 June 1944, when the 505th were given the green light to jump. Some Pathfinders were able to signal their dropzones. However, many of the troop carriers missed their dropzones and the All-Americans of the 505th began landing across a large swath of the countryside around Normandy.
Nevertheless, the 505th PIR was one of the first airborne units to hit the ground and despite the subsequent confusion surrounding the landing, were able to use it to their advantage mustering enough troops under the command of the 2nd Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort to liberate the first town in France, - St. Mere-Eglise. The paratroopers jumped prior to the actual start of the invasion "H-Hour". Because of the tradition of being the first into the fight, the 505th Regimental motto is "H-MINUS". For their performance in the invasions the 505th was awarded the Presidential unit citation, the unit equivalent of the Medal of Honor awarded to individual soldiers. In the words of author Clay Blair, the paratroopers emerged from Normandy with the reputation of being a pack of jackals; the toughest, most resourceful and bloodthirsty in Europe.

Operation Market Garden

On 9 September 1944 Field-Marshal Montgomery proposed a plan, called Operation Market Garden, to secure a bridgehead across
Gen. Lee, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall image. Click for full size.
By US Army
8. Gen. Lee, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall
At the observation of the historic first mass parachute jump.
the Rhine. The operation called for a combined armor and airborne assault to seize and hold key bridges and roads deep behind German lines in Holland. The airborne phase of the operation consisted of capturing five bridges ahead of the armored force.
On 17 September 1944, as part of Operation Market Garden, the 505th made its fourth jump at Groesbeck, Holland, the largest airborne assault in history. During that fierce combat, two lightly armed platoons, at most 80 men, were surrounded by an entire German Infantry Battalion supported by tanks. The paratroopers fought back three savage German assaults and held their ground until relieved. The 505th received a second Presidential unit citation.
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

Suddenly, on December 16, 1944, the Germans launched a surprise offensive through the Ardennes Forest which caught the Allies completely by surprise. Two days later the 82nd joined the fighting and quickly blunted General Von Runstedt's northern penetration of the American lines above Bastogne.
Meanwhile, on the morning of 19 December the 501st PIR of the 101st Airborne Division was digging in at Bastogne, as the Germans quickly infiltrated and cut off the road between the two elements and the "Battle of the Bulge" offensive flowed around the two airborne units.
Despite a lack of cold weather equipment once again airborne spirit, courage, and hard-nosed determination won the day as the 505th withstood the bleak winter and stopped the fanatic German attacks at Ste Vith and the Salm River.
For its valor in the seven major campaigns of the European Theatre of Operations, the 505th was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations and three Foreign decorations: the French Forragere, Netherlands Military Order of William, and Belgium Forragere.


The war officially ended in Europe on 8 May 1945 and the 82nd Airborne Division was called upon to serve as the occupation force in the American Sector of Berlin. Here the 82nd Airborne Division earned the name, "America’s Guard of Honor", as a fitting end to hostilities in which the "All-Americans" had chased the German Army some 14,000 miles across the European Theater
    — Submitted November 22, 2011, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina.

Categories. War, World II
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