Veterans

 

Name

Gauntlett, A.W. (Alan)

Rank(s) held

Sapper
Lance Corporal

Unit

4th Parachute Sqn Royal Engineers.
1st British Airborne Division

Campaign

Holland
Norway
Palestine

1939-1945 Star
(Battle of Britain)

France and Germany Star

War Medal 1939–1945
 (Oak leaf)

Alan joined the engineers at 17 and volunteered for the airborne.
He first saw action as he was dropped into Holland during Operation Market Garden.
He got wounded at the Oosterbeek perimeter and was taken prisoner. He managed to escape from Apeldoorn hospital barracks and made it back to safety in a daring operation known as Operation Pegasus I.
With the aid of the dutch underground some 140 airbornes, pilots and a few resistance members were assembled near Ede/Wageningen and ferried across the rhine in the night of 21 october 1944.
The North bank of the Rhine was guarded by members of Easy company commanded by Lt. Heyliger. (yes, that Easy company!)

In 1946 Alan came back to Holland to star in the motion picture
"Theirs is the Glory". Which he remembers as a fun time.

 

Name

Rosenkrantz, David

Rank(s) held

Staff Sergeant

Unit

H coy
504 PIR
82nd Airborne Division

Campaign

Sicily
Italy
Holland
 

Bronze Star
(with 2 stars)

Purple Heart

Good Conduct Medal

World War 2
Victory Medal

EAME Theater Medal
(with 2 stars)

Dave was one of the early 504 troopers, trained in Ft. Benning and Ft. Bragg.
He was shipped out to North Africa in 1942 to prepare for the invasion of Sicily.
Here Dave and one of his buddies singlehandedly captured 200 Italians!
In Italy Dave fought at Naples and Anzio.
Recouperating from heavy losses in Italy, the 504 did not jump into Normandy.

Their next stop was Holland, where H company was with the first wave of the legendary Waal crossing on september 20th.
While on patrol near Den Heuvel farm (east of Groesbeek) on september 28th, Dave was shot when his squad came into enemy contact during a night patrol.
His squad had to fall back, leaving Dave behind.

Staff sergeant David Rosenkrantz  is officially listed as MIA (Missing In Action)

God bless you Dave.

 

Name

Napier, Louis E.

Rank(s) held

sgt

Unit

I coy
504 PIR
82nd Airborne Division

Campaign

Italy
Holland
Belgium
Germany

Bronze Star
World War 2
Victory Medal
EAME Theater Medal
Presidential Unit Citation
Occupation of Germany
Medal
Dutch Orange Lanyard
Belgian Fourragère

Louis joined the Airborne because he wanted to be the best, and the extra pay to  support his family got his eye.
Louis joined E Company, 2nd Battalion 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment and was shipped to Africa to prepare for invading the mainland.
He took part in the amphibious landing at Anzio.
The 504th were decimated at Anzio and were therefore withheld from the invasion at Normandy. He jumped in Holland around Grave. After Market-Garden Louis fought agian in the Battle of the Bulge. He fought near Werbomont in the northern part of the Ardennes where Generals Ridgway and Gavin made HQ in a farmhouse.
From there he pushed east towards Trois Ponts.

Louis finally saw Berlin and was part of the occupation force before returning home to Olathe Kansas.

I have met Louis in september 2009 in Overasselt (NL) were he witnessed a memorial drop on his old dropzone.

Sadly Louis passed away on 14 december 2010 at the age of 87

 

Name

Schilling, Fred L. "Bob"

 

Rank(s) held

pfc
sergeant

Unit

G coy
504 PIR
82nd Airborne Division

Campaign

Holland
 

American Defense Service medal

Good Conduct Medal

EAME Theater Medal
(with 2 stars)

Fred jumped into Holland at Grave on the 17 september.
On 20 september G coy were the second wave of boats crossing the Waal river.
He was captured by the Germans a week later near Den heuvel (east of Groesbeek) and ended up in Stalag 7A. Apparently he escaped twice, but unsuccesful.

 

Name

Batchelor, Walter

 

Rank(s) held

Lance Corporal

Unit

C Sqn
15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars

Royal Armoured Corps

Campaign

 

Medal records
not available.

Walter drove a Cromwell tank across the Belgian border on the first day of Operation Market-Garden. Unfortunately the tank ran over two German mines, killing Walter.

 

Name

Burriss, T. Moffat

 

Rank(s) held

2nd lieutenant
1st lieutenant
Captain
Major

Unit

H coy / I coy
504PIR
82nd

Campaign

Sicily
Italy
Holland
Germany

Bronze Star
(with Oak leaf Cluster and V device)
Silver star
EAME Theater Medal

Moffat T. Burriss saw action on almost all airborne operations in the ETO, with the exception of Normandy, where the 504PIR was recouperating from heavy losses sustained in Italy.
Near the end of the war, Moffatt and 2 others singlehandedly bluffed an entire German Panzercorps into surrendering. Giving them an option to either surrender to them or to the russian army advancing behind the Germans.

 

 

Name

Geriok, Michael

 

Rank(s) held

Staff Sergeant

Unit

44th Bomb Group (Heavy).
68th Bomb Squadron

8th Airforce

Campaign

Missons flown on:
Germany
France
Holland

   
   
   
 

Michael Geriok was a radio operator on a B-24d Liberator based at Shipdham, England. On january 27 1943, the 68th bombsquad was sent on a mission to bomb U-boat bases at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Due to navigational mishaps this target was abandoned. As an good opportunity target Lemmer, Holland was chosen. Shortly after releasing their deadly cargo, the group was attacked ME109's and FW190's.
On FW190 was hit by another B24d. The plane crashed out of control into Michaels Liberator, tearing of a wing and part of the tail constrcution. The liberator went into a flat spin and crashed into the Waddenzee. One crewmember was seen to jump from the tail turret and his chute opened.
Despite a largescale search operation, only Saul Suskind's body was recovered.
Michael is listed on the Wall of the Missing at Margraten cemetary in Holland.

If you can help me with addititional information or corrections, please mail me at info@airbornedevils.nl