The 82nd Airborne Division parachuted into history on 9 July 1943 when they led Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. Less than a year from their formation in August 1942, the All Americans (the name of the division in World War I when Sgt. Alvin York was one its soldiers) found themselves in the thick of the action, something that would become familiar to them for the rest of the war. Heavy combat followed on the Italian mainland. Then came the main event of the war: D-Day!
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Phil Nordyke has written a remarkable book about the 82nd Airborne Division that captures the experience of the men who did the fighting. . . . Readers will find themselves engrossed in the pre-jump tensions and vivid recollections of parachute drops and glider landings as well as the close combat on the battlefields in Sicily, Italy, [and] Normandy. . . . The stories of the participants provide the reader a front-row seat to some of the harsh realities of combat, but also to some of the most courageous and selfless acts. . . . The author does an excellent job of piecing together the various personal accounts into a coherent, readable story. . . . This book is a fitting tribute. Historians will find All American, All the Way a welcome addition to their libraries.
—On Point, The Journal of the Army Historical Foundation
From the book:
Sergeant Dan Furlong [Company H, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment] was the assistant jumpmaster on his C-47 carrying eighteen troopers. “The plane I was in got hit three times by an 88 and killed three and wounded four in the plane before I got out. The first one hit the right wing. It took about three feet off of the tip of the wing. The next one hit right alongside the door and took the light panel off; the red, white and green lights on the panel. And then the next one went through the floor and it blew a hole about two feet across the floor and then hit the ceiling and exploded in the plane. That’s the one that killed them. It was a delayed action fuse that goes through and then blows up. Basically, it just about cut the plane in half. There was so much confusion in there you didn’t know what was going on because there was smoke, static lines, and parachutes all over the inside of that airplane. . . . ”
PHIL NORDYKE was voted in as official historian of the 505th Regimental Combat Team (RCT) at the association’s at annual reunion, held in Colorado Springs in 2003. In addition to All American, All the Way he is the author of Four Stars of Valor: The Combat History of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II, More Than Courage: Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe: The Combat History of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II,and The All Americans in World War II: A Photographic History of the 82nd Airborne Division at War. He lives in McKinney, Texas, with his wife Nancy.
About the Author:
Phil Nordyke was elected official historian of the 505th Regimental Combat Team (RCT) at the association’s annual reunion, held in Colorado Springs in 2003. He is the author of All American, All the Way: The Combat History of the 82nd Airborne Division in World War II and The All Americans in World War II: A Photographic History of the 82nd Airborne Division at War. He lives in McKinney, Texas, with his wife Nancy.
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