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|The Manor House at La Fierre Bridge....
June 6th, 1944.
"In all of the airborne operations of the ETO, the
Merderet Bridgehead was the one attended by the
greatest difficulty and hardships of the individual
assemblies … these conditions so frequently brought
forth the finest characteristics of the American
soldier." - S L A Marshall
Shortly after the landings of D-Day, scattered units
of the 82nd as well as the 101st Airborne came
together. With these mixed units, they fought through
the early days of the invasion until they found their
units in other towns. The story of the men at La
Fierre is one not to be forgotten.
On the Merderet River lays a bridge known as the La
Fierre bridge. It was a key bridge needed for the
inasion to conitnue. This bridge over looked St.
Mere-Eglise. It was the responcibility of the mixed
units of the 82nd to hold this bridge until
reinforcements arrive. With the Germans in a near town
about 800 yards from the bridge, the 82nd had to dig
There were Germans near the bridge, but were cleared
out by the 82nd. A Company of the 505th cleared out
the manor house which provided excellent shelter from
the German artillery. There were four bazooka men who
dug in near the road, and they along with a 57
There was an MG team set up in the yard of the manor
house, and another team down the road.
On June 9th, 1944 at 5:00 the Germands attacked. With
two tanks and infantry they assaulted the bridghead
and the small unit of the 82nd. While bazooka teams
worked on taking out the tanks, rifleman and the MG
teams layed down suppressing fire. One of the MG
gunners squeezed off a shot and killed a tank
commander who was taking a quick view of the battle.
The MG team moved from the yard and into the manor
house. The Germans fired on the bridghead using 88 mm
cannons, and many of the paratroopers were killed. At
the end of the battle the German tanks were knocked
out and they retreated. The 82nd had won the battle,
and were relieved that day by the 325th GIR. PFC
Charles N. DeGlopper had led his mixed unit platoon of
the 507th and 508th to victory that day and was
awarded the Medal of Honor.
The 82nd continued on and eventualy took the town of
Baupt. After 33 days of being in hell, the 82nd had
lost 5,245 men.
"...33 days of action without relief, without
replacements. Every mission accomplished. No ground
gained was ever relinquished."
This is the story of the men in the manor house. After
the battle an 88 shell made a direct hit and the
building was leveled. The men of the MG team could not
KRAUTS GOT 88's!!"
"Hold on Mac, I'm making room for the 30."
"Okay all clear!!!! Come on in and make yourself at
"Jesus Hank, you're all cheerful in here and we almost
got hit by those 88's.
"Hey, I gotta keep the spirits up right?"
"Hey Matt, glad to see you made it through"
"Yeah sure....Come on Mac we gotta set up on thid old
The MG team dug in, and after more shelling and three
days, the Germans attacked.
"Here they come Matt, lets load her up. Keep feedin
her the rounds and I'll keep puttin them out. By the
way, wheres your rifle?"
"Hell Mac, I was thinking about the tripod not the
rifle. It's out there somewhere. Come on, focus here I
think I hear tanks.....TANKS?!?!"
"Holy....INFANTRY!!!" The two gunner begin to supress
"Hey Hank, you keep our flank secure. When I was with
the 504th I nearly got killed because our flank was
open. Don't worry Matt, I ain't lettin no one get
through our lines."
"THERE MAC! KRAUTS MOVING IN THE OPEN!!!!"
"ADJUST! I got three of em!!!! Oh boy this is too much
"I'M OUT! I'M OUT! Hank take out the old belt, Matt
give me our last one. Hank has one for us in the
corner. We have to make this one last.
"Looks like Bryan and the boys took out the first
tank! We got this, just keep ya head down boys."
"Mac look! The tanker has his head out!"
...."Holy hell, did you boys see that? ONE SHOT! Geez,
ain't you boys happy you got me?"
"Yeah Mac, we love ya. Look at that! They're
The cheer has been cut short....An 88 just hit the
building and the manor house collapses. Without the
men of the 82nd, and they're hard fighting spirit,
Normandy could've been a whole different battle.
This is dedicated to the men of the 82nd and those who
sacrificed themselves for the freedome of the world.
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