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Walter Marlowe, 101st Airborne Division

Discussion in 'Honor, Service and Valor' started by Slipdigit, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I've been talking with Mr. Marlowe about creating this thread for discussion with him regarding his activities and he has agreed to post as he can.

    Mr. Marlowe was a participant in the 101st's landings in Normandy as part of Operation Overlord the night of June 5-6 1944 and the landings in The Netherlands as part of Operation Market Garden 17 Sept 1944. He also participated in the subsequent ground operations of both campaigns.

    I know that you all will treat him with the same great respect that you do our other treasured veterans and I know we are all looking forward to what Mr. Marlowe has to offer.

    Mr. Marlowe, thank your for your service and willingness to talk with us about it here.
     
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  2. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Excellent! I look forward to reading about Mr. Marlowe's experiences. This is the kind of information that cannot be found anywhere else coming from someone who was there. These postings will be treasured.
     
  3. 36thva2

    36thva2 Member

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    Outstanding!! Thank you Mr. Marlowe:salute: My uncle served in the 517th PIR and the only thing he ever said was "he was nuts for jumping out of airplanes" so, I do look forward to what you have to say.
     
  4. W Marlowe

    W Marlowe WWII Veteran

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    Gentelmen

    I guess this a good a place as any to start. I was born the eldest child of Walter Lee Marlowe and Norma B. Click. The date was November 28,1921. I was educated in military dependents schools untill I completed the Eigth Grade at a number of locations around the 48 contigeous states.

    I went to High School in San Antonio, Tx. I graduated in 1940. At that time the congress was debating the selective service bill. I thought I was smart so I decided to do my service before entering the university. I went Ft. Sam Houston to see what my options were.

    The recruiting sergeant told me that he had a deal for me. The agreement was that I would serve 1 year on active duty and five(5) years in the reserves. There was a War Clause in the agreement. The War clause was that if War was declared while I was on Active duty my enlistment would be extended for the Duration of the War plus six(6) months.

    I aslo got my choice of Army Post to take my training on active duty. I chose Ft.Benning,Georgia When I arrived at Ft. Benning i was able get my footlocker ready for inspections before the rest of the recruits so they made me an acting corporal

    Will continue later.

    As Ever,

    Walter L. Marlowe

    ( Airborne all the Way):):)
     
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  5. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Thanks, Mr. Marlowe for being willing to share your story with us. You are off to a great start. I'm sure we all look forward to further details on your service.
     
  6. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

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    I'm definitely looking forward to reading all your entries. Thank you for sharing.
     
  7. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    Thanks for being willing to share your stories with us. I look forward to reading what you have to say.
     
  8. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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    Thank you, Mr. Marlowe. I appreciate your willingness to share with us. We can study the books of various scholars, but their writing can never match the memories and experiences of someone who was there.

    I will look forward to reading your entries on this thread (as I have enjoyed them elsewhere already in the Forum).
     
  9. W Marlowe

    W Marlowe WWII Veteran

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    Gentelmen:

    To continue with my story. At Ft. Benning I received the usual Infantry School training for recruits. Among the training items was a course in rifle marksmanship, I did not explain to my instructors that as large 13 year old lad I had received instruction from a US Army Sergeant in marksmanship with 1903 Springfield Rifle. Shooting the M ! was a delight. Great range conditions and an excellent weapon I was able get a very high score in Marksmanship. The Major in charge asked me if I would like to tryout for the Infantry School Rifle Team? I agreed to become a student under instruction; if I had suceeded I would have been a member of the Team that was scheduled for the Presidents Cup Match in the Spring of 1942.

    In the meatime I was appointed a Marksmanship instructor for the Infantry Shool course for incoming new officers. I then a permenant Corporal. My new position would get to the Rank of Staff Sergeant which I achieved in May 1941. I remained in Ft.Benning for 1941 and most of 1942. In May of 1942 I was told to report to the Sergeant Major of the 2nd Student Training Regiment. He told me that the next day I was to see the Regimental Commander. When I saw him the next day he told me that I was to go to OCS( Officers Candidate School) I told I had not application he state that he had applied for me and I was accepted.

    By entering in early July I would compleat the course in October 1942. Since the US was a way all of the Wartime needs were in the course. Upon graduation on October 7,1942, I was sworn as a Second Lt. of Infantry on October 8,1942 and would rank from that date. To my delight I was accepeted at the Parachute School at Ft. Benning, the course to begin 1 week after commissioning. I had 5members of my class of 180 go with me. I compleated jump training on November 14,1942 and was assigned to the 101st Airborn Division at Ft. Bragg,NC.

    Will Pause,
    As Ever,

    Walter L. Marlowe

    Airborne All the Way)
     
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  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    What did you enjoy and dislike about Fort Benning?
     
  11. AndyPants

    AndyPants Ace

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    thanks for shareing - great to read :)
     
  12. W Marlowe

    W Marlowe WWII Veteran

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    Gentelmen:

    I will continue the story.I arrived at Ft. Bragg,NC on the 15thof November ,1942. I reported to Capatain Jack Vaughn the Adutant of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment. At this date the 101st Airbone Divisionhad only 1(one) Parachute combat Team that included the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment and the 377th Parachute Artillery Batallion ( 75mm Howitzers) plus 1 comany of Parachute Engineers.

    Jack Vaughn allow to repot to E Company then return to assist him with his duties. Captain Vaughn explaind that my Twenty First Birthday would come late in the mounth and untill that time anydocument that I executed would not be valid. I was to read and recommendaction but Captain Vaughn would sign all documents until I became 21 years old. It was a return realism that I was the Boy Wonder of the regiment.

    The 4 week I spent working with Captain Vaughn was very instructive. Men and officers were being sent the Regiment as fast as the Training Command could produce them. The 101st and 82 Abn Divisions had absolute priority ontrained manpower. Their senior officers had the authority transfer any man or officer they want to with giving any reason. I believe that such authorit was never again given. Before enlisted men could go their assigned units they had to spend a month in the Training Battalion. Dress Parades were held weekly. Since Captain was busy he allowed me to act as Adjutant on parade days. I had done some of this in High School where I was a Major in the Junior ROTC Cadet Unit. At the End of DecemberI wasallowedto Join E Company full time, My Boss Captain Jim Hatch suggested that I become the commander of the 1st Platoon. He explained that it gave me and the platoon time to get know each other.

    We went at once to the combat ranges and trained with live ammunition. During the training wewere pulled out to get ready for a VIP visit. When we demonstated our methods of attack we learned that among those watching were Secy of War Heny Stmson,General McNearny UK War Minister Anthony Eden , and General SirJohn Dill of the Imperial General Staff. Our commanders were pleased how everything came off so I guess we did well.

    Unit training continued through Feburary of 1943. On completion of Unit Training half us got leave. I got spend timein Washington,DC I had several dates with a youg lady who was a Secretary in the War Department casualty office. I had olny met once when she 7 years old and I was10. We had a wonderful week in the Washington DC Social Scence. I was object of interest by the residencet as they had seen very few paratroopers in full dress jump boots and all.

    On Return to Bragg I was tol we would spent the next six week in the field on divisional training. We forthe learned that during training we would have a additional Parachute Infantry Regiment join us

    We caught the train for Tennessee and ended up at Camp Campbell as our Base Camp. The 82nd went to Camp Shelby. There was much gossip wheather the 101st or the 82nd would go to North Africa. When training was complete we learned that the 82nd got the nod,we were unhappy.

    Must Pause,

    As Ever,
    Walter L. Marlowe
    ( Airborne all the Way)
     
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  13. rhs

    rhs Member

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    Thank You Mr Marlowe. It never fails to amaze me that the Armed Services had the ability to take boys from school and in a short time train them in a wide variety of skills and leadership. This done on such a vast scale, but thankfully the services had some first class material to start with. Looking forward to the next posting....richardrhs
     
  14. W Marlowe

    W Marlowe WWII Veteran

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    Gentelmen:

    After compleating the Tennessee Training we were given home leave prior to deployment to overseas. My mother was living in Houston,Tx. and I caught a flight to there. My mother was determined to feed me all of the things I liked most. I then went to San Antonio to see my Sister and my Father before catching a flight back Washington ,DC. There I spent the last five (5) days of my leave with a certain young lady.

    We were staged the the Port of Embarkation at Nayack ,NY. Our trip to the UK was over two weeks long as we were in a heavily escorted convoy. We were l;anded at Liverpool and put on trains for Reading. The 2nd batallion was quarted near Welford. Our mixed quarters were converted stables and a manor house when the Col. and his staff were quartered. Our mess was in the barn and all members ate at the same mess. I understand that this upset some of the long service people bur Col. shut them up quickley.

    Our training grounds were called Salibury Plain and we often could see Stonehenge in the distance. We had British officers with us so could use live ammunition. Britian at the time had ladies of the land army culivating all un used land.

    While there a Captain and I with 6 Segeants were detailed to go to Jedburg in Scotland to train peole in Small Arms and Parachuting. These people were introduced to us by a Commander in the Royal Navy. We were not allowed to talk to these people except during instruction. We were given three days leave in London then returned to our unit

    Pause,
    As Ever,
    Walter L. Marlowe

    ( Airborne all the Way):)
     
  15. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    What was your rank at this time?

    Did you travel by rail or truck from Liverpool to Reading?
     
  16. FighterPilot

    FighterPilot WWII Veteran

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    Welcome brother Marlowe..

    There are fewer and fewer of us from "our war" remaining.
    I was in San Antonio once when I was in transit after returning from overseas. The "Pachucos" owned the river walks then. (I am writing large so I can read it myself)
     
  17. delta36

    delta36 Member

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    Wow, how many veterans are there on the forums?
     
  18. W Marlowe

    W Marlowe WWII Veteran

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    Dear Fighter Pilot:

    If you were in P-47s over Holland in September 1944 I owe you big time. Plwease accept my gratitude for keepin the enemy off my back.

    As Ever,

    Walter L. Marlowe

    ( Airborne all the Way)
     
  19. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    Mr Marlowe,

    Thank you so much for this! It's a fantastic read! Looking forward to more!
    But don't let me get in the way of our conversation with Fighterpilot! Please continue gentleman!!
     
  20. W Marlowe

    W Marlowe WWII Veteran

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    Ladis and Gentelmen:

    My Grandaughter pointed out that this was not an all male forum. I have amended my salutation.

    On my return from Jedburg I took back my platoon and continued training. I noticed that our ranks had thinned. Major Ginder told me that the Col was away and that Col. Cole was in charge of the regiment for the time being. He also told that the Col. would like to see me the next day. I went down to Greenham Comman and Reported to Col. Cole. The Col. told me that I was on the 1943 promotion list. He futher stated that loses fro tranfers illness, and injuries had causedour manpower to drop. The War Department had requested that the regiment accquire replacement to bring them to TOE Strength plus 10%. He pointed out that I would be a 1st Lt. and could command one of the companies of replacements and the other officers would be 2nd Lts. I would return to the US on a returning B-!7 aircraft. He assured me that I be home for Chrismas of 1943. His estimate that I would be in US for about 90 days.

    Departure day began in Scotland, the B-17 I was traveling in was an older model and almost at the end of its operational lfe. Its Flight crew was returning with it. The bomb bay had been secured and fuel bladers had been placed in it giving the aircraft much longer range. We flew from Scotland to Iceland then from Iceland to Newfoundland and From Newfoundland to Virginia near Washington,DC. From the Airfield I was taken to BOQ at Ft. Meyer,VA. There I was given an overseas return physical and placed in 48 hour quarenteen. They fed me very welland attended to all my needs. On the third day I was told that I would be going to the War Department thenext day and get my Class A Uniform Pressed. The next day the automobile picked me up with some other 2nd lts and when we got to the War Department were taken to the Adjutant Generals Offices. There a Col. intoduced himslf as an an Assistant to Maj.Gen. J. A. Ulio, Adjutant General of the U.S. Army. We ere handed letters mine was addressed to 1st Lt. Walter L. Marlowe. We opened them and mine stated that I had been promoted and would rank from the date of the letter. The Col.s Secretary came with a hanfull of Silver bars and heled uf replace our old gold ones. We were now longer the lowes officers on the totempole.

    The Col. told us that we would all be paid and receive home leave for Christmas and after Chrismas report to our new assignments.

    Must Pause,

    As Ever,

    Walter L. Marlowe

    ( Airborne all the Way)
     
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