Hailing from the big cities and small towns of America, these young men came together to serve their country and the greater good. Preparing for war, they came of age in what arguably became the best parachute infantry regiment to descend upon a Europe beset by World War II. They were the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division (the All Americans), and their story is told here by their official historian Phil Nordyke. Drawing on interviews with surviving veterans and oral history recordings as well as official archives and unpublished written accounts from over 300 veterans of the 505th PIR and their supporting units, Nordyke brings the history of the regiment to life, conveying with remarkable immediacy and power what it was like to be there: to liberate the first town in France; to spearhead the invasion of Sicily in the first American mass combat jump to fight at the forefront of six major campaigns (Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Normandy, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Germany); to jump into Normandy as the only U.S. parachute regiment with combat experience. This is history as it was lived by the men of the 505th, from their pre-war coming of age in the regiment, through the end of World War II, when they marched in the Victory Parade up Fifth Avenue in New York, to the post-war legacy of having been part of an elite parachute regiment with a record unsurpassed in the annals of combat.
History, Military, United-States,