Sanfillippo, Salvadore (Sam) D. passed away 22 April 2013 He served with 325 GIR from March 1942 to August 1945. He is survived by his two children. He belonged to the Badger State Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association.
Weese, Richard D., passed away on October 22, 2013.(The only obituary found at the time of publication only lists him as ‘beloved husband and father. We will publish more as soon as we can find out additional information.)
Thomas Kent., Regimental HQ, 325, passed away September 28, 2013. Sgt. Kent was the jeep driver for Mike Berkut during the entire war. (More information on Thomas will be published as soon as we can find it.)
Earl William Moore, passed away November 22 , 2013 at the age of 92. He was born March 27, 1921 in Pliny, West Virginia and was the son of Lee A and Victoria Moore of Rio Grande Ohio. His wife Dorothy preceded him in death. Earl is survived by his daughter, Linda Banks and, son Michael Moore and grandchildren Michelle (Moore) Wahlbrink, Heather (Moore) Little, Bradley Moore, Bryan Banks and Meadow (Banks) Foster as well as 9 great grandchildren.
Earl W. Moore
Earl was a veteran of World War 2 serving with the E Co. 325th Glider Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne division. He participated in the Normandy D - Day Invasion and Operation Market Garden in Holland and received 3 Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star.
David James Bronson,United States Navy, passed away unexpectedly on September 26, 2013. Dave was born January 12, 1963 in Plainwell, the son of James and Helen (Hagenbuch) Bronson. He served his country in the US Navy. He loved the LST-325, the World War II ship his father served on, and was the author of a book about it entitled "Mosier’s Raiders." Dave was also a true friend to the 325th Glider Infantry Association. A dedicated amateur historian, Dave portrayed and kept the memory of the 325 alive at living history events with your Editor. After attending numerous Association reunions, Dave agreed to help keep The Glider Tow Line going after Wes decided to hand it over to the ‘younger guys.’ Dave could always be counted on to find articles on the 325 or its members. He was also an avid horseman who loved his dogs and enjoyed playing guitar.
My buddy Dave – I was lucky to have such a great friend and I miss him more than I can ever say.
On September 25, 1995 at Bowens Mill in Barry Co. he married Donna Mae Cook who survives. Also surviving are his step-children, Travis L. Fox and James "J.D." Fox both of Parchment; one grandson, Travis L. Fox III; Siblings, Leslie Bronson, Denise (Rick) Chamberlain, Diane (Garry) Bouwman, Jayne (Vincent) Kellogg; many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Jewell Harmon Oxendine,81, of Charlotte, NC, went to be with her Heavenly Father on Sunday, December 1, 2013, at home surrounded by her loved ones. Jewell was born June 19, 1932, in Statesville, NC, the daughter of Ann Guy and Everette H. Harmon. She graduated from Scotts High School in Statesville and later entered Kings Business College in Charlotte where she met her husband Jesse. After graduating she was employed by Huttie Sash & Door Co. Later, she and Jesse were married during his senior year in Pharmacy School in Charleston, SC.
After graduating they returned to Charlotte. Jewell was an active member of Providence Baptist Church, which was a very important part of her life. She served in the children's nursery and was a member of the Sharing Class. She and Jesse began a tradition of hosting a Christmas party for those that had lost loved ones.
Jewel H. Oxendine
Jewell was very active in the North Carolina Pharmacy Auxiliary for several years. She volunteered at Presbyterian Hospital's Orthopedic Clinic and at East Mecklenburg High School Health room. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother known for her sweet smile.
Her children often refer to their parents as having had the perfect marriage. Jewell and Jesse enjoyed spending time at Lake Norman with family and friends; simply riding through the countryside and traveling overseas. They were fortunate to travel to various parts of Europe including the town where Jesse helped liberate a concentration camp, Paris, the Holy Land and Vienna. Jewell and Jesse were the owners of King Drug for 38 years having a store on Eastway Drive and Fairview Road. Jewell handled the bookwork for the stores for many years and was always at the store during the busy Holiday seasons. Some of her happiest moments were working together as a family. Both their children, Jenny and Mark are Pharmacists today. Jewell was preceded in death by her parents and two daughters, Pamela Ann and Laura Michelle Banks. She is survived by her husband, Jesse E. Oxendine, son Mark E. Oxendine (Karen), and daughter, Jenny Dentremont (Brian) all of Charlotte; grandchildren, Riley Oxendine, Rachel Oxendine, Coleton Banks, and Carson Banks.
If you hear of any other fellow 325 vets or spouses who have passed, please pass whatever information you have along so we can keep our membership updated. Thank you!
Our first letter (it was actually more like note, but still) was sent to us by our good friend Lee Travelstead. Remember our obituary on Ray Wise in the Summer Tow Line? Ray’s company was not mentioned. Once again Lee comes through with the information. Lee wrote;"Ray joined us after Normandy and was in Holland and the rest of the war as HQ Company, 3rd Battalion, S-2 (Intelligence) Officer." Lee also sent in several photos which will appear in future Tow Lines. THANK YOU LEE!!
Our second letter came to your Editor via email. It is an unusual request but not the first one I have received:
Hi, I have been researching online and came across this (the 325 Association website). I would desperately love to be in contact (with any surviving 325 veterans) as they may be able to answer questions to help me trace my grandfather. He was also part of the 325th glider regiment who were at Brock Barracks in Reading, England in Sept 1945.
Unfortunately I don't know my grandfather's name. Only that he met my grandmother, Joan Tutton when she worked at the Spitfire Factory in Reading while he was at Brock Barracks. Mum lived with her Aunt Beatrice round the corner from Brock Barracks. She had a friend called Pat who also dated a G.I and she married him and moved to the States. Frustratingly I don't know her surname. My mum was conceived in Sept 1945 and born 17.6.46. Her birth name was Clova Kay Tutton - she was put up for adoption as it was frowned upon to be an unmarried mother in those days. I know it’s a long shot but maybe one of the Vets may remember one of them being with Joan or maybe a link to the name Clova which is unusual?
Joan Tutton around her mid-twenties in 1945 – does anyone recognize her?
58 Shaftesbury Rd, one of the 'row houses' around the corner from Brock Barracks where Joan lived with her Aunt Beatrice and the G.I’s used to visit
I have a photo of her if you'd like to run an article? I'd be extremely grateful.
Kind regards Michelle Littleproud
56 Hetherington Road, Shepperton, Middlesex TW17 0SW England
Phone # 447535 265596.
Editor’s Note: Sadly, we don’t even know if Michelle’s paternal grandfather even survived the war. But still, a small chance is better than none at all.
Editor’s Note: This email was sent to me in May of this year:
Hello Rick –
My name is Gary Best and I was mentioned in a newspaper article about my writing efforts about combat gliders during WW II. A reader of that article suggested to the reporter that I might be interested in your organization's newsletter/magazine: Towline.
I would be very interested in learning more about your group and your publication - I am most interested in reports of those who rode in gliders and what those experiences were like. In the book I am writing, I am trying to include as many first person accounts as I can and that are relevant - first person stories are more interesting than pages and pages of historical facts, figures, dates, etc. - at least I think they are.
It is understood that anything that I include from someone's personal experiences would receive full attribution for their contributions in an appropriate acknowledgement section of the book. The book’s working title is: Silent Invaders; Combat Gliders of the Second World War. The book will be published in the U.K. and I believe that the publisher wants to have it available for the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The book is divided into three parts: The Aircraft (a discussion about the characteristics of combat gliders used by the Germans, the U.K. and the U.S.; also a less brief discussion of gliders used by the USSR and Japan.
The second part of the book will be, "The Men" - a discussion of the men who flew gliders and their characteristics - much of this part and for the rest of the book, first hand/first person narrative will be used - at least as much as I can collect. I think that personal accounts are more interesting than flooding pages with facts, figures, and dates - although some of this is important to the reader too.
The third part of the book will be about "The Missions / Operations / Sorties" – I haven’t decided on an exact title for this section at the moment. Again, firsthand accounts will dominate this section - tales shared by those who were there....to that end I welcome any personal accounts through letters home, diaries, memoirs, orders, etc. that glider veterans or their families/friends would care to share. It is a given that all contributions will receive appropriate attribution in the acknowledgement section of the book and anything sent to me constitutes permission on the part of the sender for me to use any or all of the materials sent (my publisher's requirement). Below is my email address so that anyone who wants to send me a contribution can do so electronically; also my snail mail address for those who don't want to or can't send materials through the internet.
Thanks so much for your interest in my project and your willingness to address this request in the Glider Tow Line.
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
snail mail address: 515 Ranch Lane, Glendora, California 91741
Our next letter is the first of a string of email exchanges between Steve Frank, son of Robert Frank, G Co, and your editor:
I found your newsletter "The Glider Tow Line" while looking for online information about the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment. My father, Robert Frank, passed away
in 2011 at the age of 89. He was in Company G, 325th Glider Infantry, 82nd Division according to his discharge papers that I saw for the first time only after his death. Dad never talked about his combat experiences and it wasn’t until 1994 that he told me he landed in a glider in Normandy on D+1 and was wounded two days later. He was later flown back to Ashford General Hospital in West Virginia where he spent the next year before he was eventually discharged. I never wanted to ‘interrogate’ him about his combat experiences, but I found out he did talk about some of his experiences in an interview with one of his granddaughters.
When asked about where he served, "I served in what was called the ‘European Theater’. In November of 1942 I was sworn in. My training started on December 2, 1942 in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. In 1943, I had training in North Africa. I was in Sicily in August of 1943 and in Italy in September and October of the same year. The beachhead had already started in Italy, so we didn’t see much action, but we were bombed in Naples in the harbor.
We stayed in bomb shelters under the streets and when we came up it was so smoky we couldn’t see. We then had training in Ireland and then went to England. Then we flew from England to Normandy on gliders." When asked if he made friends and what happened to them, "All I knew was that they were killed. We were scattered so I wasn’t with them at the time. In my company, there were only about ten soldiers who weren’t wounded or killed. That was out of 150." When asked how he was injured, "I was hit by a high-velocity artillery shell – a German 88mm. We couldn’t hear it coming because it had a level projection – it wasn’t lobbed like most. You could hear other ones coming, the made a ‘whoosh, whoosh, whoosh’ sound. I had just gotten up and turned around in the hedgerow and it came and hit me in both legs. If I hadn’t turned around, it would have it me in the head. What hit me also injured another soldiers and killed one."
The reason why I am writing to you is to get more information about Company G and their mission after landing in Normandy. I’m in the process of reading any books I can get about gliders in WWII, but so far there is almost no mention of Company G. Any information about their involvement in Sicily and Naples-Foggia would be appreciated, too. I’m working on a summary of what information I have on Dad’s involvement and the history of gliders in WWII to make into a book to give to my siblings that I hope they pass down so future generations will know what their ancestors and others of that generation did for this country. My father’s military records were destroyed in the fire of 1973, so my only official document is his discharge paper. If you have access to any record that could give me more information about Company G’s involvement in the three battles mentioned above, I would appreciate it. Time is running out to get firsthand information and if we don’t document it now, it will be lost forever. I may have already started too late.
221 Timber Trail
Loveland, Ohio 45140
After sharing some more information about the Association and the role of G Co Steve sent me the following information that he had found so far on his father’s role in the Normandy
Invasion. I’ve combined several emails into one for the sake of brevity:
So 1st Battalion would have been the first letters of the alphabet; A, B, C and maybe D? That would put G in 2nd Bn. That’s a big help.
He started December 2, 1942 and left for Casablanca on the troopship Santa Rosa in a convoy on April 29, 1943. Any information on what training at Fort Bragg was like would be appreciated. I have some details on the crossing, but nothing specific to that troopship. I know he took a 40/8 train from Casablanca to the training camp in Oujda. The chapter "APO 469" is that camp, I saw that written on the envelop of the only letter I have written by him dated July while he was stationed there. That would have been several weeks after his 21st birthday.
I believe he was moved by train again to Kairouan June 24, 1943 to prepare for the assault on Sicily. I have yet to find any details of what that involved. It’s hard to sort out what specifically he did in Sicily and Naples, especially with the other Company G in the 3rd Bn. His company did not land in a glider, but went by ship and for the most part was kept in reserve. That means his one and only glider ride was into Normandy. He left Naples on November 8, 1943 on a troopship O’Hara in a convoy arriving in Northern Ireland December 9. I’m curious why that took so long, probably stopped in North Africa for some time. I believe Company G stayed in the Cookstown/Castledawson area until late February, early March when they went somewhere in England, maybe Leicester or Nottingham. Those locations seem to be far from Upottery where they left for Normandy on mission Hackensack. Yes, copies of any specific reference to G Co (2nd Bn) would really be appreciated.
I checkedGlidermen of Neptune and it seems to dwell more on the departure from England than the landing zones in France. If Company G is 2nd Bn, then my father would have been in mission Hackensack. Of the two serials, it seems more likely that he was in the first. According to his interview, his glider hit an English glider (Horsa) and separated in three pieces.
A table in Glide to Glory indicates that there was a Company G in both 2nd Battalion 325th and 3rd Battalion (2nd Battalion 410st GIR). 2nd Bn was under Captain Irving Bloom and 3rd Bn was under Captain John Sauls. The commentary on the Taking of La Fiere Bridge mentions Captain Sauls but not Captain Bloom. In the Honor Roll for Normandy, the only deaths on the La Fiere bridge were in Company B and C. There were, however, several deaths in Company G on the Merderet Causeway, but when reading about that it refers to Captain Sauls again. Confusing to say the least.
I was looking in myGlide to Glory book and it has an Honor Roll for the 325th and those killed in company G on June 9 when my Dad was wounded and said the soldier next to him killed was in the area of Fresville.
Found the map I needed! This shows LZ W and about 5 miles North is Freville. It also shows enemy strong points, one only 2 miles from Freville at Azeville. it looks like it is referring to 1st battalion 325th and 3rd bn 325th that were involved in La Fiere.
A table inGlide to Glory indicates that there was a Company G in both 2nd Battalion 325th and 3rd Battalion (2nd Battalion 410st GIR). 2nd Bn was under Captain Irving Bloom and 3rd Bn was under Captain John Sauls. The commentary on the Taking of La Fiere Bridge mentions Captain Sauls but not Captain Bloom. In the Honor Roll for Normandy, the only deaths on the La Fiere bridge were in Company B and C. There were, however, several deaths in Company G on the Merderet Causeway, but when
reading about that it refers to Captain Sauls again. Confusing to say the least.
After writing this I found the mission description for Company G, 2nd Bn, 325th GIR on page 418 in Glide to Glory. They were ordered to the North of Ste Mere Eglise. Starting from Fresville they were to attack toward Le Ham and Montebourg Station. On June 9 they crossed the frontlines toward Le Ham near the airfield hangers. Company E to the left, Company F to the right and Company G in reserve. Apparently being in reserve didn’t mean you were safe.
Editor’s Note: I have my work cut out for me as soon as I get this Tow Line out – researching what I have on G Co. Steve sent me a photo of his Dad’s patches as well as a photo of G Company! That’s I Co and G Co photos in the same year! I’m not going to rest until I have every Company photo of the 325 – SEND ME YOURS! And if you have any recollections of G Co please send them to me and I’ll get them to Steve right away!
It is always nice to hear from our good friend Vivian in France:
Hello Rick and 325th GIR veterans, families, friends, I hope that all of you are doing well and in good spirits. I have some good news for you all.
For the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day in June 2014 and onward, our Association U. S. Normandie has decided to create two monuments in memory of the WWII U.S. soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division who fought to give freedom to Normandy, France, and the world!!!
Specifically, we wish on this occasion to honor the heroic act of PFC Charles N. DeGlopper (C Company, 1st Battalion, 325th GIR) at the site where he took the brave stand against the enemy resulting in him being awarded posthumously the Medal of Honor. We will add an information summary, and also a marble plaque engraved with a symbolic likeness of DeGlopper in attack stance with his BAR (39.5 in. x 51.25 in.).
Also, we will inaugurate a monument to the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment at Cauquigny in memory of their successful contributions to the taking of the Causeway in the Battle of La Fière (first soldiers across), which was the beginning of the Battle of Normandy 6 - 9 June 1944.
We would love to have any of you come to unveil the new memorials. Please let me know who might be coming to Normandy in June 2014.
Hugs and good wishes, Vivian Roger
Our final letter comes from yet another of our friends in Holland who do so much to remember and honor those Americans who fought and died for their freedom from Nazi tyranny:
Please assist me with the following.
I am from Holland and have an interest in WW 2 history. I do research about US servicemen who were killed in WW 2 and are/were buried in the US Military Cemetery in Holland (and Belgium), near where I live. I am searching for a picture from: Arthur J. Esposito, who died of wounds October 2nd 1944 in Holland (Mook) as member of E Co, 325 GIR.
He was born in 1916 in New York County, NY, and enlisted December 5th, 1942.
Can you please help me? Perhaps there was a notice about his death or about his enlistment in a local newspaper. Other information will be appreciated. Thank you in advance,
Kind regards from Holland,
5213 SZ Den Bosch
I cannot tell you how much it means to the Veterans and to the people of the US that Holland does so much to remember our soldiers who died there during the war. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Unfortunately we don't have such a database on the 325 vets - I really wish we did. I can post your request to our newsletter and hope that a surviving vet might have his photo, but that's about the best I can do.
If you hear of any other fellow 325 vets or spouses who have passed, please share with us whatever information you have so we can allow our fellow members updated. Thank you!
Richard C. Erny
8030 Clayburn Court
Indianapolis, IN 46268