The men were trained intensely, as "Paratrooper's"
Their objective: capture 'Sainte-Mre-É
As is the way of the American Infantry school, small groups can make a huge force. The 508TH, was not immune and small but powerful 'task forces' grouped and engaged the German forces until relieved on July 7, becoming the division reserve force. Of the 2,500 Paratrooper's troops who jumped in the first hours of one of the bloodiest days in those participated in, the D-Day landings, only 995 survived. The regiment suffered massive casualties in the taking back of Europe. The "Red Devils" were awarded the [Presidential]
Attention to orders:
The 508th Parachute Infantry is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy between 6 and 9 June 1944, during the invasion of France. The Regiment landed by parachute shortly after 0200 hours, 6 June 1944. Intense antiaircraft and machine-gun fire was directed against the approaching planes and parachutist drops.
Enemy mobile antiairborne landing groups immediately engaged assembled elements of the Regiment and reinforced their opposition with heavily supported reserve units. Elements of the Regiment seized Hill 30, in the wedge between the Merderet and Douve Rivers, and fought vastly superior enemy forces for three days. From this position, they continually threatened German units moving in from the west, as well as the enemy forces opposing the crossing of our troops over the Merderet near La Fiere and Chef-du-Pont.They likewise denied the enemy opportunity to throw reinforcements to the east where they could oppose the beach landings.
The troops on Hill 30 finally broke through to join the airborne troops at the bridgehead west of La Fiere on 9 June 1944. They had repelled continuous attacks from infantry, tanks, mortars, and artillery for more than 60 hours without resupply. Other elements of the 508th Parachute Infantry fought courageously in the bitter fighting west of the Merderet River and in winning the bridgeheads across that river at La Fiere and Chef-du- Pont.
The Regiment secured its objectives through heroic determination and initiative. Every member performed his duties with exemplary aggressiveness and superior skill. The courage and devotion to duty shown by members of the 508th Parachute Infantry are worthy of emulation and reflect the highest traditions of the Army of the United States.