Crossing the Waal - September 1944

Frank E. Garland - Company C. 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion

Dad never did talk much about the war. I do remember when I lived in Fayetteville, N.C. that mom and dad came down from Ohio to see me and my family. While they were there we went to visit the 82nd. Airborne museum.

We were looking at the jump planes they had on display and he was telling me ( I was in the army from 1964-1967 and was also an Airborne soldier ) about what it was like jumping from them using the old 1940's chutes. He said the opening shock was pretty rough.

As we were walking down the entry way to the museum I turned around to say something to my dad and he was standing by one of the markers that lined each side of the sidewalk and he was crying. My dad was strong in everything that he ever did in his life and to see him crying was a side of him that I never knew existed.

We surrounded him to find out what was wrong and he told us about the bridge at Nijmegen and the crossing of the Waal River and that he had gotten separated from one of his buddies who was in one of the other boats. With everything that was going on around them they never did find each other.

Written on one of the markers that lined the walkway to the entrance to the museum was the name of his lost buddy showing that he had been killed in action crossing the Waal River.

The above was provided by his son Richard Garland

Frank E. Garland
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Frank E. Garland
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Books about the 82nd Airborne Division in WWII

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