Original U.S. WWII 101st Airborne 327th Glider Infantry Regiment Wounded in Action Named Grouping

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind set. Guy E Saunders Jr ASN 36460156 born January 18, 1925 from Kalamazoo County, Michigan enlisted in the Army on April 5th, 1943. He was assigned to the 101st Airborne, 327th Glider Infantry Regiment. In early January 1945 in the Ardennes forest during the Battle of the Bulge Guy was wounded in the arm by an artillery shell and sent to the hospital for surgery and later sent home. Guy passed away in 2010 and a link to his obituary can be found at this link. The following items belonged to Guy E Saunders Jr.

- 327th Glider Infantry Regiment embroidered oval with Sterling Silver Glider Assault Badge (pin back).

- Original dog tags named to Saunders, Guy E Jr. 36460156

- 101st Air borne insignia patch.

- Sterling silver paratrooper wins bracelet.

- Rare blue gilder overseas garrison cap patch.

- Cased purple heart medal.

- Sterling Combat Infantryman Badge.

- Medal ribbon with Purple Heart, Good Conduct and European-African-Middle East Campaign with battle star.

- 101st Airborne Division Association membership card.

- 1972 Voter registration card.

The 327th Infantry Regiment  was originally organized has an infantry regiment in the summer of 1942 as part of the 82nd Infantry Division at Camp Claiborne Louisiana. As the airborne concept was pushed into further development because of the coming of war, the 82nd was chosen to become the first of four airborne divisions to be created during World War Two. During the final days of the units basic training, the men were to told by their commander, Major General Omar N. Bradley that the Division was to be split to form a second Division, the 101st. Furthermore, he informed the men that the two divisions were to be Airborne, and the 327th was to be trained as Glider Infantry. The men were not sure about flying in gliders. Most of them had never even flown in a plane. Some men went AWOL, to return after a few days, but all knew that war was approaching and that they had to fight for their country. On 15 August, 1942 the 327th Infantry became a Glider Infantry Regiment and was reassigned to the newly formed 101st Airborne Division.  The Glider Regiments had previously consisted of two battalions each.  Upon reorganization, they consisted of three battalions each.  The 401st Glider Infantry Regiment (a sister Regiment)  was deactivated and transferred its First Battalion to the 327th (later the battalion would be consolidated and redesignated as the 3rd Battalion, 327th Glider Infantry).

In the fall of 1942, the two regiments headed to Ft. Bragg North Carolina to began training with the CG-4a Glider. Along the way the glidermen were introduced to the paratroopers of the 502nd PIR. Many fights would break out between these two groups, as the paratroopers thought they were the best and that the glider troopers didn't have the "Right Stuff" to be Airborne Soldiers. Nevertheless, in North Carolina the men received glider training at Laurinburg-Maxton Army Air Base. The first flights caused ill-effects on some of the men, who used their helmets, since air sickness bags were not available at the time. As training with the gliders progressed it became more apparent that landing men by gliders was to be more dangerous than landing by parachute. Some of the landings were to result in serious injuries. Mostly broken arms and legs. On landing, gliders would slide out of control and crash into trees or fences. Some, upon landing, would slide in and the nose of the glider would dig in and cause it to tilt up vertically on its nose section causing the contents of the glider to break free of it's lashings and come crashing forward, injuring Glidermen and Glider Pilots alike.

Normandy - D-Day
In June 1944, the decision to drop both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions simultaneously into Normandy reduced the number of available aircraft to tow the gliders for a glider assault.  The 327th Glider Infantry Regiment was ordered to land across Utah Beach with the 4th Infantry Division on D-Day.  Its mission was to move to Carentan to cut off the fleeing Germans.  Although causalities were high, the mission was accomplished and the Regiment moved back to England to prepare for its next mission.

The next combat operation the Regiment would participate in would be Operation "Market Garden," the airborne invasion of Holland. The Regiment, along with allied units, endured 73 days of continuous combat. After the fighting settled down, the 327th occupied the front lines for 48 days until ordered to withdraw from Holland. The Regiment went back to France to rest and recuperate before the next operation.

The Ardennes - Battle of the Bulge
On 16 December, 1944, the Germans launched an offensive in the west through the Ardennes Forest. The 101st Airborne Division was ordered to the vitally important town of Bastogne.Bastogne was the key to the German counteroffensive and had to be held at all cost by the 101st. The Regiment arrived at Bastogne on 19 December following a hundred mile truck march. The 327th immediately assumed a defensive sector south of Bastogne. By 22 December the Germans had completely surrounded Bastogne and on the 23rd the German Commander offered terms of surrender to General McAuliffe, the acting Division Commander.

His reply was "Nuts." The German delegation had come through the 327th sector and Colonel Harper was given the responsibility of relaying General McAuliffe's response.The Germans said they did not understand. Colonel Harper replied, "The reply is decidedly not affirmative - in plain English, it is the same as 'Go to Hell.' Although encircled and outnumbered, American forces withstood all attempts by the Germans to take positions, including Germans dressed in American uniforms. The 327th Regiment held for nine days, until relieved by the 4th Armored Division. Despite suffering heavy causalities, the Regiment took 750 prisoners, knocked out 144 NSDAP tanks and 105 other enemy vehicles. For its actions as a unit in the defense of Bastogne, the 327th the Regimental motto "Bastogne Bulldog."

After the Battle of the Bulge, the 327th Infantry fought in the Rhineland and Berchtesgarden Campaigns. Following the end of World War II, the 327th Infantry Regiment was again deactivated on 30 November, 1945.
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