Original U.S. WWII 101st Airborne Operation Market Garden Ike Jacket

Item Description

Original Item: Only one available. This is an excellent condition WW2 Ike jacket worn by a member of the 101st Airborne that jumped into occupied areas and took place in the legendary Operation Market Garden. This soldier, jacket is not named, served with both the 101st Airborne saw over 24 months of combat in the European theatre and was the recipient of a Purple Heart.

Wear on the patches, ribbons and material, has sterling pin back CIB (Combat Infantryman Badge). Lapel infantry insignia are both the screw back type IIIA.

1st Allied Airborne patch on left shoulder, 101st Airborne patch on right shoulder. The Patches, ribbons, awards are as follows (please note that as this jacket is unnamed we cannot verify that all of these are correct for this soldier, but are WW2 era).

• Four overseas combat service bars (on right sleeve cuff) meaning 24+ months of combat service
• Three years of service stripe (on right sleeve cuff)
• Silver Star
• Ruptured Duck
• Presidential Unit Citation
• Purple Heart
• Good Conduct
• European, African, Middle East Campaign Ribbon (4 Invasion Stars, 1 Airborne Arrowhead)
• Red and Green Fourragère shoulder cord for service with French combat units.
• "Order of the Orange" shoulder cord awarded by the Dutch government for surviving Operation Market Garden.

The 101st Airborne Division "Screaming Eagles" is a U.S. Army modular light infantry division trained for air assault operations. During World War II, it was renowned for its role in Operation Overlord (the D-Day landings and airborne jumps starting 6 June 1944, in Normandy, France), Operation Market Garden, the liberation of the Netherlands and action during the Battle of the Bulge around the city of Bastogne, Belgium.

Operation Market Garden (17–25 September 1944) was an unsuccessful Allied military operation, fought in the Netherlands and Germany in the Second World War. It was the largest airborne operation up to that time.

Field Marshal Montgomery's goal was to force an entry into Germany over the Lower Rhine. He wanted to circumvent the northern end of the Siegfried Line and this required the operation to seize the bridges across the Maas (Meuse River) and two arms of the Rhine (the Waal and the Lower Rhine) as well as several smaller canals and tributaries. Crossing the Lower Rhine would allow the Allies to encircle Germany's industrial heartland in the Ruhr from the north. It made large-scale use of airborne forces, whose tactical objectives were to secure the bridges and allow a rapid advance by armored units into Northern Germany.

Several bridges between Eindhoven and Nijmegen were captured at the beginning of the operation but Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks' XXX Corps ground force advance was delayed by the demolition of a bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal, an extremely overstretched supply line at Son, and failure to capture the main road bridge over the river Waal before 20 September. At Arnhem, the British 1st Airborne Division encountered far stronger resistance than anticipated. In the ensuing battle, only a small force managed to hold one end of the Arnhem road bridge and after the ground forces failed to relieve them, they were overrun on 21 September. The rest of the division, trapped in a small pocket west of the bridge, had to be evacuated on 25 September. The Allies had failed to cross the Rhine in sufficient force and the river remained a barrier to their advance until offensives at Remagen, Oppenheim, Rees and Wesel in March 1945. The failure of Market Garden ended Allied expectations of finishing the war by Christmas 1944.

101st Airborne zone

Faced with the loss of the bridge at Son, the 101st unsuccessfully attempted to capture a similar bridge a few kilometres away at Best but found the approach blocked. Other units continued moving to the south and eventually reached the northern end of Eindhoven. At 06:00 hours the Irish Guards Group resumed the advance while facing determined resistance from German infantry and tanks. Around noon the 101st Airborne were met by the lead reconnaissance units from XXX Corps. At 16:00 radio contact alerted the main force that the Son bridge had been destroyed and requested that a Bailey bridge be brought forward.[citation needed] By nightfall the Guards Armoured Division had established itself in the Eindhoven area however transport columns were jammed in the packed streets of the town and were subjected to German aerial bombardment during the night. XXX Corps engineers, supported by German prisoners of war, constructed a class 40 Bailey bridge within 10 hours across the Wilhelmina Canal. During the day the British VIII and XII Corps, supporting the main attack, had forged bridgeheads across Meuse-Escaut Canal while facing stiff German resistance; 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division was transferred from XXX Corps to VIII Corps so to relieve XXX Corps from having to secure the ground gained thus far. Throughout the day German attacks were launched against XXX Corps and against the newly gained bridgeheads over the Meuse–Escaut Canal, all without success.

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