Original U.S. WWII 513th PIR Airborne Stalag Luft POW Named Grouping
Original Items: One-of-a-kind set. Corporal James P Antinopoulos a member of Company I of the 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment was captured by German forces during the Battle of the Bulge on January 4th, 1945. Here is the story of the day (courtesy of the website TRIBUTE TO THE 17th AIRBORNE DIVISION):
January 4, 1945, General Patton had ordered the 17th Airborne to seize the town of Flamierge where the 11th Armored and the 87th Infantry Divisions had encountered heavy resistance from the Germans units. The plan called for two regiments to push forward, the 513th PIR on the right while the 194th GIR would be abreast of the 513th on the left. The 513th PIR received the mission to strike north from the vicinity of Monty toward Flamizoulle and the Ourthe river at 08h30, after a short artillery preparation fired by the 466th Parachute field Artillery Batallion. The 194th GIR attacking simultaneously on the left. 1st (on left) and 2nd Battalions (on right) were designated for the offensive while the 3rd stayed in reserve and HQ & HQ Co remained in Jacks Wood (Bois des Valets), very closed to the frontline. Strangely, the two battalions were ordered to jump off from their positions. As the 1st Battalion occupied the north east edge of the Bois des Valets and 2nd Battalion was located in Mande-Saint-Etienne, the two battalions must move so perpendicularly to the direction of the attack with little information of enemy positions or terrain over they were to operate!
At 02:30 PM, Lt Col Coutts decides to enter the 3rd Bataillon who remains in reserve and orders the withdrawal of the 1st Battalion and a maintaining of the 2nd Battalion on its position. The 3rd Battalion received the mission to establish a roadblock on the N4 road in the vicinity of Monty and contact with the men of the 2nd Battalion. An HQ & HQ section is send to the left and also five 75mm howitzers in front, six on rear and 5 Tanks Destroyers toward Cochleval. 3 are rapidly destroyed and the other ones withdrew. The 139th Airborne Engineer Battalion was ordered to extend the left flank to contact the 1st Battalion and 194th GIR on the left.
It was at that moment that the Germans launched another tank counter attack on the left flank of the Battalion with ten tanks and self propelled guns coming from the N4 road in direction of the rear of B and C Companies while more tanks located on the northwest hill crest opened devastating fire on the men. Floyd Davis knocked out a last German tank with his last rocket before being killed by the explosion of a shell. Isolated in this plains without aerial or armored support, the poor paratroopers were unable to keep the position. At the climax of the battle, Lieutenant Colonel Taylor broke down and Major Harry F Kies (Taylor's executive) took commands. The situation was desperate, all the officers of B and C Companies except one were killed or wounded, many men were also wounded or killed. Two German emissaries came from the N4 road and explained to the surrounded paratroopers that one of their tank has its barrel pointed to the Aid-Station. It has order to open fire if the American soldiers refused to surrender. An Officer that was not Battalion Commander accepted the surrender.
The prisoners were send to a big farm located closed to the front line to be interrogated one by one. After that, they were send to a big building that looks like an hospital.
More than a hundred men were killed, wounded or taken prisoner only for the C Company and in fact, only the third Platoon of B Company which was not too advanced was able to get some of their men back.
He was held at Stalag VII-A which was Germany's largest prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, located just north of the town of Moosburg in southern Bavaria. Later he was transferred to Stalag IX-B (also known as Bad Orb-Wegscheide) was a German World War II prisoner-of-war camp located south-east of the town of Bad Orb in Hesse, Germany on the hill known as Wegscheideküppel. His recored as a POW can be verified at this National Archives link.
Included in this incredible grouping are the following items:
- British issue Battledress Blouse (dated 1944) tunic with POW constructed Parachute Jump Wings. U.S. Soldiers were routinely issued British captured jackets and uniforms when held as POWs.
- Original dog tag with ASN 53694292 his full name, closet relative and home address in Pennsylvania.
- Unattached patches and medals including jump wings with blue embroidered backing and paratrooper ID bracelet.
- Overseas Garrison cap with Paratrooper patch.
- Wonderful and hilarious Application to Date a Paratrooper (joke form)
- Portion of silk camouflage parachute.
- Field gear, uniform pieces, personal effects, etc...
- Named footlocker truck
- Paperwork, correspondence, keepsakes and so much more!
A truly breathtaking story of one of WWII's noble airmen who was forced to survive more than a year in the hands of the German POW camps.
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