Original U.S. WWII D-Day Named 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion 101st Airborne Named Uniform

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind Set. Sergeant Robert Ervin "Bob" Ernst (ASN: 37467411) was a member of B Battery, 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, 101st Airborne Division. He participated in D-Day, Operation Market Garden, The Siege of Bastogne as part of the larger Battle of the Bulge, and fought all the way trough the ned of the war and served occupation duty after the fall of the Third Reich.

He is mentioned in in the book Hell's Highway: A Chronicle of the 101st Airborne in the Holland Campaign, September-November 1944. The expert is under a section titled "B Battery - 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion" and recounts a story from Operation Market Garden:

A Dutch doctor, through his daughter, sent a story about Bill Stolener, John Kirk Allan Anderson, Bob Ernst and others who landed miles to the west of the proper LZ near Oisterwijk. They ran out of food and started eating turnips from a field. The root crop had been treated with a poison to kill bugs. The men became violently ill. The doctor treated them in their hideout. I am assuming they got back to their unit. They left a canteen cup with some initials on it and I solved the mystery around 1979-80 and let the doctor know the men had survived the war.

Sg.t Ernst passes away in 2010 and his obituary can be found at this link.

Included in this incredible historically significant grouping are the following items:

- Excellent condition WW2 Ike jacket offered in approximate size US 40. The Ike jacket is named to R. Erns.  Notable features are as follows:
- Sterling pin back jump wings
- Artillery Airborne Oval
- 101st Airborne patch on left shoulder with dog tag chain outline.
- Allied Airborne patch on right shoulder with dog tag chain outline.
- Ribbons and awards as follows:, Purple Heart Ribbon with two Oak Leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf cluster, European-African-Middle East Campaign Ribbon (with Invasion Star and 4 battle stars), American Defense Service Medal, Army of Occupation Medal.
- Ruptured Duck (Honorable Service/Discharge)
- Presidential Unit Citation with Oak Leaf cluster
- Four overseas service bars (on left sleeve cuff) 24+ months of combat service
- The "Belgian Fourragère 1940"- composed of one round smooth cord, partially braided, and of TWO other cords, of which one is terminated by a knot and a brass ferret - it is made of wool and cotton for NCOs and EM, and of silk for Officers - all threads are tinted in colors resembling the ribbon of the Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 (i.e. basic red, dotted with green threads) - the Fourragère encircles the LEFT shoulder and passes under the armpit, and is fixed
by 2 tiny loops onto the button of the shoulder loop
- "Order of the Orange" shoulder cord awarded by the Dutch government for surviving Operation Market Garden.

- Overseas infantry garrison cap in good condition with parachute patch named on the interior R.E. Ernst.

- Research binder filled with copies of wartime documents such as morning reports that name Ernst, copies of his hospitalizations from wounds sustained in action, unit history, and so much more.

- Copy of Sgt. Ernst in uniform.

The 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion Unit History:

The 307th Ammunition Train was constituted on 5 August 1917 as part of the National Army at Camp Gordon, near Atlanta, Georgia and assigned to the 82nd Infantry Division. The unit saw extensive action in World War I during the Lorraine Campaign and the St.Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. It was demobilized 18-23 May 1919 at Camp Upton, New York then reconstituted 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves and assigned to the 82d Infantry Division.

In January 1942 the 307th Ammunition Train was redesignated the 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion then reactivated 2 months later on 25 March, 1942 at Camp Clairborne, Louisiana under the command of Lt Col Clarence F. Nelson who would lead the battalion until it's deactivation after World War II.

World War II
After intensive training at Camp Claiborne, LA the 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion (GFAB), now an element of the 101st Airborne Division, began moving to staging areas on 22 August 1943 at Camp Shanks, New York with the rest of the division for overseas deployment. On 4 Sept the 907th set sail for England aboard the SS Strathnaver and arrivd at Liverpool, England on 18 Oct. After moving inland the 907th eventually set up encampment at Benham Valence near Newbury and adopted the unit code name of Kite. The battalion participated in Exercise Tiger which was staged during the week of April 23-30, 1944 as a rehearsal of the opening phase of the Utah Beach landings under VII Corps auspices.

Normandy - D-Day
907th GFAB Officers pre D-Day (Kilogram) The 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion with a group of the 321st GFAB were aboard the Susan B Anthony which struck a mine and sank off Omaha Beach. The artillery troopers managed to get ashore without loss of life however, they had to wait until June 9th for the guns and vehicles to be off-loaded. A small echelon of the 907th GFAB consisting of an officer and 3 enlisted men did parachute onto the DZ on D-Day however, the main body of the battalion arrived seaborne.

By 10 June 1944, the 907th was firing in support of a coordinated offensive action undertaken by the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) in the general vicinity of St. Come-du-Mont.

The 907th continued offensive operations supporting the 502nd & 501st PIRs throughout this early campaign. On 26 June the battalion took up tactical bivouac positions west of St Sauveur-le-Vicomte along with the 501st PIR and eventually moved to Tollvast south of Cherbourg with the rest of the 101st where they patrolled the area. It was relieved from action on 10 July 1944 and sailed for the base camp in England aboard an LST on 13 July 1944.

Operation Market Garden
The Battalion's next operation was Market Garden. The 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion took off from England on the September 19th (D plus 2). Unfortunately, only 24 men of a 550-man battalion made it safely to the landing zone at Zon. They were scattered all over Holland, Belgium and France and whole flights of them had returned to England. Fog had been the major problem.

The 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, who had landed the day before with their gliders, came to support the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment in Eerde with their 105 mm howitzers. They were just in time, because on that very day the Germans attacked the corridor on several places. The adaptability of airborne men was well illustrated by the experience of the 907th that afternoon and night.

Lt Colonel Clarence F Nelson 907th GFAB Commanding Officer The Fallschirm Regiment of Von der Heydte attacked Eerde from the sanddunes with 200 men and a number of tanks. The moment they were noticed by the Americans, the fight began. Bullets and grenades came flying into the village. The church and the windmill were heavily damaged. A truck with ammunition got a direct hit from a grenade and the explosion costed the lifes of many American soldiers. Three British tanks had arrived at the windmill. Even before they could take position, they were destroyed by German grenade fire and most of the crew came to a terrible end. The British commander refused to risk more of his tanks if the Germans would not be chased away from the sanddunes.

At the 501st Command Headquarters, Lt Col Clarence F Nelson (picture above left) ordered Battery B to defend the battalion while Battery A was to continue on the fire mission in support of the 501st. Five times that night the vital wire connecting the 907th with the 501st was knocked out. Each time the artillerymen of the 907th would crawl out under heavy German fire to repair it. After continuous heavy fighting, in which the 907th and the 501st showed heroic courage, the dunes were cleared.

The successes of the 101st, however, were short-lived because of the defeat of other Allied units at Arnhem. The gateway to Germany would not open in September 1944, and the 82nd was ordered back to France on 14 November 1944 while the 101st remained in position until 27 November.

Battle of the Bulge - The Ardennes Offensive
On 18 December 1944, the 101st Airborne Division was ordered to move to the vicinity of Bastogne, Belgium while the 82nd Airborne was directed to the Werbomont vicinity. Both airborne division were given the moumental task of holding key terrain points and counterattacking to stem the breakthrough by German Armored and Infantry forces in this sector. However, Bastogne was the key in unhinging the German communications as they struck west toward the line of the Meuse River. Supplies were in short supply including maps. Lt Col Nelson had only one map scale - 1:100,000 - from which to provide his firing data. This problem was compounded by the rapidly vanishing supply of M3 ammunition which was standard for the 105mm guns that were especially adapted for glider use. An extremely resourceful noncom managed to acquire M2 ammunition that was able to be used in an emergency like this one.

During this "Battle of the Bulge", the Battalion was part of Team Cherry and successfully supported the 501st PIR defenses along the road from Neffe to Bizory during the strategically important days before Christmas. It was for the success of their effort that the soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division were awarded the Fourragere 1940 by the King of Belgium.

On 20th of January, the 907th moved to the Alsace Province of France where AH's "Operation Nordwind" offensive, under the personal direction of Heinrich Himmler, was threatening a sector of the Seventh Army front. While holding the line the regiment changed positions several times. The enemy continually shelled their positions and the 907th moved to Davendorf in support of the 506th PIR but did not conduct any major operations during this time.

On 23 February, the 907th returned to Mourmelon, France. Here General Eisenhower spoke to the 101st Airborne Division when the unit was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation for its stand at Bastogne. This was the first time in the history of the United States Amy that an entire Division had been so honored.

As the war in Europe was nearing its end,the 907th moved to the Ruhr Pocket near Neuss on 2 April to help in mop-up operations. The unit was at Hohenberg, Germany at the end of World War II and served in the Army of Occupation of Germany from 2 May-14 August 1945. The 907th GFAB was deactivated in Germany on 30 November 1945.
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