Lieutenant Colonel Robert G. Cole, USA (June 11, 1944)

neurontin street value Robert George Cole was born on March 19, 1915 at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. His father was a doctor in the United States Army. Cole himself enlisted in the Army on July 1, 1934 and was honorably discharged about one year later to become a cadet at the United States Military Academy, West Point.

where to buy lasix online Cole graduated West Point with the class of 1939 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the infantry branch. In early 1941, he volunteered for the nascent airborne force, and earned his parachute jump wings in March of that year. With the United States’ entry into World War II, advancement in the airborne was rapid.

By 1944, Cole was a Lieutenant Colonel and the commander of the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. With his battalion, Cole jumped into Normandy on D-Day. By the afternoon of June 6, 1944, he had managed to assemble just 75 men of his almost 600-man battalion, but they had secured one of the exits from Utah Beach regardless.

After being held in reserve for a few days, 2-502’s next action was the Battle of Carentan. Carentan was a key junction point between the two American beachheads at Omaha and Utah. Until the town was captured, the western sector of the invasion would be divided and at serious risk.

On June 11, Cole’s troopers were pinned down by intense fires from the German defenders in the town. Carentan had to be taken; Cole’s men could not withdraw even as they were suffering numerous casualties. The only way out was to attack. Cole stood up, and with just his M1911 pistol in hand, called on his troopers to fix their bayonets and charge. His order to his men was probably very simple: “FOLLOW ME!”

From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II (A-F):

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Photo: Military Times’ Hall of Valor

*COLE, ROBERT G.

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division. Place and date: Near Carentan, France, 11 June 1944. Entered service at: San Antonio, Tex. G.O. No.: 79, 4 October 1944

Citation: For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty on 11 June 1944, in France. Lt. Col. Cole was personally leading his battalion in forcing the last 4 bridges on the road to Carentan when his entire unit was suddenly pinned to the ground by intense and withering enemy rifle, machinegun, mortar, and artillery fire placed upon them from well-prepared and heavily fortified positions within 150 yards of the foremost elements. After the devastating and unceasing enemy fire had for over 1 hour prevented any move and inflicted numerous casualties, Lt. Col. Cole, observing this almost hopeless situation, courageously issued orders to assault the enemy positions with fixed bayonets. With utter disregard for his own safety and completely ignoring the enemy fire, he rose to his feet in front of his battalion and with drawn pistol shouted to his men to follow him in the assault. Catching up a fallen man’s rifle and bayonet, he charged on and led the remnants of his battalion across the bullet-swept open ground and into the enemy position. His heroic and valiant action in so inspiring his men resulted in the complete establishment of our bridgehead across the Douve River. The cool fearlessness, personal bravery, and outstanding leadership displayed by Lt. Col. Cole reflect great credit upon himself and are worthy of the highest praise in the military service.

Lieutenant Colonel Cole did not live to receive his Medal of Honor. He was killed in action during Operation Market Garden in Holland on September 18, 1944. He rests in peace with 8,300 of his comrades at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Holland.

2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry is today part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky when not otherwise deployed.

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