Tag Archives: 101st Airborne Division

Private First Class Joe E. Mann, USA (September 18-19, 1944)

Photo: Military Times’ Hall of Valor

Joe Eugene Mann was born on July 8, 1922 in Reardan, Washington. He was a high school graduate, and had completed a year of college when he was drafted into the United States Army a little more than one month after his 20th birthday on August 31, 1942.

Merely serving his country in wartime wasn’t enough for him: he volunteered for airborne training.

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

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.

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.

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TFH 2/8: Corporal Paul B. Huff, USA

Paul Bert Huff was born in Cleveland, Tennessee on June 23, 1918. He was drafted into the United States Army on June 27, 1941, prior to the United States’ entry into World War II. Huff was one of the earliest volunteers for the fledgling Army Paratroopers and was placed into the 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

Huff participated in three combat jumps – two in North Africa, one at Salerno in Italy – before landing at Anzio, Italy not by parachute, but by amphibious assault on January 22, 1944. About two weeks later, then Corporal Huff volunteered to lead a patrol to probe the Nazi defenses and determine the location of an enemy unit threatening the Americans’ flank. Continue reading TFH 2/8: Corporal Paul B. Huff, USA

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