This is working draft R2 - 8/14/10

Robert Herriot's Story

Born on Dec 7th 1919 in Adams Wisconsin, I attended the Adams/Friendship school system and was drafted and entered service on 16 Mar 1943. After basic training in NAME, I was assigned to the 78 Lightning Division in Camp Butler NC. During a routine physical they detected a heart murmur and I did not ship out with my unit. At the next physical – they could not hear the murmur so I was shipped out unassigned to England where I was met by an Army Officer that told me “Son – You have just volunteered for the 101st Airborne!”.

I had 30 day to qualify for jump status. I did my 10 training jumps from aircraft – none of those mamby-pamby towers. On 6 June 1944 I jumped in to Normandy as part of Overlord on D-day. We landed near Carrington but never got there.

We dropped into fields that has been flooded and I saw that many paratroopers droned because they had not released their GP bags and equipment.

When I got back to England I requested a transfer to gliders and spent several months in training as part of the 327 Glider Infantry Regiment.

While I was in England, my oldest sister Evelyn sent me a four leaf clover that I covered with Scotch Tape onto a piece of cardboard – I still have it today.


In Operation Market Garden, I can't remember much of that channel crossing on 17 September 1944, except that our glider was on the short rope. On the decent after the release we ran into heavy AA flack. Our pilot and copilot were killed when we were committed to our landing about 100 feet above the ground. I managed to shove the pilot out of the way and jumped into the left seat. I had no flight training but managed to drive the glider through a barbed wire fence and ended up in a ditch. All thirteen riders aboard were uninjured. That ditch landing surely saved us as we were out of a direct line of fire.

Our objective was Eindhoven but we landed near Viegl near the border. After the landing we worked our way DIRECTION to a highway that I found out was named “Hell's Highway”. Our 13 man platoon had a sergeant and corporal – and they both froze. I was a PFC and took command and led the unit across the road – through a church yard and then dugin. An officer showed up and told us that we were in the wrong place and ordered us back to the highway.

For this action I was awarded the Bronze Star.

I later found out that my twin daughters Dawn and Diedrie were born on the 18th at the same time that I was making the channel crossing, in a time zone six hours earlier, on the 17th. .

My brother Ray died NOTES GARBELED

In the Netherlands on 10 March 1944 I was in my fox hole – well dug in with a cover of heavy brush that was covered with thick layer earth and then a layer of sod when an 88 shell exploded above me in the trees. I was wounded in the arm and had to make my way through the German lines to battalion aid and then was then trucked to division aid.

My group of wounded were evacuated by train that followed a route South, then East, and then North. I don't know if that was to confuse the Germans or if that was just how the lines run.

We arrived at Lille, France near the French border. In the hospital here I met and became good friends with a Belgium soldier Charley Spriet who got married in Belgum. According the the custom of taking the wife's last name – he became Charley Spriet Dauvister. I have written him many times with no reply. Here is Charley's picture.

I was released from the hospital on Dec 7, 44 - spent a week in a convalescent home, and got back to the rest area in France on 14 December. On the 17th we were loaded onto trucks and transported to Bastogne. Fortunately for me, I had just been issued new wool clothes. As we all know, new wool clothing is much better against the cold than old wool and that surely saved my feet.

In Bastogne, General Taylor was in the States celebrating the holidays and General McCauliff was in command. A sergeant from my company escorted the three German soldiers under the white flag of truce to McCauliff for his now famous reply “Nuts”.

During the symposium read this last sentence as: A sergeant from my company escorted the three German soldiers under the white flag of truce to McCauliff – Wave hand overhead with index finger raised in the “Assembly signal”. Now all together - what was his reply Clench fist and Hammer Movement Nuts.

On the 16th we were rescued by General Patton – It was believed that the closes relief forces were seven days away – Patton made it in 24 Hours.

I was a machine gunner on the Rhine River looking East – I wanted to get back to the Morters.

While I was recouperating I saw an add for a clerk typist at Berches Gardens, applied for and got the assignment. Under the direction of a the Sergeant, a professor of Art at Harvard University, my duties included typing the inventories that were part of the repatriation process for art treasures looted by the Nazis.

I still have a copy of the site plan for “Obersalzberg” Hitler's Mountain Retreat known as the Eagles Nest.

I was at Bertches Garten when the war ended.

The weather was bad – I borrowed a jeep from the CO and drove to Rhems to rejoin my unit and come back home. We left on the 31st of October, 1945. After two days in the Atlantic we ran into a hurricane that drove us 2 days off our course. The corssing to 16 days and we landed at Newpert News, Virginia. From there to Ft. Sheridan and discharged on the 20th of November 1945. I took the train to Adams. When I stepped off the train in beautiful Adams, Wisconsin, I was up to my waist in snow. As you may remember, we had 90 days to report to the NAME HERE after we arrived home in order to EXPLAN THIS – well I reported on the 89th day with one day left.

The must have been some magic in the number 13 for me because I went on to bring my children count up to 13. I have six (6) sons and seven (7) daughters.

My Lovely Bride (WIFE'S NAME) gave me:

Bob Jr.

David – a Vietnam Vet

Rick – a Phillippine Vet




Dawn and Diedrie - The Twins that were born when I was crossing the channel in the glider.



Heide – phillippine baby (Pailipino Gandino)