Adair, William Eugene, PFC

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Last Rank
Private First Class
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1943-1944, 745, 3rd Battalion, 325th Glider Infantry
Service Years
1943 - 1944

Private First Class

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT Theodore (Teddy) Earley (Charlie 3-2A1) to remember Adair, William Eugene, PFC.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Saint Joseph
Last Address
Buchanan, MO

Casualty Date
Oct 02, 1944
Hostile, Died
Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Netherlands, Netherlands
Wall/Plot Coordinates

 Official Badges 

82nd Airbone Division Infantry Shoulder Cord Netherlands Orange Lanyard French Fourragere

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WWII - European Theater of Operations/Normandy Campaign (1944)/Operation Overlord/D-Day Glider Landings
From Month/Year
June / 1944
To Month/Year
June / 1944

Pre-dawn assaults
Main operations: Mission Chicago and Mission Detroit
Two pre-dawn glider landings, missions "Chicago" (101st) and "Detroit" (82nd), each by 52 CG-4 Waco gliders, landed anti-tank guns and support troops for each division. The missions took off while the parachute landings were in progress and followed them by two hours, landing at about 0400, 2 hours before dawn. Chicago was an unqualified success, with 92 per cent landing within 2 miles (3.2 km) of target. Detroit was disrupted by the same cloud bank that had bedevilled the paratroops and only 62 per cent landed within 2 miles (3.2 km). Even so, both missions provided heavy weapons that were immediately placed into service. Only eight passengers were killed in the two missions, but one of those was the assistant division commander of the 101st Airborne, Brigadier General Don Pratt. Five gliders in the 82nd's serial, cut loose in the cloud bank, remaining missing after a month.

Evening reinforcement missions
Main article: Mission Elmira
On the evening of D-Day two additional glider operations, mission "Keokuck" and mission "Elmira", brought in additional support on 208 gliders. Operating on British Double Summer Time, both arrived and landed before dark. Both missions were heavily escorted by P-38, P-47, and P-51 fighters.

Keokuck was a reinforcement mission for the 101st Airborne consisting of a single serial of 32 tugs and gliders that took off beginning at 18:30. It arrived at 20:53, seven minutes early, coming in over Utah Beach to limit exposure to ground fire, into a landing zone clearly marked with yellow panels and green smoke. German forces around Turqueville and Saint Côme-du-Mont, 2 miles (3.2 km) on either side of Landing Zone E, held their fire until the gliders were coming down, and while they inflicted some casualties, were too distant to cause much harm. Although only five landed on the LZ itself and most were released early, the Horsa gliders landed without serious damage. Two landed within German lines. The mission is significant as the first Allied daylight glider operation, but was not significant to the success of the 101st Airborne.

Elmira was essential to the 82nd Airborne, however, delivering two battalions of glider artillery and 24 howitzers to support the 507th and 508th PIRs west of the Merderet. It consisted of four serials, the first pair to arrive ten minutes after Keokuck, the second pair two hours later at sunset. The first gliders, unaware that the LZ had been moved to Drop Zone O, came under heavy ground fire from German troops who occupied part of Landing Zone W. The C-47s released their gliders for the original LZ, where most delivered their loads intact despite heavy damage.

The second wave of mission Elmira arrived at 22:55, and because no other pathfinder aids were operating, they headed for the Eureka beacon on LZ O. That wave too came under severe ground fire as it passed directly over German positions. One serial released early and came down near the German lines, but the second came down on Landing Zone O. Nearly all of both battalions joined the 82nd Airborne by morning, and 15 guns were in operation on June 8.

Follow-up landing and supply operations
325th Glider Infantry Regiment
Two additional glider missions ("Galveston" and "Hackensack") were made just after daybreak on June 7, delivering the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment to the 82nd Airborne. The hazards and results of mission Elmira resulted in a route change over the Douve River valley that avoided the heavy ground fire of the evening before, and changed the landing zone to LZ E, that of the 101st Airborne Division. The first mission, Galveston, consisted of two serials carrying the 325th's 1st Battalion and the remainder of the artillery. Consisting of 100 glider-tug combinations, it carried nearly a thousand men, 20 guns, and 40 vehicles and released at 06:55. Small arms fire harried the first serial but did not seriously endanger it. Low releases resulted in a number of accidents and 100 injuries in the 325th (17 fatal). The second serial hit LZ W with accuracy and few injuries.

Mission Hackensack, bringing in the remainder of the 325th, released at 08:51. The first serial, carrying all of the 2nd Battalion and most of the 2nd Battalion 401st GIR (the 325th's "third battalion"), landed by squadrons in four different fields on each side of LZ W, one of which came down through intense fire. 15 troops were killed and 60 wounded, either by ground fire or by accidents caused by ground fire. The last glider serial of 50 Wacos, hauling service troops, 81 mm mortars, and one company of the 401st, made a perfect group release and landed at LZ W with high accuracy and virtually no casualties. By 10:15, all three battalions had assembled and reported in. With 90 per cent of its men present, the 325th GIR became the division reserve at Chef-du-Pont.

Airborne resupply
Two supply parachute drops, mission "Freeport" for the 82nd and mission "Memphis" intended for the 101st, were dropped on June 7. All of these operations came in over Utah Beach but were nonetheless disrupted by small arms fire when they overflew German positions, and virtually none of the 101st's supplies reached the division. Fourteen of the 270 C-47s on the supply drops were lost compared to only seven of the 511 glider tugs shot down.

In the week following, six resupply missions were flown on call by the 441st and 436th Troop carrier Groups, with 10 C-47's making parachute drop and 24 towing gliders. This brought the final total of IX Troop Carrier Command sorties during Operation Neptune to 2,166, with 533 of those being glider sorties.
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
June / 1944
To Month/Year
June / 1944
Last Updated:
Aug 17, 2020
Personal Memories
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
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