Harding, Forrest, PFC

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
564 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Private First Class
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
745-Rifleman
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1943-1943, 745, Basic Airborne Course (BAC) Airborne School
Service Years
1941 - 1945

Private First Class


One Service Stripe



Four Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

601 kb

Home State
New Jersey
New Jersey
Year of Birth
1919
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT Elliott W. Cooney (CoonDog) to remember Harding, Forrest, Pfc.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Gloucester City New Jersey

Date of Passing
Feb 28, 1996
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

101st Airbone Division Belgian Fourragere Infantry Shoulder Cord Netherlands Orange Lanyard

Honorably Discharged WW II Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961 (2nd Award) French Fourragere


 Unofficial Badges 

Airborne


 Military Association Memberships
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW)
  1950, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) [Verified] - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
COMPANY A. 501ST

501st PIR- 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment 501st Parachute Infantry (PIR) History Parachute Infantry - PIR - Parachute Infantry Regiment The 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (501st PIR) was activated in Toccoa, Georgia in November 1942 where the young paratroopers to be were given basic Infantry training. In May 1943 they earned their jump wings at Fort Benning. Shortly after Jump School and throughout the summer the Regiment undertook Company, Battalion and Regimental training at Camp MaCall, North Carolina, and participated in the Tennessee maneuvers. Col Howard (Jumpy) JohnsonThe 501stPIR, commanded by Colonel Howard Johnson (Jumpy Johnson), was attached to the 101st Airborne Division just before the Regiment departed for England in December of 1943. They made their first jump into Normandy in the early morning hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944. In July of '44 the Regiment returned from Normandy and began to re-fit and train for the next operation. After several false starts the 501st PIR, along with the entire 101st Airborne, was alerted for Operation Market Garden Holland on September 17, 1944. On 17 September 1944 Operation Market Garden, Montgomery's ambitious plan to perform an end run around the retreating German Army, began with the largest Airborne operation in history. Operation Market GardenAs part of the 101st Airborne the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment parachuted near the town of Veghel, 25 miles behind the German front lines. The 501st was specifically tasked to drop 4 miles south of Veghel and seize railroad and highway bridges over the Aa River and the Willems Canal. Though Lt Colonel Kinnard's 1st Battalion landed wide of their mark, they landed all together and were were quickly able to seize two railroad bridges to the west of Veghel. Meanwhile, the other two battalions were able to seize intact the road bridges over the Willems Canal and Aa River. The result was the rapid taking of one of the first major barriers on the route of Montgomery's Second British Army to Arnhem. The 501st, along with the rest of the division, moved from initial objective areas to positions on "the island" between the Waal and Rhine Rivers. It became clear that they would not be withdrawn from Holland after a few days, as had been planned because their combat skills were sorely needed by the British. However, the prolonged fighting on "the island" was contrary to airborne tactics and strategy. After the initial hard fighting it became a static war of patrolling and attrition, principally by artillery and mortars. One such mortar attack, near Heteren, on 8 October 1944, fatally wounded Colonel Johnson. As he was being evacuated, his last words to Lt Colonel Ewell were, "Take care of my boys" son bridge. In late November 1944, the 101st division was returned to France to receive replacements, re-train, re-equip and prepare for additional operations after the new year. Three weeks after arriving at Camp Mourmelon, France the Germans launched the offensive in the Belgian region known as the Ardennes, the Battle of the Bulge had begun.501st PIR - 101st Airborne Division going to Bastogne The 101st Airborne was alerted and within hours was jammed into trucks and rushing through the night to the town of Bastogne, Belgium arriving in the predawn morning of Dec. 18th. The 501st PIR was the first unit to arrive and moved through the town as dawn broke to meet the approaching German's three miles beyond the town. The Regiment fought the enemy to a stand still and held kept the Germans at bay until the rest of the division could arrive. The 101st Airborne Division, "Battered Bastards of Bastogne " fought off elements of seven German divisions before Patton broke through the encirclement on December 26th. On January 20, 1945 "Operation Nordwind", the last offensive action by the Germans during WWII was launched. The 101st Airborne, tattered and worn from fighting in the "Bulge" was rushed to Alsace to bolster the defense of the Seventh Army. The 501st PIR, of only 60% strong, occupied defensive positions there until returning to Camp Mourmelon, France early in March 1945. As the war in Europe was nearing its end, the 101st division was sent to the Ruhr pocket to help in mop-up operations. The 501st remained in France, preparing to jump on Prisoner Of War camps if necessary to rescue and free American POW's. In August 1945 the regiment was detached from the 101st and sailed for home to be deactivated at Fort Benning, Georgia. In the course of the three campaigns through January 14 1945, 517 paratroopers of the regiment were killed or died of wounds in action, 1639 were wounded or injured, and 328 were captured or missing, according to the 101'st Airborne Division History, "Rendezvous with Destiny". 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment Awards and Decorations The 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) received the following Awards and Decorations for distinguished performance on the battlefields of Europe. United States Two Presidential Distinguished Unit Citations for operations in Normandy and Bastogne. France The Croix de Guerre with Palm for operations in Normandy. Belgium Two Croix de Guerre and one Fourragere for operations at Bastogne Netherlands Netherlands Orange Lanyard for operations in The Netherlands
   
Other Comments:
CIB & CMB Conversion As a result of a study conducted in 1947, the policy was implemented that authorized the retroactive award of the Bronze Star Medal to soldiers who had received the Combat Infantryman Badge or the Combat Medical Badge during World War II. The basis for doing this was that the badges were awarded only to soldiers who had borne the hardships which resulted in General Marshall's support of the Bronze Star Medal.




Distinguished Unit Citation Battle Honors As authorized by Executive Order 9396 (sec. I, Bul. 22,WD , 1943), superseding Executive Order 9075 (sec. III, WD Bul, 11, 1942), the following unit is cited by the War Department under the provisions of section IV, Circular No. 333, War Department, 1943 in the name of the President of the United States as public evidence of deserved honor and distinction. The citation reads as follows: 101st Airborne Division (less 2nd Battalion, 401st Glider Infantry Regiment), with the following-attached units: 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment; 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment; 463rd Parachute Field Artillery Battalion; Counterintelligence Detachment, 101st Airborne Division; Order of Battle Detachment Number 5; Military Intelligence Interpreter Team Number 410; Photo Interpreter Teams Number 9 & 81; Prisoner of War Interrogation Teams Number 1, 9 & 87; Third Auxiliary Surgical Group, Team Number 3; 969th Field Artillery Battalion; 755th Field Artillery Battalion; 705th Field Artillery Battalion; Combat Command B, 10th Armored Division including: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Combat Command B, 10th Armored Division; 3rd Tank Battalion (less Company C); 20th Armored Infantry Battalion (less Company A); 54th Armored Infantry Battalion (less Company A and C); 420th Armored Field Artillery Battalion; Troop D, 90th Calvary Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized); Company C, 609th Tank Destroyer Battalion (less 1st Platoon; with 2nd Platoon Reconnaissance Company attached); Battery B, 796th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion; Company C, 55th Armored Engineer Battalion ; Company C, 21st Tank Battalion; Reserve Command, 9th Armored Division including: Headquarters Reserve Command, 9th Armored Division; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 12th Armored Group; 2nd Tank Battalion; 52nd Armored Infantry Battalion; 73rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion; Company C, 9th Armored Engineer Battalion; Company C, 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion; Battery C, 482nd Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion (Self-Propelled); These units distinguished themselves in combat against powerful and aggressive enemy forces composed of elements of 8 German divisions during the period from 18 December to 27 December 1944 by extraordinary heroism and gallantry in defense of the key communications center of Bastogne, Belgium. Essential to a large scale exploitation of his break-through into Belgium and northern Luxembourg, the enemy attempted to seize Bastogne by attacking constantly and savagely with the best of his armor and infantry. Without benefit of prepared defenses, facing almost overwhelming odds and with very limited and fast dwindling supplies, these units maintained a high combat morale and an impenetrable defense, despite extremely heavy bombing, intense artillery fire, and constant attacks from infantry and armor on all sides of their completely cut off and encircled position. This masterful and grimly determined defense denied the enemy even momentary success in an operation for which he paid dearly in men, material, and eventually morale. The outstanding courage and resourcefulness and undaunted determination of this gallant force is in keeping with the highest traditions of the service. [General Orders No. 17, War Department, 13 March 1945.] BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR: G. C. Marshall Chief of Staff Official: J. A. ULIO Major General The Adjutant General
 
   
 Photo Album   (More...



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

Description
The Normandy landings (codenamed Operation Neptune) were the landing operations on 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the invasion of German-occupied western Europe, led to the restoration of the French Republic, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.

Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on D-Day was far from ideal, but postponing would have meant a delay of at least two weeks, as the invasion planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days in each month were deemed suitable. Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion.

The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and an airborne assault—the landing of 24,000 British, US, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied infantry and armoured divisions began landing on the coast of France starting at 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword Beach. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach clearing teams difficult and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold were disabled using specialised tanks.

The Allies failed to achieve all of their goals on the first day. Carentan, St. Lô, and Bayeux remained in German hands, and Caen, a major objective, was not captured until 21 July. Only two of the beaches (Juno and Gold) were linked on the first day, and all five bridgeheads were not connected until 12 June. However, the operation gained a foothold that the Allies gradually expanded over the coming months. German casualties on D-Day were around 1,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. Museums, memorials, and war cemeteries in the area host many visitors each year.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
June / 1944
To Month/Year
June / 1944
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  364 Also There at This Battle:
  • Accattato, Rocco, PFC, (1943-1945)
  • Amerman, Walter G., CPT
  • Bald Eagle, David William, Sgt, (1936-1944)
  • Battaglia, John, Pvt, (1942-1945)
  • Beck, Carl, M/Sgt, (1942-1963)
  • Belan, Elmer, T/5, (1943-1948)
  • Bolling, Alexander Russell, MG, (1939-1973)
  • Brooks, Elton E., 1LT
  • Brown (MOH), Robert Evan, CPT, (1918-1952)
  • Bush, William Douglas, 1LT, (1942-1951)
  • Clemente, Frank, MAJ, (1942-1945)
  • Coe, Jim, Sgt, (1942-1945)
  • Collins C, Glenn, PFC, (1942-1946)
  • Crager, Howard, LTC, (1942-1945)
  • Derasmo, Anthony, PFC, (1943-1946)
  • Edlin, Robert Thomas, CPT, (1934-1954)
  • Eisenhower, Dwight, GA, (1911-1952)
Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011