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Lt Col James Maggie Megellas
|Commander of H Company, 3rd Battalion, 504th PIR, "Maggie" Megellas was the most decorated officer in the 82nd Airborne Division. After serving in Italy, where he was twice wounded, Megellas fought in Normandy before taking part in Operation Market Garden where he led his company in the crossing of the River Waal near Nijmegen. For bravery he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest gallantry award. He fought with great distinction in the Battle of the Bulge, and on 28th January, whilst advancing into the town of Herresbach, his company succeeded in killing and capturing a large number of Germans. He single handedly destroyed a German tank with grenades before they seized the town, without losing a man. He was nominated for the Medal of Honor, but the account was never included in the official report.|
Sgt Bob Bearden
|Bob was the leader of H Company mortar squad, 507th PIR, attached to the 82nd Airborne. The 507th arrived over Normandy two hours later than other airborne units without the element of surprise. Massive anti-aircraft fire and dense cloud caused them to have the worst drop of all, with most sticks missing their drop zones, stranded in isolated groups, or with their drop zone flooded by the Germans. Bob Bearden fought with a group of about 50 troopers from various units, taking the small town of Fresville, before being forced to retire due to overwhelming odds. In a brave action which left 20 Germans dead in his wake, Bob was captured by the Germans and then taken prisoner. He was freed by Russians in late December 1944.|
Sgt Milton Schlesener
|Milton Schlesener served with D Company, 505th PIR, and participated in an amazing four combat jumps from D-Day with the 505th Regiment. He served with the 82nd Airborne all the way from Normandy to Germany, and the end of the war.|
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