This week, the 101st Airborne Division celebrates their 70th Anniversary.
First activated on August 16, 1942 at Camp Claiborne, Lousiana, the “Screaming Eagles” have participated in some of the most infamous military events such as D-Day, Operation Market Garden, Battle of the Bulge, and Hamburger Hill. This division has left an unwavering legacy in United States military history.
Over the past couple of years, we have worked with some extraordinary men who have served in the 101st Airborne and have shared their stories with us. Because of this, we would like to recognize the men and their recollections during their service with the “Screaming Eagles”.
Fighting with the Screaming Eagles
Robert Bowen was drafted into Company C, 401st Glider Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, as World War II broke out, and soon afterwards found himself storming ashore amid the chaos on Utah Beach, through unfamiliar terrain littered with minefields and hidden snipers.
|Col. Christopher Hughes
War on Two Fronts
Col. Lt. Christopher Hughes commanded the 2d Battalion of the 327th Inf. Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division after the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The war got off to a bang for Hughes, when his brigade command tent was fragged by a Muslim sergeant in the 101st, leaving him in charge of the brigade.
D-Day with the Screaming Eagles
The Battered Bastards of Bastogne
George Koskimaki is a former member and noted historian of the 101st Airborne Division.
The Filthy Thirteen
Jake McNiece joined the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division in 1942. With this enlistment, McNiece became a member, and eventual leader, of the notorious Filthy Thirteen (the inspiration of the movie The Dirty Dozen).
Art Wiknik was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968 when he was 19. After completing training, he was promoted to sergeant and sent to Vietnam in early 1969. As a combat squad leader in the 101st Airborne Division, he was one of the first in his unit to safely reach the top of Hamburger Hill.
Fighting with the Filthy Thirteen
Jack Womer was originally a member of the 29th Infantry Division, but after a year of grueling training, the 29th Rangers were suddenly dissolved. Womer asked for transfer to another elite unit, the Screaming Eagles, where room was found for him among the division’s most miscreant squad of brawlers, The Filthy Thirteen.
To read more about the Screaming Eagles and their 70th Anniviersary, make sure to check out this article on their history and celebrations.