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Order issued by Gen. Eisenhower to L. Palmer 82nd Airborne


This order was issued by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to encourage Allied soldiers taking part in the D-day invasion of June 6, 1944. This exemple was issued to Lawrence E.Palmer, HQ Co, 1st Battalion, 508th PIR, 82nd Airborne Division before he jumped over Normandy on D-Day.


On June 6, 1944 Lawrence E. Palmer saw his first combats as and when he jumped over Normandy with the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division.

Joining the United States Army in June of 1942 at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia, Lawrence trained at Camp Edwards for 10 months before he volunteered for the Airborne. He then received an intense training and performed 5 jumps before he proudly received his jump wings. On December 29 of 1943, the 508th Regiment boarded the US Army ship James Parker bound for Northern Ireland. After an uneventful crossing of the Atlantic, the James Parker docked at Belfast, Ireland.

Lawrence PalmerAbout 5 months later, the troopers were informed by their respective commanders that the invasion of France was imminent. In late afternoon on June 5, 1944 Lawrence and his stick were waiting on the airfield to load on to the C-47 for the Great Crusade: “We laid under the big wings of the C-47 until 10:45 then we got the order to load planes, it took the Crew and Radio Operator to put us in the plane because we had so much equipment we could not walk up the steps.’’ About 3 hours after they took off, the red lights came on and the stick received the order to stand up and hook up. ‘’ By that time, we were running into some pretty heavy flack, there was also all kinds of rifle and machine gun fire coming at us. The green light came on and the jump-master shouted “”Let’s Go’’. But just as he started, there were a lot of machine-gun fire coming right into the door. So he held us up for a second, until he kindly died down, and then out. ‘’
Many troopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions missed their drop zone that night and many were under direct enemy fire. When Lawrence hit the ground, he was between two German machine guns, and it took him more than 30 minutes to get out of his chute. ‘’Every time I tried, they would open up with both guns. I finally get out and met some buddies of mine’’.

The 508th PIR continued to fight until they were relieved after the bloody battle on Hill 95. According to different sources, 2056 troopers of the 508th participated in the D-Day landings and only 995 returned. The regiment suffered 1061 casualties, of which 307 were killed in action.

In September 17, 1944, Lawrence performed his second combat jump over Netherland and later took part in the bloody Battle of the Bulge.

Lawrence Edgar Palmer passed away on November 5, 1998.