466th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion

The 17th Airborne Division was activated 15 April 1943 at Camp Mackall, North Carolina. The 466th was activated on 1 August 1943 and assigned to the 17th Airborne on 10 March 1944. After completing basic training, specialist training, and a variety of training maneuvers, the unit left with the Division for England on 20 August, 1944.

 

When the Battalion arrived in England, the 466th was sent to Camp Chisledon, the 17th Airborne Division staging area, on 28 August, 1944. Flight and tactical training continued and night maneuvers were added to the training schedule. They remained in England until leaving for France in late December.

 

As part of the Division, the 466th engaged in the Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe Campaigns. The Battalion saw its first enemy fire on

4 January 1945. After the Battle of the Bulge, the battalion was stationed in France where it resupplied and prepared for Operation Varsity. The battalion was joined by Brigadier General Ridgely Gaither, the Commandant of the Parachute School and Brigadier General Josiah Dalbey, Commanding General of the Airborne Command. Gaither later wrote a commendation for the Battalion, citing their bravery and exceptional performance during Varsity.

 

Military government duties began 12 April, and active contact with the enemy ceased 18 April 1945. The division came under the XXII Corps on 24 April. It continued its occupation duties until 15 June, 1945 when it returned to France for redeployment. The 466th was stationed near Neaufchateau, where it continued its routine duties. In August, the battalion returned to the United States.

Official website of the veterans and descendants of the 17th Airborne Division.  World War II US Army paratroopers