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717th Airborne Ordnance Maintenance Company

The 17th Airborne Division was activated 15 April 1943 at Camp Mackall, North Carolina under the command of Major General William Miley. The 717th was activated on 15 January 1943 at Beltsville, Maryland and assigned to the 17th Airborne at that time. After completing basic training, specialist training, and a variety of training maneuvers, the unit left with the Division for England on 17 August, 1944.


When the 717th arrived in England, the company was sent to Ogbourne St. George. 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 717th provided ordnance support in the Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe Campaigns. The company was instrumental in providing supplies and ammunition to support Operation Varsity. In April the work was heavy and primarily automotive. Throughout April and early May the company continued normal activities.


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. Many troopers were then transferred to the 82nd and 101st Airborne and for occupation duty in Berlin and Austria. Others joined the 13th Airborne Division, which returned to the US to be readied for the Pacific. The remainder of the division was deactivated on 15 September, 1945 at Camp Miles Standish, Massachusetts.

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