FIRST COMBAT JUMP

Date:              8 November 1942

Unit:               509th Parachute Infantry Battalion (PIB)

Operation:    VILLIAN - the Airborne Operation, TORCH - the overall Operation

Troopers:     556

Country:       Algeria

Dropzone:    Tafaraoui, La Senia

On the night of Saturday, November 7th, 1942, just eleven months to the day, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 556 paratroopers of the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Edson Duncan Raff, took off from England to jump into French Northwest Africa in the initial step to liberate Europe from German occupation.

The battalion's mission was to seize two French airfields at Tafaraoui and LaSenia to deny their use by enemy fighters. Operation TORCH, as the entire landing in North Africa was codenamed, was an unusually complex military operation.

Without any secure bases in the operational area, Allied forces had to deploy from bases in England and travel a great distance to the landing areas. In the Airborne plan of Operation Torch code named Operation VILLIAN, the 39 C-47 aircraft of the Paratroop Task Force, commanded by Colonel William C. Bentley, flew 1500 miles over the mountains of Spain, across the western Mediterranean Sea, to arrive badly scattered over the North African coast west of Oran, Algeria, at dawn on November 8th.

Nearly out of gas, several aircraft landed in the desert without dropping their paratroopers, several aircraft were shot down by enemy fighters, several planeloads jumped early and were captured in Spanish Morrocco, while the main force with Lieutenant Colonel Raff also jumped early some 35 miles east of the objective airfields. Although he broke several ribs in a hard landing, Lieutenant Colonel Raff continued to lead his paratroopers toward their objectives. After a full day and a night forced march, a company of weary paratroopers reached the airfield at Tafaraoui on the morning of November 9th. Both airfields had already been captured by Allied amphibious forces.
 

2/509th PIR conducts jumpmaster inspections in final preparation for Operation VILLIAN (TORCH)

Current only 502 Paratroopers have been confirmed to have participated in the operation.

RANK FIRST MI LAST
2nd Lt. Timothy   ?
Sgt. Robert P. Akers
Pvt. Houston C. Akins
Pvt. John L. Albert
Capt. Carlos C. Alden
Pfc. John F. Alexander
T5 Charles R. Allen
Pvt. Jack   Alongi
Pvt. Leroy E. Ande
1st Sgt. James C. Anderson
Pvt. Lyman (Hyman) W. Anderson
Pfc. Joseph J. Anslow
T5 Keith   Argraves
T5 William D. Ates
Pvt. Harley   Atkinson
Pfc. Charles A. Audet
Pvt. William B. Azline
Cpl. Harold A. Bachman
Pvt. Jesse W. Bacon
Pvt. Harry F. Bailey
Sgt. Edward T. Balcom
Pvt. James H. Ballentine
Sgt. Michael   Baranek
Cpl. William E. Barker
Pfc. Roy R. Barlow
Pfc. Alphard L. Barnett
Sgt. Elwood   Barnhardt
Pfc. Robert M. Barnthouse
Pvt. Joseph   Barressi
Pfc. Lester F. Barrett
Sgt. Kelly C. Barth
Pvt. Vernon L. Bass
Pfc. James W. Bates
Pvt. Joseph   Bauer
Pfc. Stanley   Beatham Jr.
Pvt. Albert A. Beauchesne
? J. A. Bernado
Capt. John T. Berry
Pfc. John L. Betts
Pvt. John A. Bickle
Sgt. Carl E. Bigham
Sgt. John L. Billingsley
2nd Lt. Archie G. Birkner
TSgt. Ellis L. Bishop
Pvt. Ross E. Bittinger
Sgt. Lloyd K. Bjelland
Capt. Erven E. Boettner
Pfc. Charles   Boisvert
Pfc. Burl E. Bolesta
Pvt. Walter T. Borowiak
T5 Ernest   Boudoin
Pfc. Lloyd P. Bourn
Sgt. Ralph R. Bourn
Pfc. Johnny N. Boyce
Pfc. Lorenzo   Boyd
T5 James R. Boyle
Pfc. Clyde S. Branthover
Pvt. Woodrow W. Braowder (Browder)
Pvt. Franklin L. Breidegam (Briedegan)
Pvt. Daniel   Brenner
Cpl. Eugene   Brewer
Pvt. James M. Broadway
Pfc. Raymond L. Brockman
Pvt. George J. Brodrick
Pvt. Ira L. Brookins
Pfc. Albert E. Brown
Sgt. William C. Bryson
Sgt. Joseph L. Buchanan
Pvt. Louis C. Burdsel
Sgt. Dwight   Burns
Pfc. Edward   Burns
Pfc. James W. Bussey
Pvt. Robert T. Byrom
Sgt. Ray   Cagle
T5 Robert B. Cakes
Pvt. George W. Caldwell
Pfc. Floyd W. Calhoun
Sgt. Clarence G. Callahen
Pfc. Hugh D. Camp
Pfc. John E. Campbell
SSgt. William   Campbell
Cpl. Elmer T. Cardwell
SSgt. Maynard L. Carp
Pvt. Ray   Carr
Pvt. Peter   Carsetti
1st Sgt. Vernon T. Cartnay
Pvt. Leonard S. Caruso
Pvt. Louis J. Catizone
Pvt. Harold T. Caulfield
Pvt. Joseph W. Cernak
Pvt. George B. Chaffin
SSgt. Brad   Chalkor
Cpl. Loren (Loran) E. Chambers
Pvt. Walter A. Cherry
Sgt. Roderick   Childs
Pfc. Lenwood R. Choquette
Cpl. Paul   Chorniak
Pvt. Charles C. Christensen
Pvt. Charles   Cipy
Sgt. James W. Clance
Pvt. Carl R. Clegg
Cpl. Ross W. Clem
Pvt. Herbert M. Coberty
Pvt. Charles L. Coffell
Pfc. Richard H. Coleman
Sgt. James W. Collins
Pfc. Percy R. Collins
Pfc. W. C. Collins
Pfc. Ralph E. Colwell
Pvt. Russell P. Cook
Pvt. Ivan A. Cooper
Pvt. William   Cooper
Sgt. John F. Costello
T4 Thomas J. Crane
Pvt. Martin W. Crites
Sgt. Elton (Alton) H. Crocker
2nd Lt. Albert V. Crosby
Pfc. John H. Cross
Pvt. William D. Cross
Pvt. Edward H. Crowther
Pfc. Henry G. Cuethle
2nd Lt. Casper E. Curtis
2nd Lt. Stuart G. Cutler
Pfc. Rosaire (Rosarie) E. Cyr
Pfc. Thadeous   Czolgosz
Pvt. Thaddeus J. Dabrowski
Pvt. Albert   Dager
Sgt. Edward   Danish
Pvt. Robert D. Daves
Sgt. Robert B. David
Sgt. Donald E. Davis
Pvt. William H. Davis
2nd Lt. Hugh C. De Lury
Pfc. Kenneth   De Wald
Pvt. Barney O. Debray
Pfc. Roger P. Derringer
Pfc. Walter J. Derrow (Darrow)
Sgt. Arthur E. Dickerson
Pvt. Augustine M. Digiovanni
2nd Lt. Carl E. Dittman
Pvt. Bert E. Dockins
Pfc. Le Roy (Leroy) E. Dokey
Pfc. Raymond J. Donovan
Pvt. Robert L. Doyle
Pvt. Daniel H. Drumbeater
Pvt. Milford L. Dugan
Sgt. Woodrow F. Dunlap
Pfc. Thomas E. (F.) Dunlavey
Pvt. Roger W. Durant
Pfc. Wallace H. Eaker
Pvt. William I. Eckroth
Pfc. John D. Egri
Pfc. John F. Eichhorn
Pvt. Otto   Ekman
Pvt. Donald B. Ellis
Pfc. Ord E. Elmore
Pfc. Walter   Endlich
Pfc. Demont S. Erland
Pfc. Clifford E. Fain
Cpl. Henry C. Faircloth
Pvt. Clifford B. Faulkner
Pvt. Eugene J. Felippelli
Pfc. Herbert   Ferguson
? Richard D. Fisco
Cpl. Burnett H. Fite
Cpl. Samuel M. Flagler
Cpl. Wiley J. Flohr
Pvt. Andrew J. Floyd Jr.
Cpl. George G. Fontanesi
Pvt. John V. Forni
T5 Ora A. Foster
Pvt. Leigh F. Fox
Sgt. Leverne S. Fox
SSgt. Lowell W. Frank
Pvt. Adolph   Fuessel
Sgt. Charlie B. Fuller
Pfc. Adolph   Gennarelli
Pfc. Fred R. Gerber
Pvt. Stanley B. Gillman
T5 Mifflin G. Glenn
SSgt. Anthony J. Gorshe
Sgt. Eugene R. Grafe
Sgt. Harold C. (O.) Graff
Pfc. Hilton E. Graham
Pvt. Johnnie   Graham
Pvt. Arlie K Graley
Pvt. Clare F. Granbit
Pfc. Walter E. Graska
Pvt. Robert H. Green
SSgt. Jack V. Greene
Pfc. Kenneth   Gridley
Pfc. Alfred R. Groom
Pfc. Wesley E. Gunderson
Cpl. Eugene R. Hall
Pfc. Everett J. Hall
Pvt. Franklin J. Hall
Pvt. Henry   Hamilton
Pfc. James R. Hammonds
Sgt. Fred E. Harding
1st Lt. James H. Hardy
Pfc. Russell G. Harvey
2nd Lt. Seldon D. Harvey
Pvt. Clarence G. Hawkins
T5 John T. Hayes
SSgt. Lyless (Uyless) V. Haynes (Haymes)
Pvt. John F. Hendricks
Pvt. John E. Hendricks
Sgt. William J. Herb
Pvt. Harold L. Herbert
T5 Howard H. Herr Jr.
Cpl. Don W. Herrin
Pvt. Edwin C. Hicks
Pvt. Haskel   Hill
Pvt. Gerald T. Hogan
2nd Lt. Hugh G. Hogan
Pvt. Romas E. Holder
Pvt. Edward C. Holley
Cpl. Charles O. Holmes
Pvt. William J. Holtz
Pvt. Louis   Homoki
Sgt. Charles W. Hood
SSgt. William L. Hooker
Cpl. Leland R. Hottun
T4 George L. Houston
2nd Lt. Charles W. Howland
T5 William D. Hubbard
Pvt. Paul B. Huff
Cpl. James C. Hughes
Cpl. Romaine W. Hutchings
Cpl. Leo C. Inglesby
1st Sgt. Frank   Jackson
T5 William R. Jameson
Pfc. Guy W. Jeanes
2nd Lt. John V. Jennings
Pfc. Dixie C. Johnson
Pfc. Robert L. Johnson
Pfc. Lewis L. Jones
T5 Robert L. Jones
SSgt. Alain   Joseph
Pvt. Donald H. Kammer
Pvt. Robert F. Kealen
Pfc. Francis L. Keane
Sgt. Arthur (Artrur) L. Kellar
Pvt. William J. Kerney
Pvt. Clifford C. King
Sgt. William H. King
Pfc. Vincent J. Kleysteuber
1st Sgt. John G. (J.) Klish
Sgt. Ernest R. Komula
Pvt. Theodore J. Kotlowski
Pvt. Marcus   Kukee
2nd Lt. Dave C. Kunkle
2nd Lt. Charles W. Kurtz
Cpl. Richard   La Forge
T5 Howard E. Laudwig
Pfc. Julius   Le Blanc
Pfc. Edward R. Le Carpentier
SSgt. Leman (Lehman)   Le Compt Jr.
Cpl. Robert E. League
Cpl. William H. Leatherwood
Cpl. Joseph W. Lee
Sgt. Wesley   Lee
Pvt. Paul E. Legg
Pvt. Ocko F. Leonard
Pvt. Charles J. Lovday
Pfc. Jessee J. Luczyk
? Thomas F. Lustrtitz
2nd Lt. Robert C. Mac Lane
Pvt. John   Mackall
T4 Leonard C. Maenbout
Sgt. Ralph   Maerz
Cpl. Chester   Majchrazak
Pvt. Lorenz C. Malberg
Pvt. Carmine J. Manente
Sgt. Tony J. Manzella
Pvt. Ralph   Marez
Pvt. Felix B. Marsh
Pvt. William T. Marshall
Pfc. Archie O. Martin
Pfc. James M. Martin
2nd Lt. John R. Martin
Cpl. John T. Martin
Pvt. Leo W. Martin
Pvt. Warren F. Martin
Sgt. Wilbur D. Martin
Pvt. Charles B. Mask
Pfc. George A. Matson
T5 Elmer R. Maurer
T5 Howard N. Mc Clean (Macleon)
2nd Lt. Wilber B. Mc Clintock
Sgt. Walter L. Mc Cook
T5 Tracey L. Mc Cue
Cpl. Elzie B. Mc Cullough
Pfc. Edward K Mc Gaffick
Cpl. John W. Mc Gee
Pvt. James E. Mc Grath
Pvt. Robert W. Mc Hale
TSgt. Lester C. Mc Laney
SSgt. Paul E. Mc Rill
Pvt. James C. Meachum
Pfc. Walter E. Mechowski
Capt. William A. Medling Jr. (Medlin)
Pfc. George W. Michael
Pfc. Carl D. Miley
Sgt. Edward R. Miller
Sgt. Lincoln   Miller
Pfc. Robert W. Miller
2nd Lt. Ralph R. Miller Jr.
T5 Edgar F. Millisite
Pfc. Leroy   Mills
Pfc. Marshall E. Mitchell
Pvt. Joseph S. Moffo
T5 Dorsey W. Moody
T4 Joseph H. Moore
Pvt. Lester L. Moore
Pvt. Russell L. (C.) Morris
Capt. William J. Morrow
Sgt. William E. Moses
Pvt. Pete   Mrvosh
Pfc. Charles L. Murdoch
Pfc. Harold H. Murren
Pvt. Earnest E. Nelson
Pfc. James E. (C.) Nesmith
? Russell T. Neview
T5 James H. Nixon
Pvt. Roman L. Njewienglowski
Pvt. Kenneth M. Nolte
Pfc. Steven   Nowakowski
Pvt. James W. Nunn
Pvt. J. J. O'Brien
1st Sgt. Mike   O'Brien
SSgt. Tom W. Odom
? George   Olesh Jr.
Sgt. Andrew P. Omasta
Sgt.     Ortagus
Pfc. Stanley T. Orzell
Pfc. Alexander W. Osmond
Pvt. Charles J. Otzel
Pvt. Joseph W. Owens
SSgt. Cyrus C. Paks
Pfc. William E. Paley
Pvt. Andrew   Panusko
Cpl. Henry R. Pardleck
2nd Lt. Robert W. Parker
Pvt. Charles E. Parten
Cpl. Robert V. Patsch
Sgt. Walter R. Patterson
Pvt. John R. Patton
SSgt. Robert H. Paudert
T5 Harvey G. Peace
2nd Lt. Fred E. Perry
Pfc. John J. Perry
Pvt. Arden O. Peterson
Sgt. Frank   Pflugler
Pfc. Harry   Phillips
Pvt. John T. Pierce
SSgt. Jack   Pogue
Pfc. William B. Poole
Sgt. William E. Powell
Pfc. William C. Price
Pvt. James R. Prince Jr.
Pvt. Merse J. Process
T5 Carroll C. Proctor
Cpl. Elhem   Puckett
Pvt. John E. Pumphrey (Pumphey)
T4 Claude A. Purvis
Lt. Col. Edson D. Raff
T5 Joseph R. Rambin
Cpl. Harold D. Ramey
T5 John W. Ramsden
Cpl. James R. (B.) Ray
Pvt. Daniel B. Reardon
Pfc. Richard J. Reuschling
Pvt. Richard G. Rhoads
SSgt. Walter   Rice
Pvt. Charles W. Richards
Cpl. Samuel M. Richards
Pvt. Bernard L. Roberts
SSgt. Douglas T. Robinson
Pvt. John F. Robinson
Pvt. James L. Rodgers
Pvt. George   Russ
Sgt. Carl E. Salisbury
Sgt. Jackson T. Sapp
Pvt. Marshall R. Savell
Cpl. Clyde W. Scarbrough (Scarborough)
Pfc. Winfield   Schadman
Pfc. George F. Schaffer
Pvt. C. A. Schenk
Capt. William J. Schloth
Pfc. Bernard B. Schwarm
Pvt. Harold   Seay
Pfc. Avery   Sellers
Pvt. Michael   Sembrat
Pvt. Lincoln S. Sennett
Pfc. Marion W. Shade
Pfc. Harold I. Shantle
Cpl. Merle L. Shearer
Pvt. George J. Sheridan
T4 William   Sherman
2nd Lt. William M. Sherman
Pfc. Adger S. Shirley
Sgt. Varna C. Shrewsberry (Shresberry)
Pvt. Laverne G. Shulion
Pvt. Thomas L. Silas Jr.
SSgt. Jesse A. Silva
Sgt. William H. Simmons
Pfc. Clifford E. Simonds
Pvt. William   Simons
Pfc. Stanley D. Sjostrom
Pfc. Charlie A. Smith
Pfc. John F. Smith
Cpl. Needham S. Smith
Pfc. Robert H. Soden
Pfc. WIlliam A. Soska
Pvt. William   Southerland
2nd Lt. C. E. Spires
Pfc. Leon P. Sporish
Cpl. Wilbert E. Sprenkle
SSgt. Allen W. Stafford
Cpl. Leo E. Stambaugh
Pfc. Edwin M. Stapleton
Sgt. Robert T. Stier
Pvt. Alcus   Stokes
Pvt. Horace   Stringfellow III
Pfc. Robert G. Suarez
Cpl. William W. Sullivan
T4 Donald L. Sutton
1st Sgt. Jim   Swain
Pfc. Leonard   Swatsenbarg
Sgt. Charles M. Talbott
2nd Lt. John W. Teasley
Pfc. C. L. Thomas
T5 Chester A. Thomas
Sgt. Clarence H. Thomas
Pfc. Marion W. Thomas
Pvt. Robert L. Thomas
Pfc. James E. Thomason
Sgt. Arthur R. Thompson
Pfc. Kalmer G. Thompson
Pfc. Clyde   Thornton
Sgt. Ralph D. Thornton
2nd Lt. William F. Threkheld
Pfc. Carey L. Tidwell Jr.
T5 Frank   Tilton
Capt. Henry C. Tipton
Pvt. Frances   Tocci
2nd Lt. Edmund J. Tomasik
Pvt. Joseph M. Torpey
Pfc. Harry E. Tracey Jr.
Pfc. Murphy J. Trahan (Trahen)
Pfc. Alvin L. Trumbull
Cpl. Martin L. Ullicny
Pvt. David R. Vail
T5 Aureline (Aureliano) S. Valdez
Pvt. Lloyd G. Van Guilder
Pvt. William   Vandenburg
Pfc. Royden V. Vandervort
T5 Guadalupe   Vasquez
SSgt. Joseph   Viteritto Jr.
Pfc. George   Voleta
Pvt. Arthur W. Von Essen
T5 Jack A. Wagers
Pvt. Vernon O. Walker
Pvt. Robert B. Waller
Cpl. Odus M. Wardlow
Pvt. Pete   Way
Pfc. Carl R. Weaver
SSgt. Orval W. Webb
Sgt. Soloman (Sol) B. Weber
Sgt. Roland   Weeks
Pvt. Roland   Weeks
Cpl. Edwin G. Wegner
Pvt. John   Westerlund
Pfc. George   Wetrisko
Pvt. James S. Whitacre
Pvt. Jack L. White
Pfc. Marvin E. White
Pvt. Curtis N. (M.) Whitehead
SSgt. James C. Whittington
Pvt. Henry G. Wilburn
Pvt. Amos W. Wilder
Pvt. Woodruff F. Wilkerson
Pvt. Curtis C. Williams
Pfc. Robert J. (G.) Williams
Pvt. Earl M. Williamson
T5 Monroe E. Wills
2nd Lt. Lloyd G. Wilson
T4 Paul V. Wilson
Pvt. Thomas S. Wimberly
Sgt. Dillard T. Winkler
2nd Lt. Joseph J. Winsko
Pfc. William F. Withem
Pfc. Chester J. Witkowski
Pvt. Franklin W. Wolfe
SSgt. Silas A. Worley
Pvt. William O. Wright
Pvt. Charles C. Yanush
Maj. William P. Yarborough
Capt. Doyle R. Yardley
Cpl. Roger (Rodger) B. Zeigler
Pvt. Alphonso (Alphonse) A. Zoucha

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