George E. Wilson
08 June 1922
09 Sep 1943
321 Glider Field Artillery Battalion, 101st
Private First Class
European Theater Medal with 1 bronze arrowhead and 4 bronze stars,
Distinguished Unit Badge, Belgian Fouragere, Good Conduct Medal, WWII
18 Dec 1948
George underwent his basic training at Camp Roberts, California
which lasted for 17 weeks before he moved to Fort Meade, Maryland.
He sustained injuries to both ears from the explosive power of
the 155mm Howitzers. After spending many days in hospital during his
stay at Fort Meade,
he was finally on his way overseas, travelling form
on the US Wakefield to
Arriving safely, he transferred
to Whatcombe Farm, Oxfordshire to find that the 101st
Division had been deployed to
and then a 2 month period of extensive training began as he waited for
the division to return. Soon preparations for the invasion of The
Netherlands began in earnest and in early September 1944 the 101st
were again alerted to and transferred to assembly areas for departure.
Georgeís glider departed on 19th September at 12:35pm and
headed for the Dutch landing zones. Safely landing George was soon
operating his 75mm Howitzer in support of the 502nd Parachute
Infantry Regiment and the 327th Glider Infantry. Here began 2
months of tough fighting before the Battalion pulled out and headed for
Mourmelon on 24th
November 1944 for re-equipping and the addition of replacements.
However, the break was short and the German Bulge offensive saw George
back in action.
With the rest of the Division,
George was trucked into the area of
where his group set up their guns approximately 1 mile northwest of the
town with orders to hold at all costs. And hold they did despite the
cold, lack of food and ammunition until finally the 101st
Division was relieved on 19th January 1945 and moved to
Lorraine, France, a somewhat quieter part of the front where they
remained until the spring of 1945 when they were once more relieved and
returned to the base in France. The 101st Division was
recognized again for their actions in Bastogne and awarded the Distinguished Unit
Citation for their action.
In late April 1945, the 321st
were on the move again, this time into
itself where George too up positions near Landsberg,
Germany where he witnessed
first hand the Nazi Death Camps before moving to the heart of Nazi
Germany at Berchtesgaden and Hitlerís
Eagleís Nest. And it was here and in the Austrian Alps where the 321st
finally received notification that the Germans had finally surrendered
and the war was over.
Returning to France, the long wait for discharge
began and the points system that was in operation dictated when that
would be. George had to wait his turn and finally found himself at
Camp Fannon, Texas where on
18th December 1945 he was finally discharged and returned to
his home near Duncan, Oklahoma.