Warren C. WILT
Companies H and G
508th Parachute Infantry Regiment
82nd Airborne Division


Sainte-Mere Eglise, June 2, 2014

Portbail, June 2, 2014.
Meeting with American WWII veterans and students from Portbail

December 1943

Warren C. Wilt was born on November 5, 1922. He joined the service on January 12, 1943 and participated in the D-Day Normandy Assault on June 6, 1944 as a private in Company H of the 508th PIR. On June 20, 1944 while standing and looking at some German positions, he was blasted by a German mortar round which impacted behind him, and he was wounded in the left leg, crotch and back. He was consequently evacuated to England for treatment and because of the multiple wounds he received in Normandy, he was unable to participate in Operation Market-Garden, Holland on September 17, 1944.

He arrived by truck, together with other "All American" Regiments, in the region of Werbomont, in the second half of December, right after the German breakthrough. He was now a Pfc in Company G of the 508th PIR and where his specialties were Bazooka Gunner and Radio Operator. The 508th had remained in reserve until the evening of January 6, 1945 when it received new orders to capture the Thier-du-Mont ridge (from which the Regiment had withdrawn on Christmas eve). The 508th  troopers had to march thru snow-covered roads from Odrimont, Arbrefontaine, toward Menil and set up a CP northwest of the hill. He got injured on January 7, 1945 from shrapnel in his left arm and shoulder, with fragments tearing into his private Missal tucked away in his left breast pocket of the M-43 jacket, it probably saved his life and he still has it he recalled.

During the attack, and although wounded, he raised himself, and fired a bazooka rocket at extreme range against one of the enemy guns, it detonated on its protective shield wounding several and driving off the rest of the enemy crew. Meanwhile tanks were being called up and shot at, and additional artillery fire was requested. They realized they were sitting ducks in the open, and CO Capt Russell C. WILDE told them to move forward, and drive the enemy away … fierce fighting took place, and the 1st and 2d Battalions were called in to help capture the ridge. Recapturing the hill cost G Company 67 men. They were relieved by the 75th Infantry Division on January 10, 1945 and due to his injuries, Warren was evacuated to France first, then to England, and finally to the USA, where he was discharged on December 24, 1945, just in time for Christmas !

Warren Wilt is Qualificated with the Parachutist Wings and the Combat Infantryman Badge and awarded with the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Victory Medal, European Theater Medal with Bronze Arrowhead and 4 Bronze stars, Distinguished Unit Citation and a France Croix De Guerre for his service during the D-Day invasion.