Company F
194th Glider Infantry Regiment
17th Airbone Division


Me, John Leather, his son Steve and his wife during the Dead Man's Ridge Walk 2014

John Leather, 1943
John William Leather was born in 1925.
Drafted in April 1943, as a Private, he trained at Camp Mackall, Camp Forrest and took part in the Tennessee maneuvers. In August 1944, he arrived at Camp Chiseldon in Southern United Kingdom. When the German armies released their offensive in the Belgian Ardennes, his division was rushed to the west of Bastogne, Belgium. On January 4th, 1945, John's very first combat day was frightening: the miserable winter conditions and the enemy resistance caused heavy casualties. The battle of the "Dead Man's Ridge" lasted about a week before the situation cleared out. Late January, John reached the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg where he took position along the Our River, facing the Siegfried Line (West Wall). After six weeks of rest and reorganization of his unit at Camp Mourmelon, France, John boarded a glider and took part in the operation "Varsity" on the 24th of March 1945. The very same day he was wounded at a foot and was sent to a military hospital at Liège, Belgium. During his recovery, he visited Paris, France. In May 1945, he was sent back to his unit at Essen, Germany, for occupation duty. After being through Lunéville and Le Havre, France, he boarded a ship to New York, to be sent to the Pacific Theater of Operation. The Japanese surrender avoided John to fight again and he was honorably discharged in November 1945.