Robert ''Bob'' Noody

Bob Noody wanted to become a franciscian priest but was drafted into the Army February 1943, shortly after his 18th birthday. He volunteered for the paratroopers, not knowing what that was about, except that it meant an additional $50 per month. His arrival at Ft. Benning was an eye-opener, yet he survived the "brutal training". He joined Fox Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne at Aldbourne, England, just in time for the Normandy invasion.
On the evening of June 5, 1944, at Upottery Airfield, Noody was immortalized in a photo taken of him aboard his C-47 immediately before takeoff. The photo was first published on the cover of an Army Air Forces magazine and it took on a life of its own afterward. In the picture Bob remembers he must have weighed at least 250 lbs., encumbered with his M-1 rifle, a bazooka, three rockets, land mines, and other assorted "necessities".
Fifty feet of rope hung from his chest, which he later used to lower his leg bag to the ground, easing his fall and ensuring he was ready to fight. He landed behind the mayor’s house at Ste. Mere-Eglise. In the ensuing days, Noody utilized his bazooka to destroy a German tank that threatened his unit outside of Carentan. For this unit Bob Noody received a Bronze Star with Oak leave Cluster. It was his first and last bazooka usage, as he expended the three rockets he carried into battle. A leg wound at Carentan ended his Normandy adventure.
Noody recovered from his wounds in time to make the Market Garden jump. He fought with Fox Company from Eindhoven to the Rhine. While recovering from the exhaustive Holland campaign, Noody and his unit were rushed by truck to stem the German breakthrough at Bastogne. He froze in regular fatigues, holding the line in the Bois Jacques woods next to Easy Company, above the town of Foy. He survived the patrols and constant shelling only to be wounded during a nighttime recon patrol of Foy prior to Easy Company’s assault on the town. Noody was wounded by friendly fire when a comrade dropped a live grenade while they sought refuge in a small house outside of Foy.
Noody recovered from his wounds in time to join his unit at Hagenau. He vividly recalls lying in a graveyard on the German side of the river at night during an attempt to take prisoners. As fighting ensued a friend whispered, "Boy, what a convenient place to die". He survived the patrol only to discover that the "Grease Gun" he carried was defective. To this day Noody swears, "I hate guns! I don’t like guns of any kind".
As the war ended, Noody celebrated with his unit in Berchtesgarden. One day, searching a train hidden in a tunnel, he retrieved a hand-crafted ceremonial sword belonging to Herman Goering. With the help of his friends he managed to get his prize home to America, where it now resides in a private museum collection.
Noody completed his wartime duty in Zell Am Zee, Austria and returned to the US where he received his discharge in November 1945 at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. He has received two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star for his actions in Carentan, two Presidential Unit Citations and the French Croix de Guerre. Today, he enjoys his retirement with the company of his wife Elizabeth. She never knew of his career as a paratrooper until she saw his picture in a magazine some years after the war.


F Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division underway to Normandy aboard there C-47 #12
of the 439th Troop Carrier Group from 'Upottery'. At 01.20 hours they jumped over DZ " C " (Hiesville)
Left to Right: William G. Olanie, Frank D. Griffin, Robert J. Noody, Lester T. Hegland