Private John M Steele

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Blastmaster1972, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Blastmaster1972

    Blastmaster1972 Junior Member

    Just a pic I took last year. Thought I'd share it with you guys on this 6th of June! Guess I don't really have to say WHERE I took it... ;)

    Can anybody tell me which exact unit Private Steele belonged to? My google skills are letting me down, and I'm about 1500km separated from my books...


    Kind regards,

    Drew5233 and stolpi like this.
  2. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member


    From Wikipedia:

  3. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  4. Blastmaster1972

    Blastmaster1972 Junior Member

    OK thanks for the info. So far we have 82nd Airborne Division, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

    Which Batalion (3rd?), Company, Platoon?

    Kind regards,

  5. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    After checking D-Day by Stephen Ambrose, (p.210), I would suggest 2nd Platoon F Company:

    Ryan in a footnote of The Longest Day, would seem to corroborate this.

  6. Blastmaster1972

    Blastmaster1972 Junior Member

    Thanks Mark!

    Now I can sleep easy, here in Sweden!

    Kind regards,

  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I seem to remember F Company for some reason, not sure why. Weren't they a support Company? Something like Mortars etc?
  8. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Good day Blastmaster 1972,

    According to my notes taken down at the T.I.C. and the Airborne Museum at Sainte-Mère-Église some years ago, Pte. John Steele served with F Company, 505 Parachute Regiment. 82nd Division. I presume you may not have asked about him while you were visiting the town? The museum has quite a bit of information about John Steele and several other WW2 airborne veterans.

    The church is dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption (Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption). Apparently, John Steele returned to the town many times and had said he wished to be buried in Normandy after his death (which was never realised).

    If you wish to confirm the details yourself, why not ask the museum? This is the address and e-mail:

    Musée Airborne
    14 rue Eisenhower – 50480 Sainte-Mère-Eglise
    Tél. 02 33 41 41 35 – Fax. 02 33 41 78 87

    I hope this has helped a little in resolving your query. All the best.


  9. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria. Patron

  10. Blastmaster1972

    Blastmaster1972 Junior Member

    Thanks for the answers everybody.

    @ritsonvaljos: I did visit the museum, and I do have a couple of books on the 82nd AB... but all that is at home, and I'm working abroad. ;)

    Kind regards,

  11. 18square

    18square New Member

    My father, Robert W. Landl, was the radio operator for F Company, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

    He left Fort Bragg, North Carolina with the 82nd for North Africa.

    Normandy was his 3rd combat jump.

    Company communications and company machinegun and mortar always jumped the same aircraft.

    John Steele was in company machinegun and mortar.

    I am not certain whether they jumped a C-47 or C-53 "Skytrooper" that day but they were on the same aircraft.

    My father landed in an enclosed courtyard which was just beyond the square; it was locked and he had to shoot off the lock to get out.

    A friend of my father's visited Saint Mere Eglise on June 6, 1964.

    The homeowner of the courtyard indicated there were two separate parachutes in the courtyard that next morning.

    In his 82nd album, my father had pointed out where his communications equipment bundle was hanging over some wires across a field and along side a road.

    I have seen a picture of Steele and a number of his team members, whose names are familiar to me, standing inspection in the drizzle at some time prior to the Normandy drop.

    My best information has them leaving from RAF Cottesmore and heading across the Channel.

    They then turned inland toward France and flew between the German occupied islands of Jersey and Guernsey at 10,000' MSL - too high for the German AAA to reach the formations.

    My father was able to watch the AAA arching up toward them and falling short.

    The aircraft then descended to jump altitude which was approximately 750' or less.

    It was their first jump with Composition C, a plastic explosive, and they'd only had a couple hours of training.

    My father believes the brief training and unfamiliarity with the Composition C were responsible for the orange bursts he'd witness on the ground during his brief canopy descent.

    One trooper landed in the burning building which was followed by an explosion.

    I will see if I can find the picture of Steele and his other team members, which I mentioned above, and post a website for it.

    Don't forget John Steele was one old paratrooper in Normandy, having been born in 1912.

    John Howard Landl
  12. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    An interesting addition. Thanks for posting
  13. adam517

    adam517 Junior Member

    Hi All,

    Sorry, late to the party on this one. John Steele was a member of the 60mm Mortar Squad, 2nd Platoon, F.Company, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The stick that Steele jumped from is a particularly interesting one, and I would kill for the jump manifest to one day show up but I suspect they are indefinitely lost.

    For what it's worth, F.Company were not a support Company, but a regular Company within the 505th.

    CL1 likes this.

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