Harold Eugene SELLERS

 

"Gene"

sellers harold e
ARMY SERIAL NUMBER38452825
AGE22 yo
DATE OF BIRTH1922
STATELawrence County ARKANSAS
FAMILYSingle
RANKPrivate First Class
FONCTIONPathfinder         pathfinder
JOB before ENLISTEMENTSemiskilled occupations in trades and servicesAR
DATE of ENLISTEMENT2 march 1943
COMPANYCompagnie F
BATTALION2nd Bataillon
REGIMENT501st Parachute Infantry Regiment
DIVISION101st Airborne Division
DATE OF DEATH6 june 1944sellers harold a tombe
STATUSKIA
PLACE OF DEATH--
CEMETERYNORMANDY AMERICAN CEMETERY de Colleville

Plan du Normandy American Cemetery

GRAVE
PlotRowGrave
F1338
DECORATION
Purple HeartPhoto FDLM
Bronze Star medalPhoto FDLM
Photo FDLM div 101 501pir
PICTURES
sellers harold en angleterre sellers harold en angleterre 1
STORY
 
Harold was born in Jonesboro, Ark., He has two sisters, he is the younger of the family.
He was promised an uncommon athletic future, Harold excelled in American football, basketball and baseball at his Jonesboro high school, a natural happy Harold was highly valued by his fellows, he will lead The school up to a state championship.
sellers harold foot am
December 7, 1941 is the date that changes the life of Harold like millions of young Americans, it will leave a school of football to the University of Arkansas to join the airborne troops and the 2 of March of 1943 returns to Little Rock In the US Army.
 
He joined the 501st P.I.R. Which was activated on November 15, 1942. 
camp bragg
 
Harold joined Fort Bragg then camp Toccoa.
 
camp toccoa 3 camp toccoa 4 camp toccoa 2 camp toccoa
 
 
rom there it follows its route to Fort Benning from where it gains its "wings".
 
Then the regiment is assigned to the Airborne Command and is stationed at Camp Mc Kall in North Carolina which will serve as a base for its maneuvers in Tennessee, Louisiana. In December 1943, they were the permissions. January 1944 is the departure for the old continent, the 501st embarks aboard the USS George Goethals.
USS George GOETHALS
USS George GOETHALS
 
 
The regiment arrived in Glasgow and then took trains to the Newbury and Lambourne camps in England.
In January 1944, a pathfinder School opened in Nottingham.
The idea is to send scout paratroopers to jump an hour before the arrival of the first formations of transport, these men had to land on each of the drop zones, to mark them with lamps, radars .... This decisive operation for the rest of the operations could be reduced to failure by a bad launch or the fire of the enemy. These volunteer men for the majority were going to undergo an advanced training, technique that would make them parachutists out of norms.
February 1944, when the number of places for the school of pathfinders is reduced, Harold comes to recover his mail to the tent, inside of which was the Executive Officer of the company which sought volunteers for the Pathfinders, all of the men present responded favorably to the request, Harold entered at that time and volunteered also because all his comrades of the same squad had just done it !
 
Captain Franck Lillyman took command of the school. The training will be carried out in close collaboration with the crews of the Troop Carrier, each team has its own C-47 and its crew. The men lived together and in total complementarity, Harold and his comrades learned the principles of air navigation, pilots were qualified as parachutists. The training is based on the use of "Eureka" beacons, halifane marker lights, sand model studies; The paratroopers carried out between 5 and 7 jumps per week, including two night jumps, men also had high-calorie meals to enhance their night vision. The pathfinders are all trained for different tasks, and each man is versatile.

Pathfinder balise eureka

Balise Eureka

Pathfinder Antenne Beacon

Antenne Beacon

 
A team consisted of 18 to 20 paratroopers all specialized in the use of electronic signals including 4 to 6 security men to protect the team during the installation and sending of the signals.
On May 11, a full-scale Exercise "Eagle" allows the 101st Airborne Division's pathfinders to conduct a repeat of Operation Neptune. The exercise went perfectly, on the seven teams, six marked the jump zones as planned. Jumping into enemy territory, operating in the utmost silence, refusing combat, the success of the mission depends on their discretion.
On June 5, 1944 at 21:50, the C-47s carrying the teams of pathfinders take off from North Witham, Harold's team is in serial 3, C-47 n °7 with a scheduled drop at 00h30.
Station North WITHAM
Station North WITHAM
 
The crossing takes place correctly, but the overflight of the peninsula and the approach of the marking zone is done under intense fire of the enemy, the green light is triggered, the stick is dropped to the west of St Come Du Mont

Plan zones pathfinders 101 Airborne Division

Plan des zones des pathfinders 101st Airborne Division

Plan balisage sol

Plan de balisage au sol

 
Harold is in position 10 in the stick just behind his friend Bob Sechrist who will be the last person he will address. "I'm going to cover you, and you'll cover me",
Harold's last words before the gate, Harold diverts to an orchard where unfortunately the enemy has set up positions.
Harold falls into a tree and stays hooked, a MG 42 is nearby, Harold is shot down in his harness without touching the ground of France. He is one of the first two American paratroopers killed in these first minutes of the D-DAY. Harold's family will receive the terrible news on July 7, 1944.
 

INFORMATION SOURCEBruno CADEVILLE
PICTURE SOURCEBruno CADEVILLE - Frédéric LAVERNHE
PROGRAMMERFrédéric & Renaud
TRADUCTIONBruno CADEVILLE