Julius Adam HOUCK





Source : Bill Blake
AGE22 yo
DATE OF BIRTH28 August 1921 Ojibwa, Sawyer County, WISCONSIN 

 Parents : Lawrence F. & Margaret Carufel HOUCK
Siblings : William Lawrence, Ronald J. & Kenneth

DATE of ENLISTEMENT 18 August 1942 Chicago ILLINOIS 
REGIMENT  506th Parachute Infantry Regiment 
DIVISION  101st Airborne Division 
DATE OF DEATH6 June 1944


Source : Bill Blake


 CEMTERY TEMPORARY of  Blosville3508 


Story of Cemetery Temporary 


Map of Normandy American Cemetery


Bronze Star

Purple Heart

World War II Victory Medal 

Combat Infantryman Badge

Brevet Parachutiste



Photo FDLM

victory medal

combat infantryman badge

combat infantryman badge



us army div 101 506pir

Early Life

Julius A. "Rusty" Houck was born on August 28, 1921, to Lawrence and Margaret Houck in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Julius was the oldest of four boys. William, Ronnie, and Kenneth all looked up to and immensely respected their oldest brother. Julius—affectionately called Sonny by his family—had a great sense of humor, was an avid skier, an incredible athlete, an aggressive leader, and a fearless man.

Margaret Carufel Houck was a member of the Ojibway (Ojibbeway) Tribe, and the family is listed in the 1940 Indian Census.

Move to Hammond
Sometime between 1940 and 1942, his family moved to Hammond, Indiana, searching for work. Julius, a high school graduate, found a job as a clerk in an office. On August 18, 1942, just shy of his twenty-first birthday, Julius Houck joined the U.S. Army.


Hammond, Indiana, is located along Lake Michigan, 29 miles from Chicago, Illinois. Jean Shepard grew up here and wrote In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. In 1983, his novel became made into the movie A Christmas Story. The setting of the film closely resembled post-war Hammond.

The first permanent residents of Hammond settled there in 1847. Because of its prime location, George H. Hammond established a meat packaging plant in 1869. This plant marked the beginning of industrialization in the area. In 1884, the land was incorporated into a city named after its most powerful resident, Hammond. By harvesting ice from Wolf Lake and shipping meat in refrigerated rail cars (pictured above), Hammond delivered fresh beef to the east coast. In 1901, the George H. Hammond Company was absorbed into the National Packing Company.

In 1893, the first Sears-Roebuck Catalogue was printed by the W.B. Conkey Printing House, the most modern printing house in America, in Hammond, Indiana.

In 1894, Octave Chanute designed and tested a bi-wing glider on the Michigan Dunes near Hammond, reaching 594 feet. Nine years later, he served as an adviser to the Wright Brothers and their experiments at Kitty Hawk.


 Source : Bill Blake

Military Experience

After electing to join the newly created 101st Airborne Division, Julius Houck was assigned to Company F of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Although Houck was a Native American, he kept his heritage a secret and registered as a Caucasian out of fear of harassment.

Training at Camp Toccoa

Houck was among the first to train at the newly created Camp Toccoa in 1942. This military facility in Georgia was designed to create an elite class of paratroopers from the ground up. The physical and disciplinary rigors of Camp Toccoa made the newly created 101st Airborne Division one of the most challenging outfits in the world. Houck was an extremely tough man, both physically and mentally. He endured extremely demanding training where the majority of candidates washed out. His athleticism and aggressive leadership abilities were quickly recognized, as he was quickly promoted to the rank of sergeant.

After training at Toccoa came to an end, the 101st Airborne Division men marched 115 miles from Camp Toccoa to Atlanta, Georgia, in just three December days, crushing a previous record held by the Japanese. After arriving in Atlanta, the men boarded a train for Fort Benning, Georgia. At Fort Benning, the men completed four days and one night jumps and became official paratroopers.


 Source : Bill Blake


As preparations for the invasion of Europe began, one major threat loomed above all else: even if the amphibious forces could land and take the Normandy beaches, they would be immediately pushed back by a massive reserve of German troops held in the interior. Such a defeat would have needlessly sacrificed the lives of thousands of men.

Paratroopers were dropped behind the coastal defenses to capture and defend the beaches’ roads. If they succeeded, it would cut off reinforcements and supply lines to Germans defenders on the coast. The success of the assault was uncertain. All major Allied airborne assaults in previous battles ended poorly. The planes were vulnerable to both Allied and Axis flak. Paratroopers dropped into hostile territory. If the amphibious invasion proved unsuccessful, paratroopers would be stranded behind enemy lines with no avenue of escape.

At approximately 10:15 p.m. on June 5, 1944, Houck was one of 6,600 paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division who departed from Upottery, England, in one of over 400 C-47’s headed for the Normandy interior. Their mission: seize and control the causeways leading from the Utah and Omaha Beaches.

Shortly after 1:00 a.m. on June 6, 1944, Houck jumped into history. The 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment was supposed to land in Drop Zone C (between Hiesville and Sainte-Marie-du-Mont) and seize roads and bridges over the Douve River, disrupting the German ability to defend, resupply, and reinforce Utah Beach.

The drop encountered poor visibility, a lack of onboard navigators, radio silence, poorly marked drop zones, inexperienced pilots, and anti-aircraft fire. Most paratroopers landed miles away from their objectives. Houck landed north of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont rendezvous with other men, mostly from E Company, at the hamlet of Le Grand-Chemin early in the morning.

When Houck arrived, he learned that a small unit under the command of First Lieutenant Richard Winters set out to engage a well-entrenched German artillery battery consisting of four 105mm howitzers at Brécourt Manor, north of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont. The artillery battery was firing along Causeway No. 2 at Utah Beach, where the 22nd Infantry Regiment was landing. Commanded by Second Lieutenant Ronald C. Speirs, Houck arrived at Brécourt Manor to find that Winters and his men had already taken and destroyed the first three howitzers. Winters tasked Houck’s group to take the fourth gun. Bill True described the events that followed:

"Len [Hicks] and Julius [Houck] crept up close enough to fire at the defending troops directly. The two Americans were lying in a depression, side by side, as they planned their next move. There was very little cover. Hicks was ready to fire his M-1, while Houck would throw a grenade. Len told Houck, 'Be careful, they may be tossing some back at us and we're pretty exposed here.' Hicks fired and the German soldier he'd aimed at went down. But Houck raised up to throw his grenade, completely exposing himself just at the time a burst of machine gun fire was heard. He was struck multiple times in the chest by the burp gun and went down instantly."

Len Hicks described it this way:

...we passed through the edge of one or maybe two small towns. Very little fire until we had passed the 2d or 3rd, right beside some barn-like buildings and a high hedge. The krauts really showed what an '88' could do. Some of the (2nd) Bn officers did some scouting of this situation, because this emplacement was not on aerial photos and neither was it on the sand table. Capt. Winters told me to take a detail down and clear it out, so we could go on to our objective. There were more E Co. troopers in this group, about 12 to 14. They were right by me when Capt. Winters was briefing them. I told Capt. Winters I would like to have some of that action. His reply, ‘Would anyone else like to go?’I walked over and asked for volunteers. Sgt Julian Houck [sic] was the only one interested. [During the battle] we were laying very near each other, when he suggested he would throw a grenade over to #4 emplacement. I told him to be very careful-we did not have much cover, in case they wanted to throw some back. I'm sorry to say that ‘Rusty’ was killed instantly by a burst of burp gun fire. He was hit across the top part of the shoulders, all internal bleeding-the little amount of external blood could have been wiped-off with a cigarette paper. He did not suffer. I can say Thank God, ‘Rusty’ was one of the good ones. I do not know if it was Rusty's grenade or my shot that got that guy.

His fellow paratroopers captured and silenced the fourth and final gun. The 22nd Infantry Regiment quickly moved from their exposed positions on the beach. For his conspicuous bravery in the face of extreme danger and for saving countless American lives on Utah Beach, Sergeant Julius A. Houck was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star.


It has been said that “this will remain the land of the free, only so long as it remains the land of the brave.” The truly brave are perhaps not those that by chance fall into dangerous situations and by luck or out of self-preservation overcome, but rather those that go head-on into dangerous situations appreciating what they can do for others, yet understanding the risks to themselves, and yet going in anyways. Sergeant Julius A. Houck was one of these men.

On the night of June 5, 1944, Sergeant Julius A. Houck boarded one of the hundreds of C-47’s headed for Normandy, well behind enemy lines. Houck’s company was assigned a particular section of ground to hold until amphibious reinforcements landing on Utah Beach could relieve them. But plans rarely survive the first contact with the enemy. Poor visibility, anti-aircraft fire, and jittery pilots contributed to the scattering of paratroopers all over Normandy. Despite being dropped in the wrong location, separated from his men, and having lost much of his gear, Houck quickly adapted and the next day was among a select few volunteers to be a part of an assault team to attack a well-fortified German artillery embankment defended by a force nearly three times their size at Brécourt Manor.

After arriving at Brecourt Manor, Sergeant Houck quickly rushed at the fourth and final gun, raised to throw a grenade (exposing himself in the process), and was subsequently cut down by a German machine gun. He died instantly.

In tribute to his Hoosier home, we lay the State of Indiana’s flag at his gravestone. Sergeant Houck was a true Hoosier and a true American hero. And it is because of brave men like you that we stand here today, free men.

Sergeant Houck, we thank you for your ultimate sacrifice.

By : David Huston & Mme Dawn Crone

div 101





15 Aug 1942  Days of Combat/Jour de Combat  214
   Casualties/Victimes 9 328

Entered Combat/Entré au combat

6 Jun1944 D-Day  

Commanding Generals/Commandants généraux

Maj. Gen. William C. Lee (Aug 42 - Mar 44)
Maj. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor (Mar 44 - Dec 44)
Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe (Dec 44 - Dec 44)
Maj. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor (Dec 44 - Sep 45)


Normandy (6 Jun 44 - 24 Jul 44)

Rhineland (15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45)
Ardennes-Alsace (16 Dec 44 - 25 Jan 45)
Central Europe (22 Mar 45 - 11 May 45)



carte campagne europe


The 101st Airborne arrived in England, 15 September 1943, and received additional training in Berkshire and Wiltshire. On 6 June 1944, the Division was dropped into Normandy behind Utah Beach. Against fierce resistance it took Pouppeville, Vierville, and St. Come du Mont. On the 12th, the stronghold of Carentan fell, and after mopping up and maintaining its positions, the Division returned to England, 13 July, for rest and training. On 17 September 1944, taking part in one of the largest of airborne invasions, the 101st landed in Holland, took Vechel and held the Zon bridge. St. Oedenrode and Eindhoven fell after sharp fighting on the 17th and 18th. Opheusden changed hands in a shifting struggle, but the enemy was finally forced to withdraw, 9 October. After extensive patrols, the Division returned to France, 28 November, for further training. On 18 December, it moved to Belgium to stop the German breakthrough. Moving into Bastogne under the acting command of Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, it set up a circular defense and although completely surrounded, refused to surrender on 22 December. Its perimeter held against violent attacks. The 4th Armored Division finally reached the 101st on the 26th and the enemy offensive was blunted. Very heavy fighting continued near Bastogne for the rest of December and January. On 17 January 1945, the Division moved to Drulingen and Pfaffenhoffen in Alsace and engaged in defensive harassing patrols along the Moder River. On 31 January, it crossed the Moder in a three-company raid. After assembling at Mourmelon, France, 26 February 1945, for training, it moved to the Ruhr pocket, 31 March, patrolling and raiding in April and engaging in military government at Rheydt and Munchen-Gladbach. The 101st reached Berchtesgaden by the end of the war and performed occupational duties until inactivation in Germany.


Le 101st Airborne est arrivé en Angleterre, le 15 septembre 1943, et a reçu une formation supplémentaire dans le Berkshire et le Wiltshire. Le 6 juin 1944, la division est larguée en Normandie derrière Utah Beach. Contre une résistance féroce, il fallut Pouppeville, Vierville et St. Come du Mont. Le 12, le fief de Carentan est tombé, et après avoir nettoyé et maintenu ses positions, la Division est revenue en Angleterre, le 13 juillet, pour se reposer et s'entraîner. Le 17 septembre 1944, participant à l'une des plus grandes invasions aéroportées, la 101st débarque en Hollande, prend Vechel et tient le pont de Zon. St. Oedenrode et Eindhoven sont tombés après des combats acharnés les 17 et 18. Opheusden a changé de mains dans une lutte changeante, mais l'ennemi a finalement été forcé de se retirer, le 9 octobre. Après de longues patrouilles, la Division revint en France le 28 novembre pour suivre une formation complémentaire. Le 18 décembre, il a déménagé en Belgique pour arrêter la percée allemande. Déménagement à Bastogne sous le commandement de Brig. Général Anthony C. McAuliffe, il a mis en place une défense circulaire et bien que complètement encerclé, a refusé de se rendre le 22 décembre. Son périmètre tenu contre les attaques violentes. La 4e division blindée atteignit finalement la 101e le 26 et l'offensive ennemie fut émoussée. De très violents combats ont continué près de Bastogne pour le reste de décembre et janvier. Le 17 janvier 1945, la division s'est déplacée à Drulingen et à Pfaffenhoffen en Alsace et s'est livrée à des patrouilles de harcèlement défensif le long de la rivière Moder. Le 31 janvier, il a traversé le Moder dans un raid de trois compagnies. Après s'être rassemblé à Mourmelon, France, le 26 février 1945, pour s'entraîner, il s'installa dans la poche de la Ruhr, le 31 mars, patrouillant et faisant des raids en avril et s'engageant dans un gouvernement militaire à Rheydt et Munchen-Gladbach. La 101e a atteint Berchtesgaden à la fin de la guerre et a exercé des fonctions professionnelles jusqu'à l'inactivation en Allemagne.
SOURCE INFORMATION & PHOTOArmydivs.squarespace.com

SOURCE INFORMATION & SOURCE PHOTObmc.gov Findagrave.com Aad.archives.gov - ww2-airborne.us   
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