Dog Tag - KIA - Anthony DiLeo - 101st Airborne - 327th GIR
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Dog Tag - KIA - Anthony DiLeo - 101st Airborne - 327th GIR€ 450,00
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Name: Anthony (Antonio) S. Di Leo
Born: 21 October 1907, Palazzo Adriano, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Died: 4 January 1945, Belgium
Buried: Plot F Row 15 Grave 41, Henri-Chapelle
American Cemetery, Belgium
Enlistment date: 18 April 1943
Service number: 32845286
Unit: 101st Airborne Division, 327th Glider Infantry
Regiment (GIR), Company A
Anthony was born on October 21, 1907 in Palazzo Adriano, Palermo, Sicilia, Italia. He was the only child of Rosalia Trizzino and Mariano Di Leo. He remained in Italy until December 7, 1928 when he boarded the SS Presidente Wilson with his mother sailing from the Port of Palermo and arriving at the Port of New York on December 19, 1928.
Before enlisting he lived in Rochester, Monroe, New York together with his parents at 433 N. Clinton Avenue.
He was a stockroom clerk at Laube’s Old Spain restaurant (650 Main Street, Buffalo, New York).
Anthony enlisted on 18 April 1943 in Rochester, New York. He received his basic training at Camp Wheeler in Macon, Georgia.
At Laurinburg-Maxton Army Air Base he received his glider training. The first flights caused ill-effects on some of the men, who used their helmets, since air sickness bags were not available at the time. As training with the gliders progressed it became more apparent that landing men by gliders was to be more dangerous than landing by parachute. Some of the landings were to result in serious injuries. Mostly broken arms and legs. On landing, gliders would slide out of control and crash into trees or fences. Some, upon landing, would slide in and the nose of the glider would dig in and cause it to tilt up vertically on its nose section causing the contents of the glider to break free of it's lashings and come crashing forward, injuring Glidermen and Glider Pilots alike. The airborne and glider units received similar physical training and were the best-trained troops in the Army.
Anthony went overseas in December 1943.
The 327 GIR stayed on Camp Ranikhet near Reading, where they continued to train and learn about the British Horsa gliders. During the winter code names and emblems were given to each unit. The 327th received the code name Keepsake and the Club emblem.
The 327th participated in two Command Post exercises during December 1943. The first was on December 10-11, and the second was December 28-29. These exercises included parachute jumps, glider landings, and supply drops. In the early parts of 1944 they troops began preparing for D-day with three different exercises. The first, exercise Beaver, was held on March 27-31, 1944.
Exercise Tiger was the second held on April 23-30, 1944. The 327th participated as a seaborne echelon. Confusion set in early and the 327th ended up bivouacked in sixteen different camps spread over a 40-mile area. Exercise Eagle was held May 9-12, 1944 and was the dress rehearsal for the invasion of Normandy.
During these exercises the units involved were given different unit identifications. This was to prevent Germans listening to intercepted radio transmissions from knowing which units were actually participating. The 327th became known as the 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion.
On June 6, 1944 (D-Day) the 1st Battalion of the 327th land just after noon and bivouacked near the beach.
By the evening of June 7, 1944 the 1st and 2nd Battalions were assembled near Ste. Marie-du-Mont.
On D+2 the 3rd Bn saw action near St. Come-du-Mont. At 2000 hours units of the 327th marched up to the bombed out wooden bridges south of the La Barquette Locks to relieve the 506th. There they held the riverbank from below the locks to the mouth of the Douve River.
The 327th began its way toward Carentan on June 9, 1944. At 0145 hours, the 1st Battalion crossed the Douve River. By 07:00 they occupied the village of Brevands and began their two-day fight up the south bank toward Carentan. At 2200 on June 10th the 327thattacked the hedge grove area just short of the Canal de Vire-et-Taute, and the 2nd Bn took up a position near a footbridge that connected the canal and the Douve River.
On June 11, 1944 the 327th crossed the bridge at 10:00 and advanced through the wooded area, where they became pinned under heavy fire. Anthony was wounded in these fighting on June 11th.
On July 13, 1944, the 101st Divisions LST pulled into South Hampton, England. During the summer of 1944 several missions were developed, but never were canceled. The first was Operation Transfigure. The 327th was to assemble at the village of Chatonville, France after making a glider landing on August 19th. However, on August 17th General Pattons’ armor reached the area.
Anthony and his companions quickly prepared themselves for this herculean effort. Unlike Normandy, where participating units had months to prepare and rehearse the operation, Diener and the rest of the 101st Airborne Division, had only three days until the start of Market Garden. Although they had little time to get ready, soldiers of the 101st were excited for the opportunity to participate in an operation that might “end the war in ‘44.”
On September 18, 1944, twenty-three gliders with the 327th left Ramsbury, fifty-eight left Alder Maston, and eighty with the 2nd Bn left Membury. On the 19th eighteen gliders left Welford, and forty-one with the 1st Bn left Chilboton. One glider with the 327th left Greenham Common on D+6 and on D+8 about 500 officers and enlisted men were brought into Holland.
On D-day the gliders were designated to land at landing zone W (LZW). On the first day fifty-three of the seventy gliders landed without an accident. Three crashed on the LZ and nine in other locations, two in friendly and seven in enemy territory. Two dropped in England and one went down in the channel. In all two hundred and fifty-two men, thirty-two jeeps, and thirteen trailers came in.
On D+1, which was made up of eighty percent of gliders, four hundred and twenty-eight of the four hundred and fifty gliders landed at LZW. They brought in two thousand five hundred and seventy-nine men, one and forty-six jeeps, two bulldozers, one hundred and nine trailers, and much more.
The D+2 landings did not go as well as the previous days. There was heavy fog and bad weather. Only two hundred and nine of the three hundred and eighty-five gliders landed at LZW. Sixteen crashed in enemy territory and thirty-one in friendly areas. One thousand three hundred and forty-one men (three hundred fifty-four from 1st 327th), seventy-nine jeeps, and forty guns were brought in. Many more were lost in the crashes.
On D+2 the 1st Bn 327th set up a perimeter after they beat back the Germans at Zon. C Company, while covering a four hundred-mile front south of the canal, was attacked by Germans on D+3. During D+4-5, the 327th was in Zon at landing zone area.
Sept 22, 1944 found the 327th moving toward Vechel. The 1st Bn repulsed an attack by the Germans at the bridge. D+6 found seventy-seven of eighty-four gliders landing at LZW. One was with the 327th. The 327th continued to hold the bridge at Erp on D+7 and they defended the town from D+8-10. Two men of C Company, 1st Bn 327th died in Hein Ophensden at 1700 hours when two thousand artillery shells landed on their position on October 9th.
By mid-November units started to head back toward Mourmelon-le-groid. This stay did not last long. On December 16, 1944, the Germans went on an offensive. They pushed through the allied and sixty-five miles into the territory. On December 17th at 20:30 the 101st received orders to move north towards Werbomont. At first they did not know where they were going, but soon it was made clear. They were heading to Bastogne.
On December 19th the 327th sent out a patrol to crossroads X. At 16:30 the 1st Battalion was attached to the 501st and were put on the right flank near Neffe Wardon Mont. By December 20th, the 2nd Bn was ordered to Marvie, and the 3rd Battalion remained in Flomizoulle. The Germans had Bastogne and the allies surrounded. The 39th regiment reached the high ground 1km north of Remofosse thanks to the 327th.
On December 21st the 1st Battalion 327th, relieved from the 501st, was sent southwest of Bastogne near the woods and ordered to set up a roadblock along the main highway and patrol Vileroox and Chenogne.
Company B held up the 2nd Panzer at the road block southeast of tenneville. On December 23rd, a platoon of Company G of the 327th became surrounded on hill 500 south of Marvie at 1840 hours. By 1900 hours they were overwhelmed by the 901st Panzergrenadier and never heard from again.
The 3rd Bn 327th encountered eighteen German tanks on their front during the battle of Champs on December 25th. Not one tank was able to get away. Much needed supplies were brought in on the 26th by eleven gliders and thirty-five of fifty gliders on the 27th. At 1745 hours on December 28th the 3rd Bn 327th, near Lutremage, south of Bastogne was attacked. Company F 327th along with the 1st and 2nd Battalion attacked Senonchamps and the high ground two miles west of Bastogne.
On January 3rd, the 1st Battalion moved to relieve the 1st Bn 501st. The next day, January 4th, near Champs the 1st Battalion of the 327thGIR received the brunt of a German attack. This attack consisted of artillery, eleven tanks, self-propelled guns, and the 104th Panzergrenadier. The 327th was over run. Anthony was killed in action during this attack by the Germans on January 4, 1945.
He was buried on the temporary U.S. military cemetery in Recogne (1225), Belgium. It was marked with a white cross. One of his identification tags (dog tags) was buried with him and the other tag was attached to the grave marker.
This left his mother and father childless as he was the only known child of Rosalia Trizzino and Mariano Di Leo.
He was reburied at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery (1201), Belgium (Plot F, Row 12 and Grave 53).