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D-Day Veteran on Crash Landing into Sainte-Mere-Eglise

Published 7 months ago

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Born into the Great Depression, Henry Langrehr knew what it was like to be poor. So when he left school to join the war in 1942, the extra 'jump pay' was incentive enough for Henry to join the paratroopers. He would serve with the 82nd Airborne Division from D-Day to V-E Day.


At 19 years old, Henry Langrehr was among the first to jump feet first into France behind enemy lines. His drop zone was the town of Sainte-Mere-Eglise where Henry would crash through the glass roof of a greenhouse in what he described as a "rough landing". Langrehr, along with others from the 82nd would achieve their objective and secure the town and surrounding bridges.


Henry spent the next few weeks fighting hedgerow-to-hedgerow in some of the most harrowing close-quarter fighting of the war. During this fighting he would be wounded by shrapnel from a German tank and taken prisoner. After receiving medical attention from German doctors, Langrehr was sent to work slave labor in a Czechoslovakian coal mine.


Langrehr would conduct a daring escape from the mines and spend weeks on the run evading the Germans searching for him. Eventually the allied advance caught up to where Langrehr was hiding and he was rescued. Henry's story is told in his memoir, 'Whatever it Took,' co-authored with Jim DeFelice and published by HarperCollins.


austin marino

Published 7 months ago

Subscribe to American Veterans Center on YouTube!


Born into the Great Depression, Henry Langrehr knew what it was like to be poor. So when he left school to join the war in 1942, the extra 'jump pay' was incentive enough for Henry to join the paratroopers. He would serve with the 82nd Airborne Division from D-Day to V-E Day.


At 19 years old, Henry Langrehr was among the first to jump feet first into France behind enemy lines. His drop zone was the town of Sainte-Mere-Eglise where Henry would crash through the glass roof of a greenhouse in what he described as a "rough landing". Langrehr, along with others from the 82nd would achieve their objective and secure the town and surrounding bridges.


Henry spent the next few weeks fighting hedgerow-to-hedgerow in some of the most harrowing close-quarter fighting of the war. During this fighting he would be wounded by shrapnel from a German tank and taken prisoner. After receiving medical attention from German doctors, Langrehr was sent to work slave labor in a Czechoslovakian coal mine.


Langrehr would conduct a daring escape from the mines and spend weeks on the run evading the Germans searching for him. Eventually the allied advance caught up to where Langrehr was hiding and he was rescued. Henry's story is told in his memoir, 'Whatever it Took,' co-authored with Jim DeFelice and published by HarperCollins.


austin marino

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