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This page is dedicated to Douglas Bailey of the 456 PFA


To read Douglas Bailey's Diary Click Here

The following is taken from an email conversation between Douglas Bailey and the webmaster. It is all from Mr. Bailey's side of the conversation.

I was with (B) Battery all the way from Fort Bragg to the end of the War. As you know that (B ) Battery jumped along with Col. Alexander's 2nd Battalion 505 in Sicily.

The 456th Parachute Field Artillery Battries A-B-C each dropped Four (4) 75 mm Pack Howitzers, D Battery was a Machine Gun Battery and later became a four (4) gun Battery. I am sure the 456th did not drop any Mortars or 57 mm anti tank Guns if their were any there they would have belonged to the 3rd, 9th, or 45th Infantry Divisions. I believe the Glider Battalion had them but the Americans did not use Gliders in the Sicily operation, although the British did with disasourous results.

The 505 probably dropped Mortars 60 mm and 82 mm as they would belong to the Heavy Weapons Platoon.

As I remember that night many years ago the 456th PFA did not jump together as a Battalion. I believe (A) Battery jumped with the 1st Battalion 505 and (B) battery jumped with the 2nd Battalion 505 that Colonel Mark Alexander was the battalion Commander of. And (C ) Battery jumped with the 3rd Battalion 505. We were a long way from our intended Drop Zone but at least (B) Battery and the 2nd Battalion were in one group.

I landed right along with the rest of (B) Battery and the 2nd Battalion 505. I remember Col. Alexander had taken over a House for his Headquarters, and I remember a woman wailing because her Husband ,a Civilian, had been accidentally shot and killed that confusing night.

I do not remember anything about the Family that lived in the house Col. alexander used as his HQ. I believe it was made out of stone as there were lots of big rocks all over the place and also lots of rock walls. Also there was a well close to the house.

Just below the house was a 3 story Pill box that we took a few Italian soldiers captive. If it still there, the House would be a little bit up the hill.

After the Sicily Invasion they sent C Battery and D Battery and the 456th Designation with the rest of the 82nd to England where they received replacements to build the 456th up to a full strength Battalion.

A Battery and B Battery remained in Italy. And yes we remained B Battery when we became the 463rd PFA in February 1944 on Anzio.

While on the Anzio Beachead HQ Battery and A Battery along with B Battery was given the 463rd Parachute Field Artillery designation which we kept for the duration.

When we arrived in Rome we received Replacements to build the 463rd into a full Battalion so we now had A-B-C-D as 4 gun Battery's.

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