Monday! :) On (almost) this day in 1944, a soldier is shot and killed by a German sniper. Robert G. Cole would later receive the #MOH
for an action that had occurred mere months earlier. Cole was a Lt Colonel in the 101st Airborne Division (the “Screaming Eagles”). As Allied forces invaded Normandy on #DDay,
Cole was right in the thick of it. Later, Allied commanders set their sights on the French city of Carentan, which would enable Allied forces from Utah and Omaha Beaches to link up with each other. The critical action came on the night of June 10-11. Cole was trying to get his men down a long, exposed causeway that ran above some marshes and flooded areas. Four bridges also had to be crossed. Unfortunately, Cole’s men began taking heavy enemy fire, and they were pinned down. After a day and a night of this, Cole had had enough. He’d gotten a portion of his men past the last bridge, and it seemed that most of the enemy fire was coming from behind some hedgerows at a nearby farm house. He decided to order artillery smoke, then to lead his men in a bayonet charge on that position. A fixed bayonet charge during #WWII?!
;) Reportedly, Cole was also firing his pistol as he ran. “I don’t know what I’m shooting at,” he yelled over his shoulder, “but I gotta keep on.” The men laughed, breaking the tension. Amazingly, the charge was successful, although the casualties were high. Cole survived that incident, but he would not survive another. In September 1944, Cole’s men accidentally came under friendly fire. Cole ran to lay identification markers for air support, but a German sniper unfortunately spotted him. “He died as he had lived,” a West Point Association of Graduates website concludes, “unafraid, with his first thoughts for his men.” FULL STORY: TaraRoss.com #TDIH #USHistory #history #throwback #USA #MCM #sharethehistory