Col. Ruben Tucker's 504th PIR was assigned the daunting task of crossing the 1200ft wide Waal river to aid the capture of the Nijmegen railroad bridge.
The crossing was to be made using collapsible assault craft supplied by the British.
Company H and Co. I, 3/504th PIR, with troops from Co. C, 307th Engineers started their perilous crossing of the Waal river at 1500 hours with supporting fire from artillery and tanks. A lack of paddles meant many troops had to use their rifle stocks to hasten the 15 - 25 minute crossing.
A preliminary airstrike was made against the far bank by RAF Typhoons as the flimsy craft began their perilous journey. German mortars, machine-guns and Flak guns soon started to pummel the craft from the far bank and the rail bridge. Half of the troops in the first wave were killed or wounded. Once the first wave landed, engineers paddled the boats back across the Waal to collect the next wave of troops. In total six waves of paratroopers were sent across.
By 16.30 hours the survivors of the crossing had fought their way to the far end of the rail bridge, trapping the German defenders and ultimately going on to capture the bridge.
By the end of that day Companies H and I were down to a strength of about 90 men from an original strength of about 240.
From: Osprey Publishing's- 'Campaign 270, Operation Market Garden 1944'
EDITION: 75 signed giclée prints.
PRICE: Includes UK postage.
PRINT SIZE: Dimensions are approximate and include a signed border.