Bachenheimer, Theodore “Ted” H.

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Bachenheimer, Theodore “Ted” H, a German Jew, born 23-04-1923 in Braunschweig. The Bachenheimer family left Germany in 1933, due to pressure of the Nazi’s. Via Prague, Vienna and Cherbourg, they reached the United States of America in 1934 and became American citizens. Ted Bachenheimer volunteered in the Army and as a Para in the Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion,  504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division,  nickname “All Americans”

    under General James Gavin.   The 82nd had the next casualties during the European campaign, 1.619 killed in action, 6.560 wounded in action and  332 died of wounds. Bachenheimer took part in Operation Husky, the allied invasion of Sicily and fought in the battles for Salerno and Anzio. Bachenheimer received the Silver Cross  for his actions as a scout at Anzio. Reconnaissance missions behind German lines made him a legend in the 82nd Airborne Division. In action during Operation Market Garden, he landed near Grave, Holland, on 17 September 1944 (see About). He became the leader of the local Dutch resistance group in Nijmegen (see Jan van Hoof). Jan van Hoof dismantled in September 1944 the German bursting-charge from the Waal Bridge, but was killed by the Germans later. 
 Gedenksteen voor Jan van Hoof, redder der Waalbrug   and was therefore called “the GI General”. On the night of 11–12 October, he accompanied British officer Captain Peter Arthur David Baker Peter_Baker_(British_politician)  across the Waal river at Tiel to contact the Fekko Ebbens  family, the mission was to deploy operation Windmill on site (The Ebbens’s family farm), bringing back British Paratroopers hidden by Dutch resistance in the Arnhem area safely into Allied Lines. But both men disobeyed a written order from Major, Ailey Middleton Neave Airey_Neave to remain in military uniform and not leave the safe house in daylight. They went for a walk in plain clothes and were spotted by German troops passing nearby. The Germans had sent soldier Johannes Dolron to the farm of the Ebbens and he acted like a deserter.   After two weeks on the farm he disappeared  and on the night of 16-10-1944, the Ebbens’s fruit farm was raided by SS troops. During their search, the Germans found a stock of arms and some papers, Bachenheimer and Baker were questioned during a full day, they managed to establish a false identity and said they were cut off from their units and had lost their way in a No man’s land between the Waal and the Rhine. Bachenheimer and Baker were deported by train as Prisoner  of War to Stalag XI-B, Fallingbostel , (when news that both men had been arrested, the “Windmill line” was abandoned, the other escape route via “Renkum” code named Operation Pegasus went ahead as schedule).

Death and burial ground of Bachenheimer, Theodore “Ted” H.

 During the transport, the two men were put into different Boxcars, Bachenheimer and Baker, gave each other messages for friends hoping one day to meet again in Los Angeles, Maybe we can do business together, we could start a Californian branch of your firm and call it “The Musketeers” said Bachenheimer to Baker and for the Ebbens, they were executed in retaliation for terrorism activity. Bachenheimer managed to escape with three other British soldiers, on 22 October, he was recaptured for the last time by the Germans near the village of t’Harde, his body was recovered the next day with two gunshot wounds , a memorial monument marks the spot where he was shot dead, at the age of 20. Captain Peter Baker survived the war and died in hospital in Eastbourne on 14-11-1966, aged 45 and Ailey Middleton Neave was killed, age 63, on 30-03-1979, when a magnetic car bomb fitted with a ball bearing tilt switch exploded under his Vauxhall Cavalier at 2:58 pm as he drove out of the Palace of Westminster car park. Both of his legs were blown off and he died in hospital an hour after being freed from the wreckage. The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), an Irish Republican organisation banned in the United Kingdom under anti-terrorism legislation, admitted responsibility for the killing. Theodore Bachenheimer was first buried in Holland, but his body was transferred to the USA and reburied in Hollywood on the Beth Olam Jewish Cemetery.


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