Doran, Robert Edward “Bob”.

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Doran, Robert Edward “Bob”, born 15-10-1923 in New Haven County, Connecticut, the son of George J. Doran and his wife Mary Veronica Doran. Robert had one sister Jean Doran and one brother William. He, on 17-02-1943, had enlisted in the United States Army. Served during World War II. Doran had the rank of Technician Fifth Class. His military occupation or specialty was Radio Operator. Service number assignment was 31316785. Attached to the 101st Airborne Division, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment. under command of Colonel George Van Horn Moseley, Jr.  George survived the war and died 06-12-1976 (aged 71) in Montague, Massachusetts

During Operation Market Garden, the capture of the bridge at Best, an alternative to the destroyed bridge at Son, was less easy. Operation Market Garden was the Allied military operation during the Second World War fought in the German-occupied Netherlands from 17 to 27 September 1944. Its objective was to create a 64 mi (103 km) salient into German territory with a bridgehead over the Nederrijn (Lower Rhine River), creating an Allied invasion route into northern Germany. This was to be achieved by two sub-operations: seizing nine bridges with combined US and British airborne forces (Market) followed by British land forces swiftly following over the bridges (Garden).

Operation Market Garden is known as the last triumph of the German Wehrmacht in Western Europe. The Allies lost no fewer than 17,000 men in just over a week. The Germans suffered between 8,000 and 13,000 deaths.

The German General Hans Reinhard had organized a Kampfgruppe on the spot. This ad hoc army corps, consisting of soldiers from different army units, repulsed the first American attack. In the night German reinforcements arrived. The Americans made another attempt to take the bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal in my hometown Eindhoven, but they could not prevent it from taking off at eleven o’clock. A platoon of Americans became isolated near the bridge and the next day found themselves in a hand-to-hand combat with the Germans,.private of the 502th Regiment Joe Eugen Mann,

who had been wounded in both shoulders and hands the previous day, crashed into a hand grenade which his injuries prevented him from throwing. With his life he saved that of six of his comrades.

Casualities of the Operation Market Garden.: XXX Corps under commander Brian Horrocks, suffered fewer than 1,500 casualties, which stands in stark contrast to the 8,000 casualties suffered by the 1st Airborne Division. under command of General Urquhart, Robert Elliott “Roy”.

 On several occasions, units of the flanking British Corps made contact with paratroopers before units of XXX Corps, and fought on to support them until the end of the operation. The higher toll by the 101st Airborne Division under command of General Maxwell  Davenport Taylor,   reflects the reality that aside from contending with the local German defenders, they also had to combat German troops retreating from the XXX Corps advance.

German casualties are hard to determine, due to incomplete records. Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt provided an official figure of 3,300, but this has been challenged by historians. Conservative estimates range from 6,400 to 8,000 killed and wounded. Kershaw listed the German order of battle, with between 6,315 and 8,925 casualties. In A Bridge Too Far, Cornelius Ryan estimated 7,500 to 10,000 additional casualties to those provided by Rundstedt, for a final total of 10,800–13,300 losses. A contemporary paper by the 21st Army Group claimed that 16,000 German prisoners were taken during the course of Operation Market Garden. The report also claimed the destruction of 159 German aircraft, and 30 tanks or self-propelled guns during the operation.

Death and burial ground of Doran Robert Edward “Bob”,

Robert Doran was the radio operator of Lieutenant Robert Cole,

 .the webmaster here with his son Bruce during the Remember September festivities in 1994, in the woods near Best they had to capture the bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal During an action Robert want to improve his radio reception and stood up out his foxhole and was struck and killed by an snipers bullit and shortly after Lieutenant Robert George Cole was also shot by probably the same sniper. .The Airborne paras were only a hundred meters from the bridge as the Germans blow him up.

Robert Edward Doran and Robert George Cole are buried at the Netherlands American War Cemetery Margraten in the South of Holland, Robert Doran in Plot B- Row 5- Grave 19 and Robert Cole in Plot B-Row 15-Grave 27.


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