Halls, John Derrick.

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Halls, John Derrick. born 24-03-1922, in Mancos, Montezuma County, Colorado, of father Francis William Halls 1889-1969 and mother Doris Hazel, born Mincher Halls 1894–1981 . He had one sisterand  three brothers, Alpha Agatha Halls Smith, 1915–2001 , Thomas Harvey Halls, 1919–1972 , Francis Jay Halls, 1926–1975 and Jared Peter Halls, 1929–2008.

John Derrick enlisted in the Army in 1942 at Pueblo, Colorado, and was assigned to Able Company, 1st Battalion, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, under command of later Lieutenant General Sink, Robert Frederick “Bounding Bob”. After training, Halls qualified as a paratrooper at Fort Benning, and headed to England in 1943, to await further orders. He learned to jump from a C47 with 15 other paratroopers, how to read maps, operate radios, use his weapon, blow up bridges, march all day, and sleep in a foxhole. He’d master how to strap himself into his parachute and attach more than 80 pounds of gear to himself. (Some say as much as 150 lbs.)

With jump training complete, at 8:30 pm on 05-06-1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower

  would speak to the troops just before they boarded the planes. The C47s would take them across the English Channel to Normandy, close to Omaha Beach where the American Allies would be storming. After talking about fly-fishing which he always did with his troops, Eisenhower would tell the men “Full victory-nothing less.”

The night was cloudy. It had been cloudy for several nights but General Eisenhower could wait no longer. 13,100 men jumped. 182 from the 101st Airborne under command of General Maxwell Taylor would die on D-Day with 501 missing. Because of the weather, few men landed in their pre-arranged drop zone. Most were lost. Those whose planes weren’t shot down would land in farmers’ fields, in hedgerows, in the forest, even on a church.

He then jumped into Normandy on June 6, 1944. He landed around the town of Ste. Mere-Eglise, where Private John Steele landed on the pinnacle of the tower of Notre Dame Church. John met up with 1st Lieutenant Richard Winters of Easy Company, and identifies himself as being from Able Company, and was a radioman, except he lost his radio during the jump.

Death and burial ground of Halls, John Derrick.

 After meeting up with other men from E Company, and two others from the 82nd Airborne Division, Halls and the rest of his group came to the town of Ste. Marie-du-Monte. Lieutenant Winters of Easy Company was assigned to lead an attack on Brecourt Manor. During the attack, Hall and another Able Company trooper joined in the attack. Halls supplied the men with TNT to take out the guns and during the engagement Halls was killed by a land mine. Lieutenant Winters had ordered a charge on the 3rd gun. Hall(s) led the way, and got killed but the gun was taken.” John Halls is one of the 522.116 who sacrificed and who lost their lives in the European theater during the War. This figure doesn’t count those who were missing, or the nurses, the WACS, the WAVES, the journalists, the photographers, the spies and infiltrators, and more. All are remembered with gratitude

John Derrick Halls is buried at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial Colleville-sur-Mer, Departement du Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France. Section C,  Row 10 Grave 32.


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