Hogan, Charles William “Bill” “Slaughterhouse”.

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Hogan, Charles William “Bill” “Slaughterhouse” , born 19-09-1922, in Harrison County, Missouri, USA   the son of Jerdie and Ethel Maude (Vance) Hogan and he had one sister and two brothers: Sarah “Peggy” Lane Hogan Slemons (1924–2018), Jordan Lewis Hogan (1923–1995), and Infant Son Hogan (1930–1930).

Bill Hogan graduated from Bethany High School in May of 1941. He joined the United States Army soon after. He served 3 years of active duty with the 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division.. Commanding Officer:of the 907 GFA was Lieutenant Colonel. Clarence F. Nelson During basic training he received the nickname of “Slaughterhouse” because he excelled at boxing and wrestling, skills which were to helpful during the war. Gliders were a new development during WW2, and were assigned to the Airborne Divisions. They were often referred to as “canvas coffins” my enlisted men. They had a plywood floor, a steel tubing frame, and a canvas skin. They were quite easily pierced by rifle fire. They had no engine and required a “tow” plane to get airborne. They could carry 15 men, a jeep, or light artillery. Most landings involved a “controlled crash”, quite often “not controlled”.

Charles was involved in the Normandy Invasion, the Airborne Invasion of Holland (referred to as Operation Market Garden), the Battle of the Bulge (Bastogne), and battles of the Rhineland and Austria. At discharge, he held the rank of Sergeant. First Class. During Basic Training, there was a volunteer call for “tractor drivers”. He and a buddy quickly volunteered, only to find out the “tractor” was a wheelbarrow, and the job was shoveling and wheeling away waste from the horse stables.

Following Basic, Charles was sent to Fort Bragg for intense glider training. He reported that training was a dawn to dusk enterprise which involved repeated practice of loading various pieces of equipment off of improvised floor plans for gliders and for C-47 Transports. Most of the practice included 75 mm Howitzers, and other light artillery pieces. Following this training they went to Tennessee for maneuvers, actually loading and unloading equipment and practice flights. Charles was somewhat “mischievous” during his military career. In Tennessee he made friends with “hill people” and thereby was introduced to moonshine. They consumed large quantities thanks to the generosity of the locals. His unit went back to Fort Bragg, then shipped to Camp Shanks in New York where they boarded the HMS Stratnaver. He described the conditions on boat as “filthy” and spent as much time as possible in the open. They were escorted by a small “Corvette” warship which constantly circled them and at times deployed “ash cans” at suspected German submarines.

Eventually they were transferred to the SS John Ericsson which was a very nice, clean ship which provided excellent meals. They landed at Liverpool and were transported by train to Benham Valency some 60 miles from London and housed on the estate of Sir Richard Sutton.  D-Day, June 6th, it was the duty of the 101st under command of General Maxwell Davenport Taylor and the 82nd under command of Major General Ridgway, Matthew Bunker, “Old Iron Tits”  Airborne Divisions to transport 13,000 U.S. troops behind enemy lines. Over 2500 men were lost in this operation. Charles and other members of the glider service landed on Utah Beach via a Liberty ship, after the initial invasion. They were appalled at the number of dead bodies stacked on the beach and many more floating in the surf.

There were land mines everywhere, and the Germans had welded together triangular railroad iron all along the beach. Charles was amazed at the amount of heavy equipment brought ashore, bulldozers, graders, heavy rollers which quickly put together an airstrip. Even more amazingly, they were laying railroad track and bringing train engines and box cars ashore. The 907th utilized gliders to move forward where they encountered “Rommel’s Aspargus”, a line of tall poles which caused the crash of many gliders. Those which survived, including the one Charles was riding, landed safely and began moving forward. They were under constant attack from mortars and gunfire. Charles carried a bazooka, rifle, bazooka ammunition, rifle ammo, and a full pack of equipment. They dug a Howitzer emplacement and foxholes. They then began firing their artillery. They fired constantly, day and night. When the firing subsided, they would move forward to adjust their sighting poles, often tripping over dead German bodies.

Still mischievous, Charles and some friends threw “fake” grenades at some newly-arrived soldiers, sending them diving for cover. They were not happy and received a good “chewing” from an officer. They captured the Normandy town of Caretan, then liberated St Mere Eglise , where airborne John Marvin Steele

   was caught on a a pillar church spire during the landing in Saint Mère Ëglise. They fought in Normandy until July 10th, mostly on the Cotentin peninsula. They were then returned to England for more training on gliders, with the goal of gliding behind enemy lines. They returned to the Bradford Farms of Sir Richard Sutton.

Returning to action, they participated in Operation Market Garden in Holland

. They were to land near the village of Arnhem and secure the bridge. They found the German prepared for battle and Allied forces took 17,000 casualties and the mission failed.

In the operation, hundreds of gliders were lined up,

each carrying jeeps, howitzers, small arms, bazookas, hand grenades, and ammunition. It was a disaster as gliders from the operation landed all over Holland, Belgium, Austria, France, and even Germany. Only 24 of 550 men landed at the intended spot. A number of men were captured. One man Charles knew who was captured had no teeth. He would have starved except for a Russian prisoner named Alshuk who spoke German and managed to secure him soft food.

The glider Charles was riding went down in the North Sea Charles says: “Once we came over the English Channel, we flew into very heavy fog. At one point the gliderpilot couldn’t see the towplane any more. He then decided that the chances of hitting another glider of plane became to great in this situation, so he cut the glider loose. The towplane then send out a signal to the Air Sea Rescue Unit of the British Navy. Meanwhile our glider went down and the pilot made a crash landing in the Channel. All three other occupants of the glider where injured when the glider hit the surface of the water. I was not injured and was able to cut a hole in the roof of the glider and lift myself on top of the glider. Once I was on the wing, I could see the heads of the others bumping the top fabric of the glider. I cut holes for all of them and managed to pull all three of them on the wings. The glider was constructed of wood and fabrice and it did float for about two, two and a half hours. The Air Sea Rescue Unit managed to find us before the glider was swallowed by the water and so we all returned to England safely. A few days later I would make my way succesfully to Holland.” and all would have drowned except for being spotted by a British patrol boat.

They were trapped there for some time before the German unit moved on and they escaped back to England. They again took a glider into Holland. Charles’ worst memory of the war was when they came across rows of bloody combat boots and many bodies of American soldiers. Despite the dirt and grime, an honorable funeral took place. A Chaplain prayed, there was a 21 shot salute, and Taps was played. Charles, with his airborne friend Ike Eitreim

  and his unit then moved to Bastogne where they participated in the Battle of the Bulge. The 101st was sent to assist the VIII Corps led by Lieutenant General Troy Houston Middleton. The Germans had launched a surprise attack including many Panzer tanks. This fierce attack underlined the strategic importance of Bastogne to the Germans. The Americans were outnumbered, low on ammunition, food, and medical supplies. The weather was horrible preventing artillery or air support.

Charles volunteered to go for ammunition and other supplies. It took a long time as he was constantly ducking German units and fire. The return trip was just as hazardous, but he made it back and the Americans were able to hold back the Germans and maintain Bastogne. This was a tremendous morale booster to American troops throughout Europe. They then moved to the Ruhr Pocket, but by this time the Germans realized they had lost the war and were surrendering in huge numbers. One man, by himself, was escorting a handful of captured Germans to American lines, and by the time he arrived he had over 1200!

After the war, Charles returned to Bethany and married Ilene King. They did not have children. Charles was very proud of a WW2 Willys Jeep, and a WW2 Airborne Cushman scooter. He and his wife were active in the Bethany community. Bill passed away April 23rd of 2008.

Death and burial ground of Charles William “Bill” Hogan.


Bill served in World War II and was a veteran of the 101st Airborne, 90th Glider Field Artillery and he was decorated with a purple heart. He owned and operated Bethany Welding and Machine Works since 1956. Bill was a member of the First Christian Church of Bethany, Missouri.

In 1994 Charles came to Holland with his second wife Elisabeth and friend Ike Eitreim and wife Carol

    with 150 additional 101 Airborne veterans for the annual commemoration of the Eindhoven liberation on September 17, 1945, Eindhoven is my hometown and celebrate, every year the liberation day with parades and festivals . There I met Charles (his friend Ike and wife Carol stayed in our house for ten days) and enjoyed his friendship. Bill Hogan died old age 85, in Harrison County, Missouri, USA and is buried at the New Hope Cemetery, Bethany, Harrison County, Missouri, VS. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, first wife, “Queeny” Hogan in 1981 and second wife, Elizabeth Hogan in 2003.

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