Horton, Oliver Martin.

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Horton, Oliver Martin,

Horton, Oliver Martin, born 09-12-1912. in Raleigh Wake County, North Carolina, too Robert Lee Horton, 1867–1941 and his wife Clyde Holloway Horton, 1873–1934. He had one sister Lillian Myatt Horton Ammons, 1901–1978 and one brother Robert Lee Horton, who died three years old in 1910. Oliver had enlisted in the United States Army. Served during World War II. Horton had the rank of Major. His military occupation or specialty was Commander. Service number assignment was O-322703. Attached to 101st Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment.


He became the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion, with the 101st Airborne Division , 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment Band of Brothers. After a heavy training on mountain Currahee his regiment was transferred to England. The regiment was initially formed at Camp Toccoa, Georgia in 1942 where it earned its nickname, “Currahees”, after Currahee Mountain which is located inside the boundaries of the camp. Paratroopers in training ran from Camp Toccoa up Currahee Mountain and back, memorialized in the HBO series, 506 Band of Brothers.  They who jumped into France in the early morning hours on D-Day, June 6, 1944,  Like almost all paratroop units, the 506th was widely scattered during the Mission Albany night drop on the morning of D-Day. The most famous action for the 506th on D-Day was the Brécourt Manor Assault led by then 1st Lieutenant Richard Winters. 

  Although promised they would be in battle for just 3 days, the 506th did not return to England for 33 days, participating in the battle for Carentan where Lieutenant-Colonel, 502 company, 101st Airborne Division Robert Cole 

  deserved his medal of honor. Before he received this medal he was shot by a German sniper in Best Holland in September 1944. Of about 2,000 men who jumped into France, 231 were killed in action, 183 were missing or POWs, and 569 were wounded — about 50% casualties for the Normandy campaign. On September 17, 1944 a 2nd combat jump into Holland, for Operation Market Garden under command of General Maxwell Taylor  The airborne component of Operation Market Garden, Operation Market was composed of American units (82nd Airborne Division under command of Lieutenant General James Maurice “Slim Jim” Gavin,

  the 101st Airborne Division, and the IX Troop Carrier Command , under the command of Major General Lewis Hyde Brereton, British units (1st Airborne Division  under command of Major General Frederick Arthur Montague “Boy” Browning ) and Polish units (1st Independent Parachute Brigade  under command of Brigadier General Stanisław Sosabowski  . Browning died at Menabilly, age 68, on 14-03-1965. at the mansion that inspired his wife’s novel Rebecca. The airborne units were dropped near several key bridges along the axis of advance of the ground forces, Operation Garden, with the objective of capturing the bridges intact in order to allow a deep penetration into the German occupied Netherlands and to capture the key bridge crossing the River Rhine at Arnhem.

The 101st Airborne was assigned five bridges just north of the German defensive lines northwest of Eindhoven. The parachute drop was in daylight resulting in well targeted and controlled drops into the designated drop zones. The 101st captured all but one bridge, the one at Son which was destroyed with explosives by the German defenders as the airborne units approached the bridge. The ground forces of British XXX Corps linked up with elements of the 101st Airborne on the second day of operations but the advance of the ground forces was further delayed while engineers erected a Bailey Bridge at Son replacing the destroyed bridge. XXX Corps  under command of Lieutenant General Brian Horrocks  then continued its advance into the 82nd Airborne area of operations where it was halted just shy of Arnhem due to German counterattacks along the length of the deep penetration. Horrocks died on 04-01-1985, at the age of 89 in Chichester, West Sussex, England.

The 101st Airborne continued to support XXX Corps advance during the remainder of Operation Market Garden with several running battles over the next several days.

Death and burial ground of Horton, Oliver Martin.


Horton, above walking through my hometown Eindhoven, was killed in action, on 05-10-1944, age 31, during the battle of Opheusden, Holland … Major Oliver M Horton was fatally wounded in the morning of 05-10-1944 by German mortar fire while walking along the railroad tracks near the Linge Canal at the south end of the town Opheusden.

“As we were preparing to pull back from the pillbox, Horton arrived and asked where we thought where we were going,” remember Staff Sergeant Mario “Hank” DiCarlo. “I respectfully replied that there was now heavy machine-gun fire coming down the tracks and that we would be surrounded and killed if we stayed a minute longer. I couldn’t believe it when the major stepped out from behind the bunker and was struck in the midsection by one of the machine-guns that I’d just warned him about! We laid Horton down on the protected side of the blockhouse; there was nothing on earth we could do for him and he died a few minutes later. I looked at my watch and it said 10:20 hrs. ”Shortly afterwards, a jeep from B/326 collected Horton’s body and took it to the regimental aid station at the local Dorpschool (local village school) in Zetten at the Kerkstraat (Churchstreet). Mario “Hank” Di Carlo survived the war and died age 87, in the hospice of Keystone House  in Wyndmoor. A bridge in Opheusden is dedicated to Major Oliver Horton.


Major Oliver Martin Horton is buried on the American War Cemetery Margraten in the Netherlands, Plot G-Row 1-Grave 11.

Oliver Norton is buried at Plot G Row 1 Grave 11, Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands


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