Jackson, Eugene Edward.

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Jackson, Eugene Edward, born 29-07-1922 in Arnold, Westmoreland County,   Pennsylvania, USA, to Mabel Ruth Jackson and Edward A Jackson. His mother was 17 at the time of his birth. His father was around 25. They had gotten married the year before when Mabel was 16.

Eugen had an older sister Dorothy, who was 2 years older than him. He would later have a younger brother, Robert H., and sister, Elizabeth. He also had a brother William, who died as an infant in 1929. Even later, his mother must have remarried (for she undergoes a name change and has a step son). In total, Jackson had 10 siblings. We don’t know when his mother remarried. According to a genealogy website, Mabel and Edward had six children, out of the ten related to his mother. This must be adding Frances and Margaret. (Also could’ve been William).

Not much is known about his childhood. I can only give what a news article talking to his sister Margaret. Here is some quotes from the article, “She remembers Eugene and his brother, Robert, walking up the hill from their home in Valley Camp to the one-room schoolhouse in the Valley Heights section of New Kensington. They’d walk home for lunch and then back up the hill to school afterward. The boys liked to play ball at a large field near the railroad tracks in Valley Camp, Adams said. “They used to play a lot in the evening, kick the stick or whatever, and sometimes they would build a fire and roast potatoes,” she said. “It was a fun time for them.”” Hs brother “Robert Jackson, 92, of Upper Burrell couldn’t say why Eugene wanted to be a paratrooper but noted his brother was adventurous. He swam several times across the Allegheny River   with its dangerous currents. “He always was a daredevil,” he said.”

It is unclear when Jackson joined Easy company. While 506 Technical Sergeant Donald George “Don” Malarkey in his book seems to suggest that Jackson was with Easy Company early on, others, including Major and Commander of the 506th, Richard Davis “Dick” Winters andprivate Edward James “Babe” Heffron

suggested that Jackson was a replacement who joined Easy Company before Operation Market Garden. Operation Market Garden was an 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 “Bridge too far”), 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).

Jackson made his combat jump into Normandy on D-day as part of the Operation Overlord. Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful liberation of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II. The operation was launched on 6 June 1944 (D-Day)  with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune). A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, and more than two million Allied troops were in France by the end of August.

Eugen was seriously wounded there when a mortar fragment hit his head. Jackson wanted to return to Easy Company, but was sent back to the hospital because the officers thought he had not recovered enough for duty. Eventually, Jackson rejoined Easy and participated in Operation Market Garden on 17-09-1944.

Jackson also participated in the Battle of the Bulge on December, 1944. On 03-01-1945, when Joseph “Joe” Toye  and William Joseph “Wild Bill” Guarnere   were severely wounded during a German artillery attack in Bastogne, a jeep carrying ammo passed by. The jeep driver refused to carry the injured men to the aid station, until Jackson threatened the jeep driver with a gun.

While holding the line, just up the hill southwest of Foy, a massive artillery barrage hit Easy Company in their position. Guarnere lost his right leg in the incoming barrage, while trying to drag his friend Joe Toye (who had also lost his right leg) to safety. This injury ended Guarnere’s participation in the war.

The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Offensive, was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II. The battle lasted for five weeks from 16-12-1944 to 28–01-1945, towards the end of the war in Europe. It was launched through the densely forested Ardennes region between Belgium and Luxembourg. It overlapped with the Alsace Offensive, subsequently the Colmar Pocket, another series of battles launched by the Germans in support of the Ardennes thrust.

Death and burial ground of Jackson, Eugene Edward.

Jackson was chosen for a patrol mission across the Moder River in Haguenau on 15-02-1945.  He was seriously wounded again by grenade shrapnel. Eugen was taken back across the river but died shortly after. is said that Jackson lied about his age and enlisted in the army when he was 16. When he died he was only nineteen. However, according to his memorial, Jackson was born in 1922. If this is correct, Jackson was actually twenty-two when he died.

Eugene Edward Jackson, is buried at Greenwood Memorial Park Lower Burrell, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Section O 168 Space 3.

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