Albert Clark 504PIR - A Company - 82nd Airborne
I had the honor to visit Mr. Clark in California. He jumped at Sicily, Salerno and Holland; a 3 jump veteran that was wounded by a morter in Holland during Market Garden. It tore up his arm; the million dollar wound. He was on HILL 424 at Salerno, which was a long bloody fight. The 504 basically saved the Salerno invasion. He stated that they were breifed for the mission as the planes took off from Sicily. The mission was to take Hill 424 and create a fighting retreat to give the 36th div. time to board their landing crafts and retreat from the invasion. They were to fight their way down the hill, across the plain of Salerno and then when at the waters edge, they were to drop their weapons and swim out into the ocean, hoping to be picked up by PT boats. He said they knew if they got pushed off the hill, they were dead, hence they put up stiff resistance. One other thing he mentioned was that they had an American in the outfit that was born and raised in Germany. When the Germans were making a push, this fellow started hollering orders in German. The German soldiers followed the orders and came into the field of fire, where the Americans shot them and dropped morters on them. Clark stated it saved the battle.
Here is Trooper Clark on Hill 424, which was one of the keys to the Salerno battle.
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