I recently got contacted by a man saying his great uncle fought during Operation Market Garden. The man was going on a business trip to The Netherlands and wanted to visit the place where his great uncle got hit. His uncle was Captain Thomas A. Norwood, an officer in the 326th Engineers Battalion, 101st Airborne Division. After surviving D-Day  Norwood prepared for Operation Market Garden. He landed in the vicinity of Veghel and headed for a vital bridge. They captured and repaired the bridge so traffic could roll through. Later that day Norwood got seriously wounded in action and died of his wounds in a hospital in the UK.

“I’ll never forget those fearful moments, when, at the moment that a heavy iron crossbeam hung in the tackles underneath the bridge, a very heavy shelling began, and the shrapnel crossed the bridge in all directions and we all fled into the shelters in the neighborhood; also fled the soldiers who held the ropes which prevented the beams from falling into the water.  This would have happened if Tom and one of my teachers had not taken the ropes and while lying on the ground they retained them till after the shelling.  By this heroic act, the beams were kept from falling into the water from which it would have been impossible to draw them up again because we lacked the proper tackles for doing so.”

For a complete story of Captain Thomas A. Norwood, check out http://burnfan0.tripod.com/id8.html

norwood Captain Thomas A. Norwood on the bridge at Veghel.

The man who contacted me wanted to know the location of the bridge, so he could spend some time exploring the area where his great uncle got hit. This was a hard task for me, for the bridge doesn’t exist anymore. Through some research and forums I found the exact location of the bridge: http://goo.gl/maps/sL5sC


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4 thoughts to ““My Great Uncle Was In The Airborne!’

  • Sherry Alford Kroboth

    Thank you so much for this lovely article published on your blog.
    You have also been so generous to supply this information to my son, ‘the businessman,’
    Uncle Tom’s remaining sisters still revere and respect their brother for his heroism and his many other talents. As a matter of fact, he might still be here had he accepted the offer of a teaching position at West Point after his graduation rather than enlisting.
    His gravesite at Henri Chappelle is very well cared for and is a beautiful; and memorable place to visit

  • Dan Webster

    Very interesting article and I hope some of Captain Thomas Norwood’s relatives will eventually see this blog posting. Thanks for posting it!

  • Thomas Adrian Quarles

    Captain Norwood was my uncle and I had the honor of being named after him. Thank you so much for this information and for providing the pictures. The more information that the relatives have, the better understanding we have about exactly how things happened and specifically what took place the day he died. Thank you so much for posting this!

  • Richard Binkhuysen

    Hi, I’ve tried to leave a message earlier, but didn’t succeed.
    This is the bridge you’re looking for.
    The footage is of Oct.2 1944
    I found it during the research about my Granddads WW2 past .
    It seems your Uncle and my Granddads Resistance Group fought the same enemy.
    It’s better known for ‘The cut at Koevering’.
    Here’s the episode we’ve made about it.
    From : “My project to prove Dutch Resistance Group ‘Orde Dienst-Tholen’ fought 5 days 7Km behind enemy lines against a Company of Fallschirmjäger Regiment 6”.
    Episode 8 ; https://youtu.be/dHnYiQJPc_s
    Up to now only 9 episodes are finished and it will take a while before the Dutch Rsistance Group comes into view.
    All 9 episodes so far : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwgzw_6xq7g&list=PLmZsQHKnBH0CtaiykT5e6UJZ8E-7XWY1A
    Sincerely Richard


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