Beyond Bastogne


After Bastogne, the Deuce traveled to the 7th Army area in Alsace with the rest of the 101st Airborne in mid-January where they held a line along the Moder River for over a month. In February, the men of the Deuce climbed aboard rail cars to refit in Mourmelon le Petit, France. The men of the 502nd saw action again in April 1945 when they took up position in vicinity of Dusseldorf, to help close the Ruhr Pocket along the Rhine River. In May, the paratroopers arrived at Berchtesgaden, Germany for a short time. The 502nd spent most of the summer of 1945 occupying Mittersill, Austria.

The 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) or “Five-Oh-Deuce,” as they became known, was activated as a regiment on 2 March 1942 under the command of Lt. Col. George P. Howell. Unlike other early Parachute Battalions, the 502nd retained the same unit designation and personnel when increased in size from a battalion to a regiment.


Members of the Deuce with high points sailed home in the summer of 1945, while others, awaiting discharge were absorbed into the Deuce in the interim. Returning to the Joigny-Auxerre area of France, the Deuce made a final "pay jump" in September 1945. The regiment and the division were deactivated in December 1945. The unit would be resurrected with the 101st Airborne in 1956.