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WWII 101st Airborne Grouping

Article about: Let me preface by saying, this is a fairly extensive grouping which will take some time to sort through. I apologize in advance for all of the photos however I find these items very interest

  1. #1
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    Default WWII 101st Airborne Grouping

    Let me preface by saying, this is a fairly extensive grouping which will take some time to sort through. I apologize in advance for all of the photos however I find these items very interesting and hope you will likewise.

    The bulk of it is shown below, however I estimate there are over 500 letters written to and from the vet so I may be updating this thread as time goes on.

    Majority of the letters are written in English however a good amount are written in German. Letters include those written to/from his parents, friends & co-workers back home & in service, and family living in Europe (Austria).

    I present the grouping of Charles Wahler...

    First, a brief synopsis of Charles’ history:

    • Charles was born 28th November 1914 in Austria in a Jewish family. In 1938, Charles and his family immigrated to the US, likely to escape the unrest caused by the Nazi’s. Being Austrian born, Charles could read and speak German.
    • 26 November 1941 – Charles enlists in the US Army. Goes through Basic at Camp Croft and upon completion is assigned to Co. G, 8th Inf, 4th ID. MOS is infantryman.Not sure what his duties entailed stateside. It’s not until April of 1944 that he completes Military Intelligence Training.
    • Upon completion, he is transferred overseas to England and arrives in June of 1944. While in England, he attends Jump School. He qualifies in August of 1944.
    • He participates in the Normandy Campaign, however not sure in what capacity. He somehow qualified for participation in the campaign after his arrival in Europe in June 1944 but before the September 1st cut-off.
    • After jump school, he is assigned to the 501st PIR, 101st ABDiv.
    • I believe his first combat jump is for Operation Market Garden (Rhineland Campaign). I believe his main role was that of translator where he was responsible for interrogation of the enemy and document interpretation. I’m basing this off of some of the content I've read in his letters.
    • After this, Charles participated in the Ardennes Campaign (Battle of the Bulge). Several photos of with annotations on the reverse referring to Bastogne.
    • He continues to serve with the 501st PIR. After VE Day, he makes his way to the Eagles Nest and Himmler’s Hunting Lodge. Several photos of him and others at these locations.
    • Charles is eventually responsible for translating documents that would be used in the Nuremberg Trials. There is a folder included with the group titled “German Documents” that I assume were his responsibility to translate. I’ll have to have them translated to confirm the content. In addition, there are several piece referencing Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of the Supreme High Command of the Wehrmacht.
    • October 1945 – Charles is honorably discharged from the Army. He returns home to his job with the Philadelphia Daily Record, a local newspaper.



    Sadly, Charles passed away in 1991 in Ridley Park, PA. Based on the items in the group, he remained active with the 4th Infantry Division and 101st Airborne Associations after his service.

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    Not sure what the white sock looking items are. Any ideas? The leather pouch I'm also unsure of. Looks hand made. Both may not even be military related.

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    As with a lot of groupings, some misc insignia was included. Most of the SSI could be his with the exception of course of the 9th AAF and Manhattan Project.

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    Again with the misc insignia. Most are officer ranks, therefore wouldn't belong to Charles. The EM/NCO collar discs would be his as would the American Defense ribbons and Expert badge.

    Not familiar with DI's, so maybe someone can help put an ID to them

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  2. #2
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    Documents related to Charles service. All were originals included with the group.



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    Newspaper article announcing the return home from service of Charles' and others who worked at the Record.

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    Nice write up about what Charles did overseas.

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    Another write up on Charles. Photos in the article are of the Eagle's nest and Himmler's Hunting Lodge. Originals of these photos were included with the group as well as the negatives.

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    Association membership cards and Charles' employee ID showing what he looked like later in life.

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    Group shot of the letters (not all are shown)

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    Composition book contains all the notes he took during Military Intelligence Training. Also pictured are the 101st AB histories.

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    Money collected during his service. One is a short snorter.

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    Misc booklets/pamphlets including a 1942 4th ID Christmas menu 1944 101st Christmas letter.

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    Various training books and a Jewish Prayer book.

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    Sampling of some of the photos taken by and of Charles during his service including photos at the Eagle's Nest and Himmler's Hunting Lodge.

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    Booklet containing German documents I assume Charles was responsible for translating

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    These appear to be propaganda leaflets.

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    Unsure of the origin of these photos. They all appear to be German soldiers. Nothing noted on the reverse.

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    The photo of Hitler appears to be an original and not a reprint. Anyone ever see this one before?

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    A couple postcards

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    Goering's Stationery

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    If I'm reading these correctly, I believe the top card is an invitation to Hitler for a Dinner at the Japanese Embassy? The bottom card also appears to be an invitation of sorts.

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    This was the envelope addressed to Keitel. The second to last document appears to be a wedding announcement? The last document I believe to be some sort of death notice? Not sure if it is related in any way or was just placed in the feldpost envelope.

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    Lastly, an unused Soldbuch

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  7. #7

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    Holy Crap !! That is a ton of history revealed. What a great find..and a local boy in the Philly area. thanks for sharing this..those out door photos should prove much Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  8. #8

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    Fantastic group!

  9. #9
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    INCREDIBLE!.,,,.,.....Thank you for sharing it here!

  10. #10

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    What an incredible grouping!!! Thank you for sharing!

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