The night of Saturday, October 9 saw a few of the World War 2 Guys participating in one of the most epic reenactments of all time! The scenario involved a small group of 101st Airborne paratroopers making a river crossing under the cloak of darkness to rescue four stranded British Paras from the 1st Parachute Battalion. At the prescribed meet-up time of 1900 hours, the four Brits who had escaped weeks of grueling battle at Arnhem made their way down toward the river's north shore. As darkness quickly fell upon the scene, and with every ear listening for signs of a rescue, suddenly the scraping sounds of boats upon rock could be heard to the east. With hearts racing and a few more minutes of silence, the sound of paddling oars could be heard approaching from upstream. Suddenly two small boats pulled up on the shoreline and the American paratroopers disembarked. Beams of light from an American flashlight shot toward the British lines, followed by red flashes from a British torch. A Sergeant from the British group rendezvoused with the Americans and quickly the rest of the Brits appeared from the woods beyond. A British Brigadier from the 1st Battalion was a high value asset to the Allied effort and his rescue was of top priority! The two boats loaded with the Brits then paddled furiously back upstream to safety. About halfway across the river the sound of three sharp whistle blows unleashed a fury of machine gun fire from the American lines as well as two red flares being shot into the night sky. The surreal imagery of the rippling river's current highlighted with an eerie red glow and muzzle flashes beyond, will forever be engrained in our memories. Upon reaching the south shore the heavy little boats were pulled into hiding and the troopers all quickly assembled for instruction. The combined group then made their way south, marching through the darkness back to the friendly American lines. Once there, the tired British troopers were given numerous handshakes and congratulatory pats on the back, as well as some warm blankets and a place to rest. The rest of the night was filled with laughter and bottle of liquor as the Americans and Brits celebrated their successful rescue mission, one that will never be forgotten by any of those who were there.
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Read all about the great events that the World War 2 Guys take part in throughout the year.