"HOME WAS NEVER LIKE THIS"
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Book Review

 

 

 

Home Was Never Like This
Colonel Doyle R. Yardley
Edited by Charles A. Turnbo
312 pages, paperback
ISBN 0-9717439-0-8

Colonel Doyle R. Yardley wrote Home Was Never Like This during his World War II military service, including 16 months spent in Oflag 64, a German POW Camp in Szubin, Poland.

Yardley, was a soldier in the 2nd battalion of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment which was based at Chilton Foliat from June until November 1942. The battalion later joined the 82nd Airborne Division and was renamed the 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, though it's initial jump was as the 503d in "Operation Torch," America's first use of paratroopers in warfare. This remarkable undertaking (a 1,500 mile, 11 hour flight from England to North Africa) was the most hazardous airborne operation of World War II. Yardley commanded the 509th during the Invasion of Italy, the first parachute battalion used in the European war effort.

The 509 joined forces with the French Third Zouave Regiment and became known as the Tunisian Task Force, bringing some of the first American ground actions against the German Afrika Korp and Italians. During the Invasion of Italy, Col. Yardley commanded the 509, the first parachute battalion used in the European war effort.

Colonel Yardley, after being wounded and captured during the Invasion of Italy, was interned at Oflag 64 - an "Offizierlager" (Officer's Camp) in Szubin, Poland.

From 1942-1945, Yardley detailed his WWII experiences in hand written diaries. He wrote: "I hope to put down in black and white, in simple, frank language what the men of the battalion thought and did while overseas, in or out of combat. And how, as typical Americans, they always found something funny to do - in spite of hardships and handicaps."

This book gives a fascinating insight into the training undertaken by the 503d whilst it was based in England during 1942 and for this reason alone is a valuable addition to any airborne historians' library. How they acted, their gripes, their foibles, their hardships and handicaps - and the many personal vignettes the history books leave out - are all intensely readable.

His views about the Russian troops, with whom he travelled after his escape, afford us an extraordinary perspective.

This book costs $25 and is available through this link: http://scriptart.com/Yardley.html

Charlie Turnbo, Editor

Yardley Enterprises

P.O. Box 1335

Evergreen, Colorado 80439
CATurnbozz@zzaol.com

 

 

 

 

         

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