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2LT James L. Diel


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#1 Bart

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 02:52 PM

"... my buddy James Diel K-I-A near Eindhoven 9-18-44..."

This is a sentence from a letter I got from Wild Bill himself last year. A letter of which I am very proud. He mentions the name of James Diel.

I've tried the searchbutton, but couldn't find the story of 2/Lt James L. Diel. Does anyone know more about him? Where, how and when was he killed (Wild Bill thinks it was the 18th, but on www.ww2-airborne.us it says the 19th). What was his history / personality. Any kind of info about James Diel is welcome.


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2/Lt James L. Diel

#2 appell8

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 03:15 PM

Bart, I seem to recall that Burgett describes the action in which Lt. Diel was killed, and my recollection is that it was in the fighting around Zon or Son. Check out "Hell's Highway."

We paid our respects at Lt. Diel's marker in Margraten.

#3 larrya

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 03:57 PM

James "Punchy" Diel was Winters first sergeant from D-plus 1 until he was made and officer and transferred to Fox Co. He was killed Sept 19 at the Zon Bridge, although I'm not sure of the details. Winters held this man in very high esteem and gave him firn instructions when he promoted him to leiutenant of being careful, that he is a good soldier and doesn't have to prove himself to anyone by taking foolish chances.

#4 Bart

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 01:26 AM

Thank you Doug and Larry. Your information is most welcome. I found some more about James Diel myself, in Koskimaki's "Hell's Highway".

According to Koskimaki's book, James Diel was leading the first platoon of C-company / 506 that fatal day. On September the 19th, at Zon-bridge, Diel told his men that he had been informed by the Dutch resistance that the German troops were concentrating a few kilometers from the bridge. The Germans would probably counterattack.

One of Diel's men, a corporal named Charles Shoemaker, remembers when he saw the first German Tank. "It seemed as big as a house. There wasn't much we could do. Our bazookateams fired two rounds, but missed the tank. A third attempt was more succesfull, the tank was hit but could drive on nevertheless. My buddy Jim Hoenscheidt was trapped in a rather hopeless position at the edge of the Wilhelmina-channel. The Germans were shooting at him. He then threw an apple towards them... the Germans thought it was a grenade and took cover. Giving Hoenscheidt just enough time to escape over the dike.

Appx. 25 meters (75 ft) from the last house in the street, Lt. Diel was shot.

#5 Toccoa.

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 03:10 PM

2nd Lt. James Diel was killed by a direct hit from a German 88 mm cannon on the tank he was charging with the famous "Sticky" bomb. He was hit in the head and only his face remained. He loved explosives and carried some in his pockets when he went into action. There was some bazooka rounds fired at the tank with no effect, so Diehl made a charge to blow the tank if he could get to it. The gunner spotted him before he got there and fired directly at him. This was told to me by the medic who checked his body out after the fight. Diehl had made the comment that he was going to win a medal in the Holland fighting.

Toccoa.

Edited by Toccoa., 11 May 2004 - 10:38 PM.


#6 Bart

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Posted 24 April 2004 - 02:34 AM

Diehl had made the comment that he was going to win a medal in the Holland fighting.

                                          Toccoa.


and gave him firn instructions when he promoted him to leiutenant of being careful, that he is a good soldier and doesn't have to prove himself to anyone by taking foolish chances.


Thanks toccoa... your information makes the picture complete! What a pitty that Lt. Diel didn't keep Major Winters advice in mind, during the battle at Zon-bridge. He was no doubt a hero.

#7 larrya

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 04:15 PM

Well said, Bart. I was just going to comment myself that Diel did not listen to Winters' advice. Too bad.

#8 Jiggersfromsphilly

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 05:13 PM

The new edition of Band Of Brothers Magazine has a color picture of Jim "Punchy Diehl" and Wild Bill Guarnere outside of a barracks at Taccoa. There are several other great color pictures that were taken by Buck Taylor. One is of the march to Atlanta.

OODA!
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#9 cafrat

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 05:28 PM

Hey Jiggers:

For us newbies, what's the band of brothers magazine?

Thanx,
Dave

#10 Jiggersfromsphilly

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 05:32 PM

Dave,

It is a special Edition of WW2 Magazine. It is published by Primedia and the Editor is a true devotee of the 101st. Chris Anderson has lead tours for Stephen Ambrose tours for a few years now and his insight is tops. The magazine is available at major book sellers and if you google the mane it will give you some more info on it and other like publications. By the way I am in the back, left of the picture of the 2002 BOB Tour. Good luck picking me out.

OODA!
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#11 cafrat

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 05:42 PM

Thanks Jiggers:

I read your day-by-day review of the BoB tour. Great stuff by all who posted the event.

Thanx,
Dave

#12 Wild Lorie

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 10:43 PM

FYI-
I just bought my copy at Barnes & Noble. It is great!
--Wild Lorie




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