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Private John Perozzi

2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Division, 82nd Airborne Division

After a spell with the 102nd Infantry Division, John Perozzi volunteered for the Airborne, qualifying as a paratrooper in October 1943.

Perozzi parachuted into Normandy on the western end of the invasion area, landing near to the town of Sainte-Mère-Église. Perozzi’s 2nd Battalion were expected to take the small village of Neuville-au-Plain just north of the town, but were diverted to fight for Sainte-Mère-Église – a key communication centre.

After some hard fighting, Perozzi moved north to Neuville where another company of the 2nd Battalion were battling to hold off a German counter-attack despite being massively outmanned.

Although the Germans ultimately advanced, the 505th’s brave attempts to hold them off helped troops further south to maintain control of Sainte-Mère-Église and prevented additional German troops from reaching the beaches.