U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division
377th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion
Tuesday, August 20th, 2002
S/Sgt. Ed Benecke of Maple Shade, NJ - 101st Airborne Division, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion
Ed Benecke entered the United States Army in 1939 after spending two years in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
He spent four years in the United States Army from 1941 until his discharge in 1945 coming out as a Staff Sergeant.
Ed trained in the Airborne, in Chemical Warfare, in Field Artillery and in the Infantry. The first unit Ed was
assigned to was the 35th Field Artillery Battalion in Camp Blanding, Florida. He was at Camp Blanding, Florida
on December 7th, 1941, when the bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred. He was then sent to Camp Claiborne, Louisiana
and joined the 82nd Infantry Division. He was at Camp Claiborne when the 82nd Infantry Division was split into
two separate Airborne Divisions - the 82nd Airborne Division and the 101st Airborne Division. Ed joined the 101st
Airborne Division at Camp Claiborne and then was sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina and joined the 377th Parachute
Field Artillery Battalion. He stayed with the 377th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion until the end of the War.
The 377th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion's job throughout the war in Europe was to support the 501st Parachute
Infantry Regiment in Combat. Ed was a Sergeant of one of the 105mm gun crews in "A" Battery of the 377th
Parachute Field Artillery Battalion. Ed made two combat jumps during WWII. The first jump was into Normandy on
D-Day June 6th, 1944 and the second was into Holland on September 17th, 1944. Besides being a Field Artillery Sergeant,
Ed was also a Photographer. Ed's photographs can be seen in two books - Beyond Valor by Patrick O'Donnell and 101st
Airborne Division by Mark Bando. Ed will present a slide show of his pictures taken throughout his career in the
United States Army during WWII.
For more information about the 101st Airborne Division in World War Two, the following books are available for
check out or purchase: 101st Airborne Division: The Screaming Eagles at Normandy by Mark Bando. Beyond Valor by
Patrick O'Donnell, which features three past speakers of the Abington WWII Lecture Series - U.S. Airborne Veteran
Ed Benecke, U.S. Army Ranger Len Lomell, and U.S. Army Ranger Sid Solomon. These books can be purchased at the
Barnes & Noble in Jenkintown on Old York Road (Route 611 North).