A pictorial biography of the United States 101st Airborne Division, compiled and arranged by the unit Public Relations Office in Auxerre, France 1945.
Within these pages the reader will find a partial record of what the 101st Airborne Division accomplished in battle and what its men saw in Europe. But it is a partial record only. In the kind of action to which the "Screaming Eagle Division" was committed throughout its time in combat, there was little room for photographers and almost no encouragement for the correspondent whose principal desire was to be able to live long enough to tell the story. In the three great engagements of the 101st, all of the blue chips were in the center of the table and all present so understood their situation.
The deathless epic of the 101's story is contained not in the satistics of miles traveled or in countryside visited from the sands of eastern Normandy to the Alpine crags of Central Europe; its essence is in the personal narrative, repeated thousands of times over, of what one man or a little group of men accomplished afoot, many times alone or almost unaided, many times cold, hurt. and hungry and almost without weapons to stay them in the fight they were about to undertake. There were none present to record these scenes. Many of the witnesses did not come back. The countryside itself changed in the process of the 101st recovering it. The marshes around the Douve in Normandy went dry there were dikes and bridges in the Holland countryside which succumbed to the blast; the houses of Bastogne were shaken down until they looked like a ruin wrought by an earthquake.
So the camera's record is not in all respects faithful, and the only true pictures are the images remaining in the minds of the survivors. Of these, and of the many who did not survive, one who had the privilege of associating with them would say only this: “They were men, indeed, and their enemies were well warned to beware of them so long as they remained above ground."