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Herbert F. Batcheller

508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division

Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army

Entered the Service from:

Minnesota

Died:

6/7/1944

Grave Location:

Plot G, Row 28, Grave 15

The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment insignia.

Born July 22, 1909 in Hillyard, Wash., a suburb of Spokane, Lt. Col. Herbert Batcheller entered the University of Washington in 1929, where he studied engineering. Prior the war, he entered the U.S. Military Academy, married, and had two sons. 

On March 16, 1942, Batcheller was ordered to parachute school at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Though suffering from a broken coccyx after a motorcycle accident, Batcheller wanted to qualify as a paratrooper and wore sponge rubber padding during training to keep his injury a secret. He successfully finished training without the doctors finding out about the accident. He qualified as a paratrooper on May 2, 1942.

In December 1942, Batcheller became executive officer of the 505thParachute Infantry Regiment (The Black Panther Regiment) and later lieutenant colonel. Batcheller made his first combat jump on July 9, 1943 in Sicily. Batcheller eventually became acting commanding officer of the 505th, a position he held for the duration of the Italian campaign. 

The first night combat jump in July 1943 that Lt. Col. Herbert F. Batcheller participated in during the Invasion of Sicily.
Men of the 82nd Airborne in Sainte-Mère- glise after its liberation.

He became 1stBattalion commander of the 508thParachute Infantry Regiment, 82ndAirborne Division for the Normandy jump. The battalion jumped near Sainte-Mère-Église on D-Day,  June 6, 1944. During the second part of the day, Batcheller was critically injured and died on June 7 at age 35. He was only one of two commanding officers of the battalion to be killed in Normandy.

Awards: Purple Heart

Herbert F. Batcheller is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot G, Row 28, Grave 15.