Sergeant Clarence "Clancy" Lyall
Normandy, France, Holland, Bastogne, Belgium, Germany
E Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne
I was born on 10/14/1925 in Orange, Texas. I entered
the Army in 1942 after moving to Pennsylvania in 1939. I went to
Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania for introduction, then sent to Camp
Blanding, Florida for basic training in 1943. I was assigned to
the Second Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in
On June 6th, I jumped in Normandy, France. I landed in a tree about
2 miles from St. Maire-Eglise, I was so heavily loaded with equipment,
that my friend Jim Campbell had to cut me down. We were a long way
from our original DZ and we came under the responsability of the
82nd Airborne Division. We were attached to B Company, 508th Parachute
Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division for a few days fighting
around St. Marie-Eglise. After 3 days we finally found our way back
After Normandy, back in Alderbourne, England, I was assigned to
E Company 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment this was in August 1944.
There getting ready to jump in Holland. Landed at Son DZ. On September
18-19 we liberated Eindhoven, after which we waited for the British
troops. A young dutch boy about 14 years old came up to Mike Massoconni
and myself and showed us the houses where the Germans were held
up. We then began to clear the houses and captured about 6 Germans
while doing so. The boy only had a small caliber pistol. I gave
him my trench knife with my name on it, which to this day is on
exibition at the museum in Eindhoven.
Mike and I put a 30 caliber machine gun on top
of a building in Eindhoven for a better field of fire. We had a
killing zone of three intersections and we could suppress any movement
very weIl. But during the fighting, a German mortar came down through
the skylight of the building and we heard bottles breaking. Peeking
through the skylight I saw we were sitting on top of the Heineken
beer brewery. Needless to say, we also liberated a few bottles.
On september 22, our company moved to Uden. After the Germans cut
behind us and we were surrounded in Uden. We broke through and went
to Veghel, where we encountered extremely heavy fighting. Two days
later my squad dug in in an apple orchard in the town of Veghel,
which was a huge mistake. German artillery was fierce and murderous,
the rounds would hit the trees, burst and the shrapnel would come
down on us, so much for the foxholes which were of no use to us
at this point. On september 25th we were attached to British tanks
and cleared Veghel with the loss of only 1 tank and alas a few fellow
A day later...herendous fighting up and down Hell's Highway, while
protecting the British tanks who like ourselves were trying to get
to Arnhem. Donald Hooper and myself managed to knock out a German
half track. We moved to Opheusden on october 3rd, where near the
Neder Rhine we fought with Germans who were trying to push us back.
From october 9th to october 21st, our job consisted of holding defensive
positions on the dike. Extensive patrols and counter strikes on
Germans positions were a day job.
At that time Leibgott and myself captured 8 Germans.
A German sniper located in a factory about a thousand yards away,
was constantly keeping us pinned down until Pace aimed and took
him out, a good shot. During a German counterattack, I was blown
off the dike by the impact of a German mortar and got it in the
right leg. Wounded, I was evacuated. I joined up with my company
again in mid November in a town called Mourmelon in France. That
was where we got the orders to move to Bastogne, Belgium.
Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge
The date is december 17th. We got onto army trucks and left for
Bastogne. Easy company, upon arriving, set up strong defense lines
at Foy and Bastogne. The line was held as a large German attack
was stopped when they tried to overrun us. In the days that followed
many patrol/ambush-recons took place. During the second half of
december many enemy contacts and crossfires occured on both sides.
E Company attacks and clears the woods of Bois Jacques on the 2d
of January, which was located north of our position. In the bloody
attack of approximately one thousand yards. Rader was wounded, Sawesko
was killed, Smith was wounded, Sholty was wounded, Webb was killed.
After the attack, we returned to the line where we were heavily
and continously shelled by Germans artillery. Easy again suffered
many casualties. I was wounded for the second time since the beginning
of the war, but because I could not be evacuated I stayed right
where I was and a medic took care of me.
Easy along with the 2nd battalion attacks Recogne on January 9th.
Because of the massive shelling a lot more casualties and loss of
life was the toll to get control of the high ground near Recogne.
Then finally, Easy was pulled back into reserve for 2 days from
January 9th to January 11th. After a two day rest Easy was ordered
to attack and clear out the town of Foy. In the battle for Foy several
men were wounded and killed and Lt. Spears became our C.O. This
all occured on January the 13th. The next day Easy was ordered to
move to Noville and to attack and clear the town. Again two days
later on January the 6th Easy attacks and clears Rachamps. Then
Easy is pulled of the line again after one of it's most horrific
times at the front we prepared to be relieved by the 17th Airborne
and we moved toward Germany and Hagenau. A few days later Easy takes
over positions in Haguenau where there is not much to do but the
daily patrols. On one of these patrols, Wynn nearly drowned himself
trying to cross the river on patrol.
February 25th Easy is ordered to move back to Mourmelon, France
for refitting. While we were there, on March 15th, the entire 101
st Airborne Division receives the Presidential Unit Citation, the
first citation ever to an entire Division. On April 1st Easy leaves
for the Rhine River opposite Dusseldorf to restrain the German forces
in the Ruhrpocket. April 20th Easy eceives the last combat command
order of the war, to take Berchtesgaden.
We came across our first concentration camp at Memmingen in Bavaria
on April 28th. That is were I saw some of the worst sights a man
can ever see. On May 5th Easy Company finally enters Berchtesgaden,
three days later the war was over. The 506th was relocated to new
headquarters at Zell am See, Austria. The division was de-activated
in November, 1945.
I continued my service in the 10st and also fought
The shoulderpatch of the 101st Airborne.
Clancy's jumpwings. Each star is earned with a combat jump. Clancy
received a total of 4 stars 2 in WWII and 2 in Korea.