|The Paul McIlvaine Collection - WWII Short Snorters - Netherland
The Short Snorter Project
|ONE GULDEN NETHERLAND SHORT SNORTER
Series: 4 FEBRUARY 1943 NO. 2 - Serial Number: FM089361
Co. H 504 Prcht. Inf.
Lt. Jos. F. Forestal
Co. H – 504 Parachute Inf.
Corlies (in the margin in pencil)
The guilder (Dutch: gulden) was the currency of the Netherlands from the 13th century until 2002, when it was replaced
by the euro. Following the German occupation, on 10 May 1940, the guilder was pegged to the Reichsmark. The Allied
forces made the United States Dollar the peg for the guilder within the Bretton Woods system upon liberation. The
Allies printed state notes dated 1943 for use following liberation in denominations of 1, 2½, 10, 25, 50 and 100 guilders –
this is one of the 1 guilder notes.
On 1 May 1942, the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) was activated at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was later
attached to the newly designated 82nd Airborne Division under the command of General Omar N. Bradley. After a
successful campaign in Sicily and Italy, the 504th was not able to participate in the Normandy invasion due to lack of
adequate personnel. They did make it to Europe and, on the morning of 19 December 1944, the 504th was getting into
position north of Bastogne, while the 101st Airborne Division was assigned to Bastogne itself. The Germans quickly
infiltrated and cut off the road between the two elements and the "Battle of the Bulge" offensive flowed around the two
airborne units. The 82nd as a whole faced great difficulty in holding position along the northern edge of the German
penetration. The 504th faced particularly heavy German attacks, winning their second Presidential Unit Citation in the
process. Driving deep into the heartland of Germany, the 504th finally took up positions along the West Bank of the
Rhine River. Then on 6 April 1945, A Company crossed the Rhine near the village of Hitsdorf as a diversionary tactic to
mislead the Germans from the full scale crossing. The fierce fighting which ensued won A Company a Presidential Unit
Citation. The war officially ended in Europe on 5 May 1945 and the 82nd Airborne Division was called upon to serve as
the occupation force in the American Sector of Berlin. Here the 82nd Airborne Division earned the name, "America’s
Guard of Honor," as a fitting end to hostilities in which the 504th had chased the German Army some 14,000 miles
across the European Theater. The 504th PIR distinguished themselves as being a force to be reckoned with. They
succeeded where others failed. They fought the toughest battles. They became one of the most decorated parachute
units of the War. All things considered, it is safe to say that the legacy of the "Devils in Baggy Pants" will live on forever.
|Men of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in England on 17 September 1944 before jumping into Holland.