Charles N. DeGlopper was a glider with the 82nd Airborne Division, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the early days of the invasion of Normandy, shortly after D-Day.

DeGlopper came from Grand Island, NY, and was assigned to C Co. 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

He was the only soldier from the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment to receive the Medal of Honor. He was also the only soldier from the 82nd Airborne Division to receive the award for actions during the Normandy campaign.

Unlike many of the paratroopers who went through their baptism of fire on D-Day, DeGlopper had had previous combat experience. He had served in North Africa, and Italy before landing with the 82nd in Normandy. He had also been awarded the Bronze Star Medal for valor during the Sicily campaign.

Despite many of the Waco and Horsa gliders crashing into the Normandy countryside, the 325th was able to assemble about 90 percent of the regiment after landing. Their mission was to find a shallow crossing of the Le Merderet River and help attack La Fière Bridge from the opposite side. 

Charles DeGlopper
Charles DeGlopper during WWII. (Congressional Medal of Honor Society)

On June 9, 1944, C Company was at the head of the column and was progressing under fire in an attempt to establish a bridgehead west of La Fière causeway, three kilometers west of Sainte-Mère-Eglise. At dawn, C Co. was the only one to have broken through the enemy’s defenses, taking heavy fire from small arms and heavy machine guns. 

DeGlopper’s section was cut off from the rest of the company as the Germans made a serious counterattack with superior numbers and attempted to encircle the American troops at the height of the village of Cauquigny.

DeGlopper volunteered to provide covering fire for his unit to withdraw as they were attempting to reach a hedge about 40 yards behind him. He began firing his Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) and moved along a ditch to the road, completely exposed to enemy fire.