Soldiers past and present
A Soldier listens to U.S. Army Lt. Col. (Ret.) James Megellas during a book signing at USAG Schinnen Netherlands in December 2007. Megellas will return to the only Bookmark book store in the benelux region Sept. 13, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

World War II hero Lt. Col. (Ret.) James Megellas, 91, the 82nd Airborne's most decorated officer and author of the book "All the Way to Berlin", will be at the Schinnen Bookmark Saturday, Sept. 13, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where he will give away some of books to Soldiers and autograph books.

Megellas visited USAG Schinnen in December 2007 while touring locations in the Netherlands and Belgium. After his visit he traveled to Afghanistan and when he visits USAG Schinnen Sept. 13 he will have completed a visit to the 101st Airborne Division and ISAF now serving in Afghanistan.

Lt. Megellas led his platoon on a surprise attack Jan. 28, 1945 in Belgium. During this encounter he courageously and single-handedly stopped an attacking German Mark V tank, preventing many casualties, then led the charge to seize the town of Herresbach. It's these actions for which he is being considered for the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Megellas earned a number of valor awards, including the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and fought in virtually every type of infantry unit action imaginable during World War II including amphibious landings in Anzio, parachute assaults in Operation Market Garden, as well as ground combat in Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany.

In "All the Way to Berlin" Megellas accounts the heroics of Soldiers and the price victories demanded. He goes on to share what many of the young paratroopers did after the war and they coped with the transition.

Megellas has visited World War II battle grounds often and enjoys talking with today's Soldiers and meeting old friends. He's says that when he sees today's Soldiers he can't help see in them the same young Soldiers who answered the nation's call to arms nearly 70 years ago.

Page last updated Wed August 20th, 2008 at 10:08