T/5 Albert "Moose" Messner
Regimental Headquarters (Communications)

items from Thomas Messner
[son of T/5 Albert "Moose" Messner (REGT HQ [Communications], 506th PIR)]
Dutch Civilian ID Card

Front of Dutch civilian ID card

When radio operator T/5 Albert Messner jumped into Holland on September 17, 1944,
he was separated from his stick (parachutists who drop together). A civilian rode up to
Messner on a bicycle and gave Messner some clothes, his own civilian ID card (which
had been issued to him by the Germans during their occupation of Holland), and his bicycle.
In addition, the civilian gave Messner information on where the Germans were so that
Messner avoided capture and found his REGT HQ unit.

Inside of Dutch Civilian ID Card

Inside of Dutch civilian ID card


T/5 Albert Messner served as the radio operator on a SAARF team in early 1945.

In England in the spring of 1945, rumors had reached Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces
(SHAEF) that, with the end of the war in sight and the outcome a forgone conclusion, Hitler might order the
guards at various Stalags and Oflags to massacre all the Allied POWs as one of his final hateful gestures.
Plans were made to try to avert this.

In the newly-formed SAARF (Special Allied Airborne Reconnaissance Force), over 200 troops of various
nationalities were trained in England. A number of officers and men, who had prior combat experience with the
101st, were sent to SAARF in early 1945. The unit only existed for several months. Each team consisted of 2
officers and one enlisted (usually a T/5) radio operator. These teams could parachute into the vicinity of a Ger-
man Stalag to monitor events from a distance. In the event of an imminent massacre, they could radio for a
battalion of paratroopers to jump ASAP on the camp.

The SAARF wing and tab (shown above left) were intended for wear at the top of the right shoulder, although
they could be worn below a 1st Allied Airborne patch or a former Airborne combat unit patch. The SHAEF
(shown above right) was worn on the left shoulder while personnel were serving in SAARF

Messner, Crawford & Smith

Zell Am See, Austria, June 1945

(L-R): T/5 Albert Messner (back from his assignment with SAARF), MSG Joseph
W. Crawford, and SSG George M. Smith, all from REGT HQ (Communications)

These pages are maintained the
506th Airborne Infantry Regiment Association (Airmobile - Air Assault)
This page updated 04/06/13