#onthisday in 1944, the 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion including Saratoga’s Arthur Traver arrived into battle by glider as part of the largest amphibious invasion in history when Allies assaulted Normandy, located on the northern coast of France.
On 6 June 1944. poor visibility and low ceiling made air navigation extremely difficult. As a result, gliders were badly scattered for miles along the drop zone. Traver was knocked out with the landing. Traver’s unit was part of the the 82nd Airborne division. In the early hours of June 6, 1944, paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne jump over Normandy: they have to capture different objectives in the area west of the Allied amphibious invasion, such as the town of Sainte-Mère-Eglise or the La Fière bridge. In the 82nd Airborne Division, about 4% of paratroopers and 16% of glider-carried troops were killed or injured in the drop.
As a result of their efforts, they were awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. The citation reads: “A crack unit that brilliantly distinguished itself during the dropping of the 82d Airborne Division over France in the night 5-6 June 1944. In spite of the stiff resistance of the enemy and its very heavy losses, it managed by its military qualities and the gallantry of its personnel, to occupy the important position of Saint Mere I’Eglise, thus making possible the success of the landing in strength of the Allied liberating troops.”
Arthur Traver was born to a farm family living on Burke Road in the Town of Saratoga. His mother, Mary Morehouse Traver was described as “a person with high ideals for herself, her family, and her community” passed away when Traver was 6 years old. His father, Humphrey Travers raised him and his brothers and sisters while running the family farm. It is this early life experience of hardship and hard work that had an indelible impact on Traver’s commitment to his community and country. Arthur Traver was drafted into the US Army. He served in the 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division during WW II. He fought in Italy, Normandy D-Day, Operation Market Garden, and Battle of the Bulge. When he returned home from the War, he married Marie Hutchinson. He joined the Quaker Springs Volunteer Fire Department. He served the community in the fire department for 64 years and held various positions including Fire Chief. After the War, Traver started a 25 year career driving a school bus for the Schuylerville Central Schools. You can learn about Arthur Traver by visiting http://ift.tt/299E8LC
Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. There are many individuals like Arthur Traver that help define this country, our region, and this community. It is the determination of our forefathers, in surmounting overwhelming odds that help define the American spirit – the will and ability to shape a better future. It is the people it is that define this community by choice or by chance have changed this country and even the world. That is why studying the people of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human.