#onthisday in 1944, the 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion including Saratoga’s Arthur Traver were able to get two howitzers into action as part of the largest amphibious invasion in history when Allies assaulted Normandy, located on the northern coast of France.
320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion had assigned twelve 105 mm howitzers. U.S. light howitzer designed for use by airborne troops. The glider field artillery battalion provided artillery barrages in support of infantry attacks. During a battle, the field artillery battalion responded to requests for barrages from infantry commanders. The battalion performed ‘counter battery’ fire to knock out German artillery batteries firing at American troops. They also attacked German reinforcements and command posts to make it more difficult for German officers to coordinate their activities and get troops to the right place on the battlefield Traver’s unit was part of the the 82nd Airborne division.
In the early hours of yesterday, 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. The airborne troops made a junction with the landed troops belonging to the 4th infantry division at Utah Beach. As a result of their efforts, they were awarded their second French Croix de Guerre with Palm. The citation reads: “A splendid unit, renowned for the gallantry and the spirit of sacrifice of its fighting men. It displayed the finest military qualities during the battle of Normandy. It formed part of the 82nd Airborne Division and occupied central road points and river communications commanding the access to the landing beaches of the Cotentin. It sacrificed itself on the banks of the Merderet and the Douve, at Saint Sauveur le Vicomte and at Etienneville from 6 to 20 June 1944, in order to stem at all cost the advance of the German reinforcements which far outnumbered them in strength and fire power. It forced the enemy to remain on the defense, thus permitting the arrival of the main Allied force.”
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.