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Roderick G. Strohl
Nickname Rod
Born 1922 (age 96–97)
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal United States Army
Years of service 1942-1945
Rank Army-USA-OR-06 Staff Sergeant
Unit 506 patch Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment,
US 101st Airborne Division patch101st Airborne Division
Battles/wars

World War II

Staff Sergeant Roderick Strohl (born 1922) was a non-commissioned officer with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during World War II. Strohl was one of the 140 original Toccoa men of Easy Company.

YouthEdit

Strohl was a son of a car dealer and he grew up in Philadelphia.[1]

Military ServiceEdit

Strohl enlisted and volunteered for paratroopers with two of his friends, fellow Pennsylvanian Dutch speakers Forrest Guth and Carl Fenstermaker, in Philadelphia in 1942. They were assigned to Easy Company and became three of the 140 original Toccoa men of the unit. All of them survived the war. Strohl had a camera with him in Europe and his comrades Forrest Guth and Walter Gordon would share it during the war.

Strohl's first combat jump was on D-Day. He was so overloaded that he could not put on a reserve chute. His plane got hit, and Strohl saw the pilots coming out with the paratroopers. Strohl linked up with Shifty Powers, Buck Taylor and Bill Kiehn upon landing and the group joined with their own unit a few days later. During the Battle of Bloody Gulch outside Carentan, Strohl was wounded and was sent to Utah Beach, where his .45 and his boots were stolen.[2]

On September 16 Strohl got a one-day pass from a doctor, and hitched a ride to Aldbourne to rejoin Easy Company. He ran into Captain Herbert Sobel. Knowing that Strohl went AWOL, Sobel gave Strohl a ride on his jeep. One day later, Strohl made another combat jump for Operation Market Garden, although he was 'weak as a pussy cat'. In October 5, 1944, Strohl was chosen for a patrol mission. The patrol ran into German troops and was attacked. Strohl was wounded and his radio was blown away.

Strohl participated in the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne. When Easy Company first got into Bastogne, Colonel Robert Sink ordered Edward Shames to find out where the enemy was. Shames, Strohl and Earl McClung went down a road and saw vague shapes in the distance that looked kind of like haystacks, but sounded like tanks. When the fogs lifted they realized that the shapes were indeed those of tanks. There were 19 of them.[3] Strohl fought with Easy Company until the end of the war. While in Germany, Albert Kesselring, a German Luftwaffe Generalfeldmarschall, came to Strohl and demanded to talk to a high rank. Lieutenant Shames came, and took Kesselring's Czech pistol. He wanted to give it to Strohl, but Strohl thought he did not deserve it.[3]

Band of BrothersEdit

Strohl was not included in the Band of Brothers TV miniseries. Nonetheless, he appeared in its companion documentary, We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company.[4] In the TV miniseries, the incident of Strohl going AWOL to rejoin Easy Company before Operation Market Garden was reproduced, except that Strohl's role was replaced by Robert 'Popeye' Wynn. It was actually true that Wynn rejoined Easy Company from hospital shortly before Operation Market Garden, but he was given light duty papers (which he threw away). He did not run into Sobel.

ReferencesEdit

  1. p.34, Alexander
  2. p.253, Alexander, 2005
  3. 3.0 3.1 Edward Shames's Biography
  4. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1091378/ Rod Strohl's IMDB page

External linksEdit

BibliographyEdit

  • Ambrose, Stephen E. (1992). Band of Brothers: Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7434-6411-6. 
  • Larry Alexander (2011). In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers: A Return to Easy Company's Battefields with Sgt. Forrest Guth). NAL Trade]. ISBN 0451233158. 
  • Larry Alexander (2005). Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Led the Band of Brothers). NAL Trade]. ISBN 978-1-440-67825-7. 

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