Sollinger, Morris L

Morris L. Sollinger was born in 1919 to William and Martha Sollinger who lived in East Vincent Township, Pennsylvania. Morris was second born of four brothers.

Herbert complete two years of high school in Spring City and then worked for Belmont Iron Works in Royersford.  He was a member of the Junior Order of the United American Mechanics, a large organization founded in Philadelphia in 1853. He was also a member of the Sons and Daughters of Liberty Lodges, and a member of the Liberty Fire Company on Hall Street (still there today). 

Herbert entered the Army on February 17, 1941, as part of Company B 111th Infantry from Phoenixville before it was mustered into active duty.  He applied and was accepted into the all-volunteer paratroops, and served with Company H, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. The 82nd Infantry Division was reorganized and re-designated as the 82nd Airborne division, the first Airborne Division of the US Army.

Roland was shipped overseas in December, 1943 to join the 82nd in England as they prepared for the Normandy landings in France in June.  The 82nd division, along with the 101st divisions landed behind enemy lines in Normandy the night of June 5th to secure vital bridges for the amphibious forces landing on Utah and Omaha beaches on the morning of June 6.

In September, the 82nd was involved in Operation Market Garden, a massive parachute jump into the Netherlands to capture bridges into Germany.  The concept was to parachute deep behind enemy lines as an end run around the flanks of the heavily defended German lines in France. This operation was conceived by British Field Marshall Montgomery as an attempt to shorten the war, however, the operation was a complete failure -  the bridges were too far from the supply lanes, and infantry could not break through to the bridges.  The movie “A Bridge Too Far” describes a portion of this operation. It was during this operation that Herbert met his fate.

Corporal Herbert Roland Shenafield was killed in action on October 4, 1944 in Holland. His parents were notified via telegram on November 1st.


Research by Don Wambold, WCMSC