This US paratrooper escaped a Nazi POW camp to join the Red Army and liberate fellow POWs

The World War II story of “Jumpin’” Joseph Beyrle gives a whole new meaning to the saying: “Oh yeah? You and what army?”

Actually, the Red Army, to be exact.

Beyrle was a paratrooper with the legendary 101st Airborne, 506th Infantry Regiment. A demolitions expert, he performed missions in Nazi-occupied France with the resistance there before flying into Normandy on D-Day.

Beyrle had mixed luck during the war, but he would end it as a legend.

When his C-47 came under intense enemy fire during the D-Day invasion, Beyrle had to jump at the ultra-low altitude of 120 meters. He made the drop successfully but lost contact with his unit.

Not deterred by being alone in Fortress Europe, he still performed sabotage missions to support the D-Day landings.

He was soon captured by the Wehrmacht and shipped to various POW camps. Eventually, he escaped and linked up with a Soviet tank brigade. With the Red Army at his back, Beyrle returned to a German POW camp to liberate his fellow prisoners.

You can read more about Jumpin’ Joe Beyrle’s experience in World War II here.

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