"AN OUTLINE OF EVENTS AT WHEELER POINT
ON THE NIGHT OF 18/19 FEBRUARY 1945"
late on Sunday afternoon, 18 February 1945, Major Lawson B. Caskey, the 2d
Battalion 503d Parachute Infantry commander sent his S3 Lieutenant Lawrence
Browne, the plans and training officer, to D Company to issue the defense orders
for the night. The 2d Battalion staff officer did not arrive in the company area
until very late that afternoon. Browne
had just come from F Company's position on Way Hill, 600 yards east of Wheeler
point where he had given F Company its orders.
The decision to enlarge the perimeter must have been made late in the day
at the 503d regimental headquarters in Topside Barracks.
save time the company commander, Lieutenant Al Turinsky, had assembled his
platoon leaders at Wheeler Point before the 2d Battalion S3 got to the company
command post in the reinforced concrete bunker at the promontory.
The platoon leaders would be given the defense orders at the same time
the company commander got them. The four platoon leaders, Lieutenants Gifford,
Preston and Lindgren, and Technical Sergeant Schriefels were all close to the
command post and gathered quickly. Schriefels had taken over the 3d platoon from
Lieutenant Paul Cote who was injured on the jump.