The only significant German force present in the entire Fayence region is a detachment of Luftwaffe aerial observers (apparently belonging to the Flugmelde-Funk-Kompanie zbV 23) in Fayence. The municipality is located 350m above sea level and is an ideal vantage point for this small detachment. This garrison is installed in the strongpoint of La Roche, which consists of two huge rocks, a few hundred meters north of Fayence. The Germans had turned these rocks into a stronghold by digging trenches and shelters around them. A small observation post overlooking Fayence, the D562, and the surrounding landscape was built on top of La Roche.

On the morning of August 15, about a thousand paratroopers are mistakenly dropped about 14 to 20 miles northeast of LZs A and O, scattered over 8 miles across a mountainous region from Seillans to Fayence and from Tourrettes to Callian. All these villages are a good day's walk from the DZ.

Many British and American paratroopers are injured and have to be left in the homes of the region. A medical station is set up in Fayence by S/Sgt. John W. Chism where about thirty paratroopers will be taken care of.

Realizing that the region is being liberated, local resistance fighters organize an ambush at a place called Quatre Chemins south of Fayence. Coming from Callian, a mixed group of paratroopers arrives on the scene. Members of the 3rd Platoon of the 596th Ab. Engr. Co. are also there. An ambulance and a bus carrying wounded and German infantrymen are targeted by paratroopers and resistance fighters. After this attack, the paratroopers join the group led by Major Blackwood, Capt. Joseph McGeever, and 1st Lt. Lud Gibbons, who are heading for the Muy region on the D4.

Once the majority of the Allied paratroopers leave the Fayence region to return to their drop zones, the region is partially reoccupied by German troops.

Around August 18, the Germans return to the Fayence region and reinforce their garrison in Fayence. After seizing Callian, Task Force Eitt (141st IR & 636th Tank Destroyer Bn.) is tasked with retaking the village. But the fighting in Callian lasts from August 19 to midday on August 20, abandoning their attack plan.

On August 20, now that Callian and Montauroux are liberated, the only remaining German force in the area is the group entrenched at La Roche de Fayence. Under the command of Major Paul Tornow, commander of Reserve-Grenadier-Bataillon 327, the unit that had been sent to Draguignan since August 15.

Now that the 517th PIR has taken over from the 141st IR, the task of capturing Fayence falls to the paratroopers.

In the days before and after the accidental drops in the Fayence region, several lost paratroopers from the 517th PIR join an OSS team. During these fights, the paratroopers and the OSS team led by Lt. Walter C. Hanna clash with Tornow's German soldiers and eventually arrange a possible surrender from them.

Meanwhile, near Fayence is Lt. Col. Richard J. Seitz and his 2/517th tasked with taking the village. After a reconnaissance of the city during the day, a formidable artillery barrage from the 602nd GFAB is provoked on Fayence in the evening. The surrender is accepted by the garrison commander, on pain of being annihilated. In order to take the 200 prisoners, Hanna decides to contact the men of the 517th PIR to help them. Ignorant of whether the Germans will surrender, the paratroopers of the 2/517th take up positions for an attack. In the morning of August 21, a column of 184 Germans leaves the fort with their hands up, putting an end to the German resistance in the Fayence area.



The 517's GANG

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