Since April 1944, the Feldkommandantur 800 commanded by Generalmajor Ludwig Bieringer is housed in Draguignan where there is also a German military hospital. The initial plans of the Allies provide for the liberation of the city as soon as possible, being, the day after the landing: it plays a strategic role, knowing which houses the headquarters of the German army operating in Var area and the Maritimes Alps and is the prefecture of the Var department.
On August 16, at 11:30, Lt. Col. Wood Joerg, commander of 551st PIB is warned by message that the Free French Forces which are fighting in Draguignan and that they would hold until he arrives. General Ferdinand Neuling tries to contact any German force without success. The resistance had cut off all communications from the LXII Corps Headquarters.
Throughout August 16, pending the capture of the city, the 551st PIB deals in ambushing German convoys converging on Draguignan.
At 14:45, the 551st PIB is alerted to go on the offensive. All companies are gathered on the road to Draguignan to walk towards the city. At 16:30 the B Company is attacked on its right flank and the column stops. At 17:10, the company stopped it so that the guns of 602nd GFAB could fire on the enemy positions. The company finally attacks the hill at 18:40 without any losses and captures five enemy soldiers. The battalion managed to take the fuel depot on Hill 216 north of Valbourgès.
On the evening of August 16th, Wood Joerg ordered his men to seize the city. By Joerg's order, the A and B Companies are starting up. Under the command of Capt. Marshall Dalton; A Company Commander and Capt. James "Jungle Jim" Evans; B Company commander, the battalion quickly sets out and ascends the steep forest trails to infiltrate enemy positions.
At 8:15 pm, B Company’ 3rd platoon launched an assault on Hill 208. All the machine guns and mortars of the platoon directed their fire on this hill. The 3rd squad stands to the left and the 1st squad to the right, while the 2nd squad is in reserve. At 20:45, the 602nd GFAB directed his fires on the hill and at 21 hours the hill was taken without any loss after silencing a machine gun position.
Near 23 hours, A and B Companies enter in the city in fighting. At the entrance of the city, paratroopers are attacked by snipers and enemy machine guns. Each parachute platoon has a different view of the liberation of Draguignan. Some are in street labyrinths, others are not.
Evans and Sgt. Joseph Schevenels - one of the French paratroopers who jumped with the Task Force urged Lieutenant General Ferdinand Neuling to flaunt a white flag, but he refused to capitulate without fighting. A mortar shell nicely placed by Schevenels squad on the house where Neuling is, leading him to his immediate surrender.
On 17 August the fighting is over, at the cost of one killed and six wounded. Draguignan is the first important city of Southern France to fall into the hands of the Allied forces. There are 400 prisoners including General Bieringer, commander of the LXII Corps and his staff. In the afternoon, Lt. Colonel Joerg installs his CP at the Madeleine Hotel. At 17:55 he sent the following radio message to General Robert Frederick, Mitan: "Draguignan is in our hands".