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Lt Milton "Chopper" Kienlen

Platoon Leader
Company A - 517th PIR

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Sgt Phil Di Stanislao: "A magnificent officer, big and very brave."

 




 

Lt Chopper Kienlen, Jumpmaster,
giving final instructions to his stick

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During the 75 mile push up in Italy - June 1944
Major (then captain) Don Fraser:
"We had an Italian partisan as a guide. It was slow going as we had to go single file on a narrow plank bridge
over the canal. Lt Chopper Kienlen, Phil Di Stanislao, Joe Chobot and two other men were with me as we advanced
six abreast. A German machine gun crancked off a tracer round over our heads.
All six of us had automatic weapons and we all blew a magazine.
It sounded like a small war and the partisan took off, and we didn't see him for three days!!!"


Lt Chopper Kienlen, Jumpmaster
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Company A After Action Report - Operation Dragoon.
First Platoon enplaned at 0030 hours, jumped at 0432 hours. Lt. Kienlen with majority of stick landed about 2-1/2 miles from the DE. S/Sgt. Chobot, PFC Di Stanislao, and Pvt. Knapp were separated from the stick and met North of the DZ.


 

Sgt Phil Di Stanislao
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Major (then captain) Don Fraser First hand account:
"I had a bundle in the door with the radio equipment and shoved it out. I saw the light on the bundle and then it disappeared in the fog. Never saw it again.
Looking down, I was sure the Air Corps had dropped us into the sea. But then I went through the fog, crashed off a
tree and struck the ground into a rock wall. As I unhooked my chute and loaded my carbine, I heard someone nearby.
I challenged him and it was Chopper Kienlen..."

Major Don Fraser
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Company A After Action Report - Operation Dragoon.
1st Platoon joined about 50 men from different companies, some British troopers plus a pack howitzer group. They arrived at the assembly area 0830 hours and were pinned down by M.G. fire. The men used grenades on M.G. nests and the enemy withdrew. Lt. Cook, Co.C. joined the group and took command. The group continued on to the Bn. Objective. Enemy was encountered enroute and Sgt. Chobot killed two. They continued on to the and occupied the hill with no resistance. Lt. Kienlen and stick and part of Co. Hqs. met North of Trans-en-Provence and were directed to the Regimental GP by a French Major. They picked up Sgt. Waterman and other C Co. men, with six prisoners, and also assisted in capturing three more Germans. They were fired on, as they moved to the CP. Lt. Kienlen, PFC Jones, and Sgt. Kiefer killed three Germans and wounded a fourth.

Major Don Fraser and Chopper Kienlen,
Maritime Alps, Fall 1944

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08/15/44 - Southern France - Major (then captain) Don Fraser First hand account:
By daylight we had seventeen from Company A and one little British trooper. How he ever came to us I never figured out. In that first light there were white parachutes scattered over the hills as far as you could see. We picked up a Frenchman from the FFI on the road and headed for Chateau Ste Roseline, designated as the regimental CP.
On the way we engaged in several skirmishes. At the very first, the British trooper hit the ground with his finger on the trigger and by accident blew a string of bullets past Chopper Kienlen.
Chopper picked him up with one hand and told him to lock the weapon on safety until he told him otherwise. That Britisher followed Chopper around all day saying he had never met anyone like him.
He wanted to transfer to Kienlen's platoon and we were sorry when he went back to his own unit.

I was leading the way to the Chateau with a flanker downhill to my left and another uphill to my right. Chopper was about twenty yards behind me an the others strung out along the road behind him. I was watching my flankers when Chopper yelled and then fired a couple of shots. I had walked right by a German in a slit trench. He could have killed me but Chopper got him first.
Kienlen jumped down in the ditch and came up with an Iron Cross and a small pistol in about ten seconds. He smiled and waved on me...

 



Company A After Action Report - Operation Dragoon.
Kienlen and his men then reported to Lt. McDonald and helped outpost the Regimental CP at 1600 hours.
Lt. Kienlen with 22 men moved to a hill overlooking Les Arcs and was reinforced that night by an anti-tank platoon from the 442 Infantry Antitank Co.and part of Co. Hqs. Lt. Sadlo and PFC Grbinich were separated from the stick and remained with FFI in vicinity of Draguignan for two days.

Lt Chopper Kienlen, Maritime Alps 1944
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D Plus Two
Company A After Action Report - Operation Dragoon.

Germans, with reinforcements, attacked the group at Les Arcs at 0730 hours.
Lt. Kienlen on the hill Northeast of Les Arcs was joined by Co. E. Enemy forces were seen but were out of range. Intermittent artillery fire was received and PFCs Anderson, K.B., and Trenary and Pvt. Baney and Cpl. Stewart were hit..

D Plus Two
Company A After Action Report - Operation Dragoon.
First Platoon left hill overlooking Los Arcs and moved to Chateau St. Roseline.

D Plus Three
Company A After Action Report - Operation Dragoon.
First Platoon Left Chateau St. Roseline and moved to area North of Puget and took on left flank of Bn. on 7th Army right flank.

 

Lt Milton "Chopper" Kienlen (right),
Maritime Alps, Fall 1944

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February 5, 2009

Here is some info about Milton "Chopper" Kienlen Co A for the photos section of 517prct.org.  I thought it would be nice to honor him since there isn't any named pictures nor text of him on the website.  I hope you enjoy it and that you will add it to the photos section of the website.
 
With kind regards from Europe,
 
You friend in the 517th,
 
Gilles