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JUMP: INTO THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW: The War Memories of Dwayne Burns Communications Sergeant-508th P.I.R. [Hardcover]

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Item description for JUMP: INTO THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW: The War Memories of Dwayne Burns Communications Sergeant-508th P.I.R. by Dwayne Burns & Leland Burns...

When Dwayne Burns turned 18 during World War II, he decided that he wanted to fight alongside America's best. He joined the paratroopers and was assigned to the 508th Regiment of the 82d Airborne Division. Little did he suspect that a year later he'd be soaring in a flak-riddled C-47 over Normandy, part of the very spearhead of the Allied drive to seize back Europe.

Burns landed behind German lines during the dark, early hours of D-day, and gradually found other survivors of his division. The paratroopers fought on every side in a confused, running battle through the hedgerows, finally making a stand in a surrounded farmhouse. With one room reserved for their growing piles of corpses, the paratroopers held their ground until finally relieved by infantry advancing from the beaches.

After being pulled out of Normandy, the airborne troops were said to be "burning a hole in SHAEF's pocket," and thus were launched into Holland as part of Montgomery's plan to gain a bridgehead across the Rhine. This daytime jump was less confused than the nocturnal one, but there were more Germans than expected and fewer Allied forces in support. It was another maelstrom of pointblank combat in all directions, and though the 82d achieved its objectives, the campaign as a whole achieved little but casualties.

The 82d had hardly refilled with replacements when the Germans broke through the U.S. front in the Ardennes. The 82d's paratroopers were put aboard trucks and hastened to stand in the way of the panzer onslaught. Passing through Bastogne they went farther north to St. Vith, where the U.S. 7th Armored and other divisions were reeling. The 82nd held its own with quickly assembled defense perimeters, allowing other units to escape. After beating off massive attacks by German SS, the paratroopers were disgusted to hear that they, too, had been ordered to retreat. They didn't feel they needed to, but Monty was determined to "tidy up the battlefield." On January 3 they counterattacked through the freezing hills, sealing off the Bulge and pursuing the Germans back into the Reich..

In this work, Dwayne Burns, assisted by his son Leland (U.S. Army, 1975-79), not only relates the chaos of combat but the intimate thinking of a young soldier thrust into the center of several of history's greatest battles. His memories provide a fascinating insight into the reality of close-quarters combat.


" I was glad to see this book...tells his story from the bottom side. It looked different from a foxhole. The book is told in the form of a bunch of little stories, not a day by day diary. This makes it much more interesting, and I recommend it highly. Books-On-Line,02/2007

"... Sadly DWAYNE passed away just hours before the full account went to press. The BURNS team produced a book that keeps the reader's interested from cover to cover... As you read Jump into the Valley of the Shadow, a prominent theme, the Brotherhood of the paratroopers, is apparent and runs through the whole book: You will notice their concern for each other and their grief over their fallen comrades. "The Static Line,02/2007

"Destined to Become a Classic World War II Memoir... a masterful job of taking the reader along on a compelling journey...It is war, as seen from the foxhole and is destined to become a classic World War II memoir."Phil Nordyke (, A reviewer,06/2007

"A true member of the Greatest Generation, Burns' fascinating story is well worth reading." Flight Journal, 10/2008

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Item Specifications...

Pages   233
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Casemate
ISBN  1932033491  
ISBN13  9781932033496  

Availability  1 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2016 05:14.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.

More About Dwayne Burns & Leland Burns

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Military > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Biographies
3Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Military > United States > General
5Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > General
6Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > Personal Narratives
7Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > Western Front

Reviews - What do customers think about JUMP: INTO THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW: The War Memories of Dwayne Burns Communications Sergeant-508th P.I.R.?

Perfect first hand account of the 82nd  Jul 12, 2007
After the world wide attention for the 101st this is a welcome addition to airborne warfare in WWII
great book by an honored veteran  Jul 5, 2007
This is a very well written book b y a man who was there. Telling the personal story of Leland Burns' travels thru F Co of the 508PIR, Jump Into the Valley of the Shadow is a fine read. Factual and well thought out, it goes thru the gritty days of fighting that only a man who has lived thru it can tell you. But it also goes over the softer, more human side of his time overseas in an in-depth and honest way.
From his personal accounts of his courtship with his wife, to his time in England with both new and old friends, the book is made better by the fact that these are all REAL people that actually existed (and in many cases are still living) that makes this a truly special book to have.
A Book from the 82nd.  Feb 4, 2007
This book starts out with the author staring out the open door of a C-47 on the night of June 5, 1944 and realizing that it was now too late to join the motor pool or become a cook. Like a lot of other youngsters, when he was drafted into the Army he decided that he wanted to be with America's best, and that was the paratroopers.

I was glad to see this boook. There has been a lot written about the 101st in recent years and their defense at Bastogne including 'Band of Brothers,' the movie 'Battleground' and a bunch more. Much less well known is the action of the 82nd to hold the north shoulder and prevent the Germans from having more roads to use for their advance. Burns was there. He doesn't tell the big picture - there are a lot of books on the Battle of the Bulge. He tells his story from the bottom side. It looked different from a foxhole.

The book is told in the form of a bunch of little stories, not a day by day diary. This makes it much more interesting, and I recommend it highly.
DIABLO!!! All the way!!!  Jan 6, 2007
OK! This is one man's story about the "Oh Eight" the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment (P.I.R.), 2nd Bn, Fox Co. Mr Burns jumped into France, Operation Neptune (D-Day) and Market-Garden (Holland) two jump stars earned the hard way. There are a lot of "soldiers stories" in the book, being with your buddies, goofing off, military life, as well as the stories about combat. Books like these put a human face on anonymous mens faces of black and white photos taken 60+ years ago. It shows they were pretty much the same as most young men, full of life and hopes and dreams, except their lives were forged in the fires of the Depression. It is a good read and a page turner, there are "flashback" type parts of the book, that may disagree with some readers. But I was most humbled and impressed by his story and the stories of other men I have met, ironically from Easy Co. 508th PIR, Mr Burns' sister Co to his own Fox Co. I am glad some of these men have told their story, because too many never have or got the chance to live long enough to. Thier story is told by rows of silent crosses in France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Germany, and a thousand other lonely places where American boys fought and died. Read this book if you want to know the story of one man's journey through a pivotal time in human history.
Outstanding and Riveting Memories from Training to Combat  Dec 17, 2006
I highly recommend this book. Dwayne Burns brings to life his memories from elite training as a paratrooper to his feelings and emotions of actually going into combat. Along the way, he shares his personal life stories and how all of this shaped the person he was to became. The incredible bond that paratroopers have which started in their training and lasts to this day is very inspiring. Reading this book reinforced my genuine thanks to these men that "Jumped Into the Valley of the Shadow" along with the rest of the "Greatest Generation" that helped bring peace back to this world in the uncertain time of WWII.

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