George Bowler Tullidge III was an ordinary "All-American" boy who chose to serve his country. He volunteered for the infantry, was assigned to the 507th PIR, 2nd Battalion, Company G in the 82nd Airborne (fittingly known as the “All Americans”) after completing jump school. George jumped in the early morning hours of June 6th as part of Operation Overlord. George was soon to find himself engaged in battle with German forces around the La Fier Bridge near St. Mere Eglise, France. During the fighting, George was wounded; however, he refused to leave his position as it was critical to success of the mission. His wound, while certainly not life threatening with today’s medical technology, took his life a few days later.
“…Displaying aggressiveness and unusual courage, Sergeant Tullidge set up a light machine gun and held off the enemy attacks, killing and wounding many of the enemy and causing others to withdraw. Although wounded in the engagement, he refused to withdraw until the enemy had been completely routed from the area….”
- Award of Bronze Star Medal citation
- Posthumously Awarded by General Gavin
This is his story, a boy from a small town in Virginia, who overcame polio, excelled as a swimmer and answered the call to serve his country. Much of the story is told through letters George exchanged with his mama and family. After George’s passing, there were many letters from those who knew him as well, this completed a story of a man who touched many lives and gave his to cause of freedom.
Among George’s possessions that fateful day in France was a booklet his mama had given to him. In that booklet were words of encouragement that she had borrowed from many sources including the Bible. After George's death, his mama published that booklet as "A Paratrooper's Faith". She devotedly distributed the book to all who asked, including our Armed Forces. This booklet is still being published today, by George's sister and distributed to all who ask free of charge.
The proceeds from the sale of Polio to Paratrooper will be donated to organizations that support our armed forces.