Bob Bearden was a paratrooper with the 507th PIR during World War II. He lives in Belton, Texas.
In the predawn hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944, which would become immortalized as the Longest Day, Bob Bearden and his comrades in the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment jumped into the inky skies over Normandy. Their mission: defend the west bank of the Merderet River against German counterattack. After long months of training they were finally taking the war to the Germans. Beardens time in combat proved shortlived, however, when he was captured on D+2, June 8.
This was only the beginning of a new war for his very survival through multiple German POW camps and ultimately on an epic journey that would take him largely on foot all the way to Moscow on his journey home, all of which makes for exciting reading in this remarkable memoir.
World War 2 Database, October 2007
“Bob Bearden's To D-Day and Back was not just another paratrooper-themed memoir trying to ride on the success of others. Several distinctions set this work apart from others. Bearden told his story from a very personal angle. Coupled with the use of everyday prose, the book was another one of those works that felt much like storytelling by a member of the family. It was not just another war memoir, but rather, the book told how the war interacted with Bearden's life.
“Bearden also had the unfortunate experience of becoming a German prisoner of war merely two days after he jumped into Normandy, France. He faithfully recorded his observations while it came, amidst braving malnutrition and the cold winter. While other authors told the horrors of war through descriptions of exploding shells and flying shrapnel, Bearden completed the picture by telling the horrors of war through experiences of being imprisoned by the Germans … Indeed, his WW2 experience was a unique and remarkable adventure, recorded in captivating detail in To D-Day and Back.”