|Roderick G. Strohl|
Staff Sergeant Roderick G. "Rod" Strohl was a non-comissioned officer with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in 101st Airborne Divison of the United States Army during World War II. He was one of the original Tocoa men of Easy Company.
Roderick Strohl was born on June 24th, 1922 and was the son of a car dealer and he grew up in Philadelphia. and later was enlisted and volunteered to the paratroopers with two of his friends, fellow Pennsylvanian Dutch speakers Forrest Guth and Carl Fenstermaker, in 1942,
Both where assigned to Easy Company and became three of the 140 original Toccoa men of that unit. All of them would survive through the rest of the war but it's not surprising however that both survived became very lucky. Strohl carried a camera with him in Europe and his friends Forrest Guth and Walter Gordon would share it through the war. He was trained at Camp Taccoa under Captain Herbert Sobel. It is unknown which unit he was a part of.
Strohl's first combat jump was D-Day where be became so overloaded that he couldn't put on a reserve chute. His plane got hit, and Strohl saw the two pilots coming out with the paratroopers. He linked up with fellow Easy Company members. Shifty Powers, Buck Taylor and Bill Kiehn upon landing and he and the group joined with their own unit a few days later, He took Carentan and later in the Battle of Bloody Gulch he was wounded and sent to Utah Beach, where his 45 and his boots got stolen.
On September 16, 1944, Strohl got a one-day pass from a doctor and hitched a ride to Aldbourne to rejoin Easy Company. He ran into Captain Herbert Sobel. Knowing that Strohl went AWOL, Sobel gave him a ride on his jeep. One day later, Strohl made another combat jump for Operation Market Garden, although he was "weak as a pussy cat". On 5 October 1944, while Easy Company was defending "The Island", Strohl and several others were chosen for a patrol mission, which ran into German troops and was attacked; Strohl was wounded and his radio was destroyed.
Later he participated in the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne. when they got into Bastogne. Colonel Robert Sink ordered Edward Shames to find out where the enemy was. Shames, Strohl and McClung went down a road and saw vague shapes in the distance that looked kind of like haystacks. but sounded like heavy tanks. When the fogs lifted they soon realized that the shapes were indeed those of tanks. There were 19 of them. he also later partook in Foy and survived that.
He fought with Easy Company until the end of the war. While in Germany, Albert Kesselring, a German Luftwaffe Generalfeldmarschall came to Strohl and demanded to speak to the high rank officer. Lieutenant Shames came and took Kesselring's pistol, He wanted to give it to Strohl but he rejected this and did not deserve it.
Band of BrothersEdit
Strohl was not included in the Band of Brothers TV miniseries, apart from briefly appearing as himself at the beginning of the first episode, Currahee; nonetheless, he appeared in its companion documentary, We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company. In the TV miniseries, the incident of Strohl going AWOL to rejoin Easy Company before Operation Market Garden was reproduced, except that Strohl's role was replaced by Robert 'Popeye' Wynn. It was actually true that Wynn rejoined Easy Company from hospital shortly before Operation Market Garden, but he was given light duty papers (which he threw away). He did not run into Sobel.